Tuesday, Dec 22nd, 2009
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, as Lawrence 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.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.
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.