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Climategate at Wikipedia vs. Conservapedia


Go here for Wikipedia’s treatment of Climategate and here for Conservapedia’s treatment of it. True to form, Wikipedia argues that the hacking of the CRU server changes nothing. Conservapedia, by contrast, treats Climategate as further confirmation that AGW is a ruse. Interesting is the following quote from their Climategate article:

It was reported that, despite Climategate related pages being the most-read articles of the UK’s Telegraph entire online operation, mysteriously when attempting to search using Google -– it didn’t feature links related to Climategate.[67] James Delingpole from the Telegraph noted, “Instead, the top-featured item is a blogger pushing Al Gore’s AGW agenda. Perhaps there’s nothing sinister in this. Perhaps some Google-savvy reader can enlighten me.”[68] Google.com has been accused before of interfering with its own search algorithms in order to interfere with searches for material deemed “not politically correct.”[69][70]

To me this does not sound entirely far-fetched. In 2006, UD mysteriously stopped being listed by Google. It took some pulling of strings inside Google (as I recall, with shareholders) to get us back on Google. The Conservapedia article also mentions that Al Gore is on the Google advisory board.

It’s a small incestuous world.

Mark Frank Thank you for your post. Let me say up front that for all I know, the worst prognostications of the "doom-and-gloom" crowd who worry about man-made global warming may indeed turn out to be correct - although I doubt it. Dogmatism is unwise; there is much about climate that we do not know. If the worst forecasts do turn out to be correct, then realistically, there is only one thing that can save us from being fried: integral fast reactors, as advocated by Professor Barry Brook and by Tom Blees. Even if man-made global warming turns out to be complete nonsense, we will still have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels over the next 100 years, for various reasons: ocean acidification and peak oil, for instance. So the nuclear option should be pursued - although I would first urge the politicians: "Don't rush into it like a headless chook, and make sure you help lift people in Third World countries out of poverty, before you lecture them about CO2. Individual people always come first - never 'the people'." While I have been following the global warming debate for some 20 years, there were certain facts that I never thought to question. (Maybe you did - in which case, good for you.) One of these "facts" was the statement that global temperatures were indeed rising - or at least, that they had been rising over the past few hundred years. Now, in the light of disturbing revelations over the past few weeks, I have to ask myself something which I never thought of questioning before: how DO we know the world is actually hotter now than it was 100 years ago? Hence my sudden interest in Stevenson screens - about which I knew nothing until a few days ago, except for their name. The reason for my sudden burst of skepticism about even the basic "facts" is that there has been a slew of recent revelations in the media, showing that temperature data from around the world, going back over the past few decades, has been systematically distorted (or "adjusted" as the experts like to tell us.) Here's a sample: Russian IEA claims CRU tampered with climate data – cherrypicked warmest stations What’s going on? CRU takes down Briffa Tree Ring Data and more Climategate reveals 'the most influential tree in the world' by Christopher Booker. Frigid Folly: UHI, siting issues, and adjustments in Antarctic GHCN data Would You Like Your Temperature Data Homogenized, or Pasteurized? - A Smoldering Gun From Nashville, TN GISS "raw" station data – before and after I don't like being lied to. As the Americans say, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I will never trust these people again. I know that much. So I am not in the least reassured by James Hansen's recent assertion that "nothing was found in the East Anglia e-mails altering the reality and magnitude of global warming in the instrumental record." I've seen enough. Once bitten, twice shy. Now that I've seen several cases of outright lying, I have to wonder if there is, after all, a conspiracy at the upper echelons of the climate scientist priesthood (I'm talking about no more than a few dozen people, who would have access to all the raw data), to either bury obscure and inconvenient temperature data, or to "adjust" publicly available data to suit their preconceptions. Part of that conspiracy would include covering up 30-year-old scientific articles like this one by Jim Hessell (the one I referred to in my last post) which purport to debunk the methodology now used to support the assertion that temperatures are rising, around the world. Hence my sudden interest in this recent press article from New Zealand which unearthed Hessell's long-forgotten study and summarizes its contents as follows:
The study, by NZ Meteorological Service scientist Jim Hessell, discovered that much of New Zealand’s official temperature record was not worth the paper it was written on, because of limitations with the “Stevenson Screen” temperature sensors, and bad siting of weather stations. What makes the study so interesting is not only that the problems found in New Zealand are likely to be similar worldwide, but also that the study rubbished the conclusions of a then junior scientist named Jim Salinger, who has since used his own conclusions to claim New Zealand temperatures are rising faster than the global average, because of global warming... The full Hessell study ... makes fascinating reading. It is certain to raise fresh questions about the integrity of NIWA’s NZ temperature data, and with its revelations about shortcomings in the Stevenson Screen stations, will undoubtedly provoke further international discussion about the global temperature records used by the UN IPCC.
Is this old hat? I don't know. What I do know is this. I studied statistics at university, a long time ago. Most of it I've forgotten, but a couple of things stick in my mind. One of them was a statement by a former lecturer of mine that statistics was a subject which scientists in other disciplines ignored at their peril, as it was the only discipline that could assess, in a systematic manner, the question of whether alleged links between two sets of data were significant or not. Another thing that sticks in my mind is the need to quantify our uncertainty. A temperature reading by itself is of no use to us, unless we know what the margin of error in the reading is. It has become apparent to me that the readings on which our temperature data for the past 100 years are based were not only taken at sites which were sited badly (yes, I had read about the Urban Heat Island effect), but were also taken with a variety of different temperature sensors - some of them rather faulty sensors at that. The margins of error involved could be quite significant. In the light of the above, I have to wonder how anyone can be sure that temperatures have risen by 0.74 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. That strikes me as rather dogmatic, to say the least. Just saying, "Well, we've got thousands of measurements from around the world, so it should all average out OK" isn't good enough. Even I know it doesn't work like that. But it sounds to me like basically that's what the climate scientists have done. Their understanding of statistics strikes me as rather poor (see here and here ). Or as Christopher Booker puts it in his article, Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation:
What is tragically evident from the Harry Read Me file is the picture it gives of the CRU scientists hopelessly at sea with the complex computer programmes they had devised to contort their data in the approved direction, more than once expressing their own desperation at how difficult it was to get the desired results.
I should add that even a climatologist of the stature of Roy Spencer (who is also an author and former NASA scientist), does not rule out the possibility that the alleged temperature rise over the past 100 years has been exaggerated. Here is an extract from a recent post of his: Climategate II: Revenge of the Climate Modelers (December 4th, 2009)
It has been two weeks since Climategate revealed that some of the IPCC’s leading researchers have conspired to manipulate temperature data, hide data from other researchers, and bully those scientists who do not agree with them by interfering with the peer review process... Supporters have claimed that there is nothing to see there... that the Climategate e-mails released to the world by a whistleblower just show how scientists normally work. This is a particularly bad strategy, and the public knows it. Scientists do NOT behave this way... at least not in my world. Others have claimed that a few bad apples do not spoil the whole IPCC barrel. Well, if it wasn’t for the fact that these are the core people who gave us the primary thermometer evidence of 20th Century warming (Phil Jones), and the Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction which conveniently did away with the previous 10 or more centuries of natural climate change (Michael Mann), I might be inclined to agree with them. I will admit that it seems unlikely (but not impossible) that a reanalysis of the thermometer data will lead to a much reduced rate of warming in recent decades. But my bigger concern is that the "it’s-OK-to-fudge" attitude pervades the entire IPCC apparatus. These e-mails are from the observational side of the IPCC, that is, the research into temperature observations of the past. What I am more concerned about, though, is the manipulation of climate models, which are used to predict the future state of the climate system. Computer models are much easier to manipulate than real data, and one can get just about any answer one wants out of them. (Emphases and italics mine - VJT.)
More recently, Dr. Roy Spencer, posted a blog entry on his Website entitled American Thinker: A Climatology Conspiracy? Now, I have followed Dr. Spencer's blog for a while, and I know him to be a pretty cool, calm, level-headed guy, who's not afraid to admit his own mistakes and poke holes in articles by other global warming skeptics with which he doesn't agree. So when a climatologist - epsecially one as professional as Spencer - accuses his peers of a conspiracy, that's a pretty serious matter. That raises basic questions of trust. Anyway, here's the article that Dr. Spencer linked to: A Climatology Conspiracy? by David H. Douglass (Professor of Physics, University of Rochester) and John R. Christy (Distinguished Professor, Atmospheric Science, the University of Alabama in Huntsville). Mark Frank, please forgive my zeal if the "news" I break strikes you as old and very, very passe. It may be to you - but it isn't to me, or to millions of concerned citizens around the world. Finally, here's something I'll leave readers with: Historical video perspective: our current “unprecedented” global warming in the context of scale . vjtorley
Hegel's Science of Logic and Global Climate Change: A Philosophical Explanation Of An Environmental Crisis Mung
#10 vjtorley I do wish you would be as sceptical about the anti-GW sources as you are about the GW sources. The whole business of Urban Heat Islands and Stephenson screens has been debated ad nauseam for over a decade. Surely as someone who has followed the debate closely you know this? You may or may not be satisfied with the climate scientists efforts to measure and correct for these phenomena, but to announce a 30 year old paper telling us that such effects exist in New Zealand as an expose is absurd. Mark Frank
The absolute abandonment of common sense and rational thought from another perspective: Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man's best friend" I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Phinehas
Hi everyone, Here's an important new story on faulty worldwide temperature data, from New Zealand: NZ Study may hold key to faulty world temp data .
A long-forgotten scientific paper on temperature trends in New Zealand may be the smoking gun on temperature manipulation worldwide. Since Climategate first broke, we've seen scandal over temperature adjustments by NZ's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research, NIWA, which in turn prompted a fresh look at raw temperature data from Darwin and elsewhere. Now, a study published in the NZ Journal of Science back in 1980 reveals weather stations at the heart of NIWA's claims of massive warming were shown to be unreliable and untrustworthy by a senior Met Office climate scientist 30 years ago, long before global warming became a politically charged issue.
And here's journalist Andrew Bolt on New Zealand's man-made warming . This recurring pattern of poor methodology, ineptitude, obfuscation and (on occasions) even deceit, is getting so ridiculous, it's farcical. vjtorley
Here's another link concerning Wikipedias response to a complaint lodged against them for manipulations Borne
Did I miss something? Is BO not the first Muslim president? riddick
Ah Conservapdia, bastion of unbiased and strictly researched factual reporting. Who can forget the days before the US election, when we were reliably informed that Obama will likely be the first Muslim president. delmot
Conservapedia lists Wiki scandals --examples of flagrant bias, hypocrisy and dishonesty -- so good for them. I guess somebody should add the Rush Limbaugh matter (the vile false quotes attributed to Rush came from Wiki) and GW. Here's Wiki's take on Conservapedia. LOL It looks like Wiki does have a problem with Americans and Christians. tribune7
I posted this National Post link earlier but this is a great place to repeate it: Lawrence Solomon: Wikipedia’s climate doctor: How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles Also Here's a great climate fraud article involving data manipulation that even manages to bring Darwin into the scandal :-) (I know Darwin is the place name.) tribune7
Google is slitting their own throats if they voluntarily engage in any form of censorship. If I know, before hitting the 'search' button, that the results will be incomplete, I'll go looking for a more comprehensive search engine. I don't really give a rat's about the sorting of the results; I'm quite willing to wade through several pages of results to find what I want. The folks at Google would spontaneously combust if George Bush appointed someone to do their thinking for them; thus it's not terribly consistent when they accord themselves the privilege of doing our thinking for us. EvilSnack
Conservapedia is pretty reliable. Retroman
Looks like the raw data is going to be released. Zach Bailey
Yes, I remember that "search engine failure." (2006 or 2005? No matter either way. There will be more of them.) If my recent post on a Darwinist's effort to change the product copy on Meyer's Signature in the Cell is any indicator, we will be seeing more and more of these frantic attempts to manipulate the news. The main point is that large news aggregators are often minimally trustworthy, as are legacy mainstream media. They lack the controls that would make them trustworthy. They are easily co-opted to a weepy, fright-filled agenda that suits a dulled urban population, anxious to be told which direction to herd ourselves in. Unfortunately, the modern news consumer must increasingly depend on personal judgement as to what to listen to. A problem if one is not Expert in Everything, as most of us are not. O'Leary

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