I find it just staggering that Judith Curry, whose hypotheses about man-made global warming probably overlap those of the hard core alarmists by 80-90%, can no longer be tolerated by alarmists. Much as the Catholic Church radicalized Martin Luther when all he initially wanted to do was reform some practices (many of which the Church later reformed), the attacks on Curry seem to be having a similar effect.
The typical response by politicians, of course, is to try to get more money from taxpayers. California has a ballot initiative this November proposing to raise vehicle licensing fees to all its citizens in order to fund state parks. Unfortunately, this kind of funds earmarking by ballot initiative is already threatening to bankrupt California. One problem with this approach is that it demolishes accountability — once an unelected state agency gets dedicated funds the legislature can’t touch, there is nothing that taxpayers can do if these funds are not spent wisely short of another time-consuming ballot initiative to revoke them.
In the case of state parks, the accountability problem is even worse, as the initiatives replace park user fees, which at least enforce accountability in that users can stop visiting if park services are not up to expectations, with a no-strings-attached bureaucratic windfall. Compounding the problem, in many states the parks organizations report to rubber-stamp boards rather than the governor or any elected official, so taxpayers have absolutely no path to enforce accountability.