Climategate: the corruption of Wikipedia
If you want to know the truth about Climategate, definitely don’t use Wikipedia. “Climatic Research Unit e-mail controversy”, is its preferred, mealy-mouthed euphemism to describe the greatest scientific scandal of the modern age. Not that you’d ever guess it was a scandal from the accompanying article. It reads more like a damage-limitation press release put out by concerned friends and sympathisers of the lying, cheating, data-rigging scientists
Which funnily enough, is pretty much what it is. Even Wikipedia’s own moderators acknowledge that the entry has been hijacked, as this commentary by an “uninvolved editor” makes clear.
Unfortunately, this naked bias and corruption has infected the supposedly neutral Wikipedia’s entire coverage of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory. And much of this, asLawrence Solomon reports in the National Post, is the work of one man, a Cambridge-based scientist and Green Party activist named William Connolley.
Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. 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. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.
Connolley has supposedly been defrocked as a Wikipedia administrator. Or so Wikipedia claimed in its feeble, there’s-really-not-much-we-can-do response to anxious questions from one of Watts Up With That’s readers.
In September 2009, the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee revoked Mr. Connolley’s administrator status after finding that he misused his administrative privileges while involved in a dispute unrelated to climate warming.
If this is true, it doesn’t seem to have made much difference to his creative input on the Wikipedia’s entries. Here he is – unless its just someone with an identical name – busily sticking his oar in to entries on the Medieval Warm Period (again) and the deeply compromised, soon-to-be-leaving (let’s hope) IPCC head Dr Rajendra Pachauri. And here he is again just three days ago, removing a mention of Climategate from Michael Mann’s entry. And here is an example of one of his Wikipedia chums – name of Stephan Schulz – helping to cover up for him by ensuring that no mention of that embarrassing Lawrence Solomon article appears on Connolley’s Wikipedia entry. And here he is deleting criticism of himself.
Connolley, it should also be noted, was one of the founder members of Real Climate – the friends-of-Michael-Mann propaganda outfit (aka “The Hockey Team”) which, in the guise of disinterested science, pumps out climate-fear-promoting hysteria on AGW and tries to discredit anyone who disagrees with the ManBearPig “consensus”.
Here he is, for example, being bigged up in a 2006 email from Michael Mann:
>> I’ve attached the piece in word format. Hyperlinks are still there,
>> but not clickable in word format. I’ve already given it a good
>> go-over w/ Gavin, Stefan, and William Connelley (our internal “peer
>> review” process at RC), so I think its in pretty good shape. Let me
>> know if any comments…
and here are some of his associates:
From: Phil Jones
To: William M Connolley ,Caspar Ammann
Subject: Figure 7.1c from the 1990 IPCC Report
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2007 13:38:40 +0000
Cc: Tom Crowley ,”Michael E. Mann” , “raymond s. bradley” , Stefan Rahmstorf , Eric Steig ,•••@••.•••,•••@••.•••,•••@••.•••, David Archer , “Raymond P.” ,•••@••.•••, •••@••.•••, “Mitchell, John FB (Chief Scientist)” , “Jenkins, Geoff” , “Warrilow, David (GA)” , Tom Wigley ,•••@••.•••, “Folland, Chris”
Get that? The guy who has been writing Wikipedia’s entry on Climategate (plus 5,000 others relating to “Climate Change”) is the bosom buddy of the Climategate scientists.
Nope, this isn’t a problem that is going to go away. Wikipedia may well be beyond redemption – as this useful resource site for Wiki-inaccuracies would seem to suggest. Like so many hippyish notions, Jimmy Wales’s idea of a free encyclopedia for everyone was a noble intention which has been cruelly and horribly abused by some very ugly people.
Do you want to know just how ugly? I’ve been saving the worst till last. Here it is: William Connelley’s Wikipedia photograph.
UPDATE: (thanks, wondrous Thomas 33 for your delving). Et Tu, Jimmy Wales? It seems that the dread Connolley once earned the approbation of the Wiki-King himself, as he boasts here on an old blog:
Back to wikipedia… Nature has an article on wikipedia vs Britannica. It was an interesting exercise, and as the most notable climatologist on wikithey interviewed me, which lead to the sidebar article “Challenges of being a Wikipedian” (see the Nature article; click on the “challenges” link near the bottom). It contains the rather nice quote from Jimbo Wales “Connolley has done such amazing work and has had to deal with a fair amount of nonsense” (does Lumo still read this?).
He can also be found gloating evilly over his powers:
A few snippets from wikipedia… I’m now an admin, and hence have ultimate power to CRUSH ALL MY ENEMIES HA HA HA HA!!! <evil laugh trails off into the distance>. Sadly no: the rules prohibit me from abusing my powers and there are always other people watching anyway. And not that I have too many enemies, Of Course. Some of the comments are interesting though: try the RFA, scroll down for the Opposes.
Moderator: •••@••.••• (comments welcome)