Talk:Garth Paltridge/Archive 1

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This is the author of a book due for worldwide publication in a few weeks. If you delete it now the page will have to be recreated when the hits in gnews start piling up, and they will. ► RATEL ◄ 07:58, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

It should not be difficult to recreate. I suggest you put a copy in a User/sandbox. Please note the article original contains copyrighted text. My best to you. ttonyb1 (talk) 08:05, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

repetition of unfounded insinuation not in Wikipedia style

I would like to comment on the source for article's statement that "Paltridge accepted money from the oil industry (also known as Big Oil) via the industry-funded nonprofit the Natural Resources Stewardship Project [7]". The citation [7] refers to the title "84 of Imhofe's Global Warming Deniers Have Taken Industry Money". This latter is the headline of an article in The Daily Green. This latter article lists Paltridge as a signer of an open letter to the U.N. that was said to be connected with the Natural Resources Stewardship Project. This connection is the only link that could be thought to be the source of the Wikipedia article's statement that Paltridge accepted money from the oil industry, but it is clear that such a sourcing is not valid, because it shows no evidence that Paltridge accepted money from anyone. The statement that Paltridge accepted money from the oil industry is no more than an unfounded insinuation created by the headline in The Daily Green; consequently it should be removed from the Wikipedia article on Paltridge.Chjoaygame (talk) 06:47, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Let's look at this. He's a member of the NRSP, which is industry-funded and funds sympathetic scientists, right? Do you accept that? ► RATEL ◄ 06:54, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I have emailed Paltridge and he writes that he has no knowledge of the NRSP. From what is common knowledge, though perhaps the NRSP is said to have solicited signatures for the letter to the U.N., we have no reason to suppose that signers of the letter were members of the NRSP. We must say that as far as we know, Paltridge is not a member of the NRSP.Chjoaygame (talk) 09:01, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, no, he was listed as an allied expert at their website recently; I saw the page myself. It is now gone, strangely. One is reminded of cockroaches running from the light. I'd support a change of wording to "Paltridge was listed as an "allied expert" by the industry-funded nonprofit, the Natural Resources Stewardship Project." (BTW, your emails from Paltridge carry no weight here, and you are not supposed to edit the page if you know him in any way due to WP:COI). ► RATEL ◄ 09:56, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

It is a unilateral thing that the NRSP is claiming that Paltridge is an allied expert, perhaps because he is said to have signed the letter for which they solicited signatures. But membership must be voluntary and they could not make him a member without his agreement. It seems from his email to me that there is no such agreement, nor even a request for agreement. The signing of the open letter to the U.N. would not make him a member. One can see why the NRSP might want to claim that Paltridge is an allied expert, because Paltridge is a good scientist, but that does not make him a member of the NRSP in any natural sense of the words, and the NRSP is not claiming that he is a member as you claim. Only Paltridge can decide whether he consents to being a member or not. What is the acceptable and effective way that you, or anyone else, as an editor of Wikipedia, can verify from Paltridge whether he consents to being a member as you claim? You write "One is reminded of cockroaches running from the light." Writing that, you are likening Paltridge to a cockroach. Do you have verifiable reasons for that? If so, please list them here.Chjoaygame (talk) 10:30, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I repeat, your emails mean nothing here. Do not raise them again. See WP:OR. ► RATEL ◄ 02:15, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

You have not replied to my question about whether you have verifiable reasons for your likening of Paltridge to a cockroach. You have responded by inserting a repetition of a claim by an industry-funded nonprofit source that Paltridge is "allied" to that source; an alliance is voluntary and requires consent on both sides; neither you nor they have evidence that Paltridge consented to such an 'alliance'; your reason for your claim is that "he was listed as an allied expert at their website recently; I saw the page myself. It is now gone, strangely."; that means that your insertion rests on your own unverifiable internet 'research'. As far as is verifiable, for all we know, the reason why the list is now gone is that the authors discovered it was false. Your insertion of that repetition of that claim is unverifiable; therefore your inserted repetition of the claim should be deleted. I repeat my question: do you have verifiable reasons for your likening of Paltridge to a cockroach? If so, please list them here.Chjoaygame (talk) 04:31, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Ratel, you have labelled your new editorial insertion a compromise, but in reality it is no compromise, but instead is a doubling of your offence of making unverifiable claims, because it adds an unverifiable claim about an alliance while still continuing to cite the unfounded insinuation by The Daily Green. And still you have not replied to my question about whether you have verifiable reasons for your likening of Paltridge to a cockroach. If you have such reasons, please list them here.Chjoaygame (talk) 06:48, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I was referring to the organisation when I said cockroach, obviously. I saw the allied expert page when I followed the claim source from another site, sourcewatch, so it's not OR and you clearly do not understand what OR means.► RATEL ◄ 12:21, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Ratel, it was not obvious that you were referring to only the organization when you wrote about cockroaches: the article is about Paltridge. Your new insertion into the Wikipedia article alleges that Paltridge is allied with an organization that, in your discussion note, you liken to a cockroach. Your only 'verification' of this allegation is your claim that Paltridge "was listed as an allied expert at their website recently; I saw the page myself. It is now gone, strangely."; an alliance is two-way; you have no verification that Paltridge, on his side, consented to any such 'alliance'; you offer no reason why the 'strange' removal might not have been because its authors discovered it was false. Your Wikipedia article reference, instead of citing your claim "I saw the page myself" which is the actual source of your unverifiable allegation, cites inaccurately a repetition the hearsay of The Daily Green which is merely unfounded insinuation. Yes, I was politely and perhaps gratuitously dignifying your internet adventures as 'research', in single quote marks.

At the real foundation of this, there is a verifiable basis for a statement in the Wikipedia article as follows: 'The National Post has Paltridge listed ( as one of some 100 signers of an open letter to the U.N. ( that was headed "Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction".' When one checks SourceWatch, one notes that these National Post articles are the real foundation of your references to the NRSP, but they are not a basis to link Paltridge with the NRSP, nor are they a reason to recite the hearsay unfounded insinuation by The Daily Green. How would you feel about simply going with the verifiable basis in the National Post?Chjoaygame (talk) 15:41, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

The web archive proves Paltridge was listed by the NRSP. I'm inclined to leave the page as is. ► RATEL ◄ 15:57, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

You do not have the necessary verification that Paltridge consented to being included in the now-removed list as an 'ally' by the NRSP, nor an explanation of why they "strangely" removed the list, which might have been because they discovered it was inaccurate, likely for reasons such as non-consent by Paltridge. The page reference of your new insertion in the article does not cite the archive source you name here: (; instead the page reference irrelevantly cites a hearsay repetition of an insinuation by The Daily Green. This insinuation is unfounded, and in the article, your new insertion citing it purports to link Paltridge with an organization that you liken here to a cockroach. You continue to intend to link Paltridge with a cockroach, using an irrelevant citation to do so, relying on a now-removed and likely inaccurate list. You are making an unverified personal attack on Paltridge. Why?Chjoaygame (talk) 17:08, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

My feeling about the organisation have nothing to do with the page and I suggest you cease discussing them. the fact is that he was listed on their website for a long time, and that was reported elsewhere. So we have primary and secondary evidence of the fact. Now the whole NRSP website has gone, not just the page that lists Palt., so concluding that the site is down bec. of Palt is absurd. The org. is now defunct, by the looks of it. However, it was run by well known individuals like Timothy Ball and Tom Harris who would hardly be expected to make up lists of allied experts. They are legally liable if they do that. Palt. should come out in public to dissociate himself, and he never did. Paltridge was also listed on this page. ► RATEL ◄ 01:46, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

The reference "Senator James Inhofe (2008). "84 of Inhofe's Global Warming Deniers Have Taken Industry Money". The Daily Green. Retrieved 2009-07-31.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)" is an unfounded insinuation that Paltridge has accepted money from big oil and should be removed.Chjoaygame (talk) 21:16, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Changed the link in the ref to link to a page at thedailygreen that lists Paltridge without saying he was paid. ► RATEL ◄ 00:03, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article on the NRSP has no mention of Big Oil funding, though it examines evidence about funding. The SourceWatch article on the NRSP has no mention of Big Oil funding, though it examines evidence about funding. The Daily Green article that links Paltridge to the NRSP has, as its only source for the funding story in relation to Paltridge, the SourceWatch article on the NRSP. In the Wikipedia article on Paltridge, the newly inserted clause "which has funding links to Big Oil" meaning that the Natural Resources Stewardship Project has funding links to Big Oil, therefore has no Wikipedia acceptable verification and no evidential support. The clause "which has funding links to Big Oil" and its reference to The Daily Green should be removed.Chjoaygame (talk) 08:20, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

DrProbability, thank you for your valuable guidance to the Wikipedia article on the Law of Maximum Entropy Production.Chjoaygame (talk) 03:15, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

In the Wikipedia article on Garth Paltridge, the reference currently numbered 7 ( |title=84 of Inhofe's Global Warming Deniers Have Taken Industry Money |accessdate=2009-07-31 |publisher=The Daily Green |author=Senator James Inhofe |year=2008 |month=October) to The Daily Green, lacking Wikipedia acceptable verification, unnecessarily introduces concerns about funding by Big Oil that are not relevant to the Garth Paltridge article. It should be removed.Chjoaygame (talk) 03:30, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

If you have evidence that is an unreliable source, you should take it and get opinions at the RS noticeboard. ► RATEL ◄ 03:51, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

It is not a matter for me at this point to assess the reliability of The Daily Green, but rather I am specifically concerned with how it is being used in this reference. In this reference, The Daily Green is being used to insinuate that Paltridge is unreliable, and this is not what the reference is about; the reference is about whether Paltridge was listed by the NRSP, and the evidence that you have presented from the web archive is the verification of that; the reference to The Daily Green does not add anything to that that is relevant to the present point; the reference to The Daily Planet is being used here to gratuitously introduce an unfounded insinuation. It should be removed.Chjoaygame (talk) 05:58, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually, we need more than archived pages of the nrsp site to prove the link between GP and the org, and this is an independent source. It does say that GP is linked to the NRSP, which is correct, and also says that the NRSP was industry funded, which may or may not be correct (the founders will not say). It does not say that the NRSP funded GP in the sourced page given. I see no BLP problems. If you can find another RS that links GP and the NRSP, we can replace this source. ► RATEL ◄ 06:17, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I have raised discussion of the Daily Green at RS/N. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:10, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

reference to Swenson's Law of maximum entropy production

From this article about Paltridge, I have removed the reference to the Wikipedia article about Swenson's Law of maximum entropy production because the latter has no reference to Paltridge's work.Chjoaygame (talk) 04:39, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Paltridge: what is he known for?

Obviously, Paltridge was a well known climate scientist before he recently "came out" and declared himself an AGW skeptic. In the 1970s he published a number of papers arguing that the earth atmosphere is in a state of "minimum entropy exchange". There are some google hits on this here. Recent observations suggest that he is right, or on the right track, and that the atmospheres of other planets, e.g. Titan, Venus, are in similar states. Thus, Paltridge has contributed importantly to mankind's knowledge of the atmosphere. So it seems to me that Ratel is getting confused between what he knows Paltridge for ("outspoken views on AGW") and what others know him for. I have changed this back. Alex Harvey (talk) 11:40, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Let's see, what is more notable: 2 papers published in the 1970s that virtually disappeared without trace or Paltridge's well known skepticism about AGW that includes a book, Youtube videos, and a mulitude of web hits? Beep, this is a no-brainer. ► RATEL ◄ 15:12, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Ratel, you need to stop for a little while and do just a little bit of reading about the subject. To get you started, here is a well known review paper on the history of the maximum entropy hypothesis.
Ozawa, H., A. Ohmura, R. D. Lorenz, and T. Pujol 2003: The second law of thermodynamics and the global climate system: A review of the maximum entropy production principle, Rev. Geophys., 41(4), 1018, doi:10.1029/2002RG000113, 2003.
You'll see that the whole thing started with Paltridge's theory, and that he's published numerous papers (have you considered looking at google scholar?). For instance the review paper cites five Paltridge papers:
  • Paltridge, G. W., Global dynamics and climate––A system of minimum entropy exchange, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 101, 475–484, 1975.
  • Paltridge, G. W., The steady-state format of global climate, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 104, 927–945, 1978.
  • Paltridge, G. W., Climate and thermodynamic systems of maximum dissipation, Nature, 279, 630–631, 1979.
  • Paltridge, G. W., Thermodynamic dissipation and the global climate system, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 107, 531–547, 1981.
  • Paltridge, G. W., A physical basis for a maximum of thermodynamic dissipation of the climate system, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 127, 305–313, 2001.
Paltridge's hypothesis set off an entire programme of research -- an entire branch of climate science -- into which many papers are published every year. His original paper is cited 105 times on google scholar.
Please do the right thing and restore my edits. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:05, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Help me out here. If your claim carries any weight, then why is he not mentioned anywhere on Principle of maximum entropy or Law of maximum entropy production or indeed here etc etc? ► RATEL ◄ 04:29, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Because you are looking at different theories that just happen to have a similar sounding names. The Swenson article is about application of a different principle of maximum entropy (note it says nothing about any application to the climate system). There are many principles of maximum/minimum entropy in different areas, maybe fifty or more.
Here is a presentation by a Steven Mobbs of NCAR, Is the Climate System at a Maximum of the Entropy Production?. See that the theory originated with Paltridge in 1975, 1979. Alex Harvey (talk) 04:57, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Even if he is known in academic circles for being part of this theory, the question still remains: what is he best known for? While a small handful of scientists may know of him for this reason, thousands know about him for his many forays into the public debate on climate change, where he's appeared on radio and television, newspaper interviews, newspaper articles authored by himself, and now a book. It is a matter of judgement as to what he is best known for. From my POV, since I am a logical fellow, I choose his stance on AGW as his most notable feature. If you disagree, go to RfC. ► RATEL ◄ 05:20, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
We should not need dispute resolution for something like this. Have a look at how the "known for" field is used in other cases: James Hansen, Kevin E. Trenberth, John Christy, Richard Lindzen, Edward Norton Lorenz, i.e. always to indicate their contributions to knowledge, not their stance on global warming, and not what they're known for to the lay person in the popular press or the Daily Green. Then look at the documentation here: Template:Infobox_Scientist and see that it says known_for is to be used to indicate "Key topics/areas of study in which the scientist notable." Alex Harvey (talk) 06:26, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I'd be happy with a compromise where both items are noted in the known for slot. How about it? ► RATEL ◄ 08:37, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Well I cannot see any precedent or justification for referring to his climate change skepticism in the infobox but in the interests of getting on with things I could live with it (unless another editor also objects). However, "outspoken views" includes an editorial judgement and is definitely contrary to policy (see Avoid editorial opinion). It begs the question, "how outspoken is 'outspoken' here?" In my opinion, "outspoken" is what Joe Romm is, with his climate progress blog that is updated daily. Paltridge is in contrast rather quiet. So if you changed it to "known for: maximum entropy production (MEP) hypothesis, climate change skepticism" I'll accept the compromise.
It's not accurate, though. His book, Climate Caper, is about the corruption of science, not climate change skepticism. Paltridge's view is that he really doesn't pretend to know what the future holds for climate change, but that he's doubtful climate sensitivity is really anything much more than 2xCO2=1 C or so, and that even if it was 3 C he's not convinced that would be a big problem. You'll note in the pages below, that where Paltridge has taken a definite point of view is on the issue of sea level rise. There, I think, he would definitely say, "No, Antarctica is NOT going to melt, however much the earth warms, and sea levels are NOT going to rise dangerously." Indeed, it would probably be much better to refer to his work on Antarctica in the "known for" box. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:06, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

some reliable sources for Paltridge

In order to help balance this article away from Climate Caper, Paltridge's post-retirement work on the state of science in Australia, and onto his actual work during his career as a scientist I have found some reliable sources:

I suggest you start a new section that covers this data. ► RATEL ◄ 12:56, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

issue with lead

The lead currently includes a sentence: "Paltridge believes that athropogenic global warming is real, but not significant.[1]" This is not however an accurate summary of the source, which reads in full:

In one limited sense the members of the "do something about global warming" lobby are correct. If humans insist on giving the atmosphere an extra dose of carbon dioxide, then indeed one can expect Earth’s surface temperature to rise. To be strictly accurate, we should say that its temperature will be higher than it would have been otherwise. Either way, it doesn’t take a lot of physical knowledge and insight to accept the statement. It is rather the equivalent of saying that if one hits something with a bat then that something will respond. So it is true, as the lobby delights in telling us at every opportunity, that there is no longer much argument among scientists about the existence of the greenhouse global warming phenomenon. There never was.

The consensus goes no further down the chain of political correctness than this. It is rather naughty of the greenhouse lobby either to say outright, or to imply by judicious omission, that it does.

It has not been solidly established, and it is certainly not accepted by the majority of scientists as proven fact, that global warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide will be large enough to be seriously noticeable - let alone large enough to be disastrous. Imagine the response of a well-bedded concrete post when belted by a relatively small bat. In a situation where the post has been around a long time and has in the past survived the beatings of lots of much bigger bats, the chances are that it won’t move much. (emphasis added)

I suggest we move this to the "climate change skepticism" section, and then accurately summarise the source. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:32, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

How would you précis that bolded text other than the way I have? ► RATEL ◄ 12:57, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The trouble with the present wording is that it has simplified the original such that the paraphrase can be interpreted in ways that the original can't. For instance, one could interpret the paraphrase as meaning "Paltridge believes that the earth is probably going to warm 3-5 C by 2100 but he doesn't think that's a big deal." Clearly, this interpretation is inconsistent with the source, but not with the paraphrase. It's also ambiguous: what exactly is meant by "global warming" here -- warming that occurred 1976-1998? Warming that will occur by 2100? Something like the following would be okay: "Whilst it is Paltridge's view that there is a consensus amongst scientists that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide must lead to some small amount of warming, he argues that there is no agreement on how much warming will occur. His view is that the warming would probably be barely noticeable."
The present wording "will probably be barely noticeable" focuses on the feeling not the scientific base for it. A more accurate precis, if one is set on precis to this extent, would focus on the science, and might read: "will probably be too small to be a threat".Chjoaygame (talk) 21:21, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

words to avoid

The article makes uses of a number of biasing words, e.g. Paltridge "claims" X is used seven times in the article. This contradicts the editing policy, see WP:CLAIM and WP:Words to avoid. Guidelines for rewriting this are given therein:

While the word "claim" may be used appropriately, it can also be misused to cast doubt on an assertion. Editors should avoid this improper usage and instead choose a neutral alternative.

  • Dubious: "Politician Jones has come under fire for his use of racial slurs in a prior career. Jones issued a statement in which he claims that he is not a racist." [A fact followed by a "claim" leaves readers inclined to believe the fact and disbelieve the claim.]
  • Instead: "Jones said in a statement, 'I am not and have never been a racist.'"

Likewise the article makes use of a lot of scare quotes and this should be changed as well.

Any objections? Alex Harvey (talk) 00:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Go ahead and make changes on those issues, but remember that a lot of quotes are there to indicate that these are his exact words. Don't lose that. ► RATEL ◄ 05:21, 6 October 2009 (UTC) RS?

I doubt there's any way that sourcewatch can be considered an RS. It's more or less the same as Wikipedia -- i.e. volunteers write in and update it. Thus we would have to drop this stuff about ExxonMobil from the footnote simply because there's no reliable sources giving. Even if it didn't fail WP:WEIGHT, it still can't be included. Alex Harvey (talk) 06:14, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Removed SW, even though it was used as a src for the conference sponsors and not GP. The sponsorship by Exxon is not in doubt, see new src. ► RATEL ◄ 07:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay, but the problem is now, none of your sources are actually trying to insinuate that Paltridge himself has any relationship with Exxon. Whilst one of the sources has suggested that others insinuate that since Exxon donated money to the APEC Study Centre that organisation itself is somehow fouled, none of the sources have said anything about Paltridge. Thus this is WP:SYN. It needs to be removed. You can't use Wikipedia to make insinuations against the good character of living people. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:59, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Our page does not make the insinuation either. We merely mention that he made a major public speech at an industry-funded event. This is not secret knowledge and not SYN. You're being a little over-sensitive and paranoid. ► RATEL ◄ 01:03, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

conspiracy theory?

It is useful to distinguish between the notions of a conspiracy and of a movement and of a group delusion and of a vulgar error. The distinction is that conspiracy is defined to be secret and perhaps more or less criminal; a movement is more or less cooperative but in general not secret; a group delusion is a mistaken belief held by a more or less mutually communicating group of individuals; a vulgar error is an error that is widely followed. The belief that man-made CO2 emissions cause dangerous global warming is widespread, more or less cooperative, and not secret; its validity is debated. Desire for world government is widespread, more or less cooperative, and not secret; its admirability is a matter of taste. Socialism (desire for wealth transfer) is widespread, more or less cooperative, and not secret; its admirability is a complicated question and a matter of taste. Manipulation of research funding sources is widespread, more or less cooperative, and perhaps more or less secret and perhaps more or less criminal; its admirability is a matter of taste. Concern about the possibility of man-made CO2 emissions causing dangerous global warming is a political reality; it is rare that political reality is entirely free of conspiracy, but the usual rule applies here: when wanting to decide between conspiracy and incompetence, remember that incompetence is very widespread, and few can keep a secret.Chjoaygame (talk) 21:06, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Your writing style and edit history (which includes this page and pages on MEP, Paltridge's pet subject) makes me suspect you may be the subject of the page. If so, please review WP:COI and consider not editing here. If you are not Paltridge, feel free to say so. ► RATEL ◄ 01:05, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Dear Ratel, I can assure you that I am not Paltridge. I am interested in the principle of maximum entropy production because I am interested in atmospheric energy transfer. As you know, the principle of maximum entropy production was introduced to atmospheric energy transport studies by Paltridge. That is how I learnt of his work. I am still studying the principle, trying to understand its physical meaning and how to apply it. It is no simple thing.Chjoaygame (talk) 10:24, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

That's fine then. I only asked because of your editing history and writing style. ► RATEL ◄ 11:15, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
It would be more interesting for someone to respond to Chjoaygame's point, which I believe is quite valid.
From conspiracy theory: "Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any conspiracy claim. However, it has come almost exclusively to refer to any theory which explains a historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful Machiavellian conspirators, such as a "secret team" or "shadow government", rather than broad social forces and large structures of human collectivities."
Further: "The term is therefore often used dismissively in an attempt to characterize a belief as outlandishly false and held by a person judged to be a crank or a group confined to the lunatic fringe. Such characterization is often the subject of dispute due to its possible unfairness and inaccuracy."
Paltridge's view doesn't include a "secret plot", but rather involves opportunists the world over, all going along with a "consensus" for their own independent reasons. In most cases, these reasons include a real belief that there is a greenhouse gas problem. Further, there are no actual conspirators. Paltridge has not suggested that the IPCC hatched a secret plot to defraud the world -- that's not how it works either. What Paltridge is proposing fits much better inside "broad social forces and large structures of human collectivities" than in "secret plots" and "conspirators". Finally, the pejorative and dismissive aspect of referring to someone as a "conspiracy theorist" needs to be noted.
For these reasons along with the fact that no attempt has been made in this article to satisfy WP:V -- of the utmost importance in a BLP -- this link needs to be removed. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:31, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Lavoisier Group

I note a fact tag has been added beside this. Can someone show me a source where Paltridge is shown to be a member of the Lavoiser Group? Thanks.

No response here, I have removed the text from the article. Alex Harvey (talk) 02:28, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

And you waited for response for how many minutes? Start acting co-operatively or face total opposition to everything you are doing here. ► RATEL ◄ 05:22, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I waited for a few days. It's not too late to find reliable sources, if you are serious about this. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:48, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Ratel, your threat of "total opposition to everything you are doing here" is wildly inappropriate. I don't care who's right or wrong here, your attitude is degenerating very quickly. UnitAnode 05:55, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

BLP/N take two

I have raised Ratel's rather large revert to the BLP/N. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:59, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

As I said in the edit summary, you are making sweeping deletions of cited material with no discussion in a very high-handed manner. This is not co-operative editing in the spirit of a community encyclopedia. Take a deep breath and calm down. Start working with me, not against me. ► RATEL ◄ 05:25, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Your last edit summary suggests you should "calm down" as well. Threatening to edit war is never a good thing. UnitAnode 05:28, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Ratel, deletions of what material?
  • You mean the launch section that is already repeated in the article verbatim above?
  • Do you mean the following paragraph? (where you have (1) distorted the sources to say something completely different to Paltridge; (2) made extensive use of scare quotes; (3) extensively editorialised (what is the "familiar sceptic argument" -- I assume you mean "familiar to Ratel"? see policy on WP:Words to avoid#do not editorialize):

In his book, Paltridge states that there is "no longer much argument among scientists about the existence of the greenhouse global warming phenomenon", and never was.[1] However, he posits, the effect may not be large enough to be seriously noticeable, let alone large enough to be disastrous. Paltridge differs from many climate scientists who argue that taking no action to mitigate climate change is "inexcusable".[18] Rather, Paltridge states that humanity should trust in "luck", saying that the coming changes are "inherently unpredictable" and that "in 50 or a 100 years the forecasts of doom will have been tested and, with any luck, proved wrong". He goes on to make the familiar sceptic arguments of a "religion" amongst scientists, who all conform to the theory that warming will be disastrous because of "political correctness", that administrators of science research faculties "have little real knowledge of science, and are ... subject to the necessities of political correctness". He states that "many of them have been appointed to their position precisely because of their 'feel' for the views and needs of the community rather than their 'feel' for science".[1] Paltridge also cites "the need to eat", the need to publish and get grants, a mistaken belief in "the need to preserve the world’s fossil fuels, or to a belief in the need for global government, or perhaps to a vision of forced transfer of resources from rich nations to the poor" as reason behind the consensus on global warming amongst the world's scientists. He also points to what he sees as a need amongst scientists to restore their "pride" by being associated with "an international program [that] has high and popular moral purpose". The bottom line, Patridge states, is that "the money lies on that side of the fence".[1]

  • Or do you mean the "political affiliations" section, where this has nothing whatever to do with political affiliations, and you haven't found a single reliable source for any of it? Alex Harvey (talk) 05:36, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Consistency please

I haven't read the book, and don't intend to, but can we aim for consistency. The intro sez The Climate Caper. Paltridge believes that while athropogenic (sic) global warming is real but in the book section it sez It argues against the scientific consensus on climate change, and rejects the view that global warming is "very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas concentrations". The defn of AGW being "real" is that the recent warming is caused by anthro GHG inc. If people who *have* read the book can't agree on what position he does take, then we need to say that instead William M. Connolley (talk) 07:12, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Alex preferred reverting to talking here, which is regrettable. His solution to the consistency problem appears to be to ignore one of the statements [1]. This is unacceptable William M. Connolley (talk) 11:51, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
William, I didn't see your talk comment, actually... Your edit summary here -- "ok, I can make no sense of it; someone who likes him can try" -- implied that your edit wasn't made in good faith, but was intended rather to provoke other Wikipedians (i.e. me, I suppose). I'll leave you to ponder on how appropriate it is for a senior editor to make use of a distinguished professor's biography in this way.
Meanwhile, the problem you've identified seems to lie in the present careless wording of the article, rather than in any inherent contradictions in Paltridge's thinking. That is, I don't believe that either statement accurately presents Paltridge's view. (The article's author, Ratel, I believe shares your advertised level of interest in actually understanding the subject's views).
Therefore, I think a good compromise would be simply to remove both sentences from the lead. Would that be okay? Alex Harvey (talk) 12:16, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I should know better than to attempt humour with you. Ah well. I don't understand why you've removed both sentences whilst leaving the second in the text. If it is false in the lede its false in the text. As I said: I haven't read the book (I assume you have, because you seem happy to make assertions about what he believes) so perhaps you can fix this up William M. Connolley (talk) 12:52, 9 October 2009 (UTC)


Given that Paltridge still holds the position of Visiting Fellow at the School of Biology, ANU, he's not technically "retired" -- even if he is simultaneously holding an Emeritus Professor position at the University of Tasmania. Correct? Alex Harvey (talk) 07:02, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Not really. I don't know his specific case, but "Visting Fellow" is not a paid position - it gives you some formal standing in the university, and allows you to access the university's resources. I've been a visiting fellow when I was technically at a different university, and those I know who retired and were made visiting fellows did so in order to access the library, network, and other tools they needed so they could continue to research post retirement. "Emeritus" is a title normally bestowed upon retirement. It allows the professor to continue to claim the "professor" title, which is valuable in establishing their authority in publications and similar. Some Emeritus Professors may still give lectures and perform duties at the university, but generally that's more of a "I want to stay involved in the university after retirement" thing. :) - Bilby (talk) 10:26, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, but I feel that "retired" is being used pejoratively here. It appears to me that Professors Emeritus are generally referred to in Wikipedia as such, and not as "retired" scientists. E.g. Don E. Schultz, Richard A. Falk, George C. Williams (the three top ranking Professors Emeritus on Google). Alex Harvey (talk) 15:57, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


Re In terms of scientific impact, his most significant contribution has been to show that the earth/atmosphere climate system may have adopted a configuration that maximises its rate of thermodynamic dissipation, i.e. entropy production. This suggests a governing constraint by a principle of maximum rate of entropy production (MEP). According to this principle, prediction of the broad-scale steady-state distribution of cloud, temperature and energy flows in the ocean and atmosphere might be possible without a complete description of all variables in climate system - I'm dubious. Who says this was (a) his most sig contrib and (b) a sig contrib? Google scholar, for example, gives 4* as many cites to a radiative processes work [2] and nearly as many to a grassland dryness thing. I'm dubious that MEP is accepted by many William M. Connolley (talk) 18:30, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

[3] Other worldly too.[4] -Atmoz (talk) 21:41, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
This italicized comment was previously in the article in the following form: "In terms of purely scientific impact, perhaps his most significant achievement was to show that the earth/atmosphere climate system has adopted format which maximizes the rate of its thermodynamic dissipation (i.e. its rate of entropy production). This suggests a governing constraint by a Principle of Maximum Rate of Entropy Production (see Non-equilibrium thermodynamics). It may allow prediction of the broad-scale steady-state distribution of cloud, of temperature and of the energy flows in the ocean and atmosphere when one has sufficient data about the system for that purpose, but does not have fully detailed data about every variable of the system."
The word "purely" was there for a reason. The purely scientific importance of the principle of maximum entropy production is comparable with the purely scientific importance of the second law of thermodynamics. Strictly speaking, for real physical systems, there is a reasonable argumentative case that the second law refers only to systems in thermodynamic equilibrium, which practically never occur in nature, and are practically always laboratory artefacts. One wants to feel that the idea of the second law applies more widely, but just how much more widely is a hard question, which has exercised some very good minds. It is fair to say that this is a purely scientific question.
The word "perhaps" was there for a reason. It was written in the context of the presence of the word "purely". Purely scientific importance will always be a matter of taste and opinion.
Paltridge established something that bids fair to be called an empirical fact. Ozawa Ohmura Lorenz Pujol 2003 [5]are of the opinion that "Later on, several researchers investigated Paltridge's work and obtained essentially the same result [Grassl, 1981; Shutts, 1981; Mobbs, 1982; Noda and Tokioka, 1983; Sohn and Smith, 1993, 1994; Ozawa and Ohmura, 1997; Pujol and Llebot, 1999a, 1999b]." Martyushev and Seleznev 2006 (Martyushev, L.M., Seleznev, V.D. (2006). Maximum entropy production principle in physics, chemistry and biology, Physics Reports 426: 1-45) also list "[87] H.-W. Ou, J. Climate 14 (2001) 2976. [88] A. Kleidon, K. Fraedrich, T. Kunz, F. Lunkeit, Geophys. Res. Lett. 30 (23) (2003) 2223."
The comment in the article is deliberately not speculating on the further question of just precisely why this fact should be so. That further question is exercising some very good minds, but is not the focus of the present comment.
The clause "when one has sufficient data about the system for that purpose" was there for a reason. The potential unwarned and unwary reader might risk being seduced by the mistake of thinking that the principle of maximum entropy production could somehow manufacture information not present in the data at hand, the very opposite of the right interpretation of the principle. I think it useful to warn such a potential reader, with the emphasis provided by the clause.
If one is not quite happy with the words "adopted a format" which Paltridge used in his paper, the perhaps the following would be an improvement on the previous wording: In terms of purely scientific impact, perhaps his most significant achievement was to show that the earth/atmosphere climate system has evolved a dynamical structure which maximizes the rate of its thermodynamic dissipation (i.e. its rate of entropy production). This suggests a governing constraint by a Principle of Maximum Rate of Entropy Production (see Non-equilibrium thermodynamics). It may allow prediction of the broad-scale steady-state distribution of cloud, of temperature and of the energy flows in the ocean and atmosphere when one has sufficient data about the system for that purpose, but does not have fully detailed data about every variable of the system.Chjoaygame (talk) 23:19, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
A previous edit replaced the reference to the article on "the Law of Maximum Entropy Production for a good reason: it does not refer to Paltridge's work. That article is in limbo at present, because it is largely written to propagate the work of Swenson, which is an unsafe point of view. The article on Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, on the other hand, does have reference to Paltridge's work and has a neutral point of view.Chjoaygame (talk) 23:29, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
The reason I reworded this paragraph was largely as a concession to those who would certainly object sooner or later to Paltridge's MEP principle being presented as fact or near-fact. It may indeed "bid fair" as you put it to empirical fact, but the proposed wording here, "...his most significant achievement was to show that the earth/atmosphere climate system has evolved a dynamical structure which maximizes the rate of its thermodynamic dissipation", implies more than fair bid, but that it has been actually accepted as fact, and as William has said, I don't think this is true. The Ozawa et al. 2003 review paper makes it clear that some haven't accepted the proposition (para 5: "The hypothesis of the maximum entropy production (MEP) thus far seems to have been dismissed by some as coincidence."). Paltridge himself admits in his own review paper that there are those who still won't accept the result (Abstract: "The tale discusses a number of reasons why the principle took so long -- and indeed is still taking so long -- to become generally acceptable and reasonably respectable.")
Regarding "purely" and "perhaps" I believe that both would be disallowed under the guideline to avoid weasel words. I can't see any linguistic difference between "scientific impact" and "pure scientific impact" in this context. And I must apologise that I can't follow your fuller explanation above as to why you believe that "purely" is needed here. On "perhaps", this is communicating editorial uncertainty and I don't think that's allowed either. All said, though, I don't strongly oppose inclusion of either of these words; I just suspect that others will.
Regarding "adopted a format" and "when one has sufficient data...", I've changed it back. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:35, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) William above, you're not comparing apples with apples when comparing cites for his textbook with cites for his original entropy paper. So regarding "significant", I don't believe this is used as a WP:PEACOCK term; we're not asserting any level of absolute significance for his work, just relative significance. We are saying that of his own publications, the MEP papers have been the most significant as evidenced by their number of citations. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:42, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

@C: I've seen Ozawa Ohmura Lorenz Pujol. And I'm not familiar with MEP, alone of in atmospheric phsyics. But I do know it isn't widely used in atmospheric physics. Comparing the impact of GPs work to the 2nd law isn't reasonable. Saying it is his "most sig" scientific work definintely implies that is it sig; and I'm not at all sure that it is. @AH: don't understand your objection to comparing cites William M. Connolley (talk) 09:19, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

A fact in an exact science is always probable and approximate, never perfectly certain and exact; the mark of an exact science is that it should try to clarify just how probable and just how approximate. I repeat that, for a scientist, by the usual scientific criteria of fact, what Paltridge showed is fact; there is a good supply of literature confirmation of this, better than many other facts. The problematics lie in the interpretation of the fact. What does the fact mean in general theoretical terms? There is plenty of thought about that, but it will not alter the fact.
The rate of dissipation of energy is not in principle by definition or by general empirical finding identical with the rate of entropy production in general, though under some circumstances they can stand in the ratio 2:1 with adjustment for units. In general the relation between them is not simple to understand. The original 1975 paper wrote of entropy exchange, and this is not identical with entropy production, though of course it is closely related. The Nature 1979 paper wrote of the dissipation function and this is not identical with entropy production. It may be wise not to write that they are the same, as in "rate of thermodynamic dissipation, i.e. entropy production". It may be wise simply to delete the words "i.e. entropy production".Chjoaygame (talk) 09:44, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
I repeat that, for a scientist, by the usual scientific criteria of fact, what Paltridge showed is fact - I don't know why you're repeating it; it doesn't make it any more true. The refs in literature to this are in fact rather thin; they point to the principle *not* being used in general William M. Connolley (talk) 10:06, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) If I may, I don't really think inclusion or exclusion of the word "significant" is worth arguing over. By appeal to WP:PEACOCK there is probably justification for not using the word. Perhaps a better solution would be simply to create a section "Entropy" or "Principle of maximum rate of entropy production (MEP)" and properly describe the describe the theory there, without any value judgements about significance. Would anyone object to this? Alex Harvey (talk) 10:28, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Such pages already exist. It would create even more confusion to re-create them. One of them is subject to concerns about point of view, which are being considered.Chjoaygame (talk) 10:35, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
I mean a section in Paltridge's biography to describe his original theory and contributions to the MEP debate. Alex Harvey (talk) 10:38, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Ah, now I see you meant a section within the Garth Paltridge page. Still, I think it is enough to link to the page on Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and not go into the matter on the Garth Paltridge page; it is too detailed and technical. Who would write the special section on the technicalities within the Garth Palridge page? It would be a hard thing to write.Chjoaygame (talk) 10:43, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

I believe that I can probably write 100 words or so on this. Paltridge's biography is not going to be complete without it, and something has to be done about the way it's currently skewed to presenting his climate change skepticism. I'll start something in my user space and get back when I've completed it. If there are mistakes I'm sure you'll correct them for me! Alex Harvey (talk) 11:24, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Summary of his AGW position in lede

Policy dictates lede should summarise content. I added a sentence that is completely sourced from the citation, and was threatened with banning by Alex Harvey who seems to have severe WP:OWN issues here. ► RATEL ◄ 09:11, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

This [6] is a gratuitous PA by Alex which he should retract William M. Connolley (talk) 09:14, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm tempted to go to AN/I ► RATEL ◄ 09:19, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Correct, this has been going on for a while and I lost it. Sorry. These BLP violations have been raised at the BLP/N for the third time. I certainly wouldn't object to having an administrator review this dispute. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:53, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Paltridge and "Luck"...

I see others have agreed that Ratel is misrepresenting Paltridge's views about "luck" (in reality I don't believe Paltridge has any views about "luck" at all). In this edit we have restored the Paltridge quote, now elevated to the lead where it is given WP:UNDUE weight (to say the least).

The paragraph enclosing it is a gross oversimplification of Paltridge's actual views. Moreover, the quote is mined, apparently to present a view that Paltridge's use in passing of the English expression "with a bit of luck" means that Paltridge must be a Believer in Luck, I suppose like the ancient Chinese.

This is completely unacceptable; the quote is being taken out of context. In the original context, Paltridge is not expressing his view about climate change per se; he is talking about possible long term damage to the reputation of science. This quote, therefore, could only be used to talk about Paltridge's view on dangers to the credibility of science. Can someone please remove it? Alex Harvey (talk) 14:44, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

  • I agree with Alex here. I reworded it, conveying the same basic information, without the undue focus on the "luck" euphemism used in passing by Parltridge. UnitAnode 15:12, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

  • The point here is that we have a scientist opposing mainstream thought on a key issue and saying no action should be taken, and then saying that "with a bit of luck" the dire predictions will be proved wrong. That's the entire crux of the argument between AGW activists and AGW passivists, like Paltridge. You are trying to censor his very own words, words that betray his true (and highly irresponsible) attitude to the issue of global warming. On what grounds are you doing this? He's not referring to the reputation of science here, he's saying that mankind should do nothing about GW and trust in luck. And he says this again and again in his book. ► RATEL ◄ 15:26, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "With a bit of luck" is nothing more than an English expression meaning, basically, "This is what I believe is going to happen." It's not some kind of endorsement of Luck (big "L") as part of science, and there's no way that it belongs in the lede of this article. I reworded it in a neutral manner, that is saying the exact same thing without focusing unduly on his use of that English expression. UnitAnode 15:33, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
And I'm not the only one to take note of it. [7] ► RATEL ◄ 15:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
That's a blogger, who candidly admits they haven't read his work. What does that show, exactly? Full disclosure: I believe that man-made global warming is a threat, and that we need to make changes in our behaviors -- both as people and nations -- to combat it.UnitAnode 15:37, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Unlike the other editors here, I've read the book, and I'm now re-ordering it from the library system so as to back up my contentions with page refs. ► RATEL ◄ 00:15, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
We're talking very specifically about your seeming insistence that the word "luck" be placed in the article. Do you acknowledge that "with a bit of luck"/"with any luck" is nothing more than a (quite common) English expression? Or do you still think that he was actually trusting in "Luck" (big "L") as part of his scientific theory? UA 00:56, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
No, you don't get it. GP is actually advising us all to do nothing and with luck we'll be ok. That is his actual stance. It's not merely a figure of speech. ► RATEL ◄ 02:18, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Ratel, for heaven's sake that's not his stance. He advises that he do a number of things: e.g. (1) invest more in skeptical research in order to actually understand the physics better. Without skeptical research (=sincere efforts by scientists in order to falsify theories) science cannot progress. Science proceeds by "conjectures and refutations" (Karl Popper). That's a widely-accepted fact. He wants science to progress. (2) invest more in adaptation since there is absolutely no way of avoiding natural climate change, whatever you believe about the human-caused component. There is going to be an ice-age. That ice age is going to be very hard for us to adapt to. Life evolved in the sun, not in the ice. His view is that we need to start preparing for change, whatever the science says about human-caused global warming. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:18, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Ratel, regardless of what he meant by that one line referencing luck, it is still a single sentence from a much larger text in which luck is never mentioned again. Personally, I think it's a puzzling statement, and he probably could have phrased it better, but there is no evidence from the rest of the text that his view relies on luck. The current version in the article intro (don't remember who put it in there) is a much better representation of the crux of GP's views than the earlier one referencing luck. ATren (talk) 11:28, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Have removed yet another completely misleading statement from the article

In this edit here I have removed the following sentence:

In a paper entitled Nine Facts about Climate Change, published by the Lavoisier Group, Paltridge stated that he was threatened with funding cuts in the 1990s by his employer, the CSIRO, if he publicly expressed his doubts about the extent of the effect of greenhouse emissions.

This sentence is implying that Paltridge wrote the paper published by the Lavoisier Group... In reality I find that Paltridge is merely cited in the Lavoisier Group publication.

I have backed out this nth POV/BLP violation.

I will shortly readd something that is accurate on the funding cuts material. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:16, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

You seem to have taken the unacceptable position that any little quibble here you don't like can be justified under BLP. If you don't like it, correct it, if indeed it is wrong. In my position the L group aren't very respectable, but I strongly suspect that GP disagrees, and so being associated with them cannot be considered a BLP violation justifying immeadiate action William M. Connolley (talk) 07:30, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
William, please read WP:BLP policy. Here it is for your convenience:
Editors must take particular care adding biographical material about a living person to any Wikipedia page. Such material ... must adhere strictly ... to all of our content policies, especially:
We must get the article right.(Ref Jimmy Wales Keynote speech). Be very firm about the use of high quality references. Material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion.(Ref Jimmy Wales: "WikiEN-l Zero information is preferred to misleading or false information".
What is disappointing me about your comment here is that you have restored the text to the article and you haven't made any effort to actually address the problems I have identified. Your wording suggests you "don't know" if there are problems and you "don't care" either. This is a big problem because the material you have restored is blatantly in violation of the BLP policy. I can assure you that I am not going to adjust my stance of zero tolerance for BLP violations, however many times you and your friends call me names like "the boy who cried wolf". I can also assert quite confidently that you have no right to be telling me how often I may identify BLP violations. Please observe further that the previous two BLP/N postings I have just made have now been agreed by consensus of uninvolved editors to have been the violations of BLP policy that I said they were. In what sense, then, am I really a "boy who cried wolf"?
May I ask you please to do the right thing and revert this edit here so that I don't need to make another BLP/N posting? Alex Harvey (talk) 08:05, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
You have displayed consistently poor judgement in assessing what is a BLP violation and in what consititutes vandalism, and have made false accusations of breaches of both. Please don't be surprised if your reputation has suffered as a consequence William M. Connolley (talk) 09:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Approximately 80% of the BLP/N incidents I have raised ended in consensus for my position; of the remaining 20% I conceded a consensus against me and backed down. Thank you for repeating now in at least five separate threads that I misunderstood what constituted vandalism. I have now apologised to Atmoz. Is there anything else still outstanding here?
Meanwhile, instead of commenting on me personally, you really ought to respond to the points I have raised -- assuming you really are here to contribute to the discussion in good faith. I invite you firstly to note that there was consensus for removal in this thread above for a great deal of the material you restored (e.g. the original synthesis that is not allowed in any article, and especially not in this BLP). Next, and more blatantly, you have restored a piece of text implying an outright falsehood, namely, that Paltridge wrote a paper published called "Nine Myths of Global Warming" that in fact he had nothing whatever to do with.
So what I'm going to do is consider your advice, give you a little bit of time to think about this, and refrain for the moment from raising these violations to BLP/N. Alex Harvey (talk) 11:33, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I have now apologised to Atmoz - no. Also, [8] William M. Connolley (talk) 11:40, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I have now apologised to Atmoz - yes. [9] How long is this harrassment going to continue for William? Alex Harvey (talk) 12:02, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, missed that, assumed it would have been off on your talk. Struck. That leaves part 2, which you've ignored, which is why this isn't closed. If you want to drop this, I'll stop responding, but falsely calling it harassment doesn't help you William M. Connolley (talk) 12:47, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Part 2 is getting rather bizarre. You'll notice that an administrator had here already identified your new champion's edits as WP:VANDALISM after the latter's persistent refusal to tolerate disagreement. This was followed with over the top personal attacks at BLP/N and then threats at the admin's talk page. It goes without saying that his almost every comment to me contains personal attacks, assumptions of bad faith, and misrepresentations of my views; but you'll see it's not just me: he's gone after Pete Tillman, Arthur Rubin, UnitAnode, many others -- even Atmoz! Anyone who disagrees with him expects a lashing. The very next day he was back here at Paltridge's page, as if nothing happened, inserting exactly the same material that had caused such disruption the previous day. It was my genuine concern that your editor should follow that link, in order to understand that, "Repetitively and intentionally making unconstructive edits to Wikipedia will result in a block or permanent ban." I did not accuse him of vandalism; an administrator had made the judgement already. The edit summary was made in good faith.
So is this satisfactory? Can we now talk about the BLP concerns I have with this material you have restored to Professor Paltridge's biography? Alex Harvey (talk) 14:14, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree - this is all bizarre, since we're talking about different edits - check the diffs, please. So is this satisfactory? - no William M. Connolley (talk) 14:22, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
This is beginning to remind me of that scene from Life of Brian where Spike Milligan is to be put to death by John Cleese for saying "This piece of halibut is fit for Jehovah!" We're talking about the same diffs. I did not know that it was such a taboo to refer to WP:VANDALISM But now I am much better. WP:VANDALISM, don't go there. It's what real bad people say. Expect the Spanish Inquisition! I understand now. Okay? (Feel free to move this entire conversation somewhere else like my talk page. :) Alex Harvey (talk) 14:42, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Why is [10] the same as [11]? It's what real bad people say - no, you're allowed to call edits vandalism when they are. But not when they aren't. Okay? - no, per the above. This is however becoming intolerably pointless, when you insist that two clearly different edits are the same William M. Connolley (talk) 14:58, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with WMC in part, and AH in part. WMC is right that if an edit is not clearly and unequivocally vandalism, you never call it that. But AH is right that the two edits are basically the same, inasmuch as they're both edits where AH called Ratel's edits vandalism. It's not the Spanish Inquisition, though, it's just simple fact that you don't refer to another editor's work as vandalism unless it definitely IS that. UnitAnode 15:03, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I would like to say here very publicly that I feel humiliated by this, and I am now going to go to Ratel's talk page and apologise. If there's anything else I need to do can you please let me know at my talk page. Thanks. Alex Harvey (talk) 16:00, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
That's probably a good idea, and may foster much goodwill in the editing environment at this page. UnitAnode 16:07, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
[12] Alex Harvey (talk) 16:10, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I read your apology, and I think it was well-worded, and I hope it will be well-received also. While I'm probably closer to Ratel and WMC in my views on global warming, I do share some of your concerns on this page. Hopefully, between the lot of us, we can get this sorted. UA 16:50, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Not sure what everyone is saying here. Is it factual or not factual that the claim was published in a LG paper, and that this claim was then echoed in the Press? Yes? If so, we should be able to say so. Because that's what actually happened. ► RATEL ◄ 14:41, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the consensus is that the Lavoisier Group is not a reliable source, and their papers/pamphlets/publications should not generally be accepted as references. To the extent echoed in the press, it may be appropriate to include something, but I find less consensus for that. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:11, 15 October 2009 (UTC)