Editor’s note: Popular climate denier Anthony Watts of Chico, the former TV meteorologist often cited by some of the Sierra Foothills’ vocal global warming skeptics, including Russ Steele, has confirmed funding ties through Heartland Institute, the liberterian think tank that seeks to refute mainstream climate change. Watts also points to one of the documents in the leak that was first reported by DeSmog blog. This is quickly becoming an international news story. Russ continues to downplay and “spin” the explosive revelations on his own blog. But it is getting harder to ignore. This story will get a full airing in the international media.
I’m sure some personal attacks will follow. But it is important to understand “what’s up” with this issue. It was at the heart of the Prop. 23 campaign and ongoing efforts to discredit California’s global warming initiatives.
Here’s Watts’ response from his blog:
“Heartland simply helped me find a donor for funding a special project having to do with presenting some new NOAA surface data in a public friendly graphical form, something NOAA themselves is not doing, but should be. I approached them in the fall of 2011 asking for help, on this project not the other way around.
They do not regularly fund me nor my WUWT website, I take no salary from them of any kind.
It is simply for this special project requiring specialized servers, ingest systems, and plotting systems. They also don’t tell me what the project should look like, I came up with the idea and the design. The NOAA data will be displayed without any adjustments to allow easy side-by-side comparisons of stations, plus other graphical representations output 24/7/365. Doing this requires programming, system design, and bandwidth, which isn’t free and I could not do on my own. Compare the funding I asked for initially to get it started to the millions some other outfits (such as CRU) get in the UK for studies that then end up as a science paper behind a publishers paywall, making the public pay again. My project will be a free public service when finished.”