This post has taken me a bit longer than anticipated, because I really had a hard time picking a suitable island in the South Pacific to be bought with the donations that came in through the tip jar. But then I had a streak of conscience and ahem, realized I don't want to be on an island in the South Pacific with sea level rising and potential freak weather patterns. So here's all the info on money coming in, going out, and what I propose to do with what's left.
I was initially hoping to get enough donations to cover this year's hosting costs for the blog and do the same thing next year, but to my great surprise a lot more came in: 945 USD through ChipIn and a further 50 USD directly through PayPal (of which 30 were Canadian dollars, which is almost the same as USD). A total of 995 dollars. Once more I'd like to express my gratitude to all donators, not only for the amount, but also for the trust conveyed.
As for the costs: PayPal charges a commission, as does Neteller for its virtual credit card (no plastic thingy, and endless paper waste) that I used to pay for the TypePad hosting costs of 149,50 USD. Just this week I upgraded my account at FollowThatPage that is a great tool for monitoring webpages. And I donated 50 USD on behalf of the Arctic Sea Ice blog to Greenman3610 for making a great video of the 2011 sea ice minimum.
Costs so far:
47.07 PayPal commission
149.50 TypePad hosting costs
3.87 Neteller commission
I would suggest spending the rest of the money as follows: to cover next year's hosting costs, to put aside 200 USD for melting season 2013 (I can't guarantee I'll be covering it, but if health and time permit, I surely will), donate 200 USD to some good cause to be determined together, and give the rest to Neven so he can take his family out for dinner and show his wife that he's not just totally wasting his time looking all day at "those ice bergs and silly graphs". :-)
277.76 Costs so far
149.50 TypePad hosting costs 2012
3.87 Neteller commission 2012
200.00 Good cause
200.00 Piggy Bank
163.87 Neven peace keeping operations
So all we have to do now, is determine a good cause (or several).
I for one have been a fan for many years now of projects where they give poor people fuel efficient wood stoves, or help them build their own. These projects not only combat poverty (less time and money spent on wood) and health problems (due to smoke inhaled by primarily women and children), but also help combat global warming through fuel efficiency (less wood=less CO2) and diminished deforestation. I used to donate to a project in Pakistan, but surfing the web I came across this project called the Darfur Stoves Project. Together with the local population researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory designed an effient wood stove. Our 200 USD would buy 10 of those.
I've looked around for projects in the Arctic, as it would fit in better with this blog, but haven't found anything except for projects to protect wildlife, such as wolves and ice bears. I don't want to imply these projects are unimportant, but I've always preferred donating money to projects that aim to solve root causes, rather than assuage the symptoms.
But if anyone has a good tip, I'm all ears.