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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wiki: Climate Change Orthodoxy

Lawrence Solomon asks, Who Is William Connolley? in today's Financial Post:

"It is his view that there is a consensus in the scientific community about climate change topics such as global warming, and that the various reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summarize this consensus," states his Wikipedia page, in the section called "Biography."
Wikipedia is probably the most used reference source for information on the internet. It is interesting to learn more about the man who controls much of the content of the site; a man who Solomon says "may be the world's most influential person in the global warming debate", next to Al Gore of course.
Connolley is not only a big shot on Wikipedia, he's a big shot at Wikipedia -- an Administrator with unusual editorial clout. Using that clout, this 40-something scientist of minor relevance gets to tear down scientists of great accomplishment. Because Wikipedia has become the single biggest reference source in the world, and global warming is one of the most sought after subjects, the ability to control information on Wikipedia by taking down authoritative scientists is no trifling matter.

One such scientist is Fred Singer, the First Director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service, the recipient of a White House commendation for his early design of space satellites; the recipient of a NASA commendation for research on particle clouds -- in short, a scientist with dazzling achievements who is everything Connolley is not. Under Connolley's supervision, Singer is relentlessly smeared, and has been for years, as a kook who believes in Martians and a hack in the pay of the oil industry. When a smear is inadequate, or when a fair-minded Wikipedian tries to correct a smear, Connolley and his cohorts are there to widen the smear or remove the correction, often rebuking the Wikipedian in the process.

Wikipedia is full of rules that editors are supposed to follow, as well as a code of civility. Those rules and codes don't apply to Connolley, or to those he favours.
Read more.

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