Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Buyer Beware: Cool Futures global cooling fund and crowd sourcing

Sou | 10:50 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
If you've got some money to throw away and you feel like betting that global warming is a hoax, you can give it to Jo Nova, David Evans and Chris Dawson. They have set up crowd-sourcing with the stated purpose of setting up a Cayman Islands bank account to "invest and divest, to hedge, donate, and fund research". They also want to "grow a philanthropic hedge fund management company". While they don't say whose research they are going to fund, it's a fair bet that it is aimed at helping Jo and David's blog "research" on Force X, N, and D and the Notch.

The project is called the Cool Futures Funds Management and the target is now $375,000. So far they've collected $43,030, up from $41,130, $38,505, and $16.025 six months ago when James Delingpole wrote about their money-making idea.

Betting the planet will cool and that coal will make a comeback, an endorsement from James Delingpole, the team including a rocket scientist from Luna Park - must be a sure thing, right?

The $375,000, if they get there, isn't going to go into a hedge fund. It's described in different places somewhat differently. On Jo Nova's blog it states:
The initial objective of raising $375,000 through crowd sourcing to properly set up the due diligence, audit, structure, marketing material, offer documents, marketing campaign etc.

In the Draft Update for Stakeholders and Other Interested Parties document it states:
Having defined and designed the product (which we believe from feedback received to date, is a unique and attractive selling proposition); built the foundations and researched the applications and the methods; the Investment Manager is now up to the stage where further funding from a Seed Investor is required to complete our preparations for formal launch (currently planned for Q4 2016); and to fund the first year of operations as we promote and endeavour to grow the Fund; and thus begin to take positions accordingly and to earn fees.
None of the blog articles or documents are clear about just what the fund is going to invest in. One thing that is clear is that the people behind it think that there's money to be made from their zany beliefs. They think that the world is going to cool a lot in the near term, that the renewable energy sector is going to collapse, and that coal is going to make a comeback.

First of all, there's no sign that the world is about to cool and, unless there's a huge supervolcanic eruption or a meteor strike or an all out nuclear war, it would be virtually impossible:

On the subject of coal, here is what TonyfromOz feels pretty sure about:
I feel pretty sure that sometime in the future (and it may even be closer than you think) that shares in Companies which own large scale coal fired power plants will become quite valuable.
Jaymez is hoping to catch a falling knife, writing:
It wouldn’t take stocks like Peabody to return to it’s former glory to represent huge returns from today’s, value. Remember Peabody stocks have fallen 99.8%. If it only recovered to half its past peak value, that would represent a return of 25,000% for someone locking in today’s prices. 
This is what has happened to Peabody's share price, dropping from a high of more than $100 in 2006 to $1.20 today. It's not very likely that Jaymez will get his 25,000% return:

Canny climate science deniers who have staked their reputation on their belief that climate science is a hoax aren't so dumb as to put their money where their mouth is. They'd rather use other people's money for that. Climate disinformers know that global warming is real and happening quickly. Deniers are those who sincerely believe that climate science is a hoax, and/or the greenhouse effect isn't real, and/or the world faces imminent cooling. Some of them have been waiting a very long time for this cooling to appear. Others are newer on the scene and have only been waiting a decade or less.

I suspect that Jo knows that climate science isn't a hoax, but she's very supportive of her partner, David Evans. David has deluded himself into thinking that all the climate scientists in the world are wrong and he is right. Jo is stuck with him, or stuck by him, for now anyway.

More about the Cool Futures team

I looked into the Cool Futures fund-raiser and you probably won't be surprised at what I discovered. The registrant for the fund is the Lord Monckton Foundation, which in turn seems to be owned by Chris Dawson (see below). The Lord Monckton Foundation:
...stands as the wall of the West, the redoubt of reason, the sentinel of science, the fortress of freedom, and the defender of democracy.

The people listed as being associated with Cool Futures Funds Management are:
  • Dr David Evans is the Rocket Scientist from Luna Park, who is married to Joanne Codling (Jo Nova). He seems to make his money by living off whatever donations Jo can get from her readers.
  • Dr Stephen Farish is listed as holding an honorary position at the University of Melbourne. Stephen is also listed on faculty at the University of Michigan. He's the bloke who Christopher Monckton used to mention as an authority for his statistics, back when he was writing his "it hasn't warmed in xx years" articles.
  • Jo Nova is a "climate hoax" conspiracy theorising blogger. She gave up science a while back from the look of things. Maybe when she hooked up with David.
  • Chris Dawson has the fancy title of "CEO" of the Lord Monckton Foundation, which is the Australian fan club of the potty peer. He also tried to get elected to Parliament under the banner of the failed No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics, which was deregistered last year. None of the members who stood for election managed to win a seat.
  • Andrew Vallner is an external consultant to the fund. He seems to be the only one who has any financial adviser expertise.

You probably know about the wacky "theory" of Force X and the Notch, still being laboured by David Evans and Jo Nova. David thought he was moving forward, but his recent articles on the subject have taken him back to negative territory. The poor things are completely lost.

Below is typical of the type of garbled thinking of Chris Dawson, from an article on the website of the Australian Climate Skeptics Party (the party couldn't seem to settle on its name):
The Lord Monckton Foundation was established to restore the Age of Enlightenment 2.0 after the CAGW zeitgeist faded. It was established to ensure that the values of the Enlightenment are strengthened and recreated within our Judaeo-Christian, western democratic, enlightened capitalist and science based prosperous civilisation's traditions. The UN bureaucrat sponsored CAGW zeitgeist was and still is an authoritarian, socialist, centralist, activist, emotion based ‘mother earth’ worshiping output of the Hive Mind.
This crowd is very ambitious. So far they've got $43,030 or so from the gullible. On the Cool Futures website, they are angling to employ or contract a lot of people. The website claims:
In addition to our team members listed above, we will establish the Cool Futures Hedge Fund Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) including high calibre individuals we have already identified. With the seed funding in hand, we will begin to recruit additional top hedge fund specialist operatives, traders and analysts as suggested by the IAC and recruiters using our unique selling proposition as a hook.

The process of selecting and engaging suitable solution providers [to tackle the fundamental back and middle-office issues, as well as regulatory challenges facing hedge fund managers today] is nearly complete. The solution providers including: accounting firms, administrators, compliance services, investment consultants and advisors, CRM providers, foreign exchange service providers, general service and information providers, legal firms, recruiters, risk management advise, and last but not least, least conflicted prime brokerage, technology platforms and other trading services, have nearly all been vetted and selected.
They'll need a heck of a lot more than $375,000 to pay for that lot.

Crowd sourcing gifts from the gullible

As for who can benefit from the fund, Cool Futures has this to say, if you follow the link to what they call their "detailed plan" (which isn't detailed and isn't a clear plan):
Crowd funding is part of the plan as we wish to involve in a modest way, ordinary citizens from all over the western world in our potentially paradigm changing Hedge Fund. If enough of you hear about this and contribute, we, as skeptics become very difficult to ignore. Ordinary citizens of the world are normally excluded by the politically correct nanny state from observing or participating in the world of high finance, as this remains the exclusive domain of wealthy 'sophisticated' investors. Cool Futures Funds Management also offers you the opportunity of 'participating' by having a window seat - next to the pilot of the Cool Futures Hedge Fund, as we execute our Plan.
So how do "ordinary citizens (sic) of the world" benefit? Well, by feeling warm and fuzzy that they've sent some money to Jo and David and Chris. Here is how they can benefit:
  • Bronze: For $25 you're promised club membership, a free certificate and emails
  • Silver: For $75 you're promised the above plus advance access to economics/finance research papers plus a "Share Certificate" (one of a million) plus a warm glow of denial.
  • Gold: For $250 you're promised all the above plus two "Share Certificates" (whether that's two in total or three in total I don't know), plus a 5% discount if things ever get off the ground, plus a warm glow of denial.
  • Platinum: For $2,500 you're promised all the above plus ten "Share Certificates" (whether that's ten in total or thirteen in total I don't know), plus a 10% discount off fees if things ever get off the ground, plus a very warm glow of denial.
  • Diamond: For $10,000 you're promised all the above plus  25 "Share Certificates" (whether that's 25 in total or 38 in total I don't know), plus a 20% discount off fees if things ever get off the ground, plus a super hot flush of denial.
I'd say that if things don't get off the ground the suffering will be correlated negatively with the initial warm glow. Even if it does get off the ground, the ordinary citizens who thought they'd get something out of it will not feel too good when they wake up to where their money went.

Given that this mob are betting that climate science is a hoax and that the world is about to get very cold, where do you think their hedge fund will rank in the list provided here. Would it be safer to place a bet on whether it will ever get off the ground?

From Stoat and DailyKos and ATTP

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.


  1. Sound like the frauds have decided to gouge as much as they can, because they've figured they're bust. They won't have another opportunity to fleece their flock as it dwindles.

  2. CF website: "With the seed funding in hand, we will begin to recruit additional top hedge fund specialist operatives, traders and analysts as suggested by the IAC and recruiters using our unique selling proposition as a hook."

    A hook baited with nuts!

  3. I sometimes wonder about these gofundme, patreon and general tip jar forms of funding. They might be a way of getting some anonymous bucks from a pro-fossil fuel lobby group or two.

    Just a thought...

  4. A friend made a killing when he placed some moderate-sized bets on the Big 3 car manufacturers going through their near-bankruptcies. What he lost on GM and Chrysler (which were both 100% losses) he more than made back in Ford.

    I suspect the same goes for coal: nobody knows *which* of the big US coal companies will survive, but one of them will, and it will make a lot of money for a short while.

    Long term though, they're going to be reduced to a tiny shell of their former selves.

  5. "No one may link to this website, or frame it, without Cool Futures Funds Management’s express written permission or clear invitation."

    Please, please please Sou. Can I link to this denier website?

    (From the disclaimer page of Cool Futures website).

  6. I tried GoFundMe for something real, urgent and essential with poor results (medical treatment), and I see a lot of really silly stuff like this story get all kinds of support. It really makes you wonder about people and what kind of compassion or awareness they have.

    There is a story circulating right now about a little girl who was "raped" by Muslims in Idaho, but it's not true. Yet that didn't stop the story tellers from setting up their own GoFundMe to scam people (or numerous other websites jumping on this story). It's stunning how easily people can be played.

    I wouldn't bet on "global cooling" for oh, 10,000 years or so before the climate stabilizes? With virtually all land based ice now melting, this is a sure bet.

  7. Matt Ridley has some financial experience. You'd have thought he'd jump at the chance to lend his expertise to a venture such as this.

  8. See Who is 'Rocket Scientist' David Evans? at DeSmog which includes Evans’ rationale for this claim:
    "In US academic and industry parlance, “rocket scientist” means anyone who has completed a PhD in one of the hard sciences at one of the top US institutions. The term arose for people who *could* do rocket science, not those who literally build rockets.Thus the term “rocket scientist” means someone with a PhD in physics, electrical engineering, or mathematics (or perhaps a couple of other closely related disciplines), from MIT, Stanford, Caltech, and maybe a few other institutions.

    I did a PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford in the 1980s. Electrical engineering is your basic high tech degree, because most high technology spawned from electrical information technology. I specialized in signal processing, maths, and statistics."

    This might sound plausible far away, for people with no relevant experience … but see my comment.

    After 10 years at Bell Labs (which employed a few PhDs from OK, never called rocket scientists), and then living within a few miles of Stanford from 1983-, and having worked with many Stanford EEs in various companies, and having given at least half a dozen lectures to EEs at Stanford ... I have *never* heard such folks called rocket scientists ... unless they are actually working on aerospace applications at nearby NASA Ames, Lockheed Martin, etc.

    Evans' nonsense claim was clearly designed to impress the gullible (oh, relevant to current activities?)

    1. Crikey! I can state with absolute certainty that "rocket scientist" is a term that is never used other than humorously among people who actually work on stuff that flies on rockets. Why yes, that is a space shuttle behind me in my avatar.

      He says it's "someone with a PhD in physics, ... from MIT ..."

      Interestingly, I know several dozen people who meet that description, and none of us have ever referred to ourselves or each other as "rocket scientists".

      Pull the other one.

    2. The term "rock star" or "ninja" is also used in that setting, but nobody uses it to describe *themselves*, it's a joking, affectionate thing.

    3. Silicon Valley circa 1985-87.
      Class at SGI, probably on the 2400.
      omly one woman in the class, very attractive.
      The talk at break of course was about the one woman.
      One crude fellow said, "well she's no rocket scientist"

      The hilarious thing was I knew her and she worked in missile guidance.. so that stupid guy got an earful.


      So, the colloquialism is typically "he's no rocket scientist" meaning he's stupid. Evans should know that you cant negate a colloquialism and get a colloquialism.

      examples of the negative form



      As John Mashey points out people dont use this phrase in its postive form unless its literally true.


      but dictionaries suck at real meanings

    4. Oops, that was "from OK schools", not OKlahoma.

    5. Certainly in the UK "rocket scientist" is used in the perjorative sense

      I though this was true in the U.S. - my evidence is only the Farside cartoon though, so not extensive

      I would have assumed it was being used by DE in the self deprecating ironic sense, but if that's not the case

      Well there are certainly words for someone like that

  9. That Monckton tribute site is hilarious - and doing a vox pop of the denier sites on the side bar of shame

    One is struck how lonely it is in denierville - most sites seem to have little updated content or comments

    Certainly no new science

    The recent heat, must have forced many to rest in a darkened room!!

  10. ... stands as the wall of the West, the redoubt of reason, the sentinel of science, the fortress of freedom, and the defender of democracy.

    They forgot the "abyss of alliteration"!

    1. Well played! Also the 'sump of sententiousness' and the 'bulwark of bafflegab'.

  11. Also worth reading The Long Con, as has been pointed out elsewhere.

  12. the temp graph above is pure BS, not science.

    1. says Admin, who probably sees herself (himself) as standing "as the wall of the West, the redoubt of reason, the sentinel of science, the fortress of freedom, and the defender of democracy". :)

    2. What is wrong with it Admin? It is a graph of temperature against time. No more, no less. A simple representation of data. The graph description states its origins. That is science.

      Just because you do not like what you see does not change that. Or are you one of those denier types who rejects anything that does not fit your wishful thinking?

    3. If you go to his website, you'll understand from what side he's coming from. The side that cites official data when it can be twisted enough to 'prove' a point (like taking short periods to say "nothing to see here!"), and then talk trash about any data that can't.

    4. Yawn indeed bill.

      I guess he is a typical denier who drops by to make some baseless and futile criticism and provides nothing to explain what his point is. I guess he will not be back to expand his thinking.


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