Anthony Watts has posted a "guest essay" by Eric "Eugenics" Worrall (archived here). Eric is writing about a new climate fund set up by a US hedge fund billionaire, Tom Steyer and his wife Kat Taylor. Huffington Post describes it as a climate victim relief fund. However at the same time, it reports it as a Climate Disaster Relief Fund, for which the:
...first order of business will be providing grants to firefighters, nurses and other first responders to the catastrophic fire season plaguing the west.
You can read about it here at Huffington Post. Sounds like a worthy venture. Eric Worrall is amused or bemused by a CBS report that Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor liquidated their holdings in Kinder Morgan, an energy company, to finance the venture.
Eric also noticed that Tom Steyer is spending a huge amount ($50m of his own and $50m from other donors) to fund nationwide political campaigns to "shape climate policy". Eric idly wonders:
Is it OK for large amounts of oil money to be expended influencing American politics, as long as the oil money is spent on helping Democrat candidates?
First of all, it appears to be idle speculation on Eric's part that there are large amounts of oil money being spent on helping Democrat candidates. There was nothing in either of the two articles I looked at to suggest that Tom Steyer's $50m is "oil money". Though that doesn't mean it's not. Secondly, it's cute that Eric thinks that "shaping climate policy" helps Democratic candidates. He's probably correct though, given that most Republican candidates want global warming to continue untrammeled at a great rate.
Oiling Democrats for climate action
What do you think. Is it okay for "large amounts of oil money" to go towards helping Democrat candidates? Does it depend on the source? For example, from liquidating assets previously tied up in oil stocks versus ongoing proceeds from going concern oil companies.
I'd say it wouldn't hurt for shareholders to consider shifting their investments from fossil fuel companies to renewable energy companies and I doubt you'd hear too many people complain. Or they could stick with their investment and use it to mobilise shareholder power and urge fossil fuel companies to progressively shift to renewable energy. In fact that's what some energy companies themselves are doing - albeit some more quickly than others.
Anthony Watts can rest easy - deniers don't stray from his herd
Incidentally, at the bottom of Eric's article Anthony wonders if he can get paid from a climate disaster relief fund for "being a victim of daily climate abuse" here at HotWhopper. Is the HotWhopper rain dance working too well? Is it causing climate disaster at WUWT?
Apart from the fact that demolishing some of the daily disinformation peddled by deniers at WUWT and elsewhere doesn't constitute "daily climate abuse", someone should tell Anthony he has no need to worry. Google stats show that barely any of his audience strays here.
Anthony, can breathe easy. He's safe with his loyal denier crowd. Very few of them visit science blogs.
Even when Anthony mentions HotWhopper in one of his main articles, like today, if his webstats are correct, then of his reported 50,000 plus visits a day, barely
Yep, out of his 50,000 plus reported daily visitors, so far only
That's an infinitesimally small number compared to the rush of visitors if someone like Phil Plait links here. Barely a spec of dust on planet Earth by comparison. I also get way more hits from a mention at ClimateProgress and heaps more visits from the sidebar links at Moyhu and RabettRun, or a retweet by Michael Mann. Even mid-sized discussion boards beat WUWT hands down when it comes to visits. (He he, it's all true, but I only wrote it to rub salt in Anthony's imagined wound.)
I conclude that deniers don't like to travel. After all, why would Anthony's mad crowd want to be confronted with science when they can get all the pseudo-scientific reassurance they can handle at WUWT?
HotWhopper demolishes disinformation. It's for a completely different audience to Anthony's anti-science blog. It's for:
- people who are interested in climate science and can tolerate a bit of snark
- people who want to keep up with denier antics, or are looking for solid science with which to rebut denier nonsense on discussion boards and elsewhere
- climate hawks and scientists, to give them a chuckle or groan at the idiocy that goes on at denier websites - with the bonus that they add a huge amount to the information here, keep me on the straight and narrow and otherwise are a very affable, friendly and knowledgeable lot.
Another solution for Anthony Watts
PS Since observing/writing about WUWT over the past year and a bit, I have noticed a drop in the scientist-bashing recently, which used to be almost a daily feature there. It still happens of course, but not nearly as often. I'd guess it's because scientists have started standing up to personal, libellous attacks. I haven't noticed a drop in paranoid conspiracy theories though.