A personal note of thanks

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.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 16, 2012 9:01 am

Does Nick Stokes count as the other side?
REPLY: Yes where was his comment? I missed it – Anthony

Matthew R Marler
August 16, 2012 9:07 am

Much of the work of climate skepticism is carried out by volunteers. We owe you many thanks.
Rest In Peace.

August 16, 2012 9:26 am

HR says:
August 16, 2012 at 9:01 am
Does Nick Stokes count as the other side?
REPLY: Yes where was his comment? I missed it – Anthony

Don’t know if he left a comment, but he did make a $100 (if memory serves) donation, which was thoroughly decent of him.

August 16, 2012 9:54 am

Anthony: Bob’s brother James provided the second eulogy at the funeral today. Close to the end, James’s said, “Bob didn’t make me a better person. He showed me how to be a better person.”

John Whitman
August 16, 2012 9:56 am

As to thanking us who supported the Phelan family either emotionally or with donations, I will just say ‘por nada’. {meant in the sense of ‘you are welcome’}

August 16, 2012 10:11 am

Bill McKibben showed some noteworthy class in his response and rises greatly in my esteem.

August 16, 2012 10:40 am

Nick Stokes’ donation is the 7th one on the 14th. It is indeed for $100. Damned decent of him.
REPLY: Agreed, my thanks to Nick Stokes – Anthony

August 16, 2012 11:09 am

I got the impression that “Entropic man” veered towards the warmist persuasion but he gave a great testimony to Bob Phelan. And yes, I was very much heartened by Bill Mc Kibben’s warm and full response – especially since we call him by the not-very-respectful title of Weepy Bill.
Unfortunately, apart from these… I can’t find more. Visited Stoat where I find
Muller is still rubbish (July 28),
Watts disappoints (July 29),
Cage fight (Woo, this is great. Watts is now reporting that McI says… July 30),
Why Watts’s new paper is doomed to fail review (July 30),
Olympic badminton rowing (Aug 1),
Hobbes on climate change “I find Kerry Emanuel saying: I think debate is good but we should be debating points that are actually debatable… But the problem is who gets to say what is debatable…” (Aug 7),
UN urges US to cut ethanol production (Aug 10) and
When will it start cooling? (Aug 13). led by Connolley “WUWT is still on my google reader list, even though I got banned from commenting for pointing out AW’s wiki-fantasies…” and followed by Rattus, Uknowispeaksense, Rabett, and others, comparing their “banned from WUWT” stories and sniping at David Archibald.
David Archibald’s article was one of the first after Bob Phelan passed over… so Stoat’s commenters must have seen the black screen here, and the sticky article… nooooo, nary a word about Bob Phelan and the obvious upset and grief here.
Connolley’s a stinker.

Peter Farrell
August 16, 2012 11:35 am

I sent a check for $1000.
Sent from my iPad
REPLY: You sir, are deserving of the highest thanks and respect. You certainly have mine. – Anthony

August 16, 2012 1:08 pm


Gunga Din
August 16, 2012 1:15 pm

There have been comments here about the “warmest” that have lent support to REP’s family.
It’s nice to know that REP being a man whose actions earned respect is not a point of contention.
(PS I’m still praying for his family.)

August 16, 2012 3:35 pm

had no money to send but did pray family was given strength. hope it helped a little, sorry could not do more.

Frank Kotler
August 16, 2012 4:16 pm

Good to see overt decency from Bill McKibben and Nick Stokes. It may be that some of the anonymous donations are from “warmists”. At least no one said “this is cheering news”… or if they did, the email hasn’t been leaked yet. 🙂
It may be worth trying to remember that the reason they’re angry at us, the reason they call us names is that they fear that our inaction may harm their grandchildren – and ours. The reason we’re angry at them, and call them names, is that we fear their actions may harm our grandchildren – and theirs.
They look at the evidence and see cause for alarm. We look at the same evidence and see no cause for alarm.
They think we’re crazy. We think they’re crazy.
We have a lot in common!

not a believer
August 16, 2012 5:15 pm

[snip, policy violation – FAKE EMAIL ADDRESS, Email@here.com isn’t real, plus not interested in your opinion on personal matters]

August 16, 2012 5:34 pm

Today was the first day of term and the last week I’ve been so busy getting ready I’ve hardly had time to think of anything else…and yet, on the other side of the country, a family mourns, and ever increasing circles of people who never met him also mourn the death of this good man. Life goes on, doesn’t it, even when someone else’s ends. My continued sympathy to everyone grieving at Bob’s loss.

Rational Db8
August 16, 2012 6:06 pm

I was so sorry to read of Bob Phelan’s passing. My condolences to his family and friends. Anthony, I know it’s hard to lose someone who has helped here so much and who was your friend. A very good friend of mine just lost his elderly father this past Saturday in a horrific accident – grief is such a difficult thing for any of us to bear. And for others who care about those who are grieving but have such a hard time thinking of what to best say and do. I saw Bill McKibben’s post and also thought it most gracious – if only that were the tone in the majority of skeptic/believer discussions!
My best to all of you trying to deal with this loss.

Gunga Din
August 16, 2012 8:30 pm

dmacleo says:
August 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm
had no money to send but did pray family was given strength. hope it helped a little, sorry could not do more.
The “widow’s mite” can be mighty.
James 5:16b …The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Verified by MonsterInsights