Global Cooling and Wikipedia Fake News

By Andy May

There is an excellent new post up at notrickszone.com on the global cooling scare of the 1970’s and the efforts to erase it from the record by the climate alarmists at realclimate.com. For some the scandal at Wikipedia over William Connolley deliberately posting false articles and altering factual ones on climate is old news. This is for those who missed the story. William Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. “Fake news” is an old story, used extensively by radical climate alarmists and environmentalists. Indeed, Greenpeace seems to be based on the concept of fake news.

The following anecdote by author Lawrence Solomon is instructive. He tried to correct an article that stated Naomi Oreskes infamous 97% paper in Science had been vindicated and Dr. Bennie Peiser had conceded that she was correct. He had spoken with Dr. Peiser and confirmed he had said no such thing.

“Of course Oreskes’s conclusions were absurd, and have been widely ridiculed. I myself have profiled dozens of truly world-eminent scientists whose work casts doubt on the Gore-U.N. version of global warming. Following the references in my book The Deniers, one can find hundreds of refereed papers that cast doubt on some aspect of the Gore/U.N. case, and that only scratches the surface.

Naturally I was surprised to read on Wikipedia that Oreskes’s work had been vindicated and that, for instance, one of her most thorough critics, British scientist and publisher Bennie Peiser, not only had been discredited but had grudgingly conceded Oreskes was right.

I checked with Peiser, who said he had done no such thing. I then corrected the Wikipedia entry, and advised Peiser that I had done so.

Peiser wrote back saying he couldn’t see my corrections on the Wikipedia page. I made the changes again, and this time confirmed that the changes had been saved. But then, in a twinkle, they were gone again. I made other changes. And others. They all disappeared shortly after they were made.”

Connolley was hardly the only offender, Kim Dabelstein Petersen and many others are also guilty. Rewriting history is not their only offense. They also slander eminent scientists such as Dr. Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service; Dr. Richard Lindzen a former MIT Professor of atmospheric physics, and Professor William Happer a professor at Princeton. Many, many others like Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, John Christy and Judith Curry have also been unfairly slandered.

Probably fake news has been with us for a very long time, but thanks to the Internet it is produced quicker and debunked quicker these days. I get a sense of déjà vu when reading this Brittanica.com article on yellow journalism.

As noted in the notrickszone.com post William Connolley and his team tried to show that the global cooling scare of the 1970’s was a myth. They also tried to scrub Wikipedia of any mention of the Little Ice Age or the Medieval Warm Period. A perfect example of fake news, along the lines of the 97% consensus myths. They claimed only seven scientific papers of the period discussed global cooling, when there are 163 papers on the subject, including seven that claim CO2 is causing global cooling. These include an article by the CIA. A complete list of the papers can be found in the post, it is well worth the time it takes to scan the informative summaries at the end of the post.