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Friday, February 17, 2017

Going cool on cool futures or one last, desperate effort?

Sou | 3:12 PM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment
Earlier today Andy Skuce asked how things were going with the Cool Futures Fund, set up by a bunch of skallywags associated with the dubious and little known Lord Monckton Foundation. Things are not going very well, from the look of things. In 15 months the backers have managed to raise  $57,605 of the $375,000 it wants to pay for the costs of setting up the fund. None of that money is going into the fund itself, it's just to pay the setup or launch costs, or so they say. (They say different things in different places.)

James Delingpole claimed to have contributed, but I couldn't find his donation on the GoFundMe list of 285 donors. (Yes, I looked through the whole list. Maybe he was so humble, for a change, that he donated anonymously.)

If you don't know what the Lord Monckton Foundation is, it's based in Melbourne Australia. A chap by the name of Chris Dawson is the CEO. An article on the Lord Monckton Foundation website said the fund was set up by "friends" of the foundation, including some board members. Not that the foundation seems willing to admit who is on its board.

The Cool Futures Fund isn't based in Melbourne. It says it's being set up in the Cayman Islands, which is where Australia's Prime Minister and other people like to put their extra cash. The project has a number of people associated with it:
  • Dr David Evans - who is touted as having six degrees, though he only lists two on his LinkedIn profile. From his resume the only "proper" jobs he's managed to have is when he "consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (later the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modelling carbon in Australia’s biosphere for Kyoto accounting purposes". It's not clear if he was an external consultant or an employee over that time. Other than that, his wife, Jo Nova (Joanne Codling) has supported him through donations she's raised through her blog, while he writes his never-finished books and works on his never-fathomed Force X's and Notches. (David promised two papers, to be published last October, but they haven't yet seen the light of day.)
  • Dr Stephen Farish - who is the tame statistician used by Christopher Monckton when he tries to claim that global warming has stopped or "paused". Stephen is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Medical School, apparently. He has authored the (very) occasional paper, and I'm not sure what else he's done in the forty years since he first graduated with a B Sc (Hons).
  • Jo Nova, is another one who began with a lot of promise, but went downhill. She is now nothing more than a conspiracy-theorising blogger with a dismal if large following of dismissives (the bottom 8%). Since taking on the carer role for David Evans, she's had to beg and blog for a living. However they say they've accumulated some gold over the years, and they've tried related ventures. (See below, also.)
  • Chris Dawson is the CEO of the Lord Monckton Foundation, based in Melbourne. It looks as if he's another one who, like David Evans, once had promise but never managed to fulfil it, and stumbled and bumbled from one grand idea to the next.
  • Andrew Vallner is the only one of the crowd who has been able to hold down a job, from the look of his LinkedIn profile. (Neither he nor his employees are very particular when it comes to LinkedIn entries, with lots of typos. His firm isn't crash hot at spelling either.) 
Both Jo and her hubby David are gold bugs and, like many authoritarian followers, distrustful of fiat currency. (Gold hit a high in 2011 and has since fallen 30%. It would probably go up if the market were to drop in the next few months. It's regarded as a market hedge by more canny investors.)

So there you have this sad and sorry lot, who are still keen to take your money. Last month they posted a "confidential draft" on their website, hoping that 1% of the world's sophisticated investors (usually meaning those people rich enough and dumb enough to throw good money after bad), will hear about the Cool Futures Fund. They figure if 1% of these mugs learn of it, then they'll manage to scrape together enough to get the fund off the ground. (The draft has Andrew Vallner listed as the author.)



The so-called plan is devoid of any investment information of any substance. About the most specific thing in it is this intention to get "further Seed Investment" (sic) so they can complete preparations for a "formal launch" by the end of March this year:
Having defined and designed the product, built the structure and vehicle, and researched the methods and applications, the Fund Manager is now ready to fuel the vehicle with further Seed Investment to complete our preparations for formal launch–Q1 2017–and to secure the first two years of operations where we begin to take positions and earn performance fees.
It's more of "promises, promises". The formal launch doesn't signify that a hedge fund is imminent as far as I can tell. What they are wishing for is to get enough money to cover two years' operating expenses. From the look of it, in fifteen months they haven't raised enough to launch the launch, so it seems to me they are going to find it an uphill battle to raise two years' operating funds. They are going to try denier blogs again and perhaps try to gee up more people to give their money away through GoFundMe. From the "confidential" publicly advertised  (fourth panel down) and downloadable draft there is this bit of gobbledegook:
A managed multi-channel information campaign (including through hedge fund journals and the financial press) coupled with climate skeptic blogs read by scientists and engineers, crowdfunding and other alternate approaches, is envisaged. This approach will enable our unique investment proposition ultimately, to be heard by that one percent of high net worth ‘sophisticated investor’ individuals or groups that can qualify as sophisticated investors.

In our view, the Fund needs to be able to launch with the above in place and the Fund Manager needs to be able to cover expenses for the first two fully operational years. This therefore means we will very soon be seeking further ‘Seed Investment’ to fuel the professional launch and first two years of the Cool Futures Hedge Fund LP and the rapid growth anticipated, of Cool Futures Funds Management. 

The Cool Futures people have a long way to go yet. If the most recent rate of donations to their GoFundMe fund-raising effort continues, they'll get enough to set up the fund in about 22 years time. That's making some big assumptions, such as:
  • The cost of setting up a hedge fund doesn't increase between now and 2038. 
  • They can interest anyone in putting money into coal in 2038. (Will there be any coal mines left in 2038?)
  • Anyone in 2038 still thinks that global warming is nothing but a hoax, let alone anyone with money to burn.
Here's how the GoFundMe donations effort has gone since it was started in November 2015:

Figure 1 | Donations from dim deniers to Jo Nova and the Lord Monckton fan club. Data Source: GoFundMe archived

There are still people willing to donate (for no return or benefit except for a meaningless feel-good certificate). The latest donation of $75 was made yesterday. I don't know who gets to keep the money if/when the venture is pronounced dead as a dodo.

Some of the people donating may be thinking that this trend is about to reverse. After all that's what it is claimed that the fake experts of the Cool Futures Fund Investment Management Advisory Committee Team have concluded (he he - not just a committee, a committee team! They've even got an acronym - IMAC team). The evidence isn't on their side:

Figure 2 | Global surface temperature in ten year averages, from 1887 to 2016. The baseline is the 1881-1910 average. Data source: NASA GISS.

Other donors may think that the thousands and thousands of people who record the weather, who live all around the world, have been fudging their reports for decades. Those "others" are extreme conspiracy nutters.

The latest publicly released "confidential" draft update for sophisticated investors and other interested parties, which is linked on their home page, states:
Dr David Evans6, found an interesting pattern in the sun. His work strongly suggests that the next major climate shift is cooling, significant and soon – suggesting the beginning of a sustained and significant cooling around 2017 or shortly thereafter7, with the 2020s cooler than the previous three decades8. As it is now 2017, with better data and more research we believe we are better able to further refine the timing and scale of the cooling.
If they did refine it, they weren't saying how, or not in the confidential draft. If you want to know about David's "interesting pattern" - it's not. (See the HotWhopper links below.)

The Cool Futures mob said they are going to have a booster launch by the end of March this year. That promise may be fulfilled, or it may be as empty as Jo's promise of David publishing not one but two papers last October, and their promise that their latest "plan" is detailed and comprehensive. (It's neither.)


References and further reading

  • Stoat was reminded of primates' posteriors when he found the words "hedge fund" and "Jo Nova" in close proximity. His article goes into some detail.
  • Climate Denier Roundup has an article about this at DailyKos. Reading between the lines, they think it's for mugs:)
  • ATTP thinks "they" can't be this stupid
  • Eli Rabett noticed Jo Nova's aspirations to become a hedge fund manager and talked about it in these terms: "in which said something or other will do something in some undisclosed way to slay the sky dragons"

From the HotWhopper archives




11 comments:

  1. With my pension money secure in Cool Futures, and my reading material supplied by Pattern Recognition in Physics, I can rest assured that his Lordshipness will have me properly prepared for the advancing ice sheets. Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now i know this is going to be rather a large post on your blog.
    It is about the said person who has set up this idiot cooling stuff.

    My "original stance", recorded in writing and read by millions on the front page of the Weekend section of the London Sunday Telegraph in November 2006, was that some warming was to be expected, but, on balance, not very much. I see no reason to modify that opinion.
    From approximately 2009 onwards, I pointed out that, contrary to prediction, the global temperature trend since the beginning of 2001 had been either negative or flat.
    For a time, that was the case on all datasets. Then, in 2014, several datasets were altered so as to show warming where there had previously been none. In the past couple of years there has been an el Nino, so all datasets now show some warming - but at only half the rate that IPCC had originally predicted in 1990.
    The warming of the ocean in the first 11 full years of the ARGO bathythermograph record was at a rate equivalent to 1 Celsius degree every 430 years. That is not a significant warming rate: but it is probably close to the genuine warming rate to be expected in response to anthropogenic increases in greenhouse-gas emissions.Of course even this small warming represents a substantial quantum of thermal energy: but so what? If a 40-gallon drum has three or four drops of water in it, a microscopic life-form in one of the drops of water will say that that is a lot of water: but, compared with the capacity of the drum, it is of course negligble - a point that the climate models incorrectly represent.The levelized cost of electricity from coal is of order $30 per MWh, which is considerably below the cost of any other form of electricity generation. From the point of view of third-world countries, where some six million people a year die before their time because they have no electric power, the availability of affordable, reliable, base-load, non-polluting coal is of infinitely more value than the availability of very costly, environment-destroying, temperamental, intermittent, high-maintenance "renewables".The cost of providing electric power to all who do not have it is a very small fraction of the vast sums now being squandered on making largely non-existent global warming go away. The rational economic choice, as well as the emotional moral choice, is to stop wasting trillions on global-warming mitigation and to redirect billions towards giving the world electrical power, and preferably coal-fired electrical power.Link to comment:
    MY COMMENT UNDER
    Your original stance not that long ago was there is No Global Warming.You went to several countries and made sure your message was given.
    Now suddenly there is but it is all good and ok evidently.
    The amount of energy required to raise the huge volume of ocean even by a minute percentage of a degree is huge. While the source of this energy is the sun and it is not showing the increase in output of energy required you have a problem. Until very recently the cherry pick was to use the last El Nino event to say that we were headed for cooling.You just repeated that cherry pick above. As you know as everyone knows it is the trend that is the important aspect.The trend has been consistent and it is up. As to coal being clean yes it is cleaner than in the 1880 but i am afraid not ever going ...
    The LCOE of new built coal is $80 mWh
    The LCOE of new built solar is of the order of $26 to $30 mWh

    ReplyDelete
  3. The above was with the said Lord who is not a member of the House of Lords i can post the letter from the Lords saying so.
    To think this fraud of a person has the audacity to try and get money of poor deluded people in Australia does rather disturb me.
    You have done well ms Sou in outlining the idiocy of this venture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Below is the dismal conversation apologies.

      Delete
    2. John I should have made this clear. AFAIK the Lord Monckton Foundation is a fan club. It wasn't started by the potty peer and I don't know that he has any association with it (apart from maybe giving it his blessing, in a lordly fashion).

      Delete
  4. Dialogue with the Lord

    My "original stance", recorded in writing and read by millions on the front page of the Weekend section of the London Sunday Telegraph in November 2006, was that some warming was to be expected, but, on balance, not very much. I see no reason to modify that opinion.
    From approximately 2009 onwards, I pointed out that, contrary to prediction, the global temperature trend since the beginning of 2001 had been either negative or flat.
    For a time, that was the case on all datasets. Then, in 2014, several datasets were altered so as to show warming where there had previously been none. In the past couple of years there has been an el Nino, so all datasets now show some warming - but at only half the rate that IPCC had originally predicted in 1990.
    The warming of the ocean in the first 11 full years of the ARGO bathythermograph record was at a rate equivalent to 1 Celsius degree every 430 years. That is not a significant warming rate: but it is probably close to the genuine warming rate to be expected in response to anthropogenic increases in greenhouse-gas emissions.Of course even this small warming represents a substantial quantum of thermal energy: but so what? If a 40-gallon drum has three or four drops of water in it, a microscopic life-form in one of the drops of water will say that that is a lot of water: but, compared with the capacity of the drum, it is of course negligble - a point that the climate models incorrectly represent.The levelized cost of electricity from coal is of order $30 per MWh, which is considerably below the cost of any other form of electricity generation. From the point of view of third-world countries, where some six million people a year die before their time because they have no electric power, the availability of affordable, reliable, base-load, non-polluting coal is of infinitely more value than the availability of very costly, environment-destroying, temperamental, intermittent, high-maintenance "renewables".The cost of providing electric power to all who do not have it is a very small fraction of the vast sums now being squandered on making largely non-existent global warming go away. The rational economic choice, as well as the emotional moral choice, is to stop wasting trillions on global-warming mitigation and to redirect billions towards giving the world electrical power, and preferably coal-fired electrical power.Link to comment:
    MY COMMENT UNDER
    Your original stance not that long ago was there is No Global Warming.You went to several countries and made sure your message was given.
    Now suddenly there is but it is all good and ok evidently.
    The amount of energy required to raise the huge volume of ocean even by a minute percentage of a degree is huge. While the source of this energy is the sun and it is not showing the increase in output of energy required you have a problem. Until very recently the cherry pick was to use the last El Nino event to say that we were headed for cooling.You just repeated that cherry pick above. As you know as everyone knows it is the trend that is the important aspect.The trend has been consistent and it is up. As to coal being clean yes it is cleaner than in the 1880 but i am afraid not ever going ...
    The LCOE of new built coal is $80 mWh
    The LCOE of new built solar is of the order of $26 to $30 mWh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apologies for this appearing late, John. Blame Google.

      Delete
  5. From the ABN Lookupweb site:
    https://abr.business.gov.au/SearchByAbn.aspx?abn=51154843213

    ABN 511 548 43 213

    Created 2011.

    Not Cayman Islands at all.

    Comes under Australian tax law and, since is also registered with ACNC, the Australian Charities and Not For Profits (federal) Act.

    Enjoys GST, FBT and Income Tax exemptions.

    Search also the ACNC Website for copies of the Constitution, etc. The Constitution is 24 pages long and only the Draft version is on line. It may have been amended from time to time - or,perhaps, never formally adopted by the Members.

    Purpose:
    1.3 Principal Purpose and powers
    (a) The Principal Purpose for which the Company is established is to advance the education of the community in Western democratic processes and enlightened rational thinking, and generate public debate to enable the informed exchange of ideas, particularly in the fields of education, the environment and science, so as to inform public policy.
    (b) Solely for the purpose of furthering the Principal Purpose, and without limiting the powers of the Company under the Act1, the Company may do all things incidental or conducive to furthering the Principal Purpose.

    A fair amount of information is available on the ABN Lookup and ACNC web sites, including this interesting annual activities statement for 2015/16, which seems to extend the scope of activities far beyond that which appears in the Constitution. https://acnc.gov.au/AIS2016?ID=B9A4DA2B-D028-4BBF-A2B0-C47E1F4D04A4&noleft=1

    The charity appears not to be a Deductible Gift Recipient,in which case some corporate donations would not be deductible to the donor and certain donors, such as Primary Ancillary Funds (PAF's) may be barred from making donations.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Apologies for truncating the earlier message.

    Assets as at 30 June 2016: AU $5475
    Receipts FY 2016: $2700
    Expenditure FY 2016: $2700.

    So, small fry.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Correction: last line, a couple of posts up:

    ...as [primary] Private Ancillary Funds...

    Blame Microsoft's autocomplete function.

    ReplyDelete

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