In the online research I’ve done on climate change, I learned early on to stay away from Wikipedia. All of the information on climate change and anthropogenic global warming was presented as proven science rather than hypothesis and theory. As well, Wikipedia was virtually useless when looking for information that didn’t fit the “consensus view” on global warming. It was almost as if there was a Wikipedia climate change censor.
That may in fact be the case.
How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles by Lawrence Soloman, December 19, 2009
The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.
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.
Read more: How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles by Lawrence Soloman, December 19, 2009
I’ve learned to only use Wikipedia for non-controversial topics – and, even then, back it up with other material, if I can.
See also The Opinionator, by Lawrence Solomon, May 3, 2008