Climategatekeeping: Wikipedia

Lawrence Solomon has an interesting column in the National Post today on William Connolley’s climategatekeeping role at Wikipedia. See also an article last year.

Connolley was one of the nine realclimate founders, but posted little at realclimate. This has notoriously not been the case at Wikipedia. Solomon reports that Connolley “created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles” and that Connolley was granted a senior editorial and administrative status at Wikipedia that enabled him to delete “over 500 articles” and “barred” more than 2000 Wikipedia contributors who “ran afoul of him”.

Particular areas of interest for Connolley were the Hockey Stick debate e.g. here,

Check it out


186 Comments

  1. boballab
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    I read the article last night as well as the series of articles from last year Mr. Solomon did. While the articles in and of themselves arerevealing, it is what happened in one of the articles from last year comments section you get to see William Connolley at work. One of the Wiki editors replied to Mr. Solomons colmun stating that he had fixed an error and the next comment is from Mr. Solmon asking why it happened to be changed back. The editor then comes back and says that it was changed back by Willaim Connolley then locked and there is nothing more he can do.

  2. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    I have long suspected this. After having had numerous posts deleted at RealClimate, and then seeing the Wikipedia write-up implying RealClimate’s neutrality, I added to Wikipedia that ReaClimate is an AGW advocacy who delete most contrary posts. That too was quickly deleted. I tried a few times with the same result. So much for honesty and that Wikipedia represents the collective wisdom of the people.

    • harold
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

      I too have had comments deleted from realclimate. I don’t think they like the idea of validating the models.

      • harold
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

        Hi, I post under the same name. I have only had one reply not pass moderation (I don’t blame you though…)

    • Francis
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

      Wikipedia does its fund-raising campaign nowadays. (Perhaps it is no coincidence that Mr. Solomon raises this issue now.)

      Just write to Wikipedia and tell them you will not give them anything this year.

      • Charles DrPH
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

        Thank you Francis, I shall do exactly that! Cheers and Happy Holidays, stay warm wherever you are! 8-)

      • Daryl M
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

        I did that very thing last night. I forwarded Lawrence Solomon’s article to them as but one example of why I felt they were not worthy of my money.

  3. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    I still know people — who should know better by now — who refer to wickedpaedia as an authority. Folks who seek the truth know better by now.

  4. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Wikipedia can be a great source of information, but there’s not much point contributing on controversial topics, since someone (like Connolly) can come along 5 minutes later and erase what you’ve carefully written.

    I have found, however, that it’s easy to add an “External Link” at the bottom to a web page that is out of the control of other contributors. A mere “external link” is also harder for a self-appointed censor to remove without being obviously unreasonable. This at least puts your POV on record, without the hassle of dealing with the Wiki priesthood.

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

      I also noticed that the external links could still be useful.

  5. bender
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Solomon writes:

    “‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period’ read a pre-Climategate email, circa 1995, as attested to at hearings of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.”
    .
    But RealClimate trumpeted that the absence of such an email in the CRU bundle was “noteworthy”. Which is nonsense. First, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Second, the earliest emails cluster around 1998-99. There’s no reason to think a 1995 email would have been swept up in that process. Third, the alleged email was from Overpeck to Deeming. Why would that be on CRU’s server? Just another example how RealClimate revisionism serves the agenda.

    • clivere
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

      Bender – there was a climategate email chain relating to this which suggests that Overpeck did not think it was him. See

      http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=868&filename=1206628118.txt

      • mondo
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

        In the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies, “He would say that, wouldn’t he!”

        • clivere
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

          My understanding is that the attribution of this email to Overpeck is speculation. I have not seen the source of the speculation to establish if it is likely to be reliable.

          The email I link has Overpeck declaring not him. We know from another of the climategate emails that Overpeck is sensitive to the possibility of emails being read by unintended recipients so it is possible he is misdirecting here though I think it unlikely. That sensitivity could also be due to his awareness of the Deeming email as an issue.

          In the absence of stronger evidence my view is that the original speculation was likely wrong and it was not Overpeck but someone else.

          I am not disagreeing with Benders other points

        • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

          Lindzen reports it as being Overpeck in his paper “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?

        • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:19 AM | Permalink

          Overpeck is not at all saying it’s not him, and in fact declares that it’s possible, but might be taken out of context — a phrase we’ve heard a lot recently. From the same email:
          “I have no memory of emailing w/ him,”
          (Not a denial, but a careful admission that it is possible; if someone turns it up he can still insist he didn’t remember)

          “nor any record of doing so (I need to do an exhaustive search I guess), ”
          (Here, too, he’s suggesting the possibility that the email is in his own files.)

          “nor any memory of him period. I assume it is possible that I emailed w/ him long ago, and that he’s taking the quote out of context,”
          (Here, the admission is that even the exact words might be correct.)

          “since know I would never have said what he’s saying I would have, at least in the context he is implying.”
          (Another suggestion of possibility — and saying that it was in some ‘context’ that makes it reasonable.)

          All of this suggests to me that Overpeck has a niggling memory that this did happen, and he is hedging his words very carefully to look like denials without being overtly false. It doesn’t give his correspondents the ability to say “It didn’t happen,” which is what they seemed to be looking for.

          In the absence of other evidence it seems likely to me that Overpeck said exactly what he is described to have said.

          ===|==============/ Level Head

        • bender
          Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

          Exactly as I said in my first analysis of this email, the day after the thing erupted.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

        clivere,
        I saw and commented on that email already. It was my first line of enquiry.

    • clivere
      Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

      Bender – tried to reply to your comment at Lucia’s but it appears the thread is now closed.

      Thank you for your interest in my research which has encouraged me to look further.

      I ended up in 1995 and discovered that Deming was correct. The team did like his paper.

      What nobody has really picked up on is it did actually made it into the SAR on page 150. Long list of contributers. Appears in chapter 3 “Observed climate variability and change” of Climate change 1995: the science of climate change By John Theodore Houghton, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

      Many familiar names listed as contributers and 3 names of particular interest but not Overpeck.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

        I do not think it can be ruled out that Deeming’s submission may be correct.

        • clivere
          Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

          I am now convinced it was not Overpeck. The original speculation by Andre that fingered Overpeck as the author of the email was highly circumstantial at best and for me totally unconvincing.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

          What am I missing? You are saying Deeming was lying? Or just that he was mistaken about the originator of the email?

        • clivere
          Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

          Deming has not named anyone but has pointed to one of the contributers of a recent report.

        • clivere
          Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

          I am quite comfortable that Deming received an email with the wording he has described. The context of the email will be of interest but I am also prepared to believe that it represents a desire by the sender to manipulate the science towards a preferred agenda.

          What I am disputing is the naming of Overpeck as the sender. In all probability his confusion in the 2008 email about whether he could have sent it or ever had any contact with Deming is genuine.

          The 2003 email exchange involving Mann re “contain” pre dates Deming raising the issue which happened in 2005.

          As a reminder see the next to last post

          http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/cru-hack-whats-next/#comments

        • clivere
          Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

          Bender – I can tell from your replies that you are not very informed on this.

          First observation that we are referring to Deming not Deeming. The wrong spelling is attributable to David Holland who emailed Overpeck following a 1998 CA post and discussion.

          You can refer to the very original statement by Deming here. Appears to date to March 1995.

          http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-03-10/deming.htm

          The follow up this year is here and very worth reading

          http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/deming3.html

          The relevant para worth quoting is

          “snip- In 1995, one of the lead authors of this report told me that we had to alter the historical temperature record by “getting rid” of the Medieval Warm Period.

          As Deming had his work referenced in the SAR then my speculation would be that one of the contributers for the SAR may have emailed Deming about his work and that would have triggered the email correspondence to which Deming refers. It does not necessary follow that it has to be one of the contributers but will be an associate.

          I have looked at the authors of this recent report and at the authors of the Chapter 3 in the 1995 SAR and found three matches. My remaining speculation would now hinge round the precise meaning of the words “one of the lead authors of this report”.

        • clivere
          Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

          If last my post gets out of moderation it should refer to 2005 statement by David Deming and 2008 post by David Holland

  6. Henry
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    One interesting thing is the history and article (now called) Michael E. Mann. Of particular interest is the old archive of discussions which got lost in some page moves, so nothing links to it.

    William Connolley’s ultra-defensive attitude and his ability to bring in friends to help him in the indefensible was clear. He even went so far as to prevent the original IPCC charts being shown in the discussion to resolve whether they said “degrees Celsius” on the scale.

  7. EdeF
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    “…..he began to erase the Little Ice Age…..”

    RC must think that the general public is as ignorant of human history as they
    seem to be. Many of us who have an interest in history and who have read extensively
    about the past can recall many instances which independently confirm both the
    MWP and the LIA. I recall reading that in the early 1800s there were ice skating
    parties on the Thames after it had frozen over. At about the same time a great
    age of Arctic discovery took place mainly by the British Navy. One group of
    explorers were caught in the ice above Hudson’s Bay too late in the year and
    had to winter stuck frozen in the ice. Unfortunately, they were also stuck
    the following year. In order to maintain their spirit the officers entertained the
    crew by putting on plays. They adapted to the situation as best they could.

    These types of attempted perversions of history cannot succeed as long as we have
    an educated population that is able to think critically for itself.

  8. Charly
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    Mr Solomon says that the medieval warm period has disappeared from Wikipedia. Not true, there is a tiny quarter of a page article most of which, surprise, surprise, is taken by the Hockey Stick.

    http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

      Dear Dr. Connolley, can you please update that wikipedia page, so that it reads as it should: “Medieval Climate Anomaly” (MCA), as we all know for a certain fact that this warm episode was NOT global. It makes no sense to carry on this myth of a Medieval “Warm” “Period” (MWP). It was a local blip; that’s all.

      • Ron Cram
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

        You are joking, right bender?

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

      Charly — Your link is to the “Simple” version of Wiki. There is a much longer “regular” version at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_warm_period.

  9. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    For a Wiki-free analysis of the MWP and LIA, see Loehle and McCulloch (2009), http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/AGW/Loehle/.

    On Al Gore’s defense of the Hockey Stick, see my “Calibrating Dr. Thompson’s Z-Mometer,” at a href = “http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/calibrating-dr-thompsons-z-mometer/”>http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/calibrating-dr-thompsons-z-mometer/, and links to previous CA articles.

    Maybe I should add “External Links” to these on Wiki?

    • Basil
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

      Hu,

      Is the reference to Loehle and McCulloch (2009) a typo, as the link points to the 2008 update.

      Basil

    • bstewart
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

      Certainly worth a try.

      What do you think of the MWP project at the Idsos web site?

      • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

        I wasn’t aware of the Idsos’ page at http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/description.php, but it looks like a valuable resource (even if they don’t list Craig Loehle in their list of authorities!).

        This should definitely be mentioned on the Wiki MWP page now that Connolley has been transfered to Wiki’s Recycle Bin! (See latest WUWT post) Why don’t you add it? I’m still working on my Thompson Ice core paper, and don’t have time right now.

    • Cthulhu
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

      snip – OT. there are threads on the Loehle reconstruction.

  10. sparkzilla
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    I was an early editor on the hockey stick page and the “temperature record of the past 100 years” (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years). I went to Wikipedia because I had heard of the hockey stick controversy but was surprised to find that it wasn’t mentioned by name at that time. In fact there was no Hockey Stick page until later. It was also obvious to me back in 2006 that the page was hopelessly skewed towards the warmists viewpoint (as it still is). It was also obvious to me that Connelly was acting as a gatekeeeper.

    There is actually a rule at Wikipedia called conflict of interest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_company, that means that any expert in a field is prohibited from contributing to articles in which they are an expert – I was banned for such a conflict on another topic, a criminal case on which my magazine had done reporting. Some may find it surprising that experts in a particular field are discouraged to post about their areas of expertise, but it makes some kind of sense if you consider that Wikipedia is actually a list of references that are compiled into articles and that task doesn’t need experts. According to Wikipedia, experts are supposed to have too much bias to be able to edit in a neutral manner (I don’t agree, but that’s their rule).

    So if Connelly is a member of realclimate it brings up serious COI issues, and a COI complaint should be filed. However, because he is an administrator it is likely that he will be protected by other administrators who with unfailing certainty will close ranks to protect each other. Note also that to become an administrator you must be approved by other administrators and as a result administrators are generally left-leaning nerds and suffer from a variety of Wikipedia groupthinks, of which AGW is just one.

    Connelly’s involvement should be publicized on various tech forums as Wikipedia bias is always a hot topic.

  11. Theo Goodwin
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Amazing! Just !@#$%^& amazing! Since Wikipedia first appeared, I have warned my students that it should be used only informally or for fun. Now that it has become an instrument of disinformation, I must tell them that it cannot be used at all. I hope the “owner” of Wikipedia finds his blood boiling just as mine is.

    • Raven
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

      The ‘owner’ of wikipedia is fully subscribed to the AGW – snip He most likely supports Connolley’s crusade to mislead the world.

  12. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    I’m a Wikipedia administrator too. I’ve made over 40,000 edits to the site, created a few thousand articles, banned hundreds of vandals. But unlike Connolley, I’ve tried my best to avoid conflicts of interest such as this.

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Norbert asked about attempts by the Team to “rebut” the McIntyre and McKitrick critique of MBH by cynically using “MM” to conflate the Michaels and McKitrick paper – a paper on an unrelated topic that I had nothing to do with it – with the critique of MBH. This was done, in particular, to capitalize on a programming error that Ross had made (resulting in radians being input instead of degrees to a cosine formula) – an error that was identified because Ross placed his code online and which Ross promptly acknowledged and issued a correction for.

    A particular egregious admission of this intentional campaign was admitted by Connolley in the Wikipedia discussion here

    Connolley:

    As to Mann’s error: if he was wrong (and he might be) its a small effect. M&M’s error (confusing radians and degrees) completely scrambles the data. William M. Connolley 08:40, 20 October 2005 (UTC).

    Another Wiki contributor reported that the MBH critique M&M did not make this particular error:

    M&M didn’t make a mistake in degrees and radians I think you mean McKitrick in a not related article made that mistake.

    Connolley cynically retorted:

    Of course M&M did. But McK and McI don’t have a trademark on the M&M label.

    Wiki contributor Sirks criticized Connolley for “deliberately misleading” people through this “trick”:

    And thereby deliberately misleading people who read this talk page. –MichaelSirks 20:40, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

    Another reader observed that the only purpose of the comment on work that I had not been involved with was to damage our reputation:

    That is the reason why I am amazed that you want to mention it here. You give the impression that you want to suggest that McKitrick doesn’t know the differnce between radians and degrees.(thereby suggesting that you can’t trust the work of M&M.)

    Connolley admitted this:

    On the latter point, definitely. William M. Connolley 20:15, 20 October 2005 (UTC).

    The exchange concluded:

    It doesn’t surprise me, but now it is in writting.–MichaelSirks 20:40, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

    • hengav
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

      Lets jump to the present then and look at what Connolly and Atmoz are doing on the Patrick Michaels Wikipedia spot as of Dec 18, 2009. Removing books because they consider them

      “effectively self-published” irrelevant in list of printed material)

      And still no effective reference to his paper with Ross.

      Love the spell check BTW

      • hengav
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

        Sorry that should be papers…3

    • DavidM
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

      Those quotes have dissapeared from the main discussion page in the past 10 hours. I looked at it last night and it was all there.

      They are still in archive number 2 which is accessable via the icons on the top right. The page is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years/Archive_2

      The comments were made in 2005 there’s no reason why they should suddenly be archived now.

      Need to resist any urge to point fingers. It’s Wikipedia – anyone can edit the articles, even more so for the discussion pages. You press edit and the whole page is editable, an open canvas where everyone elses edits can be modified.

  14. Ted Swart
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Whilst Wikipedia is pretty good on non politically contaminated issues such as mathematics it is a largely useless s minefield when it comes to highly contentious issues. The attitude of those that run Wikipedia and the policies they adopt are almost guaranteed to result in a blatantly lopsided perspective in such cases. They could easily fix this if they allowed two parallel threads in such cases. But the chance of them being so enlightened is close to zero.
    Th hard fact is that they don’t behave like truth seekers and their ability to provide quality knowledge is thus badly compromised.
    A world without self appointed experts would be a wonderful place.

  15. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Oh boy, a thread to bash Connolley! Actually, BTW, from what I’ve read, the originators of Wikipedia have a leftist bent and that’s the primary reason Connolley is allowed to get away with what he does. This means that unless you’re particularly interested in the leftist perspective on a subject with political slant, you might want to avoid Wikipedia. It’s still useful for non-political subjects, AFAIK.

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

      Actually Dave, Jimmy Wales considers or considered himself a pro-individual-rights Objectivist, which is essentially the exact opposite of the leftist mentality.

      • Smokey
        Posted Dec 26, 2009 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

        Don’t listen to what Wales says — look at what Wales does: he keeps someone on who games the system and censors one entire side of a debate, despite Connolley’s being repeatedly reprimanded and disciplined for that kind of behavior.

        If Wales actually wanted Wikipedia to be a neutral, honest source of information, Connolley would be long gone by now.

        Therefore, Wales approves of Connolley’s censorship and rigging of articles. QED.

  16. 007
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    I find it humorous that William Connolley actually has a wiki page. And it says he’s a computer programmer , doesn’t even say with who. I guess he is notable for being a ‘former climate modeler’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Connolley

  17. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    In looking at the Wikipedia User page for Connolley I saw that he was running for the English Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee. In the vote tally, 244 more voters voted “no” on him than voted “yes.” — How very wonderful.

    His user page also says:

    I live in Coton. I work for CSR making teeny tiny radios. I have a blog, a twitter feed and a facebook page. In a former life I was a climate modeller at BAS; even further back I was a mathematician at SEH. My username is my real name.

    I had read over a year ago that “someone” was “managing” the global warming articles on Wikipedia.

    • Cthulhu
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

      it’s been well known for at least over a year (2? 3) that william was an editor on wikipedia and oversaw a lot of the global warming related articles. This is nothing new uncovered, more like the Eye of Sauron has moved.

  18. Matthew Drabik
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    A while back I created a Wikipedia article on the Gore Effect. It was fun to watch the fits thrown by the regulars over there while they waited out the review period before they could delete it.

  19. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    I always thought it would be interesting to analyse WC’s posting output at Wikipedia. There were times in the past when he appeared to be working on it almost full-time. I wondered if he this was actually part of his job at BAS.

    • harold
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

      Lawrence Solomon seems to have done some analysis (from the link above:)

      Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph.

      In a Jan 2007 email, he is (still)listed as a Climate Modeller, British Antarctic Survey.
      This gives an interesting slant to the profession of “Climate Modeller”.

      • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

        OK, but I actually meant at a rather more detailed level – number of edits per day kind of thing. It’s not just that he was responsible for controlling key documents on Wiki but that he appeared to be doing it virtually full time.

        • harold
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

          Sorry Bishop, fixing dinner while posting is not a good idea and I hope to be more clear this time. In April 2008 Solomon wrote an angry article in his spare time, “Wikipedia’s Zealots”.

          http://www.amazon.com/Lawrence-Solomon/e/B001HOEXLU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1

          Now he has written “Wikipedia’s climate doctor – How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles”. He clearly has devoted a lot of time on the subject and may have done some of the groundwork for the project you suggested.

        • harold
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

          Forget it, my reading skills are not what they used to be,sorry for wasting space and time.

        • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

          I always thought that his electronic and software skills had enabled him to hone his interfering ability to a fine art – reverting things he didn’t like in quarter of an hour.

  20. PaddikJ
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    http://blog.jimmywales.com/2009/12/07/whats-new-for-me-hunch/#comments

    My comment:

    “Hello,

    This forum seems as good a place to register a Wikipedia comment as any, so here goes:

    You and Wikipedia are currently engaged in a major fund-raising effort. I have contributed to Wikipedia in the past, but I will not on this, or any future occasion, until Wikipedia makes good on its boast of being an open-source enterprise.

    I refer of course to someones’ decision to grant exclusive editorial control of all climate related material to one person, an activist-scientist named William Connelly. Like all true sciences, there is a great diversity of reasoned, legitimate scientific viewpoints in climate studies, and if Wikipedia is to be true to its ideals, these disparate viewpoints must all be allowed representation.

    Please let me know when you have rectified this serious problem and I will once again be happy to support Wikipedia.”

    Steve: In making this sort of comment, you should refer to Wikipedia COI Conflict of Interest policies. These are the real issue here.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

      Is he employed as a “scientist”?

      • PaddikJ
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

        Well I thought he was until I did a little digging. He’s a software engineer who did climate modeling for the British Antarctic Survey, and now does S.E. “working on embedded firmware for Cambridge Silicon Radio.”
        snip

    • Sleeper
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

      “Please let me know when you have rectified this serious problem and I will once again be happy to support Wikipedia.”

      These people are not children who can be enticed toward good behavior by the promise of reward. They purposely allow Connelly’s influence over climate-related entries, and by doing so they remove
      any semblance of credibility for Wikipedia as a whole. You should make your withholding of funds permanent. I have. So should everyone interested in truth.

      • PaddikJ
        Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

        I intended to respectfully disagree w/ both Sleeper & Steve, esp. regarding guiding principles vs. specific infractions, but with each subsequent comment it became more clear that the debate was moot; and to top it all off, I just discovered that my little comment on Wales’ personal blog was disappeared w/out comment.

        As far as I’m now concerned, Wikipedia isn’t worth discussing, and certainly not worth supporting.

        Steve:
        there are some teething pains with the new blog software.

    • Neal McBurnett
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

      The Wikipedia Arbitration Committee admonished Connelly and desysopped him on 13 September 2009: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Abd-William_M._Connolley

      No one ever has exclusive control on a section of Wikipedia. It is of course not a primary source, but it works far better for providing context and links to useful primary sources than the vast majority of web sites, and does so under tremendous pressure. So I think it deserves support.

      See some other Arbitration Committee disputes Connolley has been involved with at his AC application page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Candidate_statements/William_M._Connolley

      Steve: the cited case doesn’t have anything to do with his conflict-of-interest involving realclimate co-founders.

      • Neal McBurnett
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

        There is at least one clear conflict of interest since Connolley created and continues to edit the Wikipedia page on Realclimate. And he doesn’t seem to get it, as shown in this current attempt at informal mediation:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2009-12-01/Realclimate

        But as Jimchip notes it is hard to see how it would be inappropriate for Connolley to edit most other pages on the climate. The manner in which he edits them is another matter of course. But keep in mind that it is a very challenging topic to work on, with lots of spamming from many perspectives, which wears people down and makes them trigger-happy.

  21. Ed Forbes
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    This struck me as odd. If you are using the same trends, should not the trends shown in the graphs match?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years

    FUD from Soon et al.
    (SEWilco 15:59, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)) (0) The published trends are different.
    (William M. Connolley 19:38, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)) No. The wiglly lines are different. The published trends aren’t.

  22. Frederick Davies
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    As the innocent soul who tried to create a Wikipedia page on the book by P. J. Michaels, “Shattered Consensus”, I can attest that the shenanigans Mr Solomon accuses Mr Connolley of are quite accurate. That is what happens in consensus-based organizations, and that is why I deleted my account and now avoid Wikipedia as much as possible.

  23. H Hak
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    snip – language

  24. mondo
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    It would be very interesting to get Ron Cram’s take on all of this. If I recall correctly, Ron was also a Wikipedia ‘editor’ who had many battles with WC, and thus has a view from the inside.

  25. Luke Lea
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    Apparently he did not get around to editing the Wikipedia entry on “Climate Sensitivity,” however, including this interesting factoid under the heading History of the Concept:

    The standard modern estimate of climate sensitivity – 3°C, plus or minus 1.5°C – originates with a committee on anthropogenic global warming convened in 1979 by the National Academy of Sciences and chaired by Jule Charney. Only two sets of models were available; one, due to Syukuro Manabe, exhibited a climate sensitivity of 2°C, the other, due to James Hansen, exhibited a climate sensitivity of 4°C. “According to Manabe, Charney chose 0.5°C as a not-unreasonable margin of error, subtracted it from Manabe’s number, and added it to Hansen’s. Thus was born the 1.5°C-to-4.5°C range of likely climate sensitivity that has appeared in every greenhouse assessment since…”[6]

    • Cthulhu
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

      OT

  26. PaulH
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Not that I disagree with anything in the column, but 5,428 seems like an unusually precise number. Is there a way to verify this count?

  27. Rich Braud
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    snip – not on point

  28. Arnold Darkshner
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    I had a run-in with this guy the other day on the Svensmark article. “Someone” had put in a last word section essentially saying that current observations do not mesh with Svensmark’s theory and then cited the comment with 3 articles from RC. My attempt to remove it for “relable sources” was immediately reverted by Mr. Connolly for something along the lines of “sorry, RC is a RS”. I thought that was a little odd, so I Googled him and found his profile page on RC, which took the conversation to the NPOV dispute board.

    To make a long story short, he says he is no longer associated with RC and the section in question was removed not because I prevailed (he stopped responding to the discussions on the issue) but because another editor removed it and it wasn’t reverted again (so far).

    He seemed like a decent guy to me, but I had my s…tuff together going into it and he seemed to be distracted. I could see how he could railroad someone. The talk page on his profile has links into the issue. Small world sometimes…

  29. Kate
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    As a teacher/librarian I can say that we have never allowed students to use Wikipedia. And now I will network this information throughout surrounding districts and across the American Library Association.

    I tried to make a small factual contribution to one of Wiki’s articles, just to see what would happen. The snip at Wiki nuked it within five minutes.

    I have spent over one hundred hours reading the national newspapers for coverage of Steve McIntyre. All the scientist/warmers cite Wikipedia as their first defense. It’s hilarious. I correct them and they go away. They have Nothing Better to fall back on. (except name-calling.)

    • Rich
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

      An anonymous Wikipedian had this to say in a conversation on the subject of the Solomon article in National Post:

      “… I do not edit wikipedia, but I have over the past several years followed… the relentless battering of any critic of any GW-related talk-page by WMC, you [Stephan Schulz] and Kim. I now went to check how the Climategate site was progressing, and there you guys were again!! … I felt I had to share my experience, not as an editor, but as a disgruntled user. Because of WMC’s actions, and yours for that matter mr. Schulz, I have stopped using wikipedia as a source for anything remotely controversial, as have many of my friends (who all, like me, either have a PhD in quantitative fields or are in the process of obtaining one)…” [Anonymous IP Address] 11:03, 7 December 2009

      “… [WMC, you and Kim claim] ‘scientific superiority’, in every discussion you have ever engaged in regarding the topics I have followed. When you run out of arguments, you start attacking people personally, just like WMC… When this doesn’t discourage them from contributing to wikipedia, you… find some arcane reason to ban them. The page then gets archived, and we all ‘forget’ about it. This at least, is the cycle I have witnessed numerous times as a spectator on GW related talk pages, over the past two and a half years.” [Anonymous IP Address] 12:24, 7 December 2009

      (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Comments/William_M._Connolley)

      • IainG
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

        I’m afraid that page has now been deleted. But it can still me seen in the Google cache, here

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

          Unbelievable but true. I had that page open not half an hour ago, and now it’s vanished down the memory hole.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

          They should have left it up. In spite of my obvious cherry-picking the comments, that page demonstrated that Dr. Connolley has as much opposition as support among the Wikipedia community, and it showed that they were following democratic due process in an open and transparent manner. It also showed that, in an intrinsically contentious and ad-hominem debate over a controversial candidacy, even the most mutually antagonistic Wikipedians generally treated one another with civility and respect. More so, anyway, than I’ve come to expect from most of my fellow engineers, as anyone who’s ever been trapped in a conference room during the “point fingers and assign blame” meeting for a huge project that is hopelessly behind schedule and over-budget can attest.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

          Correction:

          This was my fault. I should have put a space between the URL and the closing parenthesis. The comments page in question has not been deleted or moved or hidden in any way by Wikipedia, and is still available at:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Comments/William_M._Connolley

    • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

      I tried to make a small factual contribution to one of Wiki’s articles, just to see what would happen. The snip at Wiki nuked it within five minutes.

      And it has nothing to do with controversial subjects either – I had simple corrections of bad spelling and obvious errors (like persons listed as appearing on stage several years after their death date listed two paragraphs further up in the same article) thoughtlessly reverted to the erroneous version sometimes within seconds.

  30. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    I had an email interaction with Lawrence Solomon about this tragic abuse of wiki – by which I mean the wiki ideal, the one inspired by the genius of Ward Cunningham from the experimental release of a little system coded in 200 lines of Perl to some friends in 1995 – in May and June of last year, soon after Larry had written the first piece on William Connolley linked to by Steve above.

    The early history of the wiki idea, from the time Ward had the instinct to experiment with Bill Atkinson’s Hypercard, when it first came out on the Mac, through to the apparent world dominance of Wikipedia in the noughties, is one that should be told. By multiple people :) Because there are many angles and it’s a crucially important subject to understand for the future of humanity, in my view. But don’t worry, I won’t try even a most potted version here. A couple of points only.

    In 1999, on the telephone to Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, I pointed Tim at Ward’s original wiki community, which was devoted to software engineering ideas and history. Tim was immediately grabbed by the idea and its obvious power, because it fulfilled so well some of his original design goals for the Web itself.

    Within a year though it was clear (at least to some of us) that wiki was also under attack, by those who wished to shape its great power to their own purposes. (It’s almost impossible not to cue background music from the Lord of the Rings there but it probably should be resisted! But the ring of power, yes, that kind of thing.)

    I have always assumed that global manipulation and skewing of the AGW and climate science stories was a major motivation and outcome of the unethical and sometimes stupid decisions made by some key people at that point. But I’m just one tiny programmer. What do I know?

    I’m very glad though to see this thread, especially the testimony of people either using their real names or traceable through the network of relationships with its root in our most worthy host. That’s the kind of thing that’s needed. Good journalists who have felt the threat of this borg-like presence in your universe of the written word, please note that here is a great and important spin-off story (or three) from Climategate, which still has some legs on it too, by the look of it.

    • hengav
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

      Real names…agreed.

      Sincerely
      Brad Culver P.Geoph.

      • hengav
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:37 AM | Permalink

        I had a complimentary comment before this last post… where did it go? If it was offside then snip it… if there is some other reason why it went away then please explain how the “new” moderation works here because it does look like comments are being removed.

        Steve: It is very time-consuming operating the blog at present because there are far too many comments that are venting, piling on, editorializing about policy,off topic etc. I don’t promise perfect consistency in editing,

        • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

          I did respond and that response is now at the foot of the thread Brad. I assumed Steve wanted both out when I returned earlier. Maybe he did and I fell to the bottom of the thread by mistake rather than the cutting room floor! My motto, for what it’s worth: take deletions on the chin without asking. There’s never the time to explain, for someone in Steve’s shoes. But thanks for your encouragement.

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

      Good comments Richard.

      I’ve always felt that the climate skeptics’ community has the capacity to run a good wiki itself… able to counter WP bias by competition… but am not in a position to set this up or run it myself.

      • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

        All in good time. It should be Steve’s wiki, I think, in a deep sense. In fact, it should be able to evolve out of what’s here. And then there’s Anthony Watts. And yourself and many others. (Thanks for your contribution, by the way, as a long-time, if sporadic, lurker. But I won’t do further acknowledgments as it may get tedious and cloying.)

        The future is bound to look something blog-like and wiki-like, taking advantage of the best client-side programming options for much better usability, whether that’s in JavaScript or whatever else comes along (maybe Google’s new language Go for example). MrPete’s efforts for Firefox are not to be sniffed at, in that context. Organic and evolutionary are the watchwords, I would say, just as Mr Cunningham once taught me :)

        • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

          Organic evolution of skeptics’ wiki, yes.

          Shen, above, announced he’s just set up a MediaWiki platform specifically for “Climate Change” – Neutralpedia. Another poster at WUWT mentioned Conservapedia. Although this is a political setup, it has a very strong awareness of Wikipedia issues, and a strong dedication to real encyclopedia ideals. It’s the last place I’d have thought might host the wiki we need, but I like its outlook.

          I hope that what eventually emerges is a single “gold standard” “opposition party” skeptics’ wiki to challenge Wikipedia and even inspire reform there eventually.

        • Cthulhu
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

          prohibited topic

        • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

          The thing is, online communities don’t form in the way we’d like or in the way we design. Wikipedia is a phenomenal success. Those of us attracted to the wiki idea before 2001, including Ward himself, didn’t foresee this very wide application to create such an influential encyclopedia and thus global brand. That’s where Ben Kovitz, Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales – Ben, who was involved in Ward’s original, recommended use of wiki to Larry, who recommended it to Jimmy – deserve real credit and attention from the historians.

          I’ve seen thousands of ideas for wiki arise and not be anything like as successful. But I do believe that new wiki-like systems will arise 2010-2019, because of the great weaknesses of Wikipedia. So I’m supportive of the principle but I can’t tell you which of the two above options to put massive amounts of time into (or none).

          Organic and evolutionary for me means the minimum change to Steve McIntyre’s working practices and such changes as there are meaning less and less hassle for the poor guy. One can’t in any way ignore the profound impact of WordPress in creating something of immense worth here – or of the great value in (a substantial subset of) the past posts. That value has to be the foundation of the future I feel.

          And Climate Audit is a very important brand, which should not disappear. It should, gradually, benefit from more and more wikiness. That’s what I’m talking about. It’s off topic for this thread but may be worth keeping to come back to. (And not the slightest offence will be taken if it’s deleted. I’ve known a lot worse!)

          Steve: I would like to have a special-purpose wiki to focus discussion of particular articles or topic. Maybe this could be done on the former CA server.

        • Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

          It goes without saying that I would love to help if I can. My moniker is rdrake98 on most web services, including most importantly gmail. I’m somewhat on holiday now for a couple of weeks but will check mail most days. Very well done ye olde Climate Auditors and a merry Christmas to all!

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

      Brad, one of the original Wiki pages I had most delight from having created is Wiki Rewrites History. In those heady and halycon days it was a lighthearted and affectionate joke at the expense of Ward’s radical idea. I put up six fake quotes (still in the top eight today) and just sat back and let the community have some fun with it. It was wonderful.

      The moment I saw

      I invented Wiki. — Al Gore

      was without question the highlight. Thanks for reminding me!

      (And note how the humorless followers had to reduce the force on the joke in later editions. The lack of real humor in the Wikipedia and AGW camps – the stuff where you laugh at yourselves – as evidenced in the Climategate letters, should be a warning sign to all.)

  31. sparkzilla
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    I created a Slashdot topic on this issue. Please post your opinions on there so that the topic will get enough comments to put it on the front page: http://slashdot.org/submission/1137140/Climategate-spreads-to-Wikipedia (You will probably have to login to post).

  32. Anon
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    I recently tried to correct a terribly one-sided Wikipedia page on a historical subject I had familiarity with (and direct, personal knowledge and participation in on part of the subject).

    I too ran into one of these Wiki guardians. After over a month of editing, and long discussions in the “talk” pages, not one word of my proposed changes has made it into Wikipedia. My sources were challenged (“self published”) or in the case of first hand information, a violation of the wiki policy that strongly discourages the use of primary sources. In other words, the government documents I referred to could not be used because it was a primary source, but a fringe newspaper’s movie review could be used since it was a “reliable secondary source” which just mentioned in passing the historical event.

    But more than that, every point was challenged. The “keeper” of the page (not any Wikipedia official way) simply used tedium and nastiness in fighting every edit, and filled up the talk pages with confusion so that arbitrators and others wouldn’t look deeply at it.

    Wiki is easily gamed – by those willing to put the effort into it. I wonder how many Wikipedia “editors” (anyone who edits) are actually being paid to do so for propaganda reasons.

    Wikipedia is in some ways a noble experiment, but a very dangerous one. Its policies are the sort you would expect to see from a government bureaucracy (TSA comes to mind), and it strongly favors those who have the time and inclination to learn its Byzantine rules and then fight to the death over every quibble.

    I use it all the time for reference in math and hard science (which does NOT include climatology). On controversial subjects, it’s more propaganda than encyclopedia.

  33. ianl8888
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    piling on

    • ianl8888
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:57 AM | Permalink

      Perhaps … but Connelly has brutalised Geological history in the “Wiki”, and the Paleozoic entry demonstrates that

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Earlier today, I saw a Wikipedia page in which they stated that they had a policy in which specialists in a subject were not permitted to be editors – something that would seem to exclude.

    Unfortunately I didnt save the link and now can’t find it. Would like to locate it. It contained the words conflict of interest and COI, among others.

    • Jimchip
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

      This doesn’t quite sound like what you want but I had looked this over for an article on a play I was going to write”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest#Citing_oneself

      A Wikipedia conflict of interest (COI) is an incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia, which is to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia, and the aims of an individual editor…

      …COI editing involves contributing to Wikipedia in order to promote your own interests or those of other individuals, companies, or groups. Where advancing outside interests are more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest…

      Editing in an area in which you have professional or academic expertise is not, in itself, a conflict of interest. Using material you yourself have written or published is allowed within reason, but only if it is notable and conforms to the content policies. Excessive self-citation is strongly discouraged. When in doubt, defer to the community’s opinion.

      And, sorry, I couldn’t resist their example:

      Close relationships

      Friedrich Engels would have had difficulty editing the Karl Marx article…

    • sparkzilla
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

      Steve, that would be my comment, which is still marked as “awaiting moderation”. Perhaps a glitch somewhere? Here’s the relevant part…

      There is actually a rule at Wikipedia called conflict of interest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_company, that means that any expert in a field is prohibited from contributing to articles in which they are an expert – I was banned for such a conflict on another topic, a criminal case my magazine had reported on. Some may find it surprising that experts in a particular field are discouraged to post about their areas of expertise, but it makes some kind of sense if you consider that Wikipedia is actually a list of references that are compiled into articles and that task doesn’t need experts. According to Wikipedia, experts are supposed to have too much bias to be able to edit in a neutral manner (I don’t agree, but that’s their rule).

      So if Connelly is a member of realclimate it brings up serious COI issues, and a COI complaint should be filed. However, because he is an administrator it is likely that he will be protected by other administrators who with unfailing certainty will close ranks to protect each other. Note also that to become an administrator you must be approved by other administrators and as a result administrators are generally left-leaning nerds and suffer from a variety of Wikipedia groupthinks, of which AGW is just one.

      —-

      Added…

      The anti-expert standpoint of Wikipedia is so well documented that Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, set up an experts-only site called Citizendium to specifically attract experts who are denied posting at Wikipedia.

      Despite JimChip’s note, the actual rule is applied very strictly. Wikipedia is VERY sensitive to allegations of bias. If Connelly was an active advocate for a particular group it would be seen as a conflict, in the same way that journalists are not allowed to discuss their own articles, or PR people are not allowed to add their own releases. If he has published any papers on global warming or is (or was) employed by an organization that is not impartial on the subject then he also has a COI.

      Consider this: If Connelly was an employee of “Big Oil”, even in an unrelated field, do you think he would have lasted ten minutes before a COI complaint would have been filed?

      Of course as I said above, the rules are different for administrators (and their friends), but continued pressure does work and external pressure about Wikipedia bias in mainstream media can also get results.

      BTW complaining to Jimmy Wales does not help. He is the creator of the mess that is Wikipedia administration and is part of the problem itself.

      • sparkzilla
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

        snip – thanks but over the top

      • Neal McBurnett
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

        You’re confusing two things. It makes sense that people can’t edit articles about a story they broke, or a company they work for, or a blog they started. And as I said in another comment, that is a problem for Connolley and the Realclimate article.

        But as Jimchip quoted above, people with expertise in a field are welcome to edit articles in the field, as long as they aren’t inserting references to their own work and avoid other conflict-of-interest traps. E.g. the policy says “However, an expert on trees is welcome to contribute to articles on that subject, even if that editor is deeply committed to the subject.” They are encouraged to be open about their involvement so conflicts of interest can be identified.

        See the article on Expert Editors for more details:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Expert_editors

        A problem is they often want to cite their own opinion or “original research” without citing a verifiable and reliable source, which turns it into a blog or worse. So it depends on the specific edits.

        • sparkzilla
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:17 AM | Permalink

          Neal, the link you posted is to an essay, not an actual policy document of Wikipedia. Having been through a multi-year edit war where every single Wikipedia policy was used as a weapon to try to stop my posts I can tell you that experts on a field are most definitely not wanted in Wikipedia.

          At the time I published a major magazine in Japan and was adding factual items my magazine had found out about a criminal case to a Wikipedia page that had been overrun by activists. We were the experts on the case and were the only ones who had published factual information damaging to the case. But in Wikipedia facts do not trump COI. It got to the point where I was told by the admins that because I published a magazine about Japan that I would not be allowed to post on ANY Japan-related topic at all.

          If you actually declare a conflict of interest before you post you will be booted out straight away. If they find out you have the hint of a COI your opponents will use that to appeal to the admins to get you banned.

          On contentious topics it is best to remain completely anonymous, not reveal your COI and make edits that do not show obvious bias. I suspect Connelley has survived this long because he conforms to Wikipedia groupthink and has had admin friends who have been willing to help him, eventually giving him admin status and allowing him free reign to act as judge, jury and executioner.

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:34 AM | Permalink

      I once had a run in with Connolley on Wikipedia regarding COI (that I believe ended in Arbitration). I won the victory but it was almost empty in that Connolley was told to behave himself thereafter. He was told not to edit Michael Mann’s profile page because he and Mann had co-authored a paper together (not peer-reviewed). I guess Connolley relied on the Wikipedia principle found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ignore_all_rules because it did not change his actions much.

  35. Sean Peake
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Sort of OT but how can one find out who editors are on Wiki pages?

    • Anon
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

      Sean,
      Just click on the “Talk” page link at the top.

      There are no official editors at WP. Anybody with an account can edit (almost) any page. Hence the term “editor” refers to anyone who makes a change to a page.

      Each page (and its associated talk page, which itself is just another page) has a history of all changes automatically recorded.

    • Henry
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

      The “History” tab at the top of the page gives the history and previous versions of the articles. But many people use nicknames or do not login.

  36. Carl
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    A quick glance proves the owner of that Wiki page is not qualified… the hockey-stick chart shows a glaring error. It is temperature anomaly but the caption says “Reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere *temperatures* for the last 1,000 years…”, then they repeat the error AGAIN on the 2nd chart, “Instrumental *Temperature* record of the last 150 years.”

    If they can’t get something as simple as that right, how can any of it be trusted.

    The 5 year average on the second chart looks like a centered polynomial equation of some sort. That is nice for eliminating lag, but in non-academic applications it is technically invalid: it requires looking into the future to compute it now and as such, makes it impossible to compare Now with the past. Also, it seems that it ends prematurely, as there are more than 5 points after its calculation ends. If it is a questionable 5 year centered calculation, then it should stop only 2 years short (two back, center, two forward).

    (I’m in the data analytics business, and have been for the last 15+ years, with about 10,000 customers… i.e., I have a wee bit of experience)

  37. LMB
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    I love this thread! I hope this story goes Mainstream. It really needs to. Somebody has to burst the Wiki Bubble. The owner needs to be held accountable. Has any reporter ever confronted him on this topic?

    “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    • Peter
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

      Totally agree.

  38. harold
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    So, W.C. is a member of two groups, the Green Party and Real Climate. Conflict of Interest? Not completely sure, just 90%. And he is an administrator:

    “Editors in good standing in the community can run for one of many levels of volunteer stewardship; this begins with “administrator”,[101][102] a group of privileged users who have the ability to delete pages, lock articles from being changed in case of vandalism or editorial disputes, and block users from editing. Despite the name, administrators do not enjoy any special privilege in decision-making; instead they are mostly limited to making edits that have project-wide effects and thus are disallowed to ordinary editors, and to block users making disruptive edits (such as vandalism)”

    From the Community section:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia

    So, no more nitpicking by W.C.?

    • Henry
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

      He is not a Wikipedia administrator any more. But that hardly matters as he has friends who are.

      He failed to get consensus in 2005 to become one, obtained enough support in 2006 despite opposition, was involved in various disputes, and finally lost his status in September 2009 for misusing his administrator tools by acting while involved.

  39. Rich
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    I discovered the following while verifying the linked Lawrence Solomon column in the National Post.

    By a vote of seven to three, William Connolley was “desysopped” (i.e. his Administrator privileges were removed) at Wikipedia, for “use of administrator tools while involved”, on September 13th of this year:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Abd-William_M._Connolley#William_M._Connolley_desysopped

    Interestingly, the incident in question involved cold fusion, and not climate science (see the beginning of the proceeding, at the top of the above-mentioned Wikipedia page).

    Shortly after being “desysopped”, Mr. Connolley was nominated for a seat on the “Arbitration Committee” that had recently revoked his Administrator privileges:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Comments/William_M._Connolley

    (This page provides a number of fascinating insights into the internal workings of the Wikipedia ecosphere, by the way.) Mr. Connolley subsequently lost the Arbitration Committee election, which was held four days ago:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009#Results

    I am under the impression that Mr. Connolley has sought to minimize the apparent conflict of interest by distancing himself from RealClimate:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/william-m-connolley/

    …which appears to have been further clarified by Mr. Connolley on December 4th with this statement on his “Talk” page at Wikipedia:

    “That post was intended to have been updated to say goodbye, but doesn’t do so clearly.”

    Mr. Connolley’s Wikipedia “talk” page is located here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:William_M._Connolley

    • Rich
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

      The statement at RealClimate that I referenced above was actually made on December 6th, 2004, and was linked from a recent comment by “Arnold.A.D.” on Mr. Connolley’s Wikipedia “Talk” page.

      Mr. Connolley published a more definitive statement at RealClimate on December 1st, 2007:

      “This post announces my (William Connolley’s) departure from RealClimate, and indeed from the professional climate field in general, in favour of the wide world of Cambridge software engineering.”

      (Source: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/goodbye-to-all-that/)

      According to the record of posts by William Connolley at RealClimate, his last post there was four months later on March 7th, 2008:

      http://www.realclimate.org/?author_name=william

      • 007
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

        I imagine WC left RC because he was no longer a climate scientist upon his termination from the British Antarctic Survey.

        And as we all know they are all about “Climate Science from Climate Scientists”.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

          On the topic of Dr. Connolley’s COI regarding RealClimate:

          “WMC, you are listed as a contributor (page 2), one of 11 total contributors to that site. Your contributions there spanned 3 years, and your last contribution was May of last year, 5 months after your announced departure. This seems to be a pretty strong association, and the fact that you see nothing wrong with editing RealClimate despite such a long association with that site, leads me to believe your standard of recusal will be far less stringent than the what I would expect.” ATren 22:24, 5 December 2009

          “Nonetheless, I didn’t write the post. I’m only there for my nominal support for the bet that didn’t happen” William M. Connolley 22:36, 5 December 2009

          “Your name is in the byline. Whether it indicates “nominal support” or actual co-authorship, it reflects your close association with that site. I believe you genuinely fail to see how this would be a concern to others, which indicates (to me) that you have a blind spot when it comes to your own associations and POV.” ATren 00:31, 6 December 2009

          “Well, you’re certainly welcome to your POV, as I said, even if you’re wrong.” William M. Connolley 12:00, 6 December 2009

          (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Comments/William_M._Connolley)

    • mick
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

      “Interestingly, the incident in question involved cold fusion, and not climate science (see the beginning of the proceeding, at the top of the above-mentioned Wikipedia page).”

      I expect there would have had to have been years of stuff brought directly into question if he’d been pinched on climate science.

    • Rich
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

      Incidentally, Wikipedian “BozMo” mentions the following:

      “… Where I have common ground with WMC though is us both being PhD mathematicians with some serious understanding of logic, set theory, analogy etc. not to mention peer review…” BozMo 08:56, 10 December 2009

      (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Comments/William_M._Connolley)

      According to his Wikipedia page, Dr. Connolley holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford. I apologize for not using the appropriate honorific in my previous comments on this post. This was an honest error on my part, and no gratuitous disrespect for Dr. Connolley was intended.

  40. Blue
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    Just as a little experiment I posted a few little changes on things Connelly has posted. They were reverted within SECONDS. There must be people who watch over those articles 24/7 to ensure they are not changed.

  41. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    Why doesn’t the international global warming skeptical community start an information campaign against this strange Connolley guy? Outside Wikipedia, in (hopefully) thousands of blogs? That would disarm his activities and it would be outside his censorship control. (Though I have no idea how such a campaign could be organised.)
    BTW, the Swedish Wikipedia pages relating to climate are also AGW infected.
    There is something rotten in the state of Wikipedia.

    Here’s one observation. I have had critical comments to AGW censored from several blogs, even in comment fields of newspapers. (We all know the MSM attitudes.) No slander, no weird theories, just ordinary to-the-point comments saying “you are wrong, and here’s why…”
    AGW forums seem to be very keen on censorship.
    But anti-AGW forums aren’t! If we go to skeptical websites, they’ll happily allow AGWists to write anything, and then we can have a good debate. (The “secret” is perhaps that AGWists are fun and easy to disprove. Or so I like to think.) But anyway:
    AGWists to a much higher degree tend to dislike open debate. Skeptics encourage and like it. Now, of course a skeptic like debates, but shouldn’t an AGWist like it too – if “the science is settled”?

    –Ahrvid

  42. MikeN
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    They reverted my edit of Richard Lindzen’s page. The article says a NAS panel disagreed with him, saying that scientists and policymakers wrote a report. I pointed out the obvious that this doesn’t disagree with Lindzen’s statement of ‘scientists alone’ didn’t write the draft. Two tries, and they said take it to talk.

    • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

      Improving controversial articles can require persistence, politics, and patience. (1) make it clear what you’re doing in the change summary. (2) Try to represent all views fairly. (3) if somebody reverts, *do* take it to talk. Make a section on the talk page discussing what you’re trying to do if there isn’t already one, see what objections people have – if any – and respond to them. If your position is clearly correct and well-explained and you’ve given people some time to make their contrary claims clear, you can then make your change again to the main article and include “see discussion page” in the changelog. Admins who drop by will look at the discussion, see that proper wiki-etiquette has been followed, and be much less likely to do a drive-by revert; you’d be on firmer ground to restore if they do.

  43. BruceC
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    While I think this shows the problems inherent with Wikipedia (and I can’t see a resolution), I can sort of see the point of some page editors just deleting everything (on any topic). The AGW pages would constantly be getting edited. One of the reasons I lurk at this site is because of the intelligent comments that mostly get posted. If the wikipedia edits are removing anything like the rants posted at major newspaper blog comments (I’m talking about the conspiracy theory types, religion based comments, they’re all comunists, etc) I think the page editors would start deleting on reflex. Obviously based on this article this Connolley guy has taken it too far, but others may be more moderate but just fatigued with poor quality updates.

    My point is that much of the AGW criticism doesn’t address the data or the science, but is of low quality ranting. It’s hard for the thinking skeptic to distance themselves from this noise. At least in the last little the quality of anti-AGW comments has improved now that more data is available to work with.

    • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

      This is all well said. It can also be used as a cover by those with an agenda. Those of us who wish to draw attention to the weaknesses in the ‘settled science’ may need to change the consensus through blogs like this and the mass media – with help from leaks like Climategate – before Wikipedia reflects the situation well. It’s a tough life. But we still have much to be thankful for, compared to 33 days ago.

  44. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    I’ve started a new wiki that will be centered around Climate Change at http://www.neutralpedia.com . I set this up yesterday and I didn’t plan to make it public until I finished a couple of articles on Climategate but since we have this discussion about Wikipedia today I thought it would be on topic, plus I could use some help! Any contribution is very appreciated. I think everybody would benefit from an encyclopedic and neutral take on the current climate issues. There’s a lot of information overload on this topic and we need some effort to present all this information in an accessible way. So if you’d like to help, feel free to start editing right away.

  45. John Ritson
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

    I’ll say this for Mr Connolley, I’ve made some comments at his blog that are critical of his argument about the significance of the inversion of Tiljander and he has not censored them.

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/11/tiljander_again.php

    • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

      He censored mine. Fomm his comments to mine on the site, I saw that he did not have a firm grasp of the issue. I decided therefore that posting on his site was pointless.

  46. John Ritson
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    I will say this for Mr Connolley, I have made comments on his blog critical of his
    argument about Tiljander and he has not censored them in any way.

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/11/tiljander_again.php

  47. hpx83
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    If you want to read some interesting propaganda, search Wikipedia for “Climategate”. It’s a complete whitewash.

  48. eilert
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Another account of Climate Gatekeeping at the American Thinker by
    Douglass and Christy with regards to their paper which was published in the International Journal of Climatology (IJC), (editor Glenn McGregor) and the controversy with the Santer reply paper, which was published simultaneously in the print version, without Douglass being given a proper opportunity to respond.

    You can read their full account at: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/a_climatology_conspiracy.html

  49. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Wanted to tell folks that wiki banned all known skeptics from editing their ClimateGate page and then locked the page down with only believer comments.

    I don’t kno what we can do about it, but I’ve logged the details here: http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2009/12/wikipedia-blocks-skeptics-from-editing.html

  50. DLH
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    Bullying continues at William Connolley page:

    The summary by Solomon followed by my link to ClimateAudit was promptly deleted from the page about William Connolley.
    ed
    I encourage others to edit and repost this material with a link to the two current WUWT posts and bring it up to arbitration.

    May have to start a new page “WikiBullies” to do so.

    [[Lawrence Solomon]], on December 19, 2009, penned a piece in the ”[[National Post]]” detailing Connolley’s contribution history for Wikipedia, accusing him of actively editing more than 5,000 articles in order to subvert opinion that disagreed with his own, as well as using administrative power to delete some 500 articles he personally found offensive and block 2,000 of his ideological opponents. Solomon linked this supposed activity to the [[Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident|Climategate scandal]].{{Citation| last=Solomon| first=Lawrence| author-link=Lawrence Solomon| title=Wikipedia’s climate doctor| newspaper=National Post| date=December 19, 2009| url=http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/12/19/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor.aspx| accessdate=December 19, 2009}} Connolley’s “gatekeeping” editing was further discussed at ClimateAudit.[http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/19/climategatekeeping-wikipedia/ Climategatekeeping: Wikipedia] Steve McIntyre [http://climateaudit.org ClimateAudit.org] Dec. 19, 2009

    Guerttarda argued:
    “(rv, blogs and other low-quality sources should not be used for contentious material on BLPs)”
    So bullying is ok but raising that problem is not?

    Recommendations:
    Encourage recommendations to Wikimedia to provide a rating on each editor and administrator.
    Favorable +10 (or +5)
    Unfavorable 0 (or -5)

    In particular
    Provide an abuse bullying ranking that editors can mark for coercive editing/bullying.

    Given enough bullying marks, a person would be put on probation, reducing the number of edits etc. on that topic. or in general.
    This could still abused by gang behavior, but at least it might be a start.

  51. Rich
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    This article has led me to explore the webpages of the behind-the-scenes community at Wikipedia. It is utterly fascinating, much like watching ants building an anthill. If I were in sociology instead of engineering, I’d probably write a paper on it. I had no idea there were so many people out there with so much extra time on their hands. They’ve created a whole wiki-civilization over there, complete with wiki-love, wiki-lawyers and even wiki-warfare.

  52. Rich
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    I am reading through the comments regarding Dr. Connolley’s recent nomination to the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee, at the following link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Comments/William_M._Connolley

    The conversation under the heading “joe average”, about 40% of the way down the page, is particularly illuminating as it directly addresses Dr. Connolley’s COI issue with respect to RealClimate, including Dr. Connolley’s responses. The section is too long to quote here in full, but I found this exchange in the conversation to be exceedingly interesting:

    “And what exactly would be WMC’s conflict of interest on that page [the Wikipedia Climategate article]?” Kim D. Petersen 00:20, 10 December 2009

    “Some of the emails were to/from/about him.” Dduff442 00:24, 10 December 2009

    “Wow, has any reliable sources picked up on this? Is there anything controversial or otherwise incriminatory (lets even say by a long shot), in those mails (by your own estimation)? Is he part of an investigation?” Kim D. Petersen 00:30, 10 December 2009

    “I presume he’s part of the investigation into alleged scientific misconduct by default, though I’ve heard neither anything to suggest he’s a direct target nor a word of scandal… The CoI issue here relates to the credibility of ‘senior’ users; WMC seems to have little understanding of the need to maintain eds’ faith in the editorial process. Sailing so close to the wind (to be polite about it) as he habitually does is damaging to the credibility of this institution…” Dduff442 00:49, 10 December 2009

    “And, speaking of credibility of the institution, Connolley’s aggressive actions on-wiki have actually drawn the attention of the media [link to the Lawrence Solomon article]… His aggressive attitude gives his opponents, both inside and outside Wikipedia, ammunition to attack him and his cause. Yet he continues that attitude to this day.” ATren 01:37, 10 December 2009

    “His blindness to the damage done to his own chosen cause is lamentable. Most people would be given pause if they saw their own words being employed in the other side’s propaganda. Not WMC.” Dduff442 02:32, 10 December 2009

  53. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    I went to the Hockey Stick Controversy page and added a paragraph stating that the Wegman report found Mann’s method produced the hockey stick from random data. Connelley and others deleted it four or five times, but I kept putting it back. Others joined the fray on my side, and now the paragraph is there to stay. So, I suggest we all get to work on those Wikipedia pages. Anyone can sign up to edit. Connelley can’t stop all of you.

  54. doughboy206
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    snip – OT

  55. Alex Harvey
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    From a Wikipedian.

    If anyone is interested, I have been fighting a long, long battle to have the smears removed from the biographies of living climate change skeptics.

    At this present moment, the gang is at Richard Lindzen’s page deleting comments, twisting and contorting in all sorts of odd ways to keep an argument from being made that it is inappropriate to devote 625 words of the Lindzen article to his career, and 1472 words to discrediting his stance on global warming.

    See also, the talk page for Lawrence Solomon & the talk page for Ross McKitrick.

    Here is the comment they won’t allow to appear:

    I will return January 12th, to bring more and more and more attention to Wikipedia’s proposition that 625 words for Lindzen’s career against 1472 words to discrediting his stance on global warming is “balanced”. To the various editors who have contacted me privately expressing support, I suggest that you make that support public, and move forwards from the days where the whole of Wikipedia bends to the will of a small group of advocates. To anyone else who finds this article offensive, please see that all focus needs to begin and end with this fundamental lack of balance, and that Wikipedia is not, to quote Lawrence Solomon the other day, “the missionary wing of the global warming movement”, but instead, a free encyclopaedia, which is what I thought it was, years ago, when it first appeared, and has served me so usefully as a resource throughout my career. Alex Harvey (talk) 10:21, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

    • Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

      Alex Harvey could do with some support over at Wikipedia, where he is repeatedly bullied and threatened by Connolley and his band of yes-men. Here is one astonishing bit of Connolley, from Alex’s talk page:

      “What is this luck nonsense? Do me a a favour guv and actually read the f*ck*ng diff just for once William M. Connolley (talk) 12:41, 12 October 2009 (UTC)”

      The irony is that this is in a section started by hypocrite Connolley accusing Alex of breaking Wikipedia’s rules on civility.

  56. Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    It’s easy to image that since volcanic emissions of sulfuric acids, and carbon silicates, exceed that of man’s, that our justification of climate change is masqueraded in the name of deceit and thus profits for huge monopolizing companies such as Dupont to push their new products in the name of Law.

    As sulfuric dust accumulates ABOVE the greenhouse layer, it naturally serves to cool the earth and occlude solar radiation, and all sulfuric emissions predominate of the greenhouse emissions due to the properties of gasses involved. If the earth emits climate controlling gases, and creates it’s own atmosphere, and all ice-age re-entry flags are now apparent, why would you want to stop emission of greenhouse gas? Volcanism has risen, since 1940 global mean temperature has been steadily dropping.. The Earth is trying to cool itself again, and our emissions only serve to counter-act that process, even though our emissions will have no affect. Even if they could, the temporary heating caused by the greenhouse layer (which naturally occurs due to the sun’s cycles of sunspot radiation) generates weather patterns that distribute the Earth’s water around it’s body, thus reflecting even more solar radiation, like a mirror, until winter comes, and the global mean temperature drops below the evaporation point of water.. And all that distributed water freezes, thus ice-age, and as in the past, it has occurred within a 10-15 year span, it literally only takes a 5% decrease in solar radiation to trigger this, and volcanoes are emitting the sulfuric gases to occlude that radiation and everyday. This has happened before, and before human existence came into affect, to think it is our fault, is a masquerade that only exists to generate profits via deceitfully presented sections of information that only show you one part of the entire scenario.

    It is impossible for global warming advocates to explain how in the past, there have been extremely high contents of c02, yet no warming, and this is due to the Earth’s own natural emission of sulfuric acids which block the solar radiation before the greenhouse layer can ever even trap it. There are over 500 active volcanoes that are ejecting sulfuric dust into the stratosphere everyday and slowly forming a veil that serves to cool, and this is why the earth still is growing cooler on a global mean. Just because the polar caps are melting, does not justify GLOBAL warming.

    If we are to see the whole truth, we are to include all perspectives, not just c02 emissions. Climate is of galactic influence, even the Earth’s wobble, tilt, and orbit affect climate, let alone its growth and physical expansion.

    I hope this helps:

    http://magisapparatus.wordpress.com/

  57. Luke Warmer
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Steve – I posted this at WUWT a day or so ago. WMC is clearly hinting at something in his square brackets comment to Dallas Dinosaur’s post at his stoat blog – anyone help?

    [Yes, this is the bit I said you could find if you looked hard enough. But I don’t think you’ve done your homework enough – go read the wiki page on MWP/LIA and see if you know then -W]

    Full source quote from the Stoat:

    Dallas Dinosaur wrote-
    Can you explain the one below? It looks innocuous, but there are others emails that have at first glance, looked harmless, only to look much more conspiritorial once you understand context.

    > William M Connolley wrote:
    > > On Thu, 4 Jan 2007, Phil Jones wrote:
    > >
    > >> The net is closing…
    > >>
    > >> National Research Council, US Committee for the Global Atmospheric
    > >> Research Program, Understanding Climatic Change: A Program for Action,
    > >> National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, (1975), appendix A.
    > >>
    > >> This book (Fig A2b) has the same figure as Imbrie/Imbrie. It is rotated.
    > >> It also has the same concept of the IPCC 1990 Figure, changes on
    > >> various timescales – all rotated. Loads of Lamb diagrams I have
    > >> seen countless times before.
    > >>
    > >
    > > ? The source for IPCC can’t be the 1975 NAS report. That fig is relatively warm
    > > about 1600; the IPCC ‘90 figure is cold then. And as noted the “MWP” is colder
    > > than 1950. But NAS 75 is the same as I+I, true (they both source to Lamb 69).
    > >
    > > Incidentally my I+I says copyright 1979, seventh printing 1998.
    > >
    > > -W.

    [Yes, this is the bit I said you could find if you looked hard enough. But I don’t think you’ve done your homework enough – go read the wiki page on MWP/LIA and see if you know then -W]

    • bender
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

      Excerpt from 1167928837.txt

      [snip]

      >>> Dear All,
      >>> The net is closing…
      >>>
      >>> National Research Council, US Committee for the Global Atmospheric
      >>> Research Program, Understanding Climatic Change: A Program for Action,
      >>> National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, (1975), appendix A.
      >>>
      >>> This book (Fig A2b) has the same figure as Imbrie/Imbrie. It is
      >>> rotated.
      >>> It also has the same concept of the IPCC 1990 Figure, changes on
      >>> various timescales – all rotated. Loads of Lamb diagrams I have
      >>> seen countless times before.
      >>>
      >>> This book also talks about the impending cooling…..
      >>>
      >>> John Mitchell also thought the figure is in a book by Gribbin
      >>> called ‘1982 CO2 Review”. Anyone recall that one. This isn’t
      >>> in the CRU Library nor UEA’s.
      >>>
      >>> The direct source of the IPCC diagram is the UK Dept of Environment
      >>> document from 1989 which is being posted to me. It though has
      >>> a source, which isn’t in the document. John and Geoff Jenkins
      >>> wrote it though. It is possible that just the last millennium panel
      >>> was from this source and the others from this 1975 source.
      >>>
      >>> Cheers
      >>> Phil

      [snip]

    • bender
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

      For more context, see:
      1168022320.txt
      It is about Lamb’s “cartoon”

    • bender
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

      Also see CA thread:
      Where did IPCC 1990 Figure 7c Come From?

      http://climateaudit.org/2008/05/09/where-did-ipcc-1990-figure-7c-come-from-httpwwwclimateauditorgp3072previewtrue/

      • Luke Warmer
        Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

        Thanks Bender – I know the Lamb figure and remember the post you linked to – can’t see anything there. I think it might be due to this comment on the wikipedia page:
        “”The vertical temperature scale was labelled as “Temperature change (°C)” but no numerical labels were given; it could be taken to imply that temperature variations of the MWP and LIA were each of the order of 0.5 °C from the temperature around 1900. The section specifically states recent climate changes were in a range of probably less than 2 °C. “

        • bender
          Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

          What is being sought? If the plot is of temperature anomaly, then it doesn’t matter what base is used; the pattern is the same.

        • Luke Warmer
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

          Not the base the amplitude – I think he was just be obtuse – overemphasising the schematic nature of the Lamb figure resulting in the removal/dimunition of the MWP.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

          So “the net is closing” – the phrase that Dallas Dinasaur was presumably concerned about – simply refers to the hunt for the original source after fishing through many possibilities. The wiki page describes the source as follows:

          “The graph had no clear source (it resembles figure A9(d) from the 1975 NAS report, which is sourced to Lamb, 1966)”

          I guess the net never fully closed.

  58. Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    So if, for the purpose of avoiding a conflict-of-interest issue at Wikipedia, Wm Connolley is said no longer to be working as a climatologist, how come he’s still publishing as one? That paper was only submitted in January 2009 and lists his affiliations as the BAS and the “National Environment Research Council”.

  59. Ted Swart
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    I am not quite sure where this belongs but the lively discussion about Wikipedia’s transgressions is part of the larger discussion of the extent to which the main stream media have either ignored or played down the significance of climategate. The leading nationwide Newspaper in Canada is the Globe and Mail — which has certainly done everything it can to defend the orthodox AGW view — but now,suddenly, it seems to have turned a corner as witnessed by this entry in today’s (21 dec 2009)entry:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/commentary/copenhagens-actors-and-the-winners-are/article1407211/

  60. SD
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

    The tight control on updating climategate (and I might add the Tiger Woods incident!) and the reams of material in support of AGW rebutting points made post climategate made me wonder who were the guys behind it. Like Rich, the behind the scenes were fascinating to say the least. Thanks for posting this.

  61. Thomas
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

    Connolley and others who are also wikipedia administrators are still editing numerous climate pages every day. One made 10,000 edits to Wikipedia pages. They sometimes seem to forget that anyone can read their blogs.

    I’ve posted some links in the last few comments here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/19/more-on-wikipedia-and-connolley-hes-been-canned-as-a-wiki-administrator/

  62. Rich
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

    Lawrence Solomon has mentioned Dr. Connolley at least once before in this NRO article, which is duplicated at National Post here and is expanded upon at National Post by Jeff White here. The two National Post links are useful, because they were both commented on by Kim D .Petersen, who is one of Dr. Connolley’s supporters and a Wikipedia editor who is also sympathetic to the pro-AGW point-of-view.

    In May and July of 2008, Dr. Connolley replied to Lawrence Solomon here and here, and in July of 2008, countered with his own allegation of conflict-of-interest against Lawrence Solomon with respect to a foundation called “Energy Probe” here. The listing of staff members for “Energy probe Research Foundation” does in fact list Lawrence Solomon as a director here.

    • Thomas
      Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

      They were interesting links Rich. It seems that between the realclimate’s wikipedia project and the project of Connolley and friends they are trying to dominate wikipedia. Thats not what Wikipedia should be about. There should be room for opposing points of view too. I haven’t read Solomon’s Energy Probe wikipedia page but you are right he is a director.

      • Rich
        Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

        I was going to add another comment mostly acquitting Dr. Connolley of the most serious charges, but then I discovered an incident in January of 2007 where Dr. Connolley sent an e-mail (apparently while he was still associated with NERC) and then one minute later edited the affected Wikipedia page to add the same information contained in the e-mail.

        The e-mail was sent by Dr. Connolley to Dr. Caspar Ammann on January 4th, 2007, at 20:41 UTC, and concerned “Figure 7.1c” in the 1990 IPCC report (cf. Luke, above). Dr. Connolley subsequently added that same information to the Wikipedia article entitled “Description of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in IPCC reports” at 20:42 UTC on the same day.

        Needless to say, I was no longer inclined to exonerate Dr. Conolley when I discovered this. I tried to post another comment with links backing this up, but it didn’t go through. I think the spam filter may have eaten it. I sent it to Steve’s e-mail address with the subject “Another Smoking Gun (Climategatekeeping)”, but I haven’t heard back so a spam filter probably got it there too.

        • Thomas
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

          If you get a moment Rich could you try again and post links please or maybe post them on another website. I don’t really understand without reading the emails fig 7.1c in the report and the wikipedia page. If you don’t have time not to worry. Thanks.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

          On December 19th, Dr. Connolley provided a written response to the recent Lawrence Solomon article. In it, he links to the Wikipedia article entitled “Description of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in IPCC reports”, which describes the evolution of the 1990 IPCC “Figure 7.1c” illustration, including a rendition of the temperature curve that appeared in that report.

          That Wikipedia article was created by Dr. Connolley on November 16th, 2004 (before he left RealClimate), and he uploaded the above-mentioned illustration a year later on September 3rd, 2005. In looking at the edit history for that Wikipedia article, I found that Dr. Connolley was involved in editing that article in November and December of 2004, September of 2005, November of 2006, and January, February and March of 2007.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

          At 20:42 UTC on January 4th, 2007, Dr. Connolley changed a sentence in that Wikipedia article from “The graph had no clear source, and disappeared from the 1992 supplementary report” to

          “The graph had no clear source (it resembles figure A9(d) from the 1975 NAS report, which is sourced to Lamb, 1966), and disappeared from the 1992 supplementary report.”

          One minute earlier, at 20:41 on January 4th, 2007, Dr. Connolley had mentioned this very same figure in an e-mail to Dr. Caspar Ammann:

          “Ah, you mean A9(d) (I thought you meant A9(a) for a bit). Yes, that looks pretty similar to IPCC 1990. Though not identical – the scaling is different, but the timing is similar.”

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

          Shortly thereafter, on February 4th, 2007, Dr. Connolley added “but that is not true” to “It is sometimes claimed that the MWP or LIA have been airbrushed out of the 2001 [Third Assessment Report] whilst being prominently featured in earlier reports… but that is not true.” The phrase “but that is not true” was subsequently deleted by another Wikipedia editor, and then restored by Dr. Connolley on February 11th, 2007.

          On March 20th, Dr. Connolley changed the title of the article from “IPCC assessment of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age” to “Description of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in IPCC reports”, a change originally proposed by Wikipedian “The Crunctator” on March 12th, 2007. Later on March 20th, 2007, Wikipedian “Ed Poor” reverted the title back to the original and deleted two sentences from the article. Dr. Connolley’s last recorded edit on this page was to restore both sentences and the new title 45 minutes later on the same date.

        • Thomas
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

          Thanks very much for taking the time to explain it to me Rich. I’ve got it now. Connolley is a sneaky one.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

          The e-mails that Dr. Connolley is a party to [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were all sent between January 2nd and January 6th of 2007. These e-mails discuss Team communication strategy with respect to “Figure 7.1c” in the 1990 IPCC report which, according to Dr. Raymond Bradley (a current contributor at RC), “…the graph has no objective basis whatsoever; it is purely a ‘visual guess’…” In the same e-mail, Dr. Mann states that “[The background on this] would be good material for a Realclimate article.”

          RealClimate subsequently published an article on the subject of the January e-mails (“Figure 7.1c”) on May 29th, 2007, by RealClimate contributor Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, who is a member of the Advisory Council on Global Change of the German government and of the Academia Europaea. According to his biography on RealClimate, “He is a lead author of the paleoclimate chapter of the 4th assessment report of the IPCC.” Dr. Rahmstorf appears in several of the e-mails and is CC’d on all five that involve Dr. Connolley.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

          The e-mails that Dr. Connolley was a party to were all sent between January 2nd and January 6th of 2007. These e-mails discuss Team communication strategy with respect to “Figure 7.1c” in the 1990 IPCC report which, according to Dr. Raymond Bradley (a current contributor at RC), “…the graph has no objective basis whatsoever; it is purely a ‘visual guess’…” In the same e-mail, Dr. Mann states that “[The background on this] would be good material for a Realclimate article.”

          RealClimate subsequently published an article on the subject of the January e-mails (“Figure 7.1c”) on May 29th, 2007, by RealClimate contributor Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, who is a member of the Advisory Council on Global Change of the German government and of the Academia Europaea. According to his biography on RealClimate, “He is a lead author of the paleoclimate chapter of the 4th assessment report of the IPCC.” Dr. Rahmstorf appears in several of the e-mails and is CC’d on all five that involve Dr. Connolley.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

          It is clear that, in January of 2007, Dr. Connolley edited an article at Wikipedia that directly pertained to the subject of a Team discussion in the e-mails that he was a party to. It is less clear, but still reasonable to assume, that one outcome of those e-mails was the Rahmstorf post at RealClimate. It is not clear that there was an organized effort on the part of Team members to subvert Wikipedia; however the temporal and semantic correlation of a Team e-mail exchange with simultaneous edits to the affected Wikipedia article does raise serious doubts regarding the integrity of Wikipedia as an institution.

      • Rich
        Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

        I also noticed that in one e-mail on the subject of “Figure 7.1c”, Dr. Mann states that “[The background on this] would be good material for a Realclimate article.” RealClimate subsequently published an article on the subject of “Figure 7.1c” on May 29th, 2007, by RealClimate contributor Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, who appears in several of the e-mails and was CC’d on all five that involve Dr. Connolley.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

      So what do you think this proves?

      • Rich
        Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

        With respect to Lawrence Solomon? Nothing yet, at least not without more information. It is just something that we should be aware of, that the AGW proponents may argue that Mr. Solomon is tainted by his associateion with Energy Probe.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

          No, I mean all this about Connolley.

        • Rich
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

          I have no doubt that Dr. Connolley is a pro-AGW eco-partisan who sees Wikipedia as a means to influence public opinion on controversial climate science issues. The trivial nature of the Wikipedia changes, however, demonstrates poor judgement on the part of Dr. Connolley for not being cognizant of the appearance of impropriety, but probably does not indicate a wholesale indictment of his integrity. The January 2007 incident speaks more to the integrity of Wikipedia as an institution although, to be fair, it appears they have a transparent and democratic (albeit imperfect) system of written policies and due process for dealing with these types of issues.

  63. Rich
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    On December 19th, Dr. Connolley provided a written response to the recent Lawrence Solomon article. In it, he links to the Wikipedia article entitled “Description of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in IPCC reports”, which describes the evolution of the 1990 IPCC “Figure 7.1c” illustration, including a rendition of the temperature curve that appeared in that report.

    That Wikipedia article was created by Dr. Connolley on November 16th, 2004 (before he left RealClimate), and he uploaded the above-mentioned illustration a year later on September 3rd, 2005. In looking at the edit history for that Wikipedia article, I found that Dr. Connolley was involved in editing that article in November and December of 2004, September of 2005, November of 2006, and January, February and March of 2007.

    At 20:42 UTC on January 4th, 2007, Dr. Connolley changed a sentence in that Wikipedia article from

    “The graph had no clear source, and disappeared from the 1992 supplementary report”

    to

    “The graph had no clear source (it resembles figure A9(d) from the 1975 NAS report, which is sourced to Lamb, 1966), and disappeared from the 1992 supplementary report.”

    One minute earlier, at 20:41 on January 4th, 2007, Dr. Connolley had mentioned this very same figure in an e-mail to Dr. Caspar Ammann:

    “Ah, you mean A9(d) (I thought you meant A9(a) for a bit). Yes, that looks pretty similar to IPCC 1990. Though not identical – the scaling is different, but the timing is similar.”

    Shortly thereafter, on February 4th, 2007, Dr. Connolley added “but that is not true” to “It is sometimes claimed that the MWP or LIA have been airbrushed out of the 2001 [Third Assessment Report] whilst being prominently featured in earlier reports… but that is not true.” The phrase “but that is not true” was subsequently deleted by another Wikipedia editor, and then restored by Dr. Connolley on February 11th, 2007.

    On March 20th, Dr. Connolley changed the title of the article from “IPCC assessment of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age” to “Description of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in IPCC reports”, a change originally proposed by Wikipedian “The Crunctator” on March 12th, 2007. Later on March 20th, 2007, Wikipedian “Ed Poor” reverted the title back to the original and deleted two sentences from the article. Dr. Connolley’s last recorded edit on this page was to restore both sentences and the new title 45 minutes later on the same date.

    The e-mails that Dr. Connolley is a party to [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were all sent between January 2nd and January 6th of 2007. These e-mails discuss Team communication strategy with respect to “Figure 7.1c” in the 1990 IPCC report which, according to Dr. Raymond Bradley (a current contributor at RC), “…the graph has no objective basis whatsoever; it is purely a ‘visual guess’…” In the same e-mail, Dr. Mann states that “[The background on this] would be good material for a Realclimate article.”

    RealClimate subsequently published an article on the subject of the January e-mails (“Figure 7.1c”) on May 29th, 2007, by RealClimate contributor Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, who is a member of the Advisory Council on Global Change of the German government and of the Academia Europaea. According to his biography on RealClimate, “He is a lead author of the paleoclimate chapter of the 4th assessment report of the IPCC.” Dr. Rahmstorf appears in several of the e-mails and is CC’d on all five that involve Dr. Connolley.

    It is clear that, in January of 2007, Dr. Connolley edited an article at Wikipedia that directly pertained to the subject of a Team discussion in the e-mails that he was a party to. It is less clear, but still reasonable to assume, that one outcome of these e-mails was the Rahmstorf post at RealClimate. It is not clear that there was an organized effort on the part of Team members to subvert Wikipedia; however the temporal and semantic correlation of a Team e-mail exchange with simultaneous edits to the affected Wikipedia article does raise serious doubts regarding the integrity of Wikipedia as an institution.

  64. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    A reader sent in the following by email.

    The following exchange took place on the Wikipedia comments page for Dr. Connolley’s recent nomination to the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee. (The page in question is no longer available on the Wikipedia website, but the conversation under the heading “joe average”, about 40% of the way down the page, relates to Dr. Connolley’s COI issue with respect to RealClimate, including Dr. Connolley’s responses.)

    “And what exactly would be WMC’s conflict of interest on [the Wikipedia Climategate article]?” Kim D. Petersen 00:20, 10 December 2009

    “Some of the emails were to/from/about him.” Dduff442 00:24, 10 December 2009

    “Wow, has any reliable sources picked up on this? Is there anything controversial or otherwise incriminatory…, in those mails (by your own estimation)? Is he part of an investigation?” Kim D. Petersen 00:30, 10 December 2009

    “I presume he’s part of the investigation into alleged scientific misconduct by default, though I’ve heard neither anything to suggest he’s a direct target nor a word of scandal… The CoI issue here relates to the credibility of ‘senior’ users; WMC seems to have little understanding of the need to maintain eds’ faith in the editorial process. Sailing so close to the wind (to be polite about it) as he habitually does is damaging to the credibility of this institution…” Dduff442 00:49, 10 December 2009

    “And, speaking of credibility of the institution, Connolley’s aggressive actions on-wiki have actually drawn the attention of the media [link to the Lawrence Solomon article]… His aggressive attitude gives his opponents, both inside and outside Wikipedia, ammunition to attack him and his cause. Yet he continues that attitude to this day.” ATren 01:37, 10 December 2009

    “His blindness to the damage done to his own chosen cause is lamentable. Most people would be given pause if they saw their own words being employed in the other side’s propaganda. Not WMC.” Dduff442 02:32, 10 December 2009

    A quick search found five e-mails to, from, or cc’d to Dr. Connolley, and they all appear to relate to questions regarding a graph (“Figure 7.1c”) in a 1990 or 1995 IPCC report. There does not appear to be anything particularly controversial or incriminatory in them, just typical Team behavior. For example, in one of these e-mails, Ray Bradley is quoted as saying:

    “…the graph has no objective basis whatsoever; it is purely a “visual guess” at what happened, like something we might sketch on a napkin at a party for some overly persistent inquisitor….. (so make sure you don’t leave such things on the table…).”

    (http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=765&s=kwwmc@)

    In another e-mail that Dr. Connolley was a party to, Rasmus Benestad said this:

    “However, by providing an account of the ‘evolution of the IPCC report writing’, we could possibly give the story a softer landing… We should also put this in perspective…”

    (http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=766&s=kwwmc@)

    I would advise them to consider consulting ClimateAudit in their quest for perspective on the evolution of IPCC report-writing. The other e-mails I found involving Dr. Connolley are:

    http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=763&s=kwwmc@

    http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=766&s=kwwmc@

    http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=760&s=kwwmconnolley

    …all of which seem to relate to the same topic (“Figure 7.1c”). Note that there are two e-mail addresses given for Dr. Connolley in the Climategate e-mails, “wmc@xxxxxxxxx.xxx” and “wmconnolley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx”.

    The Google cache for the missing Wikipedia page mentioned above is here:

    http://209.85.135.132/search?q=cache:Pc-riLrlsCMJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2009/Comments/William_M._Connolley+Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration+Committee+Elections+December+2009/Comments/William+M.+Connolley&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

  65. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Another reader emailed:

    As I have mentioned in my initial email, William Connolley has been abusing Wikipedia for years. In your reply you have stated that his Administrator rights have been revoked in September 2009. While this is certainly wonderful news, he’s continuing his crusade to misinform the public on the issue of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    Consider the following list of edits from today:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Contributions&target=William_M._Connolley

    In case you wonder why he’s so busy editing your pages, William Connolley is closely related to the CRU that is now under investigation. His name appears in several leaked emails, including:

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=765&filename=1168022320.txt

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=763&filename=1167961271.txt

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=446&filename=1102687002.txt

    among many others.

    Now the nature of his edits cannot be described in any way, other that to obscure the coverage of the leaked emails and cover up the importance of the event.

    Consider the following:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Michael_E._Mann&diff=prev&oldid=332744981

    In this specific edit Mr. Connolley has removed a large section that addresses Mr. Mann’s involvement in the incident.

    Furthermore, Mr. Connolley has deleted criticisms of himself, re MWP

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Medieval_Warm_Period&diff=332868236&oldid=332867003

    This development can be in no way described as neutral point of view, which happens to be a “fundamental Wikipedia principle and a cornerstone of Wikipedia”, a concept that you should be all too familiar with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPOV

    I hope this is sufficient information for you to consider, and I repeat my request for the second time for you to prevent Mr. Connolley from further obscuring Wikipedia material.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

      Connolley? Covering up? In a conflict of interst? That is just not like him. I really enjoyed our exchanges when I had the opportunity to educate him on Steve McIntyre’s research findings Re: Tiljander.

  66. Rich
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    ClimateAudit was recently mentioned in a discussion on Wikipedia here:

    “…As to an analysis I do not possess the tools to do that effectively / efficiently. We should provide more accurate numbers than those presented as a start. Perhaps even a “global warming” data dump of WMC edits may be appropriate? This would allow those who wish to contest COI edits to do so more quickly than standard Contrib scrolling. As issues are raised they can be addressed.” RoyBoy 01:26, 23 December 2009

    “Sorry if this sounds flippant (but then again, it is), but have you considered putting all of William’s edits into a zip file, posting it on a Russian ftp server, and posting at climateaudit that “A miracle has happened”? Let the sceptics do all the cherry picking.” TS 01:30, 23 December 2009

    Steve: no link to a Russian server was ever posted here.

  67. PaulH
    Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Lawrence Solomon has a new column on the ongoing Wikipedia whitewashing:

    “Lawrence Solomon: Climategate at Wikipedia”

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/12/23/lawrence-solomon-climategate-at-wikipedia.aspx

  68. LMB
    Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Update

    William Connolley has now been Google Indexed (first page of Results on search for his name, Position #5) for his controversial behavior. The SERP link is to an entire webpage of his suspicious activities entitled:

    “William Connolley and Wikipedia: Turborevisionism « Watts Up With …”

    Meanwhile his own personal vanity Wiki page has been revised and scrubbed cleaned to exclude published references to his alleged conduct despite the reference being a newspaper article.

    Connolley is lucky nobody has registered WilliamConnolley.com and used it to post all the material in wikipedia he threw out. He has wasted so many people’s time. For this he owes a public apology. He needs to come clean.

  69. geokstr
    Posted Dec 27, 2009 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    I don’t wish to hijack this thread or steer it too far afield, but Climate Change is not the only area of Wikipedia where this is a problem.

    snip

  70. Rich
    Posted Jan 5, 2010 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

    A proposal to exclude skeptical editors from articles on global warming was made by Dr. Connolley during a recent formal discussion regarding enactment of a program of community-based probationary measures on climate change articles at Wikipedia:

    Restrict editing of GW-related *science* articles to editors who have a demonstrable record of improving the *science* of GW in related non-controversial articles — William M. Connolley 22:31, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

    […]

    Oppose – The assessment required to identify applicable editors is subjective. — GoRight 22:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

    No, it would be easy enough. It would count you out, obviously, for example. In fact it is hard to think of a single skeptic who would be included. Can you think of one? — William M. Connolley 17:45, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

    The probationary sanctions for the climate change articles were enacted on New Year’s Day without including Dr. Connolley’s proposal, while a more formal arbitration request procedure on the topic of climate change will soon be dismissed as a majority of the members of the Arbitration Committee have declined to hear the case, citing the recent enactment of the community-based sanctions. A request for enforcement against Dr. Connolley under the new sanctions was dismissed on January 4th, as was a conflict of interest accusation on December 23rd:

    I’m closing this report. While I believe that there are multiple issues of concern surrounding the editing of global warming-related articles, the hyperventilations of an opinion journalist [Lawrence Solomon] who, among other things, confuses WMC’s 3RR patrolling with his global warming editing, are not a credible foundation for a complaint. I suggest that the proper route here would be to compile actual evidence (diffs) of behavior that is allegedly inappropriate and hold a request for comment to get feedback. Editors who are opposed to WMC’s editing should use the wiki process to compile and review evidence, discard weak examples, and get feedback from the rest of the community on whether WMC’s behavior crosses the line from being an expert in his field (which should be encouraged) to improperly controlling content and excluding other legitimate viewpoints. — Thatcher 17:18, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

  71. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    The link to the National post provided in the post at the top of the page:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/blog.html?b=fullcomment&e=lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor&s=Opinion

    …no longer works. The December 19th article by Mr. Solomon has been moved to:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/blog.html?b=fpcomment&e=lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor

    The December 23rd follow-up article by Mr. Solomon is available at this URL:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/blog.html?b=fpcomment&e=lawrence-solomon-climategate-at-wikipedia

  72. Posted Feb 10, 2010 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    This is what happens when you go up against Dr. Connolley:

    You have engaged in significant soapboxing, use of talkpages as a forum for general discussion, treatment of the probation area[*] as a battleground, incivility, anti-collaborative sarcastic remarks, and tendentious and disruptive editing. For these reasons, you are banned for six months from all articles and discussions related to climate change under the provisions of Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation. For the sake of transparency, a few sample difference links from the past two weeks follow. When this ban expires, please keep in mind that the goal of Wikipedia is to be a high quality, free, and respected reference work produced by volunteers through collegial collaboration…Thank you for your contributions. – 2/0 (cont.) 18:22, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

    …and there are many examples like this. I have spent some time lurking in the most contentious discussion threads over there (here, here, here, here, and here for example) and I have seen all of the behaviors listed above and more from Dr. Connolley, but I’ve never seen him get more than a wrist-slap (although people still keep trying – this, this, and this are all current).

    * (The term “probation area” indicates articles associated with climate change.)

  73. JasonScando
    Posted Apr 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM | Permalink

    I know that it was just a spambot posting in this thread, but this reminds me of how horrifically biased the hockey stick wiki page remains to this day… specifically the last paragraph.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Climategatekeeping: Wikipedia « Climate Audit Connolley was one of the nine realclimate founders, but posted little at realclimate. This has notoriously not been the case at Wikipedia. Solomon reports that Connolley “created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles” and that Connolley was granted a senior editorial and administrative status at Wikipedia that enabled him to delete “over 500 articles” and “barred” more than 2000 Wikipedia contributors who “ran afoul of him”. […]

  2. […] Climategatekeeping: Wikipedia « Climate Audit Connolley was one of the nine realclimate founders, but posted little at realclimate. This has notoriously not been the case at Wikipedia. Solomon reports that Connolley “created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles” and that Connolley was granted a senior editorial and administrative status at Wikipedia that enabled him to delete “over 500 articles” and “barred” more than 2000 Wikipedia contributors who “ran afoul of him”. […]

  3. […] is common knowledge. Articles pertaining to climate are certainly not an exception, with William Connolly having censored anything concerning the medieval warm period. Given these events, I came across an […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,380 other followers

%d bloggers like this: