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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Denier weirdness: Eric Worrall fights against the fight against poverty

Sou | 7:58 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment

Deniers really are weird. On the one hand extreme right wingers are against government funding and will fight tooth and nail for small government. Some of them claim to be against poverty, too, so it's not that often you'll find a denier admitting that they are fighting against efforts to reduce poverty. One such example is at WUWT today (archived here). Eric Worrall is up in arms about an initiative from the Rockefeller Foundation as part of its 100 Resilient Cities program. I'm guessing that the reason he is against it is because it mentions the word "climate". Or maybe he thinks that if some people become less poor, he will become less rich. And we can't have that!

Eric copied and pasted from an article about the funding of Chief Resilience Officers in city offices, whose job is described below:

The job goes far beyond figuring out how governments or institutions should reduce greenhouse gas emissions or how to adapt to climate change—although climate change is the fundamental crisis fueling the need for the role in many cities. Chief resilience officers are being asked to help transform communities that face threats from sea-level rise or other stressors. They’re trying to find ways to create better-educated communities, to address chronic poverty and decades of inequity, to identify shoddy housing conditions, and to diversify their economic base, so that when the inevitable climate-related changes occur, people don’t get left behind.

Eric Worrall's logical fallacy - the straw man

Eric wrote:
Imagine if say the nuclear lobby offered to fund hundreds of senior bureaucrat jobs in local city governments across America, jobs with “broad authority” to work across city departments. The response would be outrage – there would be concerns about undue influence, concerns, however unjustified, that the nuclear industry was using this insider access to influence decisions about planning approval for new nuclear power plants. 
Do you see the straw man? The jobs aren't funded by any industry lobby group, nor are they funded by a non-government organisation having an advocacy role, such as Greenpeace. They are from a purely charitable entity, the Rockefeller Foundation. The tagline of this foundation is simply "Promoting the well-being of humanity around the world". Now what is wrong with that? The following is from the About page:
The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission—unchanged since 1913—is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, we pursue this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, we work at the intersection of four focus areas—advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities—to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot.

The original 1913 charter says that the Rockefeller Foundation was founded "for the purpose of receiving and maintaining a fund or funds, and applying the income and principal thereof to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world".

Thing is that right wing extremists seem to be very fearful of efforts to improve the well-being of mankind, and particularly afraid of people being lifted out of poverty. I do think it's because they are afraid that it means that they (the right wing extremists) will lose their power, wealth and control - most of which is illusory. That is, a lot of right wing extremists aren't all that well off and have no power or control.  They adore wealth, however, and promote the interests of people and corporations that accumulate wealth, often at the expense of people without it.

Weird - eh?

Now private companies and interest groups do fund activities carried out by government-salaried employees, such as research carried out in universities. They also sponsor many activities, like exhibitions in government-owned museums. I'm surprised that people at WUWT don't comment on that, or that Eric Worrall is unaware of that.

From the WUWT comments

There aren't a lot of comments yet.

chaamjamal says that efforts to address chronic poverty is bribery:
May 24, 2016 at 1:41 am
i think that crosses the not so fine line between funding and bribery.

Robert buys into the straw man fallacy and says:
May 24, 2016 at 1:38 am
Not to mention the so called big oil , paying for certain city hall staff now wouldn’t that cause an outrage . 


  1. It seems the said man has a problem because the Rockefeller Foundation has made it clear it is going to divest and this is the very foundation that came out of exploiting petroleum and because of the activities caused the RISO act to come into force.
    Off topic my apologies.
    When Standard Oil was split up no doubt there were dire protests about fee enterprise being heeded in its direction.
    However the foundation now as it was originally set up has a charter to help mankind.
    The present situation is that any direction that is not toward allowing total exploitation of resources with no care to the outcomes is vehemently apposed rather a dim outlook frankly and not sustainable where most at least have achieved a few years of education, meaning they can read and comprehend.

  2. anon was me and sorry do not have a URL

  3. It still amazes me -- it shouldn't any more, but it does -- how often right-wingers politicize something that should be entirely uncontroversial (infrastructure repair, scientific research, funding to fight AIDS or SARS or Ebola or Zika, etc.) -- and then complain about how "political" the topic has become.

    1. This is standard tactics: if you oppose science for political reasons, claim that science has been politicized.

    2. Mud-flinging, projection. Any BS that will promote their Cause, because the means always justifies the end in their minds.

  4. Speaking of the politicisation of science, listen to how Larry marshall frames fundamental scientific research:

    The man simply cannot conceive of a world where there are greater scientific (and socio-economic) problems than how to maximise profit for whatever technological industry in which he has his mittens.

    1. A small-time fish who's playing shark.

    2. A good time to insert your LM powerpoint presentation link again. This guy as the head of CSIRO? This country's - and one of the world's - premier science organizations? This guy?

      Will we ever really recover from Australia's failed IQ test in 2013? Hell, we may yet be found brain dead later this year...

  5. It's really very simple. Now that the Rockefeller Foundation has divested and is promoting the truth about Exxon, they are part of the "advocacy" network big fossil loves to hate. It doesn't matter if it's true, anything they say has to be labeled as prejudice.


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