It has been a difficult week. I thought it appropriate to share some thoughts and some thanks.
WUWT moderator Bob Phelan was laid to rest this morning. RIP REP.
I just wanted to take a moment to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who came together in a global effort to relieve the financial burden on the Phelan family. The results were quite extraordinary and exceeded expectations. Amazingly, people are still contributing.
Bob was a lecturer in sociology at Eastern Connecticut University, and without getting into details, let me just say that the benefits afforded tenured professors didn’t apply in this case, and that is why it was so important to help out the Phelan family. Since he was found at his desk, I believe that Bob died on the job for WUWT, and that made his death doubly hard for me.
The other thing that made this hard was that Bob was organizing a get together picnic for WUWT staff and regulars at his home this Saturday the 18th. He even invited those from the other side of the debate. I don’t know who, if any accepted.
After discussion with a few people, including Diane Phelan, his daughter, that event has been postponed. It is too soon, and I think Bob would really rather have a celebration rather than an awkward extended wake, which is likely what it would become. So, we’ll look forward to it when we are all in a better frame of mind.
I was buoyed though, by the many comments on the two threads at WUWT here and here, plus the many comments left by people who donated to the fund, which you can read here (click on donors tab). You’ll find some famous and familiar names in that list.
I’ve returned the WUWT banner to normal from the black band it has been for the past week, and forward we go. In honor of Bob’s skills as moderator, I’ll do my very best to be more tolerant of the sometimes intolerable comments some people leave, perhaps dispatching them with wit, rather than with snips.
I’d like to thank Bill McKibben, the only prominent person that I know of on the other side of the debate to weigh in, who offered this condolence:
“…I was sad to read of the passing of your colleague Mr. Phelan, and moved by the tributes to him.”
If there are others, please bring them to my attention.
Again, my sincerest thanks to everyone.