Talk:Global warming/Archive 21

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Abbreviations used on this page

Turn off that bot! --Uncle Ed 15:27, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Purpose? Most, if not all, are already explained the article. The rest are used on this talk page, not the mainspace. ~ UBeR 16:38, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
For quick reference. I'm an old geezer, and I can't remember things like HadCRUT3, GISS, kyr and Dr. C's ideosyncratic use of t's even though they are all fresh in my mind at the moment. --Uncle Ed 18:20, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute

This entire article is biased heavily toward the pro global warming viewpoint. All opposing viewpoints have been deliberately forked off to other pages - contrary to Wikipedia policies and guidelines. ~ Rameses 22:04, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The article has a section on solar variation which discusses the main mechanism that has been offered as an alternative to the influence of greenhouse gases. The discussion of solar variation in the article is, if anything, more prominent than in the scientific literature. Raymond Arritt 22:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Rameses, you obviously aren't familiar with the Wikipedia NPOV policy. See Undue weight. Other theories held by a small minority of relevant scientists are mentioned, and probably given more space than is warranted, given that their total output is relatively small in comparison to the rest of GW research. Mostlyharmless 22:18, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Mostlyharmless you are talking rubbish. That 2000 people who get their grants from peddling global warming fear all agree their is global warming is hardly surprising - what is surprising is that Wikipedia isn't reporting the many who think the evidence does not support manmade warming. The Article is not only clearly biased - it is peddling extremist nonsense! Mike 00:28, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

"Was there ever a time when the majority was right?" Notebooks of Lazarus Long, Robert A. Heinlein. Arvin Sloane 23:06, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Um, well, sure. The majority says the moon is not made of green cheese; the majority says you can't turn lead into gold; the majority says that if you stick your hand into a whirring meat grinder it's liable to hurt; and so on. Raymond Arritt 23:23, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Wrong Raymond - not only can you turn lead into gold, it has already been done see: [2]. ~ Rameses 23:37, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I stand corrected. Regarding my other two examples... Raymond Arritt 23:42, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
But you can turn lead into gold, but not with chemistry. The pan evaporation paradox be listed on the front page with all the other counter-theories.01:01, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I would ask Mr. Arritt to point out, which minority of scientists, exactly, purports that the moon is made of green cheese, and that if you stick your hand into a whirring meat grinder it wouldn't hurt. If Mr. Arritt is unable to produce quotes supporting the existence of such scientists, his analogy is null and void. Meanwhile, the Great Feeding Frenzy Around Global Warming has legitimate opposition among scientists whose respect for themselves exceeds their careerist and financial worries. Arvin Sloane 01:21, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Ah, but the statement wasn't "the majority of scientists", it was just "the majority." Careful reading is important, you see. If you remain a skeptic about my original statements we can test them empirically. I'll bring the meat grinder if you bring the hand. Raymond Arritt 01:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but your objection is not with me but with Robert A. Heinlein, who, as far as I know, has already passed the meat grinder test. Arvin Sloane 04:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Is it Heinlein who says this, or is it Lazarus Long? My copy of the book went the "can I borrow it for a day or so" route... --Stephan Schulz 08:21, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

What I'd love to know is why this entry, as Rameses said, can be chopped and changed against Wikipedia's own policies and be supported by legions of Wikipedians. I'd also love to know why any attempt at marking this article as not having a NPOV results in many unqualified editors reversing the change regardless of the thousands of PhD decorated scientists that have signed the pproject petition in support of the alternative viewpoint that cannot even be mentioned or hinted at in passing without having the change reversed. Jamieplucinski 04:33, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

The Oregon petition is a a well-known scam. Read the linked article. It's also ancient history. And many of the "unqualified editors" here do have Ph.D.s or equivalent doctorates, and at least two are actively working and/or teaching in the field of climate science.--Stephan Schulz 07:38, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Excluding well-known scams is a good thing. Also it is good that a lot of things that don't belong here get removed. I still think it can be more NPOV than it is, but that's just my opinion. I think we spend too much time focusing on the issue as if it's all science, when all we really know is that the Earth is warmer and that there's more Co2 "recently"; at least such as the granularity of long-term measurements allows us to know. This in my opinion is mainly a policy and political issue. While a lot of the science is well known, there are still quite a few gaps all over the place for specific mechanisms -- at least as far as I'm concerned given: A. The time scales. B. The complexity of the variables. C. The emotional component. D. The way research and funding and so on works. E. The media coverage of the issue. But what do I know, I'm an instructor, a network engineer and a computer scientist, not a climatologist. Sln3412 23:28, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
For the politics, at least, you could try politics of global warming. There is also the global warming controversy, which has reserved a single sentence in this article. ~ UBeR 00:07, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that there may be a POV problem with countering views given unequal weight and forked off to other pages. --Blue Tie 19:36, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
In response to Tjsynkral's edit. I didn't realize this discussion was still going on. ~ UBeR 19:42, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Please refer to the section below, Talk:Global_warming#Neutral_POV_Disputed for a discussion on whether this dispute merits a POV template on the article. --Tjsynkral 21:18, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I have placed a POV-check on this page following the rapid rv censorship (by User:Guettarda) of my changes (see "Objection to the word consensus") where I had replaced two disputed uses of the word "consensus" with "IPCC view". It seems to me that the refusal to accomodate the idea that others can not reasonably dissent from the idea that such a consensus may not exist or that the existence of such a consensus is unproven is a good example of a POV. I ask that others, if they agree, reinstate those changes and delete the disputed "consensus" words from the article until the matter has been resolved. I certainly shall not do so.CecilWard 21:36, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I have taken this tag off for now. AFAICT this is more about the people involved than any real dispute on the content. --BozMo talk 22:08, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
AFAIC, we must not synthesize what we think is being implied. Per WP:OR], specifically WP:SYN, if the source isn't saying it, we cannot either. It's clear the IPCC's view is such and such. We must state it as such, and no different. ~ UBeR 22:40, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

(Unindent) The {{pov-check}} template might not be strong enough, and probably should be replaced with the next higher tag.

  • The POV check template, {{POV-check}}, may be added to an article which you feel may need to be edited to comply with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. [snip]
  • The POV check template is not for disputes. It is intended for:
    • Articles which you have edited to be neutral, but may have overlooked something
    • Articles which you suspect are not neutral, but are unsure how to proceed
  • For situations where you or other editors disagree on NPOV status, or need to reach consensus on neutrality, instead use the neutrality dispute template, {{POV}}, and explain the reasons on the talk page.
  • In order to ensure the POV check template cannot be used to brand articles as non-neutral without a justification, it may be removed by anyone if they feel that the issue has been resolved. Please do not edit war over the use of this template. Instead, if you disagree with its removal, place the full neutrality dispute template on the page, explain your reasons on the talk page, and follow the regular NPOV dispute resolution process.

I gather we contributors here disagree on NPOV status. There seems to be a sharp division, in fact, with 'regulars' pretty much saying that AGW is objective fact and that it's therefore "neutral" for the article to say so. Occasional 'guests' come by and argue that AGW is "disputed by some scientists" and that therefore the article should not endorse AGW. --Uncle Ed 15:04, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Ed, I disagree with your assessment. The NPOV may not simply be a matter of whether there IS global warming (in my view there is and always has been both global warming and cooling. It is a matter of physics and tautologically true). But there may be NPOV issues relating to the reasons FOR the global warming. --Blue Tie 16:29, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Ed, reviewing tis I don't see any justification for the tag. We started with All opposing viewpoints have been deliberately forked off which is simply false. Next we had it must be POV because it disagrees with Oregon petition which hardly makes any sense. next we have 2 uses of the word consensus. And we have no idea what you think is wrong with it. This isn't a fair use of the tag William M. Connolley 15:18, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

The article demonstrates bias right at the start. Here is how: It cites "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)" conclusions but then, without any references or cites or sources (it is basically Original Research) it says :"this conclusion has been endorsed by numerous scientific societies and academies of science, a few scientists disagree about the primary causes of the observed warming." This tenor and bias failure exists throughout the article.--Blue Tie 15:44, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Errm, you're being deceptive. The text you cite is a link to Scientific opinion on climate change which provides the relevant sources. Have you got anything else to complain about? William M. Connolley 15:52, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
No, I am not being deceptive. Please adhere to wikipedia policies of Assuming Good Faith and No Personal Attacks. The text I cited DOES have a cite to a Scientific opinion. I did not leave that out. My objection was that wikipedia's conclusion ABOUT that Scientific opinion violates WP:VER, WP:RS, WP:NOR and as a consequence leads to violations of WP:NPOV. Exactly how much focused detail do you need to observe that there is no legitimate citation for the statement: "this conclusion has been endorsed by numerous scientific societies and academies of science, a few scientists disagree about the primary causes of the observed warming", to help you understand the issue I raised?. Particularly the words "numerous" and "few" which are vague weasle words and are based upon original research. Such statements are defined by wikipedia to be inherently in violation of WP:NPOV -- thus biased. --Blue Tie 16:24, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
You asserted without any references or cites or sources - thats wrong. The references to the academies statements, etc, are all on the linked page. Is this really the only item you have to support an NPOV tag, because it seems awfully thin William M. Connolley 16:43, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. Perhaps I should Parse my sentence for clarity and then provide a commentary so you will understand:
It (the article) cites "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)" conclusions
The above quote states that there is a scientific panel study on climate change that gave conclusions.
but then, 
The above two words are intended to SEPARATE the above clause (which is not denied) with a following clause where there is an exception
without any references or cites or sources (it is basically Original Research) 
Here is the causes for NPOV are describe, but not yet attributed to any particular comment in the article.
it says :"this conclusion has been endorsed by numerous scientific societies and academies of science, a few scientists disagree about the primary causes of the observed warming."  
Here the exact place where the lack of cites and sources is describe.
I hope that helps you follow my train of thought. There is no disputing that the wikipedia cites an article that may, indeed be well referenced. Where wikipedia fails to provide a citation is on the OPINION of the VALUE of that Scientific article and on the OPINION of others who disagree. In that failure, WP:NPOV violations arise.
I also hope that you will realize I am not arguing against the scientific article. Is that clear?
It may not be the only item to support an NPOV tag, but it is one. And it has not been handled appropriately. As I bring it up, it only meets resistance, not solutions per wikipedia guidelines. That suggests that there is more emotion than fact in the writing of this article. Furthermore, it is the opening discussion and guiding principle behind the article as far as I can see. Thus, the article fails NPOV tests. --Blue Tie 16:58, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

We could replace "numerous scientific societies" with "every scientific society that has issued a statement on the matter, except for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists." But that's wordy, and the details are given in the scientific opinion article anyway. We could also replace "a few scientists disagree" with "three climate scientists disagree" -- the only ones I know of are Lindzen, Michaels and Gray; the rest of the skeptics are astronomers, engineers and the like. The present wording, with the link to the scientific opinion article (which I agree should be retitled), is probably the best we can do without excessive duplication from the sci opinion article. Raymond Arritt 16:33, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
It is wordy, but more importantly, can you provide an objective, reliable, undisputed source for the statement: "every scientific society that has issued a statement on the matter, except for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists"? In particular, the one word in that statement I would see as suspect is "every" because I have seen statements by scientific societies that have made other predictions. Of course these were from a few years ago, but that still precludes the word "every". (It is, again, a sort of weasle word). As far as the scientists that you know who disagree, it is appropriate to name them, but to declare that they are the ONLY three (or that there are ONLY three) would be Original Research, unless cited by a reliable, verifiable, objective source.
If the present wording is the best that we can come up with it is a poor statement on our skills. The rules of wikipedia requiring citation are not totally unreasonable and they are repeatedly emphasized as the key to avoid NPOV. You do want to avoid these repeated charges of bias, right?
Now note, the article has been repeatedly described as having NPOV issues. I have cited wikipedia policy on solving NPOV issues. The main method is to use objective, fair, reliable, well sourced and verifiable references, quoting them without adding editorial commentary. The response (so far as I can see) -- from people who would probably claim to be on the side of "objective science" -- is that such objectivity is not appropriate, necessary, required, or possible in this article. That is not acceptable per wikipedia policies. --Blue Tie 16:44, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Can you propose an alternative that is both WP:NPOV (by your standard) and accurate? Then we'll have something concrete to work with. Raymond Arritt 16:48, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
because I have seen statements by scientific societies that have made other predictions - this would be more convincing if you could provide examples. Until you do its meaningless, and should not be used as a basis for your objections. Once again to ask you the question you've failed to answer: is this really your only objection? William M. Connolley 16:52, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
It is not necessary for me to convince you that I have seen such things for the article to be out of compliance. That problem is the issue. Not me or what I know, particularly since I am not using myself or my knowledge as a basis for objection but rather wikipedia policy. Why is this so personal for you? --Blue Tie 17:02, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
It was you who raised the point about scientific societies that made other predictions. Are you now abandoning that point? Raymond Arritt 18:12, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Nope. But it is irrelevant to the point. You are confusing the content of the article with wikipedia policy about how to avoid NPOV and article citing. --Blue Tie 18:30, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I am not an expert on global warming, by any stretch of the imagination. But I am not so under-educated that I can not easily find numerous, reputable, long established, world-class institutions around the globe that support both sides of this debate. It does not take anyone long to quickly discover that the articles presented on Wikipedia regarding global warming do not represent, with true equality, what all of the world’s scientific community is stating about the issue. It also does not take long to discover that this obvious stifling of a true balance is perpetrated by a relatively small amount of zealous persons. Dedication to ones belief is an admirable trait. However, the amount of fervent veracity that this inequity is pursued leads me to believe that there is a deeper, ulterior motive behind the disparity. From more than two decades of study and work in the field, I can say with complete confidence and authority that this type of systematic ‘leveling’ is the trademark of a political interest that is, at the least, superficially organized. I hope that the bond that these few have does not lead to an exclusive ‘cornering’ of a niche on Wikipedia. If they succeed, their tactic will become a model for other special interest groups to use.--Uwops 20:36, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

If you can find any reputable sci inst that support its-not-anthro, do please list them and do us all a favour, as no one else has been able to find them William M. Connolley 20:43, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposed text changes

Without having to read the all of the talk below you can see at the very top of this page that this section presents a completely warped and biased point of view. The graph to the upper right of the page is labeled Global mean surface temperatures from 1850 to 2006 and shows a huge increase over the last 20 years. However the index is labeled temperature Anomaly with a spread of -.6 to +.6 C. Which is it? To a high school student it looks like global temperatures are increasing wildly which is I'm sure the point of view that the hysterics would like to convey. Either show a graph with actual temperatures for that time period or label it correctly to negate the clear slant in POV. (This unsigned comment was added by User:Showman60)

I noticed that too. I think Image:Climatechange.png would be a more proper depiction of the temperature change. --Tjsynkral 20:09, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Per the suggestion above I am listing statemenths from the paragraph here with possible changes.

  • Global average air temperature near Earth's surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °Celsius (1.3 ± 0.32 °Fahrenheit) in the last century.

Normally I would consider this a summary of other things, but since it describes such specific numbers, numbers that are scientifically derived averages, this should be cited.

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes, "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations,which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the greenhouse effect."

This statement requires no change on its face, particularly with a link to the IPCC article on wikipedia. However, it is somewhat incomplete in context. It should add the predicted temperature change: IPCC predicts that global temperatures will rise by 1.8 -4.0°C between 1990 and 2100.[1]

  • Other phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes have had smaller probably cooling effects on global mean temperature since 1950.[2]

This statement should be deleted because it misinterprets the figure in the source. In fact, the figure simply reaffirms the statement made above that recent global warming, as modeled by the IPCC, is seen as very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic effects.

  • While this conclusion has been endorsed by numerous scientific societies and academies of science

This is a vague statement, but its intent is valid. I think that the way to handle it is to be specific like this:

The IPCC statement has, in turn been endorsed by National Acadamies of Science for the G8 nations and The US National Research Council. (add citations) Other scientific organizations such as the American Meterological Society, The American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of London.

  • a few scientists disagree about the primary causes of the observed warming.

Specifics are better like this: Other members of the scientific community such as Beate Liepert, Graham Farquhar, Michael Roderick, and Peter Cox dispute some or all of these findings, arguing that increased aerosols and increased atmospheric albedo mitigate direct anthropologic increases on global temperature or that long-term global climate changes are a better explanation for the phenomenon. (and add a ciation or several citations to verify that statement).

Furthermore, if any scientists actually argue that the earth is not actually warming, some statement that they deny the phenomenon exists should be stated with a cite. So... my reconciled paragraph looks like this:

Global average air temperature near Earth's surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °Celsius (1.3 ± 0.32 °Fahrenheit) in the last century. [citation needed] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global temperatures will rise by 1.8 -4.0°C between 1990 and 2100 [2] stating that "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations,"[3] which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the greenhouse effect.

The IPCC statement has been endorsed by National Acadamies of Science for the G8 nations and The US National Research Council. Other scientific organizations such as the American Meterological Society, The American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of London have issued their own statements of concern over global warming. (See Scientific opinion on climate change)

Other members of the scientific community such as Beate Liepert, Graham Farquhar, Michael Roderick, and Peter Cox dispute some or all of these findings, arguing that increased aerosols and increased atmospheric albedo mitigate direct anthropologic increases on global temperature or that long-term global climate changes are a better explanation for the phenomenon. (See Scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming). Optional: (________________ and _____________ are 2 scientists who deny that global warming exists. [citation needed])


I'm troubled by the use of the word 'consensus' both in the article and in the above discussion. Consensus means 'majority opinion' of 'general view'. Says who? Where is the evidence to back up the statement that 'most people' or 'most scientists' share whichever point is in question?

The most prominent misuse of the word is in the Causes section: "The detailed causes of the recent warming remain an active field of research, but the scientific consensus identifies greenhouse gases as the main influence.[8]"

I recommend this be amended to: "The detailed causes of the recent warming remain an active field of research, but IPCC papers identify greenhouse gases as the main influence.[8]"

If this article is to stick strictly to facts (which I would hope its authors aspire to), then emotive words such as 'consensus' have no place here. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rymix (talkcontribs).

Consensus is well justified and sourced. It is, e.g. used in the Joint Academies of Science statement and by Oreskes' paper. And the IPCC does not publish "papers", it summarizes and integrates the literature into substantive reports (btw, using a consensus process). --Stephan Schulz 12:49, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. Those groups you mention are made up of selected members which do not span the entire scientific community (which, in this example, is the context in which the word 'consensus' is used). Therefore any consensus is inherently skewed by the membership of the group. If the word consensus is to be used, it should be accompanied by the name of the group to which the 'consensus' can be attributed.
Rymix 13:00, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Note that the academies do not say "there is consensus among us". They report the general consensus they perveive (and say that they agree as well). You cannot ask for a better source on such a topic as a unanimous declaration of the most respected scientific organizations on the planet (well, maybe you can, but not reasonably). --Stephan Schulz 13:28, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Whether or not an actual consensus has been achieved and by whom is not the point of my argument. I am saying that there is a difference between journalistic writing and the style of reporting one would expect in an encyclopedia. This article must remain credible and impartial in its use of language, otherwise it's just a collection of opinions, much like your observation that the academies to which you refer are 'the most respected scientific organisations on the planet' - the obvious difference being that you have tagged this opinion with your name, so the reader knows it's just an opinion.
Rymix 13:41, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Unless you want to go back to Descartes (Cogito, ergo sum, and all that), you must accept certain things as facts. For all practical purposes, the Royal Society, the United States National Academy of Sciences, the French Académie des sciences, the Italian Accademia dei Lincei and so on are the most respected scientific organizations in their respective countries, and overall, in the world. Most of them have been around for centuries, several for longer than the countries that now host them. This is no more a mere opinion than the "opinion" that you have to pay taxes, or that parts of the Northern hemisphere will switch to DST around this time of the year.--Stephan Schulz 13:58, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
All of your previous post is entirely irrelevant. All I'm saying is that 'scientific consensus' is nearly bound to be a false consensus, especially on contentious subjects such as global warming. Therefore this should be acknowledged in the copy itself through the explicit inclusion of the source.
Rymix 14:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Rymix - you are quite right, but don't expect anyone to ever admit it! Don't bother trying to argue your case - it just wastes time - make the changes and then argue the toss later! 23:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

As Schulz stated, "For all practical purposes, the Royal Society, the United States National Academy of Sciences, the French Académie des sciences, the Italian Accademia dei Lincei and so on are the most respected scientific organizations in their respective countries, and overall, in the world. Most of them have been around for centuries, several for longer than the countries that now host them. This is no more a mere opinion than the "opinion" that you have to pay taxes, or that parts of the Northern hemisphere will switch to DST around this time of the year" Indeed, this represents an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community. Wikipediatoperfection 02:57, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem with consensus is that finding scientific truth is not a democratic process. Sometimes all the experts are wrong. Often, it's the wild-eyed radical who is right. The theory of continental drift, now called plate tectonics, leaps to mind. History is the final arbiter. And, I may be dating myself here, but I can remember when the consensus was that the world was getting colder and the worry was that we were drifting into a new ice age. Phew! Thank goodness that problem went away, by consensus. RockyMtnGuy 04:44, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Indeed it was the wide-eyed radicals that turned out to be right. I remember seeing them sitting behind a table at Uni 25 years ago warning about global warming and thinking, geeze, I hope those guys are wrong. Only took a quarter of a century for George Bush and Exxon to come around. -- Michael Johnson 04:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The fact that George Bush has finally come around to the consensus shows something. Look, it could just be normal fluctuations, not caused by humans. However, the best info says that there is a less than 5% chance of this being the case. The best info says with over 90% certainty that this is indeed a problem and that we have unleashed it upon ourselves. That is about as good as it gets short of doing nothing to reduce our emissions such that we can really know if today's predictions are accurate. I hope that that we end up on the low side of the predictions. I hope that we take steps to significantly reduced emissions. However, as you pointed out, there is a difference between science and politics. Much of the "controversy" over global warming over the past 6 years has been politically generated through intellectual dishonesty. The best example being Bush Administration report "editing." Beyond that most news stories which question global warming do so in a intellectually dishonest fashion as well. The few legitimate scientists who do not think this is a problem all acknowledge that their opinions are contradictory to that of the vast majority of the scientific community. They also address it as a scientific rather than political argument. Virtually no news stories which question global warming acknowledge that the vast majority of the scientific community has come to as much of a consensus on global warming and climate change as the scientific community comes to on any subject. The real scientific controversy is not if it is happening, but at what rate? What will its effects be? Will it melt the ice caps? Will it not melt the ice caps, but still rise enough to disrupt agriculture???? Wikipediatoperfection 07:09, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Still my original point stands: Wikipedia should publish facts. The fact is that is that consensus has been reached by a group of select science representatives. The article should report as such.
Rymix 09:05, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
by a group of select science representatives? How about every scientist practicing in relevent fields, less a couple of dozen standouts. -- Michael Johnson 09:18, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Irrelevant. The purpose of the article should be be to present facts. The names of the group(s) that have presented these consensual reports are important facts that the reader should fully be made aware of. The exclusion of this information brings with it its own inferences, which is a dangerous position for an wikipedia entry to find itself in.
Rymix 15:34, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I suppose you could list all the institutions and scientists that agree with the consensus, but that would be a list far too long for an article, and impossible to complete. -- Michael Johnson 23:41, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
What do you define as a scientific consensus Rymix? Because every scientist practicing in the relevent fields, except a couple dozen standouts, is about as close to a scientific consensus as it comes. You may agree or disagree with their conclusions, but they do represent a scientific consensus. Wikipediatoperfection 23:56, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
The issues identified above are good cause to add a fact tag to the sentence claiming consensus. Please add a citation that meets WP:A or alter the sentence to make it acceptable. --Tjsynkral 23:51, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree fully with User:Tjsynkral in that I believe that suggesting that "a (scientific) consensus exists" is POV, and is in dispute. Is it sugested that "that IPCC has released a report, therefore it inescapably follows that a 'scientific consensus' (however defined) currently exists"? To make such an assertion (IPCC therefore consensus), requires justification. Turning aside, elsewhere we find similar examples of POV-indicator words such as "consensus" and "mainstream" to be present in related wikipedia articles, even in articles which discuss whether or not a consensus exists! (Worst of all, one article carries the word "mainstream" in its title.) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by CecilWard (talkcontribs) 18:29, 23 March 2007 (UTC).
I am reverting User:UBeR's improper synthesis tag. The statement of "consensus" reflects an opinion that is unfounded and lacks a citation. Do not remove this tag until the consensus statement is modified to conform to WP:OR. --Tjsynkral 03:28, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

If there are 100,000 Meteorologists in the world, it would require 50,001 signatures for there to be a consensus. Show me the signatures. Where are the signatures? Let the "Scientists" put their name on the dotted line. 16:00, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Meteorology and climatology have many common fundamental scientific underpinnings, but are vastly different in their methods, approaches, and end products. So a signature list of meteorologists in this context would be meaningless. --Skyemoor 16:17, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Neutral POV Disputed

I think it is clear looking at this Talk page that on many fronts, the neutrality of this article is disputed. I feel that this template:


ought to be included atop the article so the casual reader has an opportunity to read the comments on this talk page and decide for himself whether or not the article is neutral.

What needs to be established here is not, necessarily, whether the article is neutral - only whether the article's neutrality is, in fact, disputed (and I believe the consensus will show that there is an ongoing dispute to that end).

Discuss. Tjsynkral 21:09, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Generally each time a POV flag is discussed here there is a consensus for removing it. This article with this approximate stance has gone through a lot of editors review in becoming a featured article. I don't think that would be possible if there was a serious POV dispute about it. There are minority views on this as well as on the article but the consensus ain't bad in my view. --BozMo talk 21:13, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect. If you look above at the NPOV Dispute itself you will see that the issue has far from reached consensus. It is an ongoing dispute and if anything can be called at this point, I see more reason to keep than to drop the POV template. Tjsynkral 21:16, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with BozMo, consensus is good, which is suggested by the fact that only minor, and well-referenced, changes are being made to the article. Every attempt to label the discussion as POV above has been rejected because, in general, referenced litterature is of poorer quality than that of the article. Narssarssuaq 21:21, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Every attempt to label the discussion as POV is reverted out by a very vocal group of edit warrers who prefer that a user not make the decision for himself. The pervasiveness of certain users who revert out the POV tag is not evidence of a consensus. Consensus can only be judged by comments made on the Talk page, and a review of the Talk page shows that the majority of comments claiming neutrality are made by a few people, and the majority of comments disputing neutrality are made by many people.Tjsynkral 21:28, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

You could be right, but trying to be more constructive: Precisely which portions of the article are of poor quality, and how is neutrality compromised? The problem with most of the edits on the talk page that you mention is that they don't cite scientific literature to back their claims. If they had, I can assure you they would be taken most seriously. Narssarssuaq 21:38, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Much scientific literature is cited on Global warming controversy. The fact that the article stands as it is today is evidence that its content largely meets WP:A. Whether or not this content belongs on the main GW page, and how much, is part of the dispute -- which is ongoing. Keep POV. --Tjsynkral 23:58, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I just checked. What little scientific literature is cited is overwhelmingly on the mainstream/IPCC side. Most of the rest is fluff, opinion pieces, unreviewed reports, popular press articles, and so on. It's attributable, but it's not scientific literature.--Stephan Schulz 00:17, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't matter if in your personal opinion the articles are scientific literature. They are attributable and therefore valid, so they are entitled to fair representation in the main article on GW. --Tjsynkral 03:56, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

It's not a matter of opinion, but, it this case, simply a matter of fact. But you are a bit unclear. Do you still claim any significan amount of sceptic scientific literature is cited in Global warming controversy, or do you acknowledge that nearly all of the sceptic "publicatons" are popular press or unreviewed reports, but still think they should be represented? If the second, do you think they should be given equal weight with real scienific publications?--Stephan Schulz 00:34, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

According to your user page, you are a "computer science researcher" (probably student) - not an environmental biologist. Which means that you are entitled to your opinion, but you have absolutely no way of judging one scientist from another without knowing them and their work intimately. The scientific method dictates that contradicting research not be ignored or swept under the rug. --Tjsynkral 00:55, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm certain that if you can find my user page, you can click one or two links further to find out about the probability of my student status. You are right in the claim that outside my own field I'm not particularly qualified to evaluate the work of others directly (although "absolutely no way" is wrong - it just takes more work and is less reliable). However, having been involved with scientific publishing for a bit[3][4][5][6], I do know the difference between scientific literature and fluff pieces in the popular press, and how much weight to give either.--Stephan Schulz 07:29, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Stephan is right about this. Scientific sources and 'popular' sources are like apples and oranges. On the other hand, popular sources generally rely on scientific sources, so perhaps we need to do a little digging. --Uncle Ed 15:33, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed - the article is balanced considering the status of the science. However, a number of vocal skeptical editors continue to insist on "equal time" or whatever for their mainly political opinions. Just because these skeptics make a lot of "noise" here on the talk page does not mean there is a pov problem with the article - it presents the science and includes minority questions in relation to their scientific "weight" in the issue - that's what npov means. Vsmith 21:25, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

This isn't a discussion on NPOV - this is a discussion on whether NPOV is disputed. Keep your comments on NPOV itself to the NPOV thread above.--Tjsynkral 21:40, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Another minor point is that the tag is not intended to be used every time there is a dispute regarding an issue (as there is here). It is only supposed to be used if the article doesn't give this dispute proper mention. In this particular case, the dispute is mentioned and linked to. Narssarssuaq 21:31, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:NPOV_dispute. The NPOV flag should appear any time there is a specific issue that is actionable within content policies. The specific issue in this article is addressed in the root post and throughout Talk:Global_warming#NPOV_Dispute - the article does not conform to Wikipedia policy Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#POV_forks. This is a specific issue that is actionable within content policies. Therefore, the template should fly until the dispute is fully resolved.--Tjsynkral 21:40, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

The article is mainly giving an overview of the science. This science only disputed by quite few scientists, and their minority viewpoints are properly mentioned and linked to in the article. Wikipedia:Content forking seems to have nothing to do with this. Narssarssuaq 21:47, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

A significant number of users disagree that the minority viewpoints are properly mentioned and linked. Therefore, there is good cause for a POV. --Tjsynkral 23:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Funnily a couple of months ago someone actually went through a couple of months of discussion and classified all of the users based on their "status quo" or anti-establishment edits. The vast majority of editors were in agreement that the current article was about right. There were a small number of editors (who tended to be a bit SPA) who did lots of edits on this period. Not the other way round. If you have the energy, go through the archive and find the article or do the same. --BozMo talk 21:44, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
To the question as to whether the article is disputed, I would say, no, not with any informed analysis. Lots of editors drop in on this page and say, "but what about..." citing rumors or tv shows or (occasionally) actual science. In virtually all cases it has been discussed before and the few real scientific points appear on the page (e.g. solar variation).
Unfortunately, due the the high visibility and polarized political debate on this topic, it is hard to tell whether there is a reasoned debate about the neutrality of the page. But I have not seen one that I recognize as such. Perhaps we should have a comprehensive list of objections or reasons that an editor might consider the article NPOV, and we could see if any meet the standard for a reasonable objection to neutrality? bikeable (talk) 22:01, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree completely there should be the {{POV}} template if there is a dispute on the neutrality of the article. I only ask then you provide some arguments as to how this article does not conform to the NPOV policy. ~ UBeR 22:39, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Of course the {{POV}} tag should be at the top and I will put it there again because the article is clearly biased. Mike 10:09, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The article leans somewhat more towards the skeptic POV than it should, but not enough to need a POV tag. I've removed it again William M. Connolley 10:21, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The article leans somewhat more towards the skeptic POV than it should - Isnt this POV ? --Childhood's End 15:06, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
This is the talk page old fruit. We're allowed to mention our opinions about the article. Unless you'd rather we all pretended to have no opinions at all? William M. Connolley 15:14, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not taking any sides here, but I thought this specific discussion was about whether this article should have a POV tag according to WP policies, not according to our personal opinions. --Childhood's End 15:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with William. If anything, this article gives somewhat too much credit to the "controversy". But the basic science is represented correctly, and therefore I disagree with the POV tag. Hardern 15:37, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Some of the science is represented correctly, while the rest of the science that contradicts the findings of the science cited on the GW page has been omitted and forked to Global warming controversy or Scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming. I believe this is strong evidence of improper POV forking. --Tjsynkral 00:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Given the huge attention the controversy has been given in media etc, I could actually agree that a little more on it ideally should be mentioned in the article. The problem is that the article is already very long. Another point is that more encyclopedic information on the global warming controversy must be NPOV, and thus not necessarily positive for either of the advocate groups. Narssarssuaq 13:44, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
On the whole this article is pretty good, compared with some of the material on the internet, so I dont support a POV tag. If you think it is skewed, please say clearly which way you think it is skewed (I dont have time to go through archives and edits!) and which bits you object to. Here is one POV remark that should be removed: "It appears likely that solar variations are too small to directly explain a significant fraction of the observed warming". That statement is redundant now that we have cited papers arguing the case in both directions. It was already criticised by I wonder who wrote it? Looks like it was our dear friend William! Paul Matthews 16:43, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, chummy, the statement is a lead in to the para its in, to explain why people should wish to boost solar variations with feedbacks William M. Connolley 22:07, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is being written by watermelons (i.e. green on the outside and red on the inside). The name should be changed to WACOpedia.

In my opinion, recent changes to the article by User:Blue Tie and me have removed several sources of NPOV disputes. Words like "consensus" were used frequently in the article without attributable basis (for example, when the article should only say the opinion of the IPCC). The use of weasel words is a large part of the WP:NPOV problem. --Tjsynkral 04:37, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I've worked on this article for around 5 years *sigh* and it's stuck on the same point:

  • Is it neutral to say that most scientists agree with AGW?
  • Is it leaning toward the wrong side (as Dr. C hints) to reveal that so many scientists disagree with AGW?

The issue has to deal with the matter of assessment. Instead of just presenting the science, this article has always tried to prove AGW. And we all know that the proof or disproof of AGW is used (politically at least) to support the Kyoto Protocol.

Assessments by international and national agencies say (mostly) that the science is settled (sometimes using the word "settled" - although the article about this was deleted! - and sometimes using terms like "scientific consensus"). Assessments by many individual scientists who disagree with these agencies.

The issue for us contributing editors is whether to:

  1. slant the article in favor of AGW
  2. slant the article against AGW (as Dr. C says we are already doing!)
  3. remain scrupulously neutral about whether AGW is "scientifically supported"

If we do #3, we must be careful not to bend over backwards and act like idiots. We must not omit anything which indicates support!

I'm just saying that we should not tell the reader that "most scientists support AGW" but rather say things like:

  • According to the IPCC, NASA, etc. (list 'em all!), most scientists support AGW; and,
  • According to some scientists (Lindzen, etc. - list 'em all!), it is not true that most scientists support AGW

By AGW, I mean the theory - not the phenomenon. Whether another 2 degrees Fahrenheit of warming would be good or not, is a related but distinct question. I am only addressing here what position our article should take on the "degree of unanimity of scientists" on the question of whether "most modern warming" is anthropogenic. --Uncle Ed 15:46, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Both #1 and #2 are contrary to wikipedia policies of NPOV, so what we should do is clear. I agree with your approach. --Blue Tie 10:54, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Researchers Question Validity Of A 'Global Temperature'

The term "global temperature(s)" appears in the article 7 times. But now, the very concept of a "global temperature" has been called into question. Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute and others, argue that "[i]t is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth." [7] Thoughts anyone? Delta x 07:18, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Its non-notable nonsense William M. Connolley 09:51, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
It is notable and it should be included! Mike 10:07, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Gosh! Really! Because you use an exclamation mark! OR for Some other reason!?! William M. Connolley 10:19, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
That article is so error-filled that I'm thinking about writing one of those "Comments on..." followups to the journal, but someone likely has beat me to it. It's amazing that it was published. Raymond Arritt 15:31, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, someone should surely be critiquing the study about which the news article at issue is written, but Wikipedia isn't the place for original critiques. The news article was published by Science Daily, but more importantly (for notability) it was linked from the Drudge Report. The article is clearly notable. I am sure, with this level of notability, that there will be plenty of notable critiques published shortly (which would be further evidence of its notability and a de facto reproof of those who claim nn). This seems to be a case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. DickClarkMises 14:22, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
"If, for example, it is 10 degrees at one point and 40 degrees at another, the average is 25 degrees. But if instead there is 25 degrees both places, the average is still 25 degrees." Amazing! Good that he told me. Hardern 15:52, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, it's important to note that some researchers question whether data is really valid or notable if it only affects third-worlders, poor people, etc. If it starts to impinge on the lifestyle of residents of large industrialized cities, then maybe we have something to talk about. Otherwise, temperature rises, rising seas, etc, really have no place in discussions of real science. --Steve, Sm8900 16:21, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
 :-) --Steve, Sm8900 16:22, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank god for that addition -- I caught this between edits and was sort of stunned...! bikeable (talk) 16:23, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I come from the school of Sarcasm is our Friend. :-) :-) Thanks...figured I should add that...I do know one virtue Wikipedians have is that they do follow discussions pretty closely. See you. --Steve, Sm8900 16:26, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I was browsing the internet looking for information on Global Warming and found the Wikipedia article and this associated talk page. I am still not really sure if global warming is a problem or not. For that matter it probably resides somewhere in between the current debate. But this discussion page is something else. There is a lot of bias for both sides. If this discussion page is for what articles, theory's or opinions to add I would suggest that the lot of you should recuse yourselves. An Encyclopedia should be an unbiased resourse and relevant qualified opinions should not be dismissed or omitted. For instance in the above talk box user:Deltax asks: The term "global temperature(s)" appears in the article 7 times. But now, the very concept of a "global temperature" has been called into question. Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute and others, argue that "[i]t is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth." [23] Thoughts anyone? And the response from William M. Connolley is "Its non-notable nonsense". I know nothing about the professor or the institute but I click on the link and read the article in Science Daily. As a layman I have little experience with global weather and would expect to have anything I say about climate changes discounted. But a professor at the University of Copenhagans opinion is "non-notable nonsense". Interesting! I leave you with this quote: The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. --John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859).


Can someone tell me where I might find the following: 1. A precise scientific definition of the term global temperature? 2. A complete list of names along with the credentials of the "2500+ scientific expert reviewers" who contributed to the latest IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)? Thanks. Delta x 03:26, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

AFAIK the author/review list for AR4 isn't out yet, but the TAR list is at the obvious place: For global t, it depends what you mean: if you mean "how do people construct the "global temperature records" then there are various papers you could read William M. Connolley 09:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the list. It'll have to do for now. Regarding global t's, all I'm looking for is a simple definition of the term. I don't want to try to formulate a definition myself after having read through "various papers." I just want to be directed to a credible reference source where said definition can be found. Surely such a source must exist. If not, I'll have no choice but to assume that the term, despite all protestations to the contrary is, in fact, utterly devoid of any scientific meaning. Again, thanks for any help you can provide. Delta x 11:10, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not asking you to formulate your own. I'm saying that if you look up the papers, you'll find out how its done in the "global" temperature records. As for a defn, thats a different matter William M. Connolley 11:53, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
But this "different matter" is the very reason for my inquiry. And so I'm still looking for an answer. Maybe Bjarne Andresen really does have a point when he says "it is impossible to talk about a single temperature for...the climate of Earth." In any event, I'm reminded at this juncture of that famous saying of Bertrand Russell:
"Mathematics is that science in which we do not know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true." [8]
Or to paraphrase slightly:
"Global warming is that science in which we do not know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true." Delta x 13:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
If it's a definition you're looking for, the IPCC writes, "The global surface temperature is the area-weighted global average of (i) the sea-surface temperature over the oceans (i.e. the subsurface bulk temperature in the first few meters of the ocean), and (ii) the surface-air temperature over land at 1.5 m above the ground." ~ UBeR 22:00, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

"Thoughts anyone?" Since when do climate models assume that the entire Earth is in global thermal equilibrium at a single temperature? Local thermal equilibrium is assumed and that is a very good approximation. In fact, there are deviations from local thermal equilibrium, giving rise to "transport phenomena" which are included in the models. E.g., note that you can only derive the value of the viscosity from first principles using the differential collision cross section of molecules using the Boltzmann equation by considering a gas that is slightly out of local thermal equilibrium, i.e. a gas that, strictly speaking, is not described by a temperature. Count Iblis 13:59, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Folks, nobody here claimed to be discussing a "global temperature." what we are discussing is global climate conditions. So while this is an interesting and valid discussion, it does not refute any aspect of global warming theories. Just wanted to mention that. thanks. --Sm8900 14:17, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

No one claimed we're talking about global temperature but rather global climate conditions, despite the former appearing seven times in the article and the latter none? ~ UBeR 22:03, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
The article should be readable to lay people, therefore subtle issues cannot be discussed. Count Iblis 22:09, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
How about a separate article on the concept of Global Temperature itself? Delta x 23:02, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't necessarily merit its own article. You have the IPCC definition I posted above, and maybe some methods--not much.
Edit: Apparently, if you do Global temperature (n.b. lowercase "T"), it links to Global climate. It is very broad and doesn't seem to delve in to what we're discussing here. ~ UBeR 00:15, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate the IPCC definition, although I did find it somewhat obscure. I suspect that most people would probably just stare at it, to use that marvelous phrase of Luther's, "like cows at a new gate." Delta x 02:05, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Heh, I couldn't say I disagree. They still leave ambiguity. (Area-weighted, whatever that means and how it is calculated. Subsurface bulk temperature [whatever that means] of the first few meters of the ocean from the shores or first few meters below the surface?) Definitely, they do not clarify how representative this "average" is. ~ UBeR 02:24, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
It's pretty straightforward. "Area weighted" means that a region that has lots of stations doesn't disproportionately affect the average -- the stations for a given unit area are averaged together, and then all the unit areas are averaged. The exact method is a little more complicated but that's the basic idea. Subsurface means, well, below the surface (the first few meters below the air-sea interface). Raymond Arritt 02:34, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

That clarifies the IPCC def. a bit. But it still doesn't get to the heart of what I'm trying to understand, which is this statement by Bjarne Andresen that "the Globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average." Delta x 09:06, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

So start the BA page and discuss it there William M. Connolley 09:21, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Hello Delta x, I think you raise a point that should be brought up under "controversies". (Is that a separate page?) I do not happen to agree with the point of view (as I mentioned above) that the earth is too complex to have an average temperature, but it is an interesting criticism. --Blue Tie 11:10, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
If it was published, it shouldn't be all rubbish. Anyhow, I can see no use for it in the article at present. If it becomes clear and unison that IPCC calculations mentioned in the article are probably significantly wrong as a result of this, it should be mentioned in the article, but not before. Narssarssuaq 10:41, 21 March 2007 (UTC) Looking more closely into the article synopsis, I'm not sure if I understand why it was published. As experts of thermodynamics, they are probably right in their claim that temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system (whatever that is), but the rest of the synopsis contains some strange points. Narssarssuaq 11:26, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
This whole topic makes no sense. What exactly is it that scientists are supposed to have suddenly realized is no longer valid? The concept that there is only one temperature for the whole planet? Who ever said there was? The concept that no one can take many local temperatures, and find an average for them? Who could argue with that simple concept? This whole question seems totally immaterial. i agree with Willam M Connolley, above, and the others. Thanks. --Sm8900 13:18, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you. They seem to have concerns that apply at a microscopic level but not necessarily in a macroscopic, real-world case. Semantically, the term "global temperature" may of course "exist" if it's just defined properly. Their point seems to be that the term may be ambiguous. Although their conclusions seem far-fetched, it might be interesting to read the justifications for their claims, which judging from the name of the journal are of a thermodynamic nature. Narssarssuaq 13:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

If there are plenty of problems evaluating regional and climate trends and temperature, I'm hard pressed to consider the difficulties on a global scale. ~ UBeR 17:54, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh, my gosh. There are difficulties evaluating anything on any scale larger than ten people. Does that mean that humanity should no longer take measurements, make hypotheses, or react to general trends? --Sm8900 18:56, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Nice straw man argument. I'm almost impressed. ~ UBeR 19:28, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Uber, I am not trying to create a conflict here, with you or anyone else. However, I want to make sure I understand. Were you stating that it is problematic to try to find any general trends at all, on even a regional scale, and therefore on a global scale? if so, that seems to be a bit too broad a generalization, in my own opinion. thanks. --Sm8900 20:01, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi. i guess this discussion is sort of winding down. one more thought: if anyone wants to mention some specific difficulties entailed in tracking global temperature averages, i think we'd all be interested. I think the only problem some of us had was that it sounded at some point like some were doubting the ability to track global temperatures at all, and our ability to reach any conclusions, and therefore made it sound as if that one point refuted the entire global warming concept all at once. however, of course any discussion of specific aspect, (whether right now or later on), is probably valid. Thanks. --Sm8900 13:28, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Understandably, presuppositions should be avoided because they are dangerous things. There are are potential difficulties in climate-change studies when they "generalize regional patterns from single stations, single seasons, or a few parameters over short duration from averaging dissimilar stations; or generalize an average regional pattern from coarse-scale general circulation models." And there are reasons to be concerned how regional trends are used for global predictions. One reason I bring this is up as important is is because "many management decisions affecting climate-change policy and most mitigation efforts may be at local and regional scales. Thus, it is critically important to assess the direction and magnitude of climate change at local and regional scales. Such regional information is also vital to evaluate simulations of climate change at national and global scales (Doherty and Mearns, 1999)." Furthermore, as an example, Alward et al. (1999) documented nighttime temperature rise since 1964 at CPER. The publishing journal suggested a title that suggested global trends. Melillo (1999) furthered this, and later the AP sensationalized the results. "This chain of events may not be uncommon, and few stop to ask whether neighboring stations show similar long-term trend." ~ UBeR 17:57, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that there can be no question that a planetary temperature can be defined. Take a bottle of water. You may stick a thermometer in it and determine the temperature of the bottle. However, with sufficient skill and accuracy you would find diferences in temperature depending upon how close the temperature of the bottle was to the outside environment, where you took your measurement and different energy levels between molecular or atomic particles. However, an overall temperature is typically acceptable for most purposes. The problem with the global earth temperature is that it may not be correctly or well defined. For example, if we average the temperature of the whole earth, to the core, I suspect that we have too little data (and not much variation over time) to consider it helpful. So we want to measure the temperature of that area that we might call the "Biosphere". This would include soil, oceans, air and so on. This has never been sufficiently well measured that we can describe an "average". What we HAVE measured most commonly is ground-level atmospheric temperatures. And probably to a level that we can describe "Ground Level Atmospheric Temperature" as a measured and evaluated condition with some value. However, that is not necessarily the same thing as "Global Temperature".
The mixing of temperatures problem vs averages reminds me of the man who had his feet in an oven and his head on a block of ice. On average he was comfortable. --Blue Tie 15:37, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
But we are not talking about a man, but a planet, so the physical comfort of a planet is meaningless. The impacts to habitat, agriculture, rainfall patterns, and others are, however, pertinent to the article. So if I understand you and UBeR correctly, if it's difficult to project future trends in a region or local area, then we should ignore tracking global temperature trends? This doesn't make sense to me. What is the prevailing consensus of the scientific community? What do the IPCC, academies and other societies mention?
IPCC SPM 2007: "The world's leading climate scientists said global warming has begun, is very likely caused by man, and will be unstoppable for centuries,"
Joint Science Academies 2005: "...there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring."
Americal Meteorlogical Society 2003: "There is now clear evidence that the mean annual temperature at the Earth's surface, averaged over the entire globe, has been increasing in the past 200 years."
I don't see what the problem is and why some are concerned about how the topic is handled in the article. Just because a non-climatologist editor is 'hard-pressed' to understand the complexities of climatology on a global scale does not obviate the scientific findings and assessments to-date. 16:27, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Your comments do not seem to grasp the discussion. The statement about a man being comfortable was a joke, ok? No one here is arguing that the scientific findings and assessments do not exist. --Blue Tie 03:06, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Protect (and move)

This page is permanently semi-protected against vandalism (its open for debate if you must but it seems to be useful). I've just protected it against moves, since it seems to have suffered a few pointless moves recently and I can't see any reason to move it in the future. But if anyone cares to object, please do William M. Connolley 21:49, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

This seems warranted enough by the recent move activity. Skyemoor 19:27, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
This page is 176 kilobytes long. It may be helpful to move older discussion into an archive subpage. See Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page for guidance. --Uncle Ed 19:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to ask User:UBeR to do this, as he has past experience in moving to archives (and he carried out the move a competent and evenhanded way). Raymond Arritt 19:41, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the talk page is locked? As far as I can tell, archiving old discussion should still be possible. I think he block is only from moving the main article. ~ UBeR 19:45, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Ambiguous antecedents. The first "this page" referred to the main page; Ed's "this page" referred to Talk. At least I think so... Raymond Arritt 20:04, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I meant it's okay to semiprotect Global warming. --Uncle Ed 20:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes: the article page is protected against moves and semi-prot against edits. The talk page has no protection. I would also like to see this page archived William M. Connolley 21:04, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I do not think the main page should be semi-protected from editing. IP vandals are not such a big nuisance and easy to revert quickly. A move protect is fine, because there isn't any foreseeable reason to move the page. I've decided archiving the talk page during the start every month (of course leaving ongoing discussions) will probably work well. ~ UBeR 21:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
On such a politically charged scientific topic, semi-prot makes perfect sense; if people want to make edits, then it would be better forthem to do so with full attribution, keeping the article churn down to a dull roar. Skyemoor 22:51, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Since 1950

Uber reverted [9] my edit with the curious edit comment Rv. edit by William. The SPM does not suggest cooling as a result from solar forcings, nor does the figure suggest it. Firstly, he has left the text pointing to SPM-2, which is wrong, since SPM-2 is changes since 1750. SPM-4 is the figure you want, since it shows the effects graphed over the century. So we see that since 1950 the natural curve, which is blue, shows... oh yes, cooling. Ubers rv restores the phrase "but non-negligible". This is not supportable from SPM-2 at all, but it wouldn't be supportable even if the SPM-2 figures were since 1950 William M. Connolley 22:44, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. From what I'm reading, the article states: "Other phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes have had smaller but non-negligible effects on global mean temperature since 1950." The SPM states: "A significant fraction of the reconstructed Northern Hemisphere interdecadal temperature variability over [the last seven centuries prior to 1950] is very likely attributable to volcanic eruptions and changes in solar irradiance . . ." ~ UBeR 22:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Noticed it should probably say up to instead of since 1950... ~ UBeR 22:59, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I had reverted without catching the automatic message in time; the explanation should have read "rvt per talk page". Yes, the volcanic eruptions result in cooling spikes. "Changes in solar irradiance since 1750 are estimated to cause a radiative forcing of +0.12 [+0.06 to +0.30]W m-2, which is less than half the estimate given in the TAR. {2.7}".
"It is very unlikely that climate changes of at least the seven centuries prior to 1950 were due to variability generated within the climate system alone. A significant fraction of the reconstructed Northern Hemisphere interdecadal temperature variability over those centuries is very likely attributable to volcanic eruptions and changes in solar irradiance, and it is likely that anthropogenic forcing contributed to the early 20th century warming evident in these records." Skyemoor 01:38, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't understand Ubers response. He has quoted text about *prior* to 1950. The piece of the page we're reverting over is about post 1950. So why quote irrelevant text? William M. Connolley 13:11, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

What is global warming?

As a definition we have:

Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation.

Personally, I feel this falls short since past episodes of warming are often labelled as "global warming" even if not recent.

I tried:

Global warming is an observable increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans, especially that occuring in recent decades and its projected continuation.

Which allows for the fact the term "global warming" gets applied to the past. In doing so I felt necessary to change "observed" to "observable" to avoid a grammatical problem with the past tense observation of future warming, but Raymond didn't like that.

So does anyone have suggestions for how to define "global warming" without falsely suggesting that the term is only used for the modern case. Dragons flight 16:47, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't see what wrong with adding "especially that occuring in recent decades" to what we have William M. Connolley 17:06, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

(ec) How about:
Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans, especially that observed to occur in recent decades, and its projected continuation.
I think that addressed the core of both Raymond's and Blue Tie's objections. Dragons flight 17:08, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
To please the memory of Strunk and White: Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans, especially that observed in recent decades and its projected continuation.
--Stephan Schulz 17:22, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Stephan's proposal sounds good. The phrase "global warming" is only rarely applied to past warming episodes (e.g., paleoclimate studies), but I can see the point of leaving the door open. Raymond Arritt 17:47, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Where "rarely" includes two section headers in the article?  ;-) Okay, I've put in Stephan's version. Dragons flight 18:42, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate the change (particularly the inclusion of "especially"), but I still have some concerns. They are in two areas:
1.This is a physical phenomenon. As gravity exists with or without observation so does the heating and cooling of bodies in space, including planets (such as Venus, Earth and Mars). It bothers me that we limit it in this way.
2.It is not a recent phenomenon. It is an enduring thing lasting over billions of years. What is recent is the attention it has received and the concerns over human involvement in the recent changes. But the phenomenon is not recent. The opening paragraph should reflect both realities.... perhaps like this:

Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans. Observations of recent, rapid global warming and its projected continuation have given rise to warnings regarding environmental and climate change.

This is a back-construction of the term that does not follow its conventional usage. Yes, it sounds reasonable to expect that "global warming" could be applied to any period in which the mean temperature warms. But even in scientific contexts the term when used without qualifiers is almost universally understood to mean the modern warming period. Why not simply adopt the meaning of the term as it is broadly understood, following WP:COMMONNAME? Raymond Arritt 18:57, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

(Unindent) One reason is that doing so removes it from areas of popular culture, fad of the moment status and into a scientific domain. It is not to say that this eliminates POV problems, but at least it limits them. But when you make it a recent phenomena, it politicizes it and brings all sorts of agenda into immediate view, making the potential for bias greater.

But secondly, I do not agree that the fact that this is the broadly understood use of the term is sufficient reason to exclude its full nature and I think the reference to common name is a misuse of that guideline. It is not suggesting that science give way to popular culture but rather that the way something be FOUND in the encyclopedia be accessable to the public. It is a matter of article accessability not a matter of article content.

Let me point you to a website that highlights this difference in a way, and if you think about it, you will realize that how the issue is defined, right from the start, kicks off whether the article will be biased in a direction or not. Here is the website:

Consider that this article could best be used to be coldly objective and unbiased, leaving the normative biases and debates on other pages, with links back and forth. This page does not have to advocate any position. Just report the positions reasonably. --Blue Tie 19:19, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I still don't see an authoritative source for your definition. The zfacts site is very amateurish and error-filled; it cannot be taken seriously as a factual source. Raymond Arritt 20:44, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
So you say. But, that your opinion of zfacts is irrelevant. I was using it not as an authority but as a way to help express my point. I was hoping you were trying to have a meeting of the minds, but perhaps that is not how it is. The point I was making was that Global Warming is a phenomenon that has existed for ages past and exists now. Its causes at various times may have been similar or different, I do not know and I do not care really. But it has existed a long time. In scientific articles reviews of the past include warming of past periods, also times of global warming. The heading of the article, if it is broad enough and scientifically valid enough, will help reduce the NPOV problems. And there are such problems. However, if you need an authoritative source, I will find one. But really, why is it necessary to find an authoritative source to say that "water is wet"? --Blue Tie 02:48, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
The present intro of the article looks like a good compromise. It makes a nod to the (specious) idea that "global warming" is a term that means any temperature rise at any time, while making it clear that the actual usage of the term overwhelmingly refers to the recent period of warming. Raymond Arritt 02:55, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem with the "if a tree falls..." argument is that if we aren't documenting it, then we shouldn't be reporting it. The sentence should read, "Global warming is the observed increase..." ~ UBeR 02:10, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

By that logic, gravity should only be described in terms of recent observations, rather than as a fundamental law of nature that has existed along with time. Only our observation makes it real. I do not agree with this philosophy. I believe that if we were not here to observe, the Universe would still continue to contain stars and planets and other things that have gravity -- and that get warm or cold.--Blue Tie 02:51, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Not by any means. Gravitation, being a physical law, can applied be everywhere. Global warming is our observed increase in global temperatures. Global warming is not a law, and is not applicable everywhere. Do you seriously believe we are constantly warming, or do you actual give credence to the fact that cooling also does occur (even in large scales, such as in Antarctica)? P.S. The current version is shit. ~ UBeR 08:22, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Now, now. The question is, "Can it occur without direct observation?". The answer obviously is 'yes'. So 'observed' is an unnecessarily limiting adjective. Entropy is an on-going process in untold areas in the universe, yet we wouldn't decline to state that just because we are not documenting it in every location constantly. --

I personly like the defintions you guys have but mine is the simple words. " Global Warming is warming of the Earth because of many different causes. The main cause is Carbon Dioxide Emissions.

An Authoritative Source for Non-Recent Definition of Global Warming

I have been asked to provide an authoritative source for a definition of the term that excludes the sense of recency. So here it is.

An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change. --The American Heritage Dictionary, 2004 edition. --Blue Tie 03:41, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

global warming: an increase in the earth's average atmospheric temperature that causes corresponding changes in climate and that may result from the greenhouse effect. Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006. --Skyemoor 09:51, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
global warming: An increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase great enough to cause changes in the global climate. The Earth has experienced numerous episodes of global warming through its history, and currently appears to be undergoing such warming. The present warming is generally attributed to an increase in the greenhouse effect , brought about by increased levels of greenhouse gases, largely due to the effects of human industry and agriculture. Expected long-term effects of current global warming are rising sea levels, flooding, melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, more frequent and stronger El Niños and La Niñas, drought, heat waves, and forest fires. See more at greenhouse effect. The American Heritage Science Dictionary. --Skyemoor 09:55, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Partisan editing considered harmful

I'm against partisan editing, whether I agree with your side or not. All of us must make neutral edits and avoid tendentious edits. The deletion Blue Tie just made seemed partisan to me. That is, it seemed to support "my side". But I can't support deletion of verifiable material simply because it leads to a conclusion I dislike.

Anyway, we need clarity on volcanoes and solar variation. Some sources say these natural factors account for much more than half of atmospheric temperature variations (both as reconstruted from proxies before 1850, and as measured by thermometers, etc. since then). Other sources say these natural factors account for less than half.

There is a sharp distinction here. Let's not blur it by deleting references. Let's amplify it by describing it. The more references the better.

What does the UN's assessment panel say? What does the Max Planck institute say? What do Lindzen, Baliunas, Singer, et al., say?

What deletion seemed partisan? I apologize if it seemed that way. The truth is, in some cases I am arguing for positions that I do not personally agree with because they are supported by wikipedia policy of neutrality and verifiability. If you are referring to the volcanos and solar irradiance statement, it is simply (and embarrasingly) unsupported by the citation. Indeed the article text says that these have a probably cooling effect but solar irradiance has a warming effect according to the text around the figure cited in the source, so the cited source says exactly opposite of what the text says. Hence the delete. --Blue Tie 14:14, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
SPM-4 clearly shows cooling from 1950 from solar/volcanic sources (the reference is clearly to the figure, not to the surrounding text; I don't see anything in the surrounding text to support BT's solar irradiance has a warming effect - what do you mean?). I'm unsure how BT can assert that "The citation simply does not support the statement". From 1850-present there is SPM-2, with solar less than 1/10 of GHG. I don't know where Ed gets the more/less than half stuff, though William M. Connolley 14:24, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
BT commonly says "the citation does not support the statement" when the citation does support the statement. For example, he contended that [10] did not support the idea that "global warming" is usually understood to refer to the current warming period. Assuming he actually read the cited reference, it's hard to imagine what part of "Scientists use the term ‘global warming’ to refer to the idea that the world’s average temperature may be about five degrees Fahrenheit higher in 75 years than it is now" he had so much trouble with. At the time I thought it may have been a casual oversight, but a pattern is emerging. Raymond Arritt 14:35, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Oops, hold the phone. Assuming this evalution of BT's edits was made in good faith ...

Are you saying that the citation supports the statement and that BT incorrectly said it didn't?

And is BT saying that (1) the statement isn't true, even though the citation supports it or that (2) that statement may or not be true, but merely is not supported by the citation? I would hate to have to dig into to this. Can't somebody make this clearer?


  • Volcanoes spew dust, etc. This screens sunlight from reaching the surface, which leads to a bit of cooling.
  • Solar variation correlates with periods of more or less sunlight reaching the surface.
  • Some scientists {who?} say these two factors account for the bulk of all the warming and cooling ever seen. Other scientists {who again?} say there factors account for less than half of (1) warming & cooling detected by proxy, (2) warming & cooling in the modern warming period or (3) all warming & cooling. --Uncle Ed 15:26, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Ed
Basically the Source is a series of graphs showing output of computer models, not actual fact or history. There is no text describing, in sufficient detail to draw the conclusion reached, how to read the bands. The blue band that would be associated with volcanism and solar radiation seems to rise before 1950 (which was the peak) and then decline to levels that were similar to levels about 1900. However, in many instances, the upper part of the blue band for recent years, overlaps the lower part of the blue band for 1950 -- the peak year. So, the peak year, 1950 appears anomalous in the graph anyway and there is no way to determine if there is a statistically significant difference between the theoretical effects of volcanism and solar radiation in the computer model for 1950 and 2006. In short, the statement is Unsubstantiated Original Research. --Blue Tie 15:47, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

To Ed Poor regarding the Volcanism and Solar Radiation in the opening paragraph

Thanks for the request for discussion.

I reviewed the specific source (Figure 4) 3 times. The source does not discuss volcanism nor solar irradiance in the way described. Instead it discusses the differences between climate model results when the effects of man on the climate are included or excluded. The results with men excluded are due to solar irradiance and volcanism alone, per the source. The source does not describe the net effect of solar irradiance and volcanism on the current level of warming. That is why I said the source does not support the statement. The source would support the statement that "the current episode of global warming is likely caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases". However that is, essentially, redundant, I think. --Blue Tie 14:07, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Sigh. The statement questionned by BT was Other phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes have had smaller probably cooling effects on global mean temperature since 1950. Fig SPM-4 shows (lowest row, blue curve) the T history repreoduced by GCMs with natural forcing (sol/vol) only. And it shows... cooling since 1950. Which is to say... that sol/vol have probably (though not definitely) had a net cooling effect since 1950 William M. Connolley 14:44, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem with that is that the charts are not actual history. They are results of climactic models. The text does not describe it that way. Futhermore, the charts showing this are from a study that really was not that focused on the effects of volcanism and solar radiation but on the anthropogenic effects. The text of the study is absolutely silent on this issue. So this comment is an original research interpretation of a chart where the underlying assumptions and conclusions are not well described or expressed. And my reading of the chart (which I agree is also Original Research -- but that is the problem with Original Research) informs me that the difference between 1950 and present is not significant enough to be declared "probably" different. The statement has problems with Original Research.--Blue Tie 15:28, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Sigh again. You resolutely refuse to see the obvious when its against you. Your "actual history" stuff is nonsense - there is no way to do this stuff through natural history, of course. The sense from the charts is also obvious: sol/vol cooling from 1950 William M. Connolley 15:52, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Again, please assume good faith. There is nothing "against me". I am commenting upon a source. If the things I have said about the source are not true, then show that. If you are arguing that there is no evidence in science that describes history, I disagree. If you are trying to say that there is no way to historically know a speculative alternative history, I agree -- and hence, this is part of my concern over the statement in the article. The information in the article is original research based upon the charts and there is no way to know that this OR is correct. This is a violation of wikipedia standards. I again, and for the second time, request that you remain civil by refraining from personal comment or speculations about some motives I might have. Assume good faith. --Blue Tie 18:08, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Slow down, please, do.

Dr. C seems to be saying that sol (solar variation) and vol (volcanic dust, etc.) accounts for a certain degree of cooling since 1950. I'd like to hear more about this. How much cooling was there, and when did it start? Who says it had anything to do with sol/vol, and how much did they say these natural factors account for the temperature variations measured? Does anyone authoritative or even interesting say that less than half is natural? Or that most is natural?

Ed, did you net even look at the graph which is the source? And why did you delete my reply to this [11]? I'm baffled. anyway, all you need to do is actually look at the ref given William M. Connolley 16:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

BT seems to be saying ... what? I'm having trouble following. Please simplify your comments for a middle-aged man who means well but never finished college. --Uncle Ed 15:54, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Ed,
Probably something wrong with me -- too complex. It is not about what an editor is saying. It is what a cite will support. Wikipedia policies say that we should not do original research. The statement in the article is not supported by the citation. It is that simple. But to be specific:
  • The source is a graph of model results, not actual fact
  • The source covers a larger range of time. The text uses a point on the graph that is extreme as a point of comparison.
  • The source requires interpretation of a graph, but insufficient information about the graph is provided to draw conclusions such as those put in the article.
  • The interpretation that is put forward in the article is suspect because the band of the current period vs the 1950 period(which is the extreme point)seem to overlap -- or come close enough that a question about statistical significance arises. --Blue Tie 16:12, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Weasel Words and NPOV problems

The Guideline on wikipedia regarding weasle words is here. It specifically mentions the word "many" as a weasel word. Though it does not mention the word "few", "few" is intrinsically similar to "many". Here are some of the specific things that are said about weasel words:

  • the spirit of Wikipedia draws very strongly from the neutrality and verifiability policies, both of which are acutely compromised by this practice, editors are encouraged to Avoid Weasel Words.
  • If a statement can't stand on its own without weasel words, it lacks neutral point of view
  • The example "Most scientists believe that there is truth" is said to be bad construction in part because:
    • Most can range in any amount more than 50% up to 99%
    • The statement gives no necessary contextual data such as how the individual beliefs were counted
    • Or whether the statement concerns all scientists or only those presently alive

There is something else here. The words "few" and "many" are not cited. They constitute a violation of wikipedia's policy of No Original Research

Incidentally, the opening paragraph (as currently designed) uses the word "most". It is used in the context of a literal quote. In a way, this is using weasel words by proxy, but at least it is verifiable. A better solution should be found that does not rely on weasel words by proxy, but as long as it is verifiable, its somewhat less of a problem. --Blue Tie 15:14, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

"Most" actually connotates a majority, where 'many' simply means more than a few, so "most" is not a weasel word. --Skyemoor 20:14, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
According to Avoid Weasel Words it is, or perhaps I should say, "can be".--Blue Tie 20:24, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually it is not difficult to replace the words "few" etc. by more precise estimates. There are about 2000 or so scientists who contributed to the IPCC report and many more scientists who did not stringly agree with the conclusions. There are no more than about 20 climate scientist who can be classified as climate skeptics. So, the ratio is problebly something like 10,000 to 20.

There are not many peer reviewed studies about the opinion of climate scientists, but then trivial to verify facts do not need citatons in order not to violate OR. Count Iblis 15:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

That might be a better view. However, I did not count 2000 in the IPCC. I saw about 50. And as far as the count of those who disagree, you would have to cite a poll or something, otherwise it would again be Original Research -- how can you otherwise claim to know who all the scientists who disagree are? --Blue Tie 15:41, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Please keep an eye on these users' changes in history: User:KimDabelsteinPetersen has re-added weasel words into the article and uses forked pages in violation of WP:NPOV in lieu of the required references for such words as "numerous" "few" and "consensus" which as they appear in the article now reflect only an editor's opinion, not a verifiable source. Kim's edits clearly violate WP:AWW and WP:NPOV. User:Vsmith re-added the words after they were removed again. If you feel these words should be included please give your rationale on the talk page - otherwise on their face these edits violate Wikipedia standards. --Tjsynkral 16:34, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Unless you are addressing people who will review NPOV things, I think it best to not make things personal. However, I would point out that the current version (as of this instant) is not so bad. --Blue Tie 16:42, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
As far as content, I agree. On the other hand the writing style of the new intro is terrible, whereas it was reasonably good before the latest round. We need better for one of Wikipedia's top 100 articles. Would you like to take a try at copyediting the intro? Raymond Arritt 17:19, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, few is kinda weasely - hmm... but leaving it out gives the impression that a significant number disagree rather than maybe as much as 1% (20 : 2000). Of course if your POV aligns with the 1%, then you don't want readers to know how few there are - so maybe removing few could be seen as POV pushing by making those few more significant than the really are - just maybe. Therefore, it seems necessary for the weasel fighter to make the point non-pov by replacing those horrible weasels with balancing numbers to avoid POV problems. Cheers, Vsmith 21:42, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I do not know the POV of the 1% or the 99% or any other %. I know my own POV, but it is irrelevant. The bottom line is that there are three really important principles in wikipedia to avoid such disputes. One of these is "No Original Research". Another is "Verifiability". And the other is NPOV. They all work together. The word "few" is original research and uncited. It is inherently POV. If there really are 2000 vs 20 then you should cite apoll that demonstrates that. Otherwise it is original research and it does not work here. I saw that ratio mentioned by someone else. Is there a source for that ratio or is it anecdotal? I've asked before and not had a reply. --Blue Tie 21:53, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
1% and 99% are numbers. Do you have a verifiable source on those numbers? If not you are just blowing steam. --Tjsynkral 22:00, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Seems you are avoiding the problem my numbers were used to illustrate. I can use those numbers here on the talk page for illustration purposes, to put them in the article would require verification. You've both sidestepped the point I am making about balance and pov. Removing few can be seen as pov pushing as it makes a minor viewpoint seem more important. Vsmith 23:14, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
How does having NO word push any viewpoint? It's absolutely not NPOV to say "few" - that is clearly a weasel word. Since dozens of scientists, with solid credentials, appear on the Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming page, one could easily say that numerous scientists oppose AGW. However to say that would be just as much a violation of WP:AWW as "few" - so just don't use any adjective unless you're prepared to back it up with a reliable source. --Tjsynkral 23:50, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
How about "relatively few" - that is not a weasel word. It states the comparison within a specific group. We could also put it as a "minority" - numerous could be changed to "most" - that is supported by the subpage - and if not true then it is easy to disprove. (i'll accept "most" as being >75%). --Kim D. Petersen 23:59, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Where do I begin with the logical fallacies? First of all, "relatively few" is a weasel word because it still puts an editor's analysis on the number of scientists who dissent, without attribution. That's a violation of WP:A and by extension, a violation of WP:AWW.
What specific group are you referring to? Are you referring to the number of scientists whose names are mentioned on one subpage, vs how many are mentioned on the other? Wikipedia pages cannot be used as references! Many scientists may not appear on the disagreeing scientists page. To make a claim about all scientists, which is exactly what you're doing, you need a valid sample - and scientists that a WPer happened to hear about and add to the article do not make up a valid sample.
"Minority" is not supported by the subpage for the same reason given above: not a valid sample. When you have a valid sample you can start talking to me about words like "few" or "relatively few" or "minority."
Nothing is easy to disprove - and if you're inserting weasel words, the burden of proof is on YOU. Saying that "few" scientists dissent because of a lack of proof to the contrary is a blatant, and embarrassing for you, Argument from ignorance fallacy. --Tjsynkral 00:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

I have also demonstrated that the phrase "climate scientists" is weasel-wording (see this discussion). William M. Connolley notably made a famous comment where he said that "I see no need for a precise definition of CS". This issue still needs to be adressed as well since this kind of weasel wording gives a misleading character of authority to various statements made by the climate change bandwagon. --Childhood's End 17:05, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I read your argument and do not feel you have demonstrated 'climate scientists' is weasel-wording.If a scientist is performing research on directly climate-related topics, they are climate scientists. There are many specialties, of course, and some are more directly related than others. --Skyemoor 20:14, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
That does not seem to fit the notion of weasel wording as I read it, but perhaps the term "climate scientists" is rather vague. I note that wikipedia calls it "original research" when you introduce a neologism without citing the source for it. --Blue Tie 21:53, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
As I tried to point out in the above mentioned discussion, if you define "climate scientist" as a scientist performing research on directly climate-related topics, this means that any chemist performing research on directly climate-related topics becomes a climate scientist. But the fact is that a chemist remains a chemist and his/her scientifc knowledge remains stricly confined to chemistry. It is thus more precise to call him a chemist rather than a "climate scientist", and calling him/her a climate scientist only gives the false idea that this person is qualified to give scientific opinions about whole concepts such as global warming, which is totally misleading. No wonder why William Connolley saw "no need for a precise definition of climate scientist". --Childhood's End 13:40, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
"Chemist" is a very general term. The norm is to use "climate scientist" about chemists working with climate. Narssarssuaq 08:03, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
All words are weasel words in a strict sense. They are mainly a problem in start class articles where words such as "many", "most" etc. are thrown out without any justification for it, such as "Many critics think this record is good". This article has citations for everything. Sometimes the terms used have to be more vague than at other times. I don't think weasel words are a problem in this article. Narssarssuaq 07:59, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Discusson on Copy editing

Per Raymond Arritt's request above, I opened a new section.

One of the criticisms of wikipedia is that articles are created and edited "piecemeal" and as a result they lose a sense of consistency and cohesiveness. In addition, the overall structure is sometimes a bit hodge-podge. This may be true here. I believe that the whole article could be improved, not so much by re-writing as by re-organizing the current content and then filling in holes or (in a few cases) deleting extraneous material or moving it to a better page. A HUGE amount of good work has gone into this already. But perhaps a reorganization would help. I have noticed in other articles that go through this process that some huge holes emerge that were previously overlooked. And a re-organizatation may be an appropriate improvement for a "top 100" article as I understand that this is.

I would see a re-organization along the lines of:

  • Introduction (Summary)
  • What Global Warming is (and how it comes about)
    • Factors that may produce Global Warming (The science of how it works)
      • Greenhouse gases
      • Solar Radiation
      • etc?
    • Factors that may mitigate Global Warming (The science of how it is reduced)
      • Aerosols
      • Volcanism & Disasters
      • Clouds and Albedo
      • etc?
  • How Global Warming is Studied (and the history of its studies)
    • Historical Global Temperature Studies
    • The (alleged) role of civilization on Global Temperature Variation
    • Projections of Global Temperatures
  • Possible effects of higher temperatures on other Climate and Environment factors
  • Debates over Global Warming, forecasts and actions
    • An explanation of the difficulty in developing and interpreting evidence
    • Debates over the existance of the phenomenon
    • Debates over the role of man in the phenomenon
    • Debates over climate forecasts
    • Debates over efforts to mitigate anticipated warming

Where there are separate articles that cover these sections, they should be summarized reasonably and linked. The introduction should summarize these sections and should be written both first and then scrapped and re-written over again after everything is consolidated.

In short, rather than just revise the opening, I think that the whole article could be re-organized and then the opening re-written.

But, having said that, I have previously provided an opening that might work with the article as it is. I will reproduce my prior efforts, with any changes that seem right, below. --Blue Tie 18:02, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

New opening?

Per Raymond's request here is a potential opening. (I actually think just the first paragraph is enough and the rest should be distributed through the article). I do not think this is superior to a version that would be written after an article re-organization.

Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans of sufficient magnitude that it results in climate change. Although the concept had been studied since the mid 1800's the term "Global Warming" was coined in the mid to late 1970's and most of the research dates from that time forward. That research produced observations of recent, rapid warming and forecasts a significant continuation of this temperature rise for at least a century. Along with the forecasts, researchers have produced warnings regarding environmental and climate change but the findings and warnings are also a matter of dispute among scientists and politicians.

Global average air temperature near Earth's surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °Celsius (1.3 ± 0.32 °Fahrenheit) in the last century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), organized to study this matter, predicts that global temperatures will rise by 1.8 -4.0°C between 1990 and 2100 [4] stating that "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations,"[3] which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the greenhouse effect.

The IPCC statement has been endorsed by National Acadamies of Science for the G8 nations and The US National Research Council. Other scientific organizations such as the American Meterological Society, The American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of London have issued their own statements of concern over global warming. (See Scientific opinion on climate change)

Other members of the scientific community such as Beate Liepert, Graham Farquhar, Michael Roderick, and Peter Cox dispute some or all of these findings, arguing that increased aerosols and increased atmospheric albedo mitigate direct anthropogenic increases on global temperature or that long-term global climate changes are a better explanation for the phenomenon. (See Scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming).

Wrong on so many counts. You have the wrong Cox; and anyway Cox and Liepert doubt none of the IPCC findings; the aerosols/albedo point is confused to the point of meaninglessness; "results in climate change" is stupid: it *is* climate change. You appear to have dropped you concerns over sourcing (thankfully). The original version before you sstarted meddling was better William M. Connolley 19:38, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Could be that the details are wrong. It was a proposal. But the comments about "results in climate change" is from objective sources on the meaning of the term "global warming", so your issue may be with them more than with me. Would you like quotes? I have not dropped any concerns over sourcing. Sources continue to be critical to wikipedia and if that is something you do not like your preferences are contrary to the wikipedia standards. I am sorry but I disagree with your assessment of the "original version", it was not better, it was worse. As for your meddling comment, one last time I will request that you refrain from personal attacks. --Blue Tie 19:49, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh good, I do hope it *is* the last time. If you haven't dropped sourcing concerns, why are sources for your pet defn of GW absent? For the 1800's claims? For... so much of the rest of this nonsense. And... totally misrepresenting Cox/Liepert is hardly a detail - it just shows you don't know what you are talking about William M. Connolley 20:40, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I hope it is the last time too. But you seem to insist on being uncivil. I do not know why.
The sources are absent because I was being quick. It was just a proposal for discussion, not a full solution. I did not mean to misrepresent someone, I was trying to incorporate some other person's comments that I saw somewhere in the discussion. Once more: This was a proposal not a solution. It was for discussion and change, not for incorporation. My goal was to address the problems with NPOV.
One of the cool/annoying things about wikipedia is that it is the encyclopedia anyone can edit. It does not require you to know much about a subject. Instead you must be able to reference it and put things forward in an NPOV way. This is particularly difficult for people like you who do know things. You have to put up with those who don't know as much as you -- and the rules of wikipedia do not completely favor your personal knowledge. In fact, often when someone knows a great deal, they are not able to be objective and then problems with original sources and npov really start to kick in. I understand that. I am sympathetic. But wikipedia still requires adequate sourcing and npov, even when that is annoying. --Blue Tie 20:50, 25 March 2007 (UTC)


The first process of challenge should be to the featured article status. Posting a nomination to check POV makes no sense to a featured article which has a higher standard of integrity to it. Therefore this POV tag tag should go.--BozMo talk 21:56, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I am unaware of any such "process". I do not believe it is right. Can you cite a reference or wikipedia guideline supporting your position? (This unsigned comment was added by Blue Tie)
The only way a POV tag can be removed is if the article has been modified to meet Wikipedia standards. As it stands right now there are a number of issues with the article and, as soon as one of us corrects the problems, another edit warrer comes along and reverts the page to a version that blatantly violates WP:AWW and/or WP:OR by introducing statements and adjectives without any reference to back them up. --Tjsynkral 22:16, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
This is such an obvious issue. The article is clearly not meeting NPOV, and anyone coming to the article should be warned about it. The closest that can be said is that some people think it clearly reflects their own views - and that because only their view is right it reflects all the "right" views! Mike 16:01, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
We have to be careful that political or popular opinions are not confused with scientific opinions. The latter is all we are concerned with in this article. --Skyemoor 16:15, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Kim's latest edits

Ms. Kim's latest edit is blatant POV pushing, and flies in the face of WP:AWW and WP:WTA. Her edit summary is shows her ignorance of how Wikipedia and its policies work. I'm sorry, Kim, but you cannot reference Wikipedia articles as sources. That's the bottom line. ~ UBeR 22:54, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. If there are trivial to check facts then you don't need sources at all. This is how wikipedia functons on practice in case of science articles. Count Iblis 22:59, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry Iblis, I'm going to have to ask that you familiarize yourself with Wikipedia policy. Saying "most" and "few" is not trivial. Your subjective opinion matters little here. Read up on verifiability again. If it lacks sources (that is, not using Wikipedia as a source), and it questioned, the burden is on the editor who wishes to have it included. (Jimbo, of course, would argue it merits deletion on the spot.) Your backwards reasoning doesn't work well here. ~ UBeR 23:07, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I know about wiki policies, but some are not applicable to scientific articles, at least not if you take them literally. We had similar discussions about scitations of facts in the article about relativity and in some other articles. We don't cite trivial derivations even though they may be non trivial to lay persons. In this case the word "few" doesn't need a citation per se, because unlike what you claim, it is a trivial fact. In the relativity article we just removed all the "citation needed" tags without giving the requested citations. Count Iblis 23:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Read my above comment again. ~ UBeR 23:30, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't work that way. You can't just selectively use tags to hold an article hostage. If you belong to a minority of editors that disagree then your edits will simply be reverted regardless of what the relevant wiki policies in your interpretation may be saying. Of course, the majority of the editors are not unreasonble, so there is no real conflict with the wiki rules at all, just with your interpretation of them. Count Iblis 17:05, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with UBer's analysis of Kim's edits. I would revert to the last edit prior to her changes but I believe I may be hitting 3RR. I encourage any user who agrees that these edits violate Wiki policies please revert Kim's edits. --Tjsynkral 23:39, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Kim's edits to solar variation in intro

Kim's latest edit to the intro on solar variation shows WP:OR. We are not here to support the OR of a petty modeler in his field, but rather take what the verifiable and reliable sources are saying. The SPM states, "A significant fraction of the reconstructed Northern Hemisphere interdecadal temperature variability over [the last seven centuries prior to 1950] is very likely attributable to volcanic eruptions and changes in solar irradiance." That is a far cry from what it currently reads ("Other phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes have had a small neutral or slight cooling effect on global mean temperature since 1950."), but very closely resembles what Kim reverted. Further, if you wish to look at the literature, Solanki and Foukal "find a good correlation between solar irradiance and global temperature until at least 1980." Scafetta and West calculate 65-75% of the 1900–1980 global warming has a solar origin. This, too, a far cry from what Kim wishes to use.

There is a difference between prior to 1950 and since 1950. Scafetta and West[12] say that "We estimate that the sun contributed as much as 45–50% of the 1900–2000 global warming, and 25–35% of the 1980–2000 global warming." - notice the falling contribution. --Kim D. Petersen 23:09, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Precisely. Falling ≠ cooling. It means less warming than previous. This is precisely why the SPM never states solar variation has caused cooling since 1950. And if you actually read carefully, what you reverted said "till" not "since." The previous version was correct, per the SPM, and even understated per the literature. ~ UBeR 23:12, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
The percentage wasn't stated in the SPM because SA and China protested the phrase that described the solar influence as less than 20% (see this month's SciAm). Skyemoor 01:55, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Please differentiate between a section describing only solar - and a section describing Other phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes --Kim D. Petersen 23:19, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Note btw. that Scafetta&West do not "calculate 65-75% of the 1900–1980 global warming has a solar origin." at all - neither in the 400 year paper[13] - nor in the last century paper.[14] - the 65-75% figure is no where to be found in either paper - nor in a following reply [15] --Kim D. Petersen
Sorry for that, I unfortunately was using Lindzen from that I think. Of course, I meant "likely contributed approximately 75% of the 1900–1950 global warming but only 25–35% of the 1980–2000 global warming." ~ UBeR 23:31, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Page protection - Summary of current issues with this article

This page has been protected due to the ongoing edit war. Please use this section to discuss the criteria that this page must meet to both adhere to Wikipedia policies and end the edit warring. --Tjsynkral 23:56, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I'll now chime in with my thoughts on the article.
The introduction of the article renders an opinion on the amount of the scientific community that supports human-caused global warming, and the amount in dissent. Words such as "numerous" and "few" strongly imply a large number for the former and a small number for the latter. If this is true, the use of these words needs to be followed immediately by a supporting reference per WP:A. Several users have claimed that the number of scientists appearing on either Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change or Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming is evidence of such. Not so - these WP articles are not a scientific amassing of all scientists' opinions, so it may be that one page has had more attention paid to it than the other, and there may be many scientific opinions not mentioned on either page. (And by the way, it's also inappropriate to fork opposing scientists onto a separate page, because their opinion is as scientific as any other, but that's an issue for that particular page.) Wikipedia pages cannot be used as sources for other Wikipedia pages. You need scientific literature.
Given that no evidence is provided to establish a "consensus" beyond saying that there is a consensus among members of IPCC, we should limit any mention of consensus to the IPCC and not say anything we can't back up.
By putting such a heavy statement as "numerous" and "few" in the introduction without basis, we may be introducing a factual inaccuracy and biased POV into the article. --Tjsynkral 00:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

--Kim D. Petersen 04:29, 26 March 2007 (UTC)::I've relayed my views in "Kim's latest edits" section of this talk page. Basically "most" and "few" are weasel words and words that are to be avoided. I had a good version which was neutral. It read, "While this conclusion has been endorsed by certain scientific societies and academies of science, there are scientists who disagree about the primary causes of the observed warming." Arguably, "certain" could be weaselly, and can easily be deleted. If you want to use otherwise YOU NEED A SOURCE THAT SAYS PRECISELY WHAT THE ARTICLE IS SAYING. (No, Wikipedia articles do not count as sources.) I hope that makes it clear. Also, there needs to be attribution to the people who are saying what we are in the article. WP:V makes clear instead of stating it as fact, we need to state the the source has stated it.

Also is the solar variation and its role on temperature up to the 1950 and 1980. Details in "Kim's latest edits" section above. ~ UBeR 00:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Tjsynkral - the climate change pages are part of a whole. This means (imho) that they are each describing subsubjects of the same issue - the only alternative to this is a sequence of monolithic pages because each is dependant on the same information. The subject of scientific opinion is described in detail (with numerous references) on the specific subpage - as for the opposing scientific view - that is described on yet another subpage. So there are either of 2 possibilities here - either we accept or correct the subpages - or we include the information as a whole in the current page. --Kim D. Petersen 00:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The issue here is whether we should say "numerous" and "few" without any valid sample - only citing Wikipedia pages as a reference for these hyperbole adjectives. No reliable sources have been provided to back up the notion that numerous scientists hold one view or that few scientists hold another view. I've made comments under your entry above in the Weasel Words section. --Tjsynkral 00:29, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The biggest problem is "few". That word cannot be legitiately supported except by Original Research without valid sources. But the word "numerous" is sufficiently nonspecific that it should also go. There have been solutions to this that do no damage to the article but these have been rejected for words that are not in harmony with WP:NPOV. --Blue Tie 00:48, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
numerous : indefinitely large numerically. Synonymous with "many" - which is a bad word. --Tjsynkral 00:54, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Can anyone tell me how the following is not correct, or does not adhere to WP:V, WP:OR, or WP:SYN (unlike the current version): "While this conclusion has been endorsed by scientific societies and academies of science, there are scientists who disagree about the primary causes of the observed warming." It removes subjectivity. ~ UBeR 00:57, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that is a good way of putting the statement out of any POV. But that has been rejected. --Blue Tie 00:59, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
It seems like the "numerous and few camp" feels that there should be POV (despite the Wiki policy against it. I've said numerous times that I would support this statement if it was 100% accounted for in a reliable source and the reference was included. Right now there's no substance to those words at all apart from the number of scientists who are mentioned on Wikipedia pages. --Tjsynkral 01:05, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The trouble is that its misleading - and thus not neutral. --Kim D. Petersen 01:20, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Exactly what is misleading about UBeR's version? --Tjsynkral 01:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
It gives undue weight to the scientists who disagree - we get the impression that this group is significant, and that is most certainly not the case if you check the subpages and verify the sources available there. --Kim D. Petersen 09:00, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. UBeR's wording gives no magnitude to either scientific opinion, so it does not give any weight to anything. It is neutral to say certain scientists feel one way and other scientists feel another, and that could easily mean a million of one and two of the other. A user can read the subpages to get an (scentifically invalid, but I digress) idea of the scientists supporting either position. --Tjsynkral 02:53, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry you are delivering WP:Undue_weight to it by not being willing to weight the issue - please:
  1. (as asked before) State your basis for beliving that we cannot trust the reliable sources of the various scientific academies (all the G8 ones + a lot of others) who all state that the IPCC assessment is a reliable and accurate description of a consensus + the synthesis documentation by (for instance) Oreskes (linking them as per WP:ATT) - The Oreskes study could arguably be said to be the only needed reference here - and the wikilink to Scientific opinion on climate change the indepth examination.
  1. State your rationale for us to overemphasizing a criticism by arguably a few (unless you can find documentation that they are more than that) in comparison to the former. Remember a consensus in Science is not unanimous - but it is a majority - so by definition if the first statement is correct - the second group has to be smaller. We've also pointed out that even the starchest critic against the Oreskes study is admitting that the opposition is minor. --Kim D. Petersen 06:25, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
The basic problem is that many of us believe "many" and "few" (or whatever words one chooses to describe the dichtomoty) are objectively correct. The IPCC consensus supports that. The dozens of scientific societies supporting the anthropogenic view of global warming support that. The Oreske study of academic literature supports that. The cited wiki articles contain many references that underpin that conclusion. To say nothing of the interactions some of us have had with practicing scientists as our colleagues. The prohibition against weasel words contains an explicit exception "when contrasting a minority opinion". Within the scientific community, one view is the majority and the other is the minority and we should say so, and the guideline on weasel words allows us to do so. If you agree that their is an objective difference between the two groups then I don't understand the problem. If you don't agree that there is a clear distinction between the two groups, then that is the issue that needs to be discussed right now rather than the language being used. Dragons flight 01:26, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Great. Yes, you may use "many" or "few" or whatever you would like -- so long as you have Attribution. Otherwise, you have two choices - leave out "many" and "few" and let the user decide for himself, or else list exactly what societies support the AGW view in this article -- and if listing those societies, they all must be attributable. --Tjsynkral 01:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Do you agree there is a majority or not? If you agree, then this is silly wikilawyering since the introduction of an article is not a sensible place to dump dozens of references in support of the consensus. If you don't agree, then please explain why not? Dragons flight 02:54, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I've seen no satisfactory evidence either way, so I cannot form an opinion. I prefer not to use my imagination for issues involving global policy. --Tjsynkral 03:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with DragonsFlight; I see no reason why we can't use "majority" in relation to the IPCC/Academies opinion and "minority" for those skeptical of AGW. Neither of those are on the weasel words list and the use of those terms is Prima Facia. Attribution is covered on the linked pages.--Skyemoor 01:50, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
If you have a reference that establishes majority and minority, can I see it? --Tjsynkral 01:58, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I said Prima Facia. The IPCC assessments are the opinion benchmarks, and the number of academies and societies backing it up are the proof. To argue otherwise verily borders on wikilawyering. --Skyemoor 02:02, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Do you mean Prima facie? How can you claim something you can't even spell? You are saying that on its face it is true that the majority of the scientific community supports the IPCC stance. If that is the case, you should have no problem producing a source on that. Otherwise you're only going on your imagination, and that is definitely not WP:A. --Tjsynkral 02:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You've criticized me for spelling, but then you clearly misunderstand the meaning. Your continued stonewalling is nothing more than wikilawyering. -- 08:57, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not a brilliant reference, but Benny Peiser thinks so[16] pro bono. As you probably know, the G8+ Academies of Science speak of "consensus" in re global warming, which implies at least a supermajority. Also, quousque tandem, Tjsynkral, and quo vadis? --Stephan Schulz 02:11, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The pro-AGW camp are quick to shout dirty pool when someone introduces weak and unscientific sources on the skeptic side... so your reference deserves to be treated no differently. However, any reference is better than no reference at all - include this in a citation in the problem sentence, and let the reader decide for himself if this is valid research. --Tjsynkral 03:50, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

See here  :) Count Iblis 02:24, 26 March 2007 (UTC) (complete reference (instead of Science abstract) --Kim D. Petersen 02:36, 26 March 2007 (UTC))

Wikilawyering or raise doubt and manufacture uncertainty? Cheers, Vsmith 02:33, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Vsmith, thanks for bringing out that Red Herring. Because oil companies are skeptical of certain global warming conclusions, anyone who is skeptical of global warming conclusions is clearly acting on a vested interest. Unfortunately, that is a logical fallacy, and it does not look good for others on your side of the dispute. --Tjsynkral 03:59, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm... went fishing, got a bite :-) Vsmith 11:25, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

"We recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" [17] Cosigned: Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Brazil), Royal Society of Canada, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academié des Sciences (France), Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher (Germany), Indian National Science Academy, Accademia dei Lincei (Italy), Science Council of Japan, Russian Academy of Sciences, Royal Society (United Kingdom), National Academy of Sciences (United States). That covers the national science academies for the Group of Eight industrial powers plus some. Dragons flight 03:17, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

On Oreskes: "Please note that the whole ISI data set includes just 13 abstracts (less than 2%) that *explicitly* endorse what she has called the 'consensus view.' The vast majority of abstracts do not deal with or mention anthropogenic global warming whatsoever. I also maintain that she ignored a few abstracts that explicitly reject what she calls the consensus view." ~ UBeR 03:20, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
That is Peiser's view (please give the author when quoting). Oreske claims ~20% explicitly endorse the consensus (chapter in Climate Change, MIT Press, in press). Dragons flight 03:38, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
And the noteworthy thing in the same Peiser letter is: "Undoubtedly, sceptical scientists are a small minority." --Kim D. Petersen 03:39, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
We could of course do it like this: "While this conclusion has been endorsed by numerous [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] scientific societies and academies of science" - but the subpage link is rather more clear. --Kim D. Petersen 04:01, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Nope, sorry, that still doesn't cut it. I'm going to assume that none of those citations has anything to do with what proportion of scientists share this opinion - so your modification would only be acceptable if the sentence read like "While this conclusion has been endorsed by the AMS, the IPCC, the Royal Society....." --Tjsynkral 04:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Am I right in presuming from comments you have made the only level of proof you would accept would be a poll of all relevant scientists? If not perhaps you would like to outline what level of proof you would accept. -- Michael Johnson 04:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
To be able to say "few" "most" "majority" etc. a source is needed which establishes these words, preferably with numbers and empirical data. A valid sample is critical; saying that most of the members of the IPCC agree with this view does not allow a conclusion about most of all scientists. If the magnitude of support of one view cannot be established in this way, either list the organizations or leave weasel words out and direct the reader to see the subpages. It's never okay to have weasel words in the text. --Tjsynkral 04:58, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Many of them say there is a scientific consensus (or similar words to the same effect) and hence would be directly relevant to the statement that a majority of scientists agree. Dragons flight 04:12, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry but these statements are on behalf of the members and as mentioned above the statements are directly related - do you care to state why you believe that this isn't so? Preferably you will have to show how each statement is an incorrect assessment of the members opinion - for instance by linking to disagreements for each position paper and the amount of opposition that is demonstrated by these..... (your argument is getting rather silly). --Kim D. Petersen 04:15, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You are claiming consensus based on X Y Z A B and C agree with this view, and then making the leap that X Y Z A B and C represent the majority of the scientific community without documentation. If the latter statement is true it should be simple to prove using a reliable source. Please read the Wikipedia guidelines regarding claims of consensus in WP:RS. --Tjsynkral 04:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry your argument using WP:RS is invalid - as all of the above sources are considered reliable sources - and do state exactly this. (ie. its a collection of reliable sources that endorse this particular consensus). --Kim D. Petersen 04:29, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The IPCC has the consensus view of the IPCC, and so on. Nobody claims to have the consensus view for all scientists. --Tjsynkral 04:58, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The IPCC process was constructed to determine the consensus of the scientific community. And the scientific community, as represented by the most respected organizations, has endorsed their conclusions. It is the consensus of the scientific community as a whole. Dragons flight 05:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC) P.S. In case I was at all ambiguous, it is routinely claimed that the IPCC represents the consensus of the community as a whole. As for example, the national academies do. Dragons flight 05:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

We've shown that even the skeptics admit that there is a majority consensus; to attempt to withhold the use of "majority" or "established" is simply obdurately wikilawyering. -- 08:57, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Cite please, showing how the IPCC was organized by scientists to create scientific consensus rather than by politicians to create advice for those politicians. --Blue Tie 05:16, 26 March 2007 (UTC) PS. The consensus mentioned by the national academies seems to be specific to the claim that human activity had an impact on global warming. I am not sure that this is the same thing as a full claim that the whole IPCC study and all conclusions and results are agreed to as a consensus. But I get the impression that this is the halo effect that is sought. --Blue Tie 05:26, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Cite the need to provide proof that the IPCC was organized by scientists in order to use it as a reference for the scientific consensus. --Skyemoor 09:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The IPCC's self-proclaimed role is "to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation."[16] So much for the possibility of natural causes eh? --Childhood's End 13:59, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You are | begging the question. --Skyemoor 14:20, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Begging the question is not logically incorrect when the question raised ought to be addressed... Besides, the list of sophisms used by the climate change cartel is pretty long and I would be pleased to discuss it with you. --Childhood's End 14:37, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll slightly restate the question, then, since you seem to have misattributed it; Can you cite the need/requirement to provide proof that the IPCC was organized by scientists in order to use it as a reference for the scientific consensus? No is a perfectly valid answer. --Skyemoor 14:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I would like to answer no but unfortunately, anything that would be presumed to be knowledge about what really happens behind the political doors of the UN would be pure fantasy. --Childhood's End 15:22, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You've demonstrated no need or requirement, and instead have attempted to swerve this scientific discussion into the realm of international politics, so your insistence above for a cite has no basis of support. --Skyemoor 17:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Just as a reminder, it is the idea of a consensus that should require a demonstration, not the other way around. A consensus cannot be presumed as you seem to do. If you want to use the IPCC as part of your proof of the existence of a consensus, what the IPCC is must be clearly understood. --Childhood's End 19:10, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I actually agree with much of what you just said. That being said, because of what even the skeptics say about the consensus, I take the same stance that Bozmo does on this issue. --Skyemoor 00:35, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with citing the UN panel's assessment of the science. It should simply not be taken as the final word. Wikipedia has no policy which exalts UN agencies like the IPCC over any other source.
One would think that we'd be extra cautious with the United Nations, as it has a tendency to reverse itself. Look at Zionism is racism - passed one year (1975), overturned a dozen or so years later (1991). Or its pronoucements on human rights: violators like Sudan used to be criticized heavily, but were later allowed on the HRC and could vote themselves free of criticism.
Our IPCC article should examine the composition of the panel. Who gets on it, and how? Who decides what science to leave in the Summary For Policymakers, which is the part which offers an assessment of 'the science'? --Uncle Ed 13:52, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the political Zionism example as being pertinent to the scientific AGW topic at hand. The composition of the panel would be pertinent to for the discussion of the number of GW scientists, but anything more than that would be its own article. --Skyemoor 14:20, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The introduction biased

For several days, I've been meaning to open an account so as to edit this article. Interestingly enough, the changes I wanted to make have already been made in part. Frankly, I felt it was a disgrace that this article claimed "most scientists" blah blah. 1st of all, "most" is false and 2nd, so what about "scientists" - unless their field fo expertise is indeed climate change. I have a friend who's a soil scientist. What does he know about climate change? Nothing! Also, any assertions claiming appeals to authority must be backed up by un-biased citations. This article is a mess. Avamarie2k 04:56, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Provide us your rationale (or cites, if you have them) that "most" is false. --Skyemoor 11:33, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Negative proof. Remember, the burden is on you. ~ UBeR 18:43, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You made the claim that ""most" is false". Either support or let it wilt away. -- Skyemoor 17:04, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I am saying "false" on this page. And, if I were to put that in the article, I would cite it. However, the article did say "most" and that was not cited and even it it were, there are other problems with that as per my comments above. Avamarie2k 14:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

No sorry UBeR - there is ample evidence in the consensus statements by the academies and scientific communities to deliver at least a heavy documentation for it being most. Now the time has come to show that there is an equally reliable source (or sources) shedding doubt upon this. --Kim D. Petersen 06:32, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is this: just exactly how many scientists are there currently engaged in climate related study/research in the US, England, and worldwide? And of these scientists, how many have had their opinions/views/findings/research incorporated into the so-called "scientific consensus" (as it stands, a somewhat vague and meaningless term) on man-made global warming? Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me to discover that the number of scientists making up the so-called "scientific consensus" (of whom the majority are at present only anonymous individuals) are in fact but a tiny fraction of the actual number of highly credentialed scientist working in the areas of climatology and related fields. But without hard data.... In any event, I believe efforts need to be made to find and incorporate such information into the article. Doing so would undoubtedly go a long way toward helping with with, among other things, dispute resolution. And toward that end, I offer this as my small contribution; it is a table showing the Number of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States 1995 Profile (1998) (may not be much but it's all I've found thus far). Delta x 13:16, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Your observation that the majority of the scientists making the so-called "scientific consensus" remain anonymous to this day is important. This idea of a consensus has been built around a presumption that since there are thousands of scientists around the world, the fact that only a few of them have expressed doubt towards the anthropogenic global warming theory is proof that all the others agree with the theory and thus is creative of a scientific consensus. All these other scientists are vaguely called "climate scientists" (a term that does not need a precise definition according to William Connolley). This misleading concept is in total ignorance of the fact that all the scientists writing climate-related papers (be it in chemistry, geology, physics, ...) have knowledge in only one or two scientific fields and thus cannot scientifically disprove the whole concept of global warming, which is built around dozens of research fields and climate models that these scientists know little about. To sum up, since the so-called "scientific consensus" is built from presumptions and from ignoring important nuances, it seems more and more to amount to original research. --Childhood's End 13:50, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
There are two problems with letting this article declare that there is a "scientific consensus" on this controversial science topic:
  • Science is not a matter of voting or polls. It only takes one scientist discovering one exception to a theory to "falsify" it (see falsification).
  • The method of determining how many scientists (or what percent of them) agree or disagree with any particular "fact" or "hypothesis" has not been agreed upon. Do we go by signed statements, appeals and petitions; pronouncements by scientific organizations; UN assessments; opinion surveys; literature searches of journal abstracts? --Uncle Ed 13:46, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
There are prevailing scientific opinions, however. The SPM and statements by Academies are signed statements. --Skyemoor 14:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Ed, what are you suggesting is the appropriate way to gauge scientific consensus? It seems to me that any intro is going to be brief, and we can not avoid some issues associated with that brevity. There is pretty clear evidence of a scientific consensus, at least measured by some of those metrics. I have no problem being a bit shy on details when writing an intro, and leaving the details to the article which focuses on it (Scientific opinion on climate change). --TeaDrinker 18:20, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Too much wikilawyering

There is far too much wikilawyering going on here as a cover for POV pushing. One exemplar is YOU NEED A SOURCE THAT SAYS PRECISELY WHAT THE ARTICLE IS SAYING. (No, Wikipedia articles do not count as sources.). Its not true: wiki does *not* need to precisely repeat outside sources and wiki articles *can* be used as sources for statements William M. Connolley 10:22, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Not to mention what looks like a fair bit of trolling (I name no names, so its not a personal attack). I am unable to work out whether some of the contributors actually doubt the things they challenge in the article or are enjoying an argument over a very prominent article. Anyway a featured article shouldn't stay protected for long. Perhaps the discussion on featured status is where all these questions should be thrown where by definition there is a wider community to take on the trolls? --BozMo talk 11:03, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
This probably is at the heart of the issue: Should an article be required to abide by the standards of verifiability and original research or not? Some people feel that it does not have to do that. Others believe that this failure has led to problems with NPOV. It is a fundamental issue with regard to this page. I am one of those who believes that no injury is done and great benefit is done by adhering to the core values of NPOV, verifiability and reliable sources.
But I do consider it a lack of good faith to declare that people are trolls because you do not agree with their opinions. This is just inappropriate accusation and argunmentum ad hominem. And even though you do not name names, it is certainly a personal attack -- it is just a personal attack where the targets remain unnamed. I do not see how that helps the resolve the issue one bit. --Blue Tie 12:39, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
POV pushing, by definition, would be using an article to advance one's own views - to use Wikipedia to endorse your own view's correctness. NPOV, on the other hand, means to refrain from drawing conclusions about conflicting views; to permit all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one; to refrain studiously from stating which is better; and to leave reader to form their own opinions.
I would prefer for Global warming to adhere to NPOV. --Uncle Ed 13:33, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
This conversation just repeats and repeats. I think the issue is one of undue weight. There are people who disagree with all sorts of theories (evolution for example has far far more opponents amongst more credible scientists than global warming does). The article should represent the consensus respecting the overall size and importance of differing groups. FWIW Personally I doubt that things are as cut and dried as the current scientific consensus makes out (because specialist scientific judgement is always myopic; as per Y2K, and because the modelling is so complicated you could hide a herd of elephants in it) but I edit Wikipedia to reflect the consensus not my own personal views. In that regard stating impling that I "declare that people are trolls because you do not agree with their opinions" isn't accurate. I am not a climatologist, but I have enough training as a scientist to recognise roughly where the scientific consensus (rightly or wrongly) is. My judgement is that the article a month ago reflected somewhere nearer consensus but that every tiny piece of "evidence against" gets disproportionately rammed into this article by people who then get indignant about it and start claiming they want every word (even arbitrary ones) proven by outside sources. I am afraid I call a troll a troll. --BozMo talk 14:01, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict with BozMo along same lines) Agreed that NPOV also warns not to give [undue weight] to minority opinions, especially tiny minority opinions. --Skyemoor 14:12, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Well said Bozmo. I agree (apart from the cut-and-dried, which it isn't) William M. Connolley 14:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
BozMo, I'm interested in why you hold that opinion about evolution ... has far far more opponents amongst more credible scientists than global warming does. And do you mean in absolute numbers, e.g., 500 people you can name? Or in percentage terms? Last poll of biologists I saw was 99.8% in favor, 0.2% opposed. That would make opponents a tiny minority.
Also, you said: The article should represent the consensus respecting the overall size and importance of differing groups What did you mean here? Where is there such a consensus? Among supporters of the Kyoto Protocol, there's virtually no opposition to AGW theory. Is this the group you had in mind, or what?
  • Maybe you meant a "consensus amoung contributing editors", here at Wikipedia. If so, what do we do then? Vote? And if 80 to 85 percent agree on anything, declare that "a consensus"?
  • I would be happy with a rule that said if 15 to 20% of contributors to a page dispute the "factuality" of something, then the article cannot state it as a fact. We would have to change (blank) is true to According to source A, (blank) is true. If this is what you had in mind, I would think it was a step in the right direction. --Uncle Ed 14:27, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Ed i think that you know that Bozmo is referring to the scientific consensus and not to an editor consensus. Btw. bringing up the Kyoto protocol is rather irrelevant (and a strawman) since the consensus opinion can be used both to support and to oppose it (please see Pielke's comment on Oreskes here and the response by Oreskes in the same. --Kim D. Petersen 14:40, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes. There are, I believe, at least 700 "verified" scientists who dispute evolution in writing. See Project Steve. Of course that's almost none until you compare it to the people who are "skeptical" (perhaps rightly) of global warming. I am prepared to be convinced that I am wrong to perceive consensus amongst scientists. I would accept any group substantially representing the scientific community: I go for peer-reviewed scientific papers on the topic but in the UK you could equally take say Fellows of the Royal Society or similar. There are very very few people on record as still disputing the basic assertion ("mankind has had a warming influence on the climate" or similar). They could all be wrong. It is not Wikipedia's job to double guess them. --BozMo talk 14:46, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Slightly off-topic, but since I'm a Steve (in fact, Steve #387) I feel compelled to add that Project Steve collects Steves that explicitely support the Theory of Evolution. --Stephan Schulz 18:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

William states that Wikipedia can be used as a source. But not even the most extreme of administrators or his patrons can agree with this statement. Lest it be forgotten, Wikipedia is user edit encyclopedia. To use Wikipedia as a source is circular reasoning (begging the question). "Wikis, including Wikipedia and other wikis sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation are not regarded as reliable sources. However, wikis are excellent places to locate primary and secondary sources." The problem isn't wiki-lawyering. The problem is people not adhering to the rules. The proposition is not so difficult: Find a source that clearly states what the majority of scientists think and find a source (if not the same one) that states a few scientists believe otherwise. If this source is, adherent to WP:RS, not Wikipedia then you case is settled. I do not understand why you act as if this is such a large and burdensome task that is incomprehensible and unfathomable so as provide verifiable and reliable source for our readers to view. ~ UBeR 19:41, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

You seem to be asking for a source that makes a statement about other sources. This could be a secondary source making a statement about primary sources, or a tertiary source about secondary sources. The general case being any (n+1)-ary source making a statement about n-ary sources.
This does not appear to be a tenable request, since such a sequence can continue into infinity. You can keep up making requests and claiming that the other party is unable to satisfy it, basically forever.
I'm sure that that was not your intent. :-)
I think the best you can do is ask for statistics from some credible article tracking system (such as pubmed). Since the other option is logically untenable, citing a statistic from such a source is the best (and perhaps only) way to provide any kind of reliable reference for a statement about sources.
--Kim Bruning 21:09, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem is indeed wikilawyering. There are voluminous references that were transferred to their own article as this article became too wieldy (and is getting that way again). Some editors want all cites listed again back in this article, because "To use Wikipedia as a source is circular reasoning (begging the question)". Aside from the improper reference to btq, they seem to want to tie the hands of editors that simply want to reference spillover material in another article, which is wikilawyering at its finest. If additional references will also be helpful, then that is a valid request; but to limit the ability to access other information acquired through the same process, merely on another page, is using WP policy as a bludgeon, instead of a tool. --Skyemoor 00:21, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Stop using the perceived wikilawyering as an excuse to avoid the real issue. Lest some do not know, Wikipedia holds no policy on wiki-lawyering, and using it as an excuse to evade what we're talking about amounts to little more than a fallacious argument. Begging the question is presupposing the premise of a conclusion, based on the conclusion itself: We should write in Wikipedia most scientists say because Wikipedia writes most scientist say. Do you see the problem in this logic? I'll reiterate so as to make it clear as day for you: "Wikipedia and other wikis sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation are not regarded as reliable sources." Problem is not a difficult one in reality. It only becomes one when you choose to ignore the principles Wikipedia founded on. ~ UBeR 00:50, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
You are in effect saying that we are forbidden from using summary style, which is the recommended format for complex topics. Note especially from WP:SUMMARY:
"There is no need to repeat all specific references for the subtopics in the main 'Summary style' article: the 'Summary style' article summarizes the content of each of the subtopics, without need to give detailed references for each of them in the main article: these detailed references can be found in the subarticles. The 'Summary style' article only contains the main references that apply to that article as a whole." (emphasis added)
Linking to a more specialized article where references are provided is different from using Wikipedia as a source, which is how some insist on portraying the matter. Thus your argument has merit only if the subsidiary articles do not themselves contain references to support the question at hand. Raymond Arritt 01:21, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
They don't. --Tjsynkral 02:05, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
From WP:Wikilawyering--WikiLawyering (and the related term pettifogging) is a pejorative term that refers to certain practices frowned upon by the Wikipedia community, including:
  1. Using formal legal terms when discussing Wikipedia policy;
  2. Abiding by the letter of a policy or guideline while violating its spirit;
  3. Asserting that the technical interpretation of Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines should override the principles they express; and
  4. Misinterpreting policy or relying on technicalities to justify inappropriate actions.
Skyemoor 01:51, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Skyemoor, I'm not sure if you noticed the large blaring template at the top proclaiming the essay was not a policy or guideline. Your attempts at polarizations and rationalization simply waste space. Arritt, I'm not sure if you were aware of this, but WP:SUMMARY does not apply to the lead. For example, the "Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere" section is a perfectly reasonable summary style for a section, and details to the reader that "Main article: Greenhouse effect." The lead isn't applicable here. I don't know why a few of you wish to make such an ado over nothing. ~ UBeR 03:08, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I never claimed it was WP policy or a guideline, so stop beating your strawman. The subject of wikilawyering does carry substantial weight in RfAs, RfCs, and similar processes, so quit trying to justify its use here. "Your attempts at polarizations and rationalization simply waste space." Physician, heal thyself.
"WP:SUMMARY does not apply to the lead". Please show us where it says that in the WP:SUMMARY, without rationalization. --Skyemoor 11:11, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Good point, though I think it could be reasonably assumed you were arguing as if it held merit based off my comment prior to your post that "Wikipedia holds no policy on wiki-lawyering." In addition, it could still be reasonably assume based off your continuation to avoid the point, and rather threatening such diversions are acceptable and logical based on false premises, despite the fact that it still remains there is no rule against me explaining to you the various Wikipedia policies, if you choose to ignore them or cannot comprehend them. If you're interested in summarizing a section: "Longer sections should be spun off into their own articles and a several paragraph summary should be left in its place. Such sections are linked to the detailed article with a {{main|<name of detailed article>}} or comparable template under the section title." If you're interested for more detail: "Longer articles are split into sections, each about several good-sized paragraphs long. Subsectioning can increase this amount. Ideally many of those sections will eventually provide summaries of separate articles on the subtopic covered in that section (a Main article or similar link would be below the section title—see {{Main}}, {{Details}},...) Each article on each subtopic, as well as the main article have lead sections that are concise encyclopedic articles in their own right." I hope I've helped you. ~ UBeR 21:57, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Let's try to at least get some insight, and see where it leads us. Could some people do a pubmed (or similar) search, and get some rough figures on where the consensus lies within the scientific community? It won't be pretty, but it's a good starting point. After that, at least we'll have some kind of idea, where now we're just casting around. --Kim Bruning 03:44, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I fear you're asking for trouble with that approach - I suspect any such study anyone here does is going to be branded Original Research by those currently objecting (and indeed, they would have a point). We do have Studies that have been done, Oreskes, and Peiser, and both found that, at least in the case of published literature, "Undoubtedly, sceptical scientists are a small minority." (and that's a quote from Peiser!), so surely we can provide a cite for wording it as "While this conclusion has been endorsed by numerous scientific societies and academies of science, a small minority of scientists disagree about the primary causes of the observed warming." -- Leland McInnes 05:47, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
A bit earlier in this thread, I pointed out that it would be unfair to brand such a thing Original Research. Our job is to work based on sources, and that's what this is doing. Let's get an overview of the many sources available to us. --Kim Bruning 06:35, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
This, I fear, is where you start beating your head against a brick wall. We have such an overview of the many sources regarding endorsement of the IPCC position by "scientific societies and academies of science". The overview is Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change, and it provides a number of references to statements of endorsement of the IPCC position by: the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States [18], the American Meteorological Society [19], and the Federal Climate Change Science Program [20]. This page was linked to as reference for the phrase "this conclusion has been endorsed by numerous scientific societies and academies of science", and this is apparently exactly what is being objected to. One of those who is complaining, when pointed to the fact that the referenced Wikipedia page contains all the required references, simply responded "They don't" [21]. -- Leland McInnes 07:09, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I can think of a number situations where quoting a different wikipedia page is valid, while sticking to the spirit of reliable sources. (This list need not be exhaustive)
  1. It's only a minor point, everyone already knows it by heart, no one really cares anyway, but having some source is still nice for people who want to read further, or who are less well versed in the topic. real life example: Quoting [[Amino acid]] in a bioinformatics paper probably won't raise many eyebrows.
  2. The page is part of a set of pages about the same topic, and they cross-reference each other heavily to reduce duplication of effort.
  3. The references on said page are solid, and we're really referring to that set of references
Based solely on what you're telling me, I would think that 2 and 3 apply here. Though could we hear from someone who did indeed oppose that particular reference? Perhaps I'm missing something important? --Kim Bruning 15:01, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Featured Article Review?

I'm seriously considering a FAR request on this one. Not only has there been an eternal discussion about giving this article a POV tag, it has now actually been identified as containing weasel words and has even been protected over a dispute. In my outsider opinion, this is blatantly incompatible with the FA criteria of neutrality and stability. Any other views on this? Nick Mks 12:28, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Personally I think another wider discussion would help to put to bed some of the POV claims and trolling which keep reappearing: at any rate an FAR should have been done before flags were put on what was until very recently a very balanced article. "identified as containing weasel words" though is a bit of an overstatement: putting this flag onto the article was one of the things which was part of an edit war of some kind. --BozMo talk 13:05, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to see a review. I have been working on this article for around five years, but I verev dreamed it was good enough to be featured. It has neutrality problems and uses vague terminology.
  • It takes sides on numerous points on which scientists are in disagreement
  • It fails to clarify the several different uses of "global warming". --Uncle Ed 13:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Since I read no negative advice (apart from the assertion that the weasel word tag is perhaps unilateral), I have officially filed for FAR. Nick Mks 17:49, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Apology to all

I have read an accusation that I did 5rr. To be honest, I am unaware of violations of the 3rr rule, but if I did that, it was wrong and unfair to others. It is possible that a lack of good understanding of the rule may have contributed to my error. I have not deeply studied it, I do not typically review it to accuse others and thus, and I have never run afoul of it before. So, I may not have it well entrenched in my mind. However, I tried to avoid reverting the same passage or subject more than twice. Perhaps I lost count. In any case, if I did conduct myself badly in that regard (and some people are sure I did so particularly to them):

I apologize to all for such bad behavior

in advance prior to being blocked for some period. --Blue Tie 12:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Blue Tie, Thank you, that's fine. You should read WP:3RR for reference, and try not to revert the same article repeatedly at all (which is edit warring) certainly no more than 3 times in 24 hours. As it happens the "block" rule exists to protect articles not as a vengence or anything so once the article was protected you got off without a block. --BozMo talk 13:03, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

I have apologized to each person that I may have injured individually. I am taking myself out of editing for 24 hours from the time it was reported, because I do not want it to be a matter of a technicality. But I also sinned ignorantly. I had read 3rr some time ago, but it has changed and is clearer now. Gotta run --Blue Tie 14:17, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

One idea: "argurments against global warming"

Sorry to add more fat to the fire, but I have just one question. Is it possible to add a section for "Arguments against global warming"? it would give a valid outlet to many skeptics here, and also for many of the extended discussions on this talk page. Does that sound good to people here? --Sm8900 14:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

This still raises problems with WP:Undue weight also with the fact there is a lot of different uncertainty about Global Warming and many parts to it. At present there is a whole article Global Warming controversy which maps out the debate and is linked too. --BozMo talk 15:12, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like a bad idea. ~ UBeR 19:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi Uber. I appreciate your feedback. However, sorry, but I thought you were a global warming skeptic? I'm not trying to be a smart-aleck here, just actually curious. Do you oppose that section on formatting grounds, or because of something else? thanks. --Sm8900 20:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Please explain why Undue weight would apply in this case. Are we saying, on such a controversial topic, that to give the many views which dispute Global warming would be undue weight? Who decided Global warming as described by scientists, who say themselves they are only 90% sure, is THE VIEW, and all others are peripheral? Judgesurreal777 21:48, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Would there be any requirement that the arguments against be published in an academic journal, or would an off-the-cuff remark on a TV show or newspaper editorial suffice? Raymond Arritt 21:57, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Undue weight would apply because of the dearth of a significant minority of climate scientists opposing AGW. Perhaps you would want to visit Scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming. Political or PR controversy is not the same as scientific controversy. -- Skyemoor 00:30, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Why don't the critics go to Conservapedia?

See here. And even this article does not give too much undue weight on the minority view.

Quote from the article:

"The scientific theory is widely accepted within the scientific community[2]. Conservatives who are opposed to the political proposals that flow from acceptance of the theory, are skeptical of the theorists, and challenge the scientific validity of portions of the theory.

[2] "

Count Iblis 17:15, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Likewise, why don't you join ~ UBeR 19:15, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with UBeR on their equivalence. --Skyemoor 01:42, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
One of them is silly and not to be taken seriously; the other is worth reading. I won't say which is which. Raymond Arritt 02:19, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Why not stay on wikipedia and make it better?--Blue Tie 11:18, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Well... alternatively perhaps you will make it worse? There certainly is a problem with POV critics who rather than trying to turn Wikipedia into conservapedia could go there. It may be better for people who do not want to live in a world where "nature cannot be fooled" --BozMo talk 11:26, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Speaking of POV, you're actually pretty good at showing yours... --Childhood's End 13:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Which is that "nature cannot be fooled"? Yes, I am. --BozMo talk 13:44, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, or you might make it worse. But such statements are not in harmony with the wikipedia principles of civility. This is the encyclopedia that ANYONE can edit. There are people who have legitimately left the project over that fact. I understand their concerns. But it is a sort of hypocrisy to tell others to leave when it is you who has a problem with the fundamental nature of the forum. --Blue Tie 13:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

All media is already split and partisan. Wiki's are no different then the rest of the media. I forsee a time where we Conservatives will give up on the braindead Socialists and migrate to conservapedia, just like there is a CNN and a FOX news channel. We can only take so much of being lied to. Bold faced lies, I don't know how you Socialists sleep at night, how do you sleep at night? How in the heck do you sleep at night, lying constantly, 24/7.

"What are we going to do about Global Warming, since there is a Consensus." Two lies in one sentence, how efficient and compact. Lie 1) There is a consensus. Lie 2) The globe is warming. How do you know the globe is warming? Does anyone know the total thermal+chemical+kinetic energy the core+magma+mantle+ocean+whispy atmosphere have? The Earth doesn't just consist of the whispy atmosphere, it includes all of those elements of core+magma+mantle+ocean+atmosphere, including the not-so vacuume space. Lies. Two lies in one sentence. How much more can we take? 16:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

There is plenty of consensus, as attested e.g. by all major academises of science. Additionally, the latest IPCC report has been accepted by all gouvernments of the world, including such socialist favourites like the US, Switzerland, amd Saudi Arabia. And your second "point" is a trival strawman. Read any definition of "global warming" - it is not remotely the same as "the whole globe is warming". --Stephan Schulz 16:53, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm really glad I have a degree in science and can actually go and check out things like global warming myself. Suprisingly, there is nothing in the temperature record to distinguish it from simple noise. That is to say, if there has been manmade global warming, then it ought to be present in the power spectrum of the temperature graph. Furthermore, it ought to be quite obvious to any serious engineers (which seems to exclude climatologists!) that temperature variability to dramatically decline with any form of proxy measure that averages the temperature over a period such as yearly tree rings! The result is that historical temperature variability will appear less via proxy measure than current accurate measures. But having said that, I can't see why the global warming evangelists should not be allowed to stay on Wikipedia - afterall all opinions, nomatter how rediculous should be documented in wikipedia so long as they have a notable source even if it is the IPCC. Mike 17:02, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

All media is split and partisan? That's only something that an American could say. ;-) (aka: beware of bias!) --Kim Bruning 17:06, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

"I have a degree in science ...there is nothing in the temperature record to distinguish it from simple noise." Interesting. What approaches did you take to determine noise thresholds? What noise threshold did you arrive at? Did you model discretely or stochastically? What series did you use? What weight did you assign to outliers? Or did you 'eyeball' it?
I saw this oasis of a thread as an attempt at levity, nothing more. Let's all take a big breath and let it out slowly. --Skyemoor 17:11, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Needs cites

The greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. It is the process by which emission of infrared radiation by atmospheric gases warms a planet's surface. On Earth, the major natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36-70% of the greenhouse effect (not including clouds); carbon dioxide, which causes 9-26%; methane, which causes 4-9%, and ozone, which causes 3-7%.

This needs citations--I assume this comes from the IPCC Puddytang 02:15, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 31% and 149% respectively above pre-industrial levels since 1750. If this data goes back to 1750, why does our only graph only go back to 1960? Puddytang 02:20, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Because near-real-time measurements that show seasonal oscillations (see the figure caption) only go back to 1957. Measurements before then did not resolve seasonal fluctuations. Raymond Arritt 02:26, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
propose that solar forcing accounts for 16% or 36% of recent greenhouse warming.[27]

The use of the word greenhouse here is obviously a mistake. Puddytang 02:28, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Good catch! Remember that when the article is unprotected. Raymond Arritt 02:46, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
No, its correct - see the reference. It doesn't need cites because those are in the GHE article William M. Connolley 09:02, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, I see its in Stott&Co, but what do they mean? Do they say GH warming is X, and solar is an extra 16% to 36% of X? That would make solar smaller (at most it contributes abour 25% to the combined warming). Or did they confuse the terms and solaar is 15% to 36% of the combined warming? The second is what most people so far have assumed... --Stephan Schulz 09:50, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
They claculate the warming from various forcings. Solar is then 16-whatever of the pure GHG warming; the pure GHG warming is larger than the observed warming William M. Connolley 10:38, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Greenhouse may be "correct" as the way used in the reference, but it could be restated for clarity to the novice - perhaps: recent warming due to the greenhouse effect. Those not used to the jargon need clarification. As for the uncertainties in meaning pointed out by Stephan - that possible confusion is more important and may need further clarification in the article. Vsmith 10:43, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Restatement of the problems and some solutions listed

The words "many", "few", "most" are words that provide weight to associated claims and phrases. But they have problems of verifiablity, original research and POV.

The word "many" is too vague to be verifiable. To one person, "many" may be "three". To another it may be "three thousand". To yet another it may be "Over 20%". This makes a claim that "many have done X" unverifiable.

The word "few" is even worse. Not only is it vague and thus unverifiable but it also requires hidden, unreported original research. It requires that we somehow have defined, numerically, what few is, but we keep that secret. Then we insist that some sample we have taken represents the population as a whole without good reason, or worse we assume that our sample actually IS the population! For example, we may read 15 studies that support the use of weasel words in articles and 4 studies that denounce weasel words in articles. We might then say "Many studies support the use of weasel words in articles but a few do not". However we have confused our sampling with fact and we are making an unverified and unsubstantiated statement. Perhaps there are 100 more studies that denounce weasel words, yet we only found 4. (Or perhaps, as a POV pusher, we pretended to only find 4). Our conclusion that there are "few" is absolutely dependant upon our original research that there are only 19 articles on the subject and that 4 out of 19 constitutes "few".

The word "most" is perhaps the least weasely of the list. After all, it must be at least more than half but less than 100% so there is at least that much quantification. But that is still a large and vague area and is still unacceptable. That is why it is rejected on WP:AWW.

But if we don't use such descriptors, wikipedia quality may suffer. The concern is, that without some sort of weighting, the "truth" is miscommunicated and the article becomes misleading. This is at the heart and core of the "undue weight" concerns, and it is valid. For example, we might say "There are scientists who claim that water is very wet and there are scientists who dispute that claim". This statement avoids the use of weasel words and it can be verified by a citation to a poll. So on its surface, it appears to be in harmony with wikipedia principles. But that edit also hides the "truth" of the matter: The poll showed 4 million scientists on one side of the issue and 2 men and a boy on the other side of the issue.

This gives rise to questions of "undue weight" and wikipedia is clear that undue weight should not be ascribed to minority views. Of course, this leads to questions about "how much is too much weight". But before we can get to that question, or before we even to begin to determine that undue weight is being given to a minority view, we must establish that one view is, indeed, a minority view. This requires original research, which wikipedia rejects. That one view is the minority view may need to be established through citations to some reasonable polling by an objective, third party source.

To all of this, some would say "Nevermind all that wikilawyering, its a red herring -- this is about the truth".

Unfortunately for that view, wikipedia content is not supported on the basis of it being the "truth". It is supportedy by verifiability. This is a very challenging problem for those who know the "truth". It is painful to see truth compromised on the pyre of verifiability. But that is how wikipedia works. That is how it can be the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. And it is a key component to NPOV. Verifiability is fundamental to the nature of wikipedia.


So far, I can only find a 4 solutions to this dilemma. Here they are, listed in order of what I consider to be worst to best solution. Perhaps others may add more.

Ignore the weight

"There is a debate over the wetness of water"

"There are scientists with published papers demonstrating that water is wet. Other scientists have published papers describing it as dry and gritty".

Some scientists content that at some temperatures ice is dry!Mike 16:24, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Weasel words by proxy

"Weasel wording by proxy" is when we quote an authority that uses the weasel word. It may result in disputations on the article, but at least it is a verifiable statement.

When we use this approach, we should take pains to specifically ascribe the weasely opinion to the quoted source, in the article. Otherwise it becomes wikipedia making a claim rather than reporting a claim someone else makes.

For example we might write: "The Institute for Scientific Conundrums (ISC) says that many scientists in water research question the findings of other scientists". Whether "many" scientists actually do question the findings of others or only a "few" do, is now irrelevant. All that matters is that someone has said so (and we know who it was). On the other hand, if we write: "Many scientists disagree with one another", based upon that ISC statement, now we have not only engaged in synthesis but instead of reporting a point of view, we have now adopted a specific point of view as though it were true. At that time the article becomes biased, even if we cite our source.

As before, it is not a good thing to rely on weasel words by proxy -- it probably leads to arguments. But at least it meets wikipedia standards and requirements.

  • Aye! ~ UBeR 21:26, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Lists of claimants

Instead of using weasel words, we can actually list the proponents of each side of the argument. This certainly can work when there are not very many on either side. For example we might write: "Bill Clinton, The Pope, and the entire staff of the Pheonix Suns asserts that purple is a better color than green. John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt and the New York Jets disagree." These are all verifiable statements. And the reader may evaluate the sources and judge for themselves the superiority of one color over the other based upon who supports which view.

Some version of this may be required when we have an incomplete sample on one or both sides of the debate.

Counts or Polls

"Four out of Five dentists recommend Florida Beach Sand for those patients who grind sand in their teeth". This is a statement that is verifiable and gives a clear indication of how many are on each side of the debate. Of course, care must be taken not to [Lie with Statistics]. For example we might properly modify that statement to read "Four out of Five FLORIDA dentists surveyed recommend Florida Beach Sand for those patients who grind sand in their teeth". Or "Out of 12,000 dentists surveyed, 15 did not object to grinding sand between the teeth and of those 15, 12 declared Florida sand to be best for this purpose". It might also be appropriate to point out that "there are 300,000 dentists who did not reply to the survey, which was commissioned by the Florida Sand Users Association. Instead they marked the question as "idiotic" or tore it up."

In addition, there are times when it is appropriate to add the names of people following the hard count. This smacks of argument from authority, but it may be appropriate. (In any case it is acceptable per wikipedia policy). For example, the Wikipedia of 1616 might have properly noted (and cited) that "415 noted scientists, when polled, agreed that anyone teaching that the earth revolved around the sun should be burned. One scientist, Galileo is known to disagree").

Summary of Solutions

So we can go from:

Most Dentists Recommend Florida Beach Sand for grinding between the teeth"


There are Dentists who recommend Florida Beach Sand for grinding between the teeth. There are others who recommend other sands or who recommend not grinding sand between the teeth


The Florida Sand Users Association says that "Most Dentists Recommend Florida Sand for grinding between teeth".


Dr Fredrick Hoist, Sandra Summers and their son Ted feel that Florida Sand is best for Grinding Sand between the teeth. The American Dental Association has issued a statement condemning this practice.


When 300,000 dentists were surveyed on the practice of grinding sand between the teeth, 95% failed to respond. Of the 5% who responded, 12 recommended using Florida Beach Sand for this purpose.

--Blue Tie 13:28, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I find the above is overly terse; could you expand further upon it? Raymond Arritt 13:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Heh heh, wait for the Director's cut extended edition. --Blue Tie 14:56, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Let's not forget there are other words, such as predominant and prevailing, that reduce the margin of uncertainty to acceptable levels. --Skyemoor 15:45, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how. Without resorting to original research, what fraction of a total is "Predominate" and what fraction of a total is "Prevailing". Is a predominating amount more than a prevailing amount or vice versa? --Blue Tie 19:24, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

What do you expect from a socialist organization? The truth? Honesty? Facts? The United Nations is an international socialist organization, duh. Read their 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights'. Rights from a Socialist, poo, absolutely worthless. Even the paper it is written on is less valuable then when it was blank.
This is a discussion forum on a scientific subject for an encyclopedia; if you want to be taken seriously, please cite scientific references so that we can examine them for merit and possible content inclusion. --Skyemoor 16:24, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

On the basis this is the "most scientists are absolutely certain - (that their wives are not being warmed in bed by someone else)" ... The appropriate statement would be of the form "manmade CO2 is believed by the vast majority of the scientists on the main intergovernmental body on climate warming (the IPCC) to be the predominant cause of the recent observed worldwide increase in temperatures since reliable temperature measurements became available. However, opinion vary and the exact relationship between CO2 and global temperatures can only be estimated from historical data, most of which derives from before accurate worldwide measurements became available and which indicate that irrespective of manmade influence, temperatures have naturally changed in the past. There are therfore a considerable number of people outside the IPCC who interpret the historical data differently some going as far to dismiss the idea of manmade greenhouse warming entirely. What all agree however, is that only time will tell!"Mike 16:47, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Possible solution

How's this as a proposed new section? [this is only sample text, not the actual listings.

'Current positions

NOAA - issued report dated ____ stating global warming is manmade.

IPCC - Major UN Group, stated that global arming is "likely manmade."

EPA issued report dated___ that warming is manmade.

Freedom Foundation - issued statement that global warming is a natural cycle, dated ____/

what do people think? see you. --Sm8900 19:58, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Again, no. ~ UBeR 21:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion/votes please

This is a featured article and has been protected too long. I suggest the overarching NPOV discussion is sent to the FAR review to get an outcome from a wider audience. The protecting admin hasn't started a debate on what the other outstanding issues are so I will. Assuming the issue is weasel words (which is implied by the edit summary), I propose to have a straw poll and if the results look reasonable I will unblock the page starting with whatever the outcome is (and hope people respect it while we discuss further). I also won't vote myself so anyone who suspects me of whatever bias can be assured that at least by having me organise it one vote aginst them is removed. I don't want a flagged page (I think we should move down the pecking order one step at a time and a featured article first gets unfeatured before any other demotions). However, I don't want to prejudice the debate by choosing the options, so I invite User:UBeR to fill in option 2. PLEASE COULD EVERYONE WHO VOTES (once UBeR has filled in his choice) try to choose the best version for Wikipedia and not get pulled down partisan lines.--BozMo talk 14:57, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Other discussion

# Neither (assuming we are talking about the lede). The first option is missing a key point: AGW is also ongoing, not just predicted in the future. On the second, I don't know which one would be selected, so I can't accede or refrain from it. --Skyemoor 15:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer an earlire version, essentially one pre the current edit war, where DF updated the intro. Specifically, this version. Can we sort out a version before beginning voting? Skyemoor, would that one be OK by you? William M. Connolley 15:30, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

OK, I accept this new version as the option 1, unless anyone disagrees. --BozMo talk 15:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok, that's fine by me, though we still need work on 'numerous' and 'few'. --Skyemoor 15:43, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

PLEASE DON'T VOTE UNTIL OPTION 2 IS SPECIFIED> I WON'T CLOSE FOR 24 HOURS after that point. --BozMo talk 15:41, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Keep protected until there is sensible discussion I was overjoyed to see that finally someone have locked the article to prevent the removal of the NPOV tag which was the very first step in bringing back some neutrality. Whoever did it - Well Done!. I believe the only approach which will work is to create a disambiguation page with links to many different pages both in favour and against the various ideas on greenhouse warming. Possibly the articles need to be as basic as "case for the IPPCC view on global warming" "Case against the IPCC view", "Case for solar variation", etc. etc. Each with a very tight remit so that it is impossible for the "other side" to delete evidence put forward by notable sources on some pretext such as "only climatologists have the insight to understand this issue"! What I'm saying is that on such a contentious range of issues, it is impossible to have one balanced article, and that the real need is to have balance within wikipedia by ensuring all points of views receive adequate coverage. Mike 16:14, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

ARTICLES are not protected to keep a particular version. They are protected to stop edit warring. As soon as this war is resolved the protect will come off. --BozMo talk 20:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
See also here. Raymond Arritt 20:44, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
This vote is not to settle all issues on the article, it is to try to stop the latest edit war. Please keep to this one issue in this section. --BozMo talk 18:28, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
This is called POV Forking, and is strongly discouraged. --Kim Bruning 16:54, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Should the current POV Forking that exists in the way of the Global Warming Controversy pages be melded in to this then?--Zeeboid 17:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Protect a bit longer. Instead of debating content forking, create a "Global Climate" Project or perhaps a "Global Climate Change" project, with a Project navigation box and so forth. I think one article could be a master article linking to all the others. --Blue Tie 19:20, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

The critics who have all sorts of issues should edit the other articles about the controversy about Global Warming. They don't have any valid scientific points, but there does exist a public debate which is fueled by a mix of right wing propaganda and a very poor understanding of basic science by the American public. This controversy exists in the real world, so one can write about it, just like there exists a controversy about the Theory of Evolution. But just like in case of evolution, this article is about the scientific theory as published in the leading scientific journals, not about the controversy surrounding the theory. A reference to the controvery is already included in the article.

The issue about the weasel words "few" etc. can be resolved by e.g. shifting the focus from number of scientists to the number of critical scientific articles in Science, Nature or other journals that are used by climate scientists. Then "few" becomes zero or perhaps some number of order one, and "numerous" becomes some easy to verify number of order 10^4 or so. Count Iblis 17:55, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I vote for outside mediation. Sorry to take a paltry third option, but this is starting to become too complicated. I don't claim to have followed every nuance of this, but I did want to weigh in, just to add some aditional voices, (since the one thing which Wikipedia values is a sense of several editors giving credence to any discussion). If that makes me neutral in the underlying issue, so be it. Feel free to post any further specific questions, if you wish. --Sm8900 19:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Here's an idea. Can we list some of the more notable organiations who state that global-warming is manmade? I believe that is quite a lot of groups. However, if anyone is still dubious, perhaps that is an objective way to make the point, without seeming to present theories as established scientific fact. --Sm8900 19:51, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
This would simply be a repeat of Scientific opinion on climate change. Raymond Arritt 20:08, 27 March 2007 (UTC) [You beat me to it :-( William M. Connolley 20:09, 27 March 2007 (UTC)]
To be more exact, it would be Scientific opinion on climate change#Statements_by_organizations ;-) --Stephan Schulz 20:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm so ashamed at this terrible mistake... ;-) Raymond Arritt 20:18, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks so much for your helpful answers. it appears we have many articles reflecting the scope of the debate. Is it possible to link more prominently to these, more closely to the beginning of the article? Would that make evryone happy? thanks. --Sm8900 20:52, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Earlier than the second paragraph? William M. Connolley 20:55, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
You're right; we do link to it already, but perhaps average readers might overlook it. Perhaps we could do a more explicit link, such as for instance , "Please see Global warming controversy for organizations for and against this theory." how does that sound? --Sm8900 21:04, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, in answer to sm8900 (because this is an encyclopedia): There's no such thing as scientific fact, of course. (Unless you're looking for "empirical fact" perhaps? ) --Kim Bruning 21:20, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Kim Bruning, is it a fact that if I drop a rock on a glass, it will break? That's all i meant. And my whole comment was about how we should not try to present theories as fact.
Folks, can we please try here not to be too nit-picky with each others' answers please ? This discusion is long and complex enough, without picking over each others' every phrase. Thanks. --Sm8900 21:28, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Alright, I'm a scientist.... let's see, I happen to have a tea-glass right here. I'll do some science:
  • takes glass outside
  • picks up rock
  • drops rock on glass
  • glass does not break
Hmph, my initial experiment shows that rocks do not always break glasses. Apparently there's a bit more going on with this science thing. :-)
Sorry if you thought I was picking nits. In fact the concept that there's no such thing as a scientific fact is actually a fairly big point, and probably part of the cause of misunderstandings on several science articles on wikipedia :-/ it's usually quite central to the debate.
Scientists usually work on the basis of probabilities... if you drop a large enough rock on a glass often enough, the glass will eventually break. If we do some more experiments, we might be able to figure out a pretty decent table of odds, based on size, mass, and shape of the rock, and size, shape and type of glass.
The problem lots of people have with the global warming theory is that it's an actual scientific theory: It only gives people odds on how warm it will be tomorrow. In reality, it might actually be colder tomorrow (and the day after tomorrow), and then it might be warmer than the prediction for the day after that. How do we make sense of that, and how can we tell if the theory is true or not, on that basis? Well, that's the problem people are contending with here, I think. --Kim Bruning 18:11, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

  • From someone who has not really edited this article before: having separate articles for the controversy and scientific positions of global warming may be a good idea, but the way it is currently done is just inadequate. One sentence cannot summarize what is essentially a contentious topic (and it is simply irrelevant whether the topic is contentious in scientific or political spheres - it is still contentious either way). While the ideal solution would be to write an entire two-paragraph section summarizing both the scientific opinion and the controversy articles here, and tagging both sections with {{main}} links to both articles, a simpler way to solve this would be with a navigation template at the top of the page, like several topics have. (See the Cuisine article for an example of what I'm thinking about.) Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 03:25, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I can reasonably agree with this, but I'm sure there will be people crying undue weight. I wonder though, if both of this topics have lengthy articles of their own, how much weight these topics actually carry when we're talking about global warming. Like you said, perhaps not much weight in the scientific journals, but it's definitely a topic that people in general are concerned about and interested in. ~ UBeR 05:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
If I catch your implication, you seem to want to take the article out of the scientific realm and put it into "what is the popular opinion about this subject?". Sorry, since WP is a encyclopedia, we have to report the facts, not the whim of public opinion. --Skyemoor 18:20, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Not necessarily. If you want to "report the facts", as you say, you will have to report the fact that there is a controversy (regardless of the nature of the controversy), and give it its due weight. Giving it more than two short paragraph is granting undue weight; giving it one sentence means that the article fails WP:WIAFA §1.(b). Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 01:38, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Again Titoxd brings up a good point. I don't quite see what you're getting at Skyemoor. Are you impling global warming controversy doesn't have facts? My point was that if even if there's little debate in scientific journals, it would be ignorant to assume there is no controversy over the topic of global warming. ~ UBeR 02:58, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I've put in an advert for the poll top+bottom, otherwise its going to get lost in the noise. It could be better formatted - I couldn't make it center. Or centre? Should we be advertising this on the cl ch wikiproject? William M. Connolley 14:03, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

In general I believe that the more participants in a poll the better. Wide advertising and notices on talk pages of people who have historically been involved. So with that limited view, I say advertise away! But, then, I have really serious problems with this poll. The choices are extremely bad and I would consider any vote by any number of people to be off in this case because of the way the poll was designed and its intent to cut off discussion.--Blue Tie 14:51, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Shifting ground

Is anyone here familiar with the concept called "the fallacy of shifting ground"? Maybe I'm not calling it by its right name, since that was a red link.

I mean when you use the same term in more than one way, in a sneaky bid to win an argument. The classic proof that Stevie Wonder is God illustrates this fallacy.

The first three propostions are premises:

  1. Stevie Wonder is blind.
  2. Love is blind.
  3. God is love.
  4. Stevie Wonder is love (from #1 and #2)
  5. Stevie Wonder is God (from #3 and#4)

When you say that X percent of scientists agree that "humans have had SOME effect on the climate" or that "humans have increased air temperatures SOMEWHAT", that is one idea.

When you conclude that the same percent of scientists accept the IPCC formulation of the anthropogenic global warming theory, i.e., that "most warming since year (blank) is due to humans", then you are leaping to conclusions.

Or if you conflate global warming (meaning a period when t's increase) & "global warming" (meaning the theory that most warming is due to humans), then you arguing that Stevie Wonder is God.

Please don't do that on this talk page or in the articles. --Uncle Ed 22:32, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

That is why it is so helpful to look at things from a verifiability viewpoint and not rely upon Original Research. Of course, we must trust our sources. If they do that error, then we are at their mercy to a degree. --Blue Tie 23:34, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Called the equivocation fallacy. Your specific example is called the ambiguous middle fallacy (a sub-fallacy of equivocation). Also similar to amphiboly fallacy. As with all fallacies, best to avoid them. ~ UBeR ~ 00:30, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so Stevie Wonder is not God; However, the consensus does believe in AGW, even most of the sceptics. How much is the only real discussion now. --Skyemoor 00:40, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Hey, Blue Tie, what OR?
Ed, cute, but not applicable.
Uber, yes, Ed would do well to avoid all such fallacies. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 21:16, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I would not want to sneak one over on you through such a fallacy. The fallacy would be starting off with the soft claim (many scientists believe some 20th C. GW is A) which I believe you accept, and then later claim that what you accepted is really the hard claim (the great majority of scientists agree most 20th-C GW is A)

So instead, we should try to figure out how strong a claim you do accept. Clearly the IPCC report states that (the majority 20th-C GW is A). How large a fraction of scientists concur? You can object that Oreskes (100%) does not capture the actual dissenters (Baliunas, Lindzen...) Some anti-AGW editors have proposed that e.g. 25% are dissenters.

Even if the split is just 75 - 25 (though I read it as a lot higher ratio than that), that would justify language such as "strong majority" of scientists. If the U.S. Senate were all qualified climate scientists, the 75 pro-AGW would be able to override a veto. (All right, so I'm dreaming. Or would that be a nightmare? :-)

Okay, peace and good will to all.Birdbrainscan 05:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Straw Poll

DONE WITH THIS POLL. Now we know approximately where everyone stands, WRT consensus. It looks like there's still a small amount of work to be done, but the discussion seems resolvable.

This is not to discuss other options it is to resolve the edit war which led to the article being protected. It is a featured article and has been protected too long. I won't vote. Please vote below. 24 hours: usual WP rules on deciding votes (no canvassing, only established editors, I won't vote but I'll close. --BozMo talk 08:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Option 1

First option revert to [22] which was the last version before the current run down.

  1. Aye. --Skyemoor 00:28, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. William M. Connolley 08:28, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  3. Support. I'm willing to work in some more references directly if there is consensus to that effect, but it would make the whole more unwieldy without seriously improving the article.--Stephan Schulz 09:21, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Convenience means nothing to policy. It might be convenient to not follow policy, but that still isn't the best option. ~ UBeR 02:52, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  1. Support Mostlyharmless 10:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. Support Narssarssuaq 10:22, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  3. Support Kim D. Petersen 11:19, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  4. Support Ashenai 11:40, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  5. Support Guettarda 12:31, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  6. Support Gsalter 13:06, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  7. Support Count Iblis 13:33, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  8. Support Raymond Arritt 13:35, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  9. Support. As with Stephan I could accept working in more references as long as it doesn't become unwiedly. -- Leland McInnes 14:06, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  10. Support Raul654 16:24, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  11. Support Vsmith 17:45, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  12. Support But then I'm one of those fascisti Uber prattles on about. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 21:12, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  13. Support TeaDrinker 21:16, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  14. Support I paged through a string of version diffs and most of the battle seemed to be rewording the definition of GW, cyclically. Sigh. I hope we can get beyond this type of fiddling.Birdbrainscan 04:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
This comment brings up another problem with the pole: They don't know what exactly they're voting for or for what reason. ~ UBeR 06:17, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Option 2

Second option: The "weasel by proxy" as describe above by Blue Tie. That is, verified and attributable to third party source.

CLARIFICATION OF OPTION 2: This is a clarification (I hope) that was discussed on my talk page: Option 1 is the option to go back to the original version and everything will still be willy-nilly, straight back to square one. It doesn't matter if there's a source that actually says "Most scientists agree that ... and few scientists disagree (...)" If there actually is a source, then use it! If there actually is a source, make sure you're stating what it is saying (that is, not verbatim--just don't change the context). If there actually is a source, attribute the claim to that source. HOWEVER, if there isn't a source, then that claim doesn't belong in Wikipedia. This option is the only supportable one under Wikipedia (of the two options so far). If feel so inclined to do so, feel free to change your vote. ~ UBeR 18:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Uber seems right. if there is a valid source, I see no reason to not use it. --Sm8900 18:43, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
UBeR is often right. I don't quite get the proposal here though. Personally I am a big reluctant to turn particularly the introduction into a patchwork of sources (the convention in papers is not to give references in abstracts: I think it helps a lot not to cite in the intro provided everything in it is substantiated with references later). It would be very hard to get it to read well that way.--BozMo talk 19:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
There is not much problem with having numerous refernces and citations. For an example, see this article. --Sm8900 19:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Or this one. You see, BozMo, one of the wonders of Wikipedia is that it is not a paper encyclopedia nor is it a scientific paper to be published in a journal. If this article is to be used as a "gold standard" as one observer proclaimed, then it should stand against the toughest scrutiny. While I agree, an overload of refs in the lead can be burdensome or ugly, policy trumps prettiness. I also agree that refs are not required in leads because they are summaries of what's in the article, UNLESS the article provides no reference to the original claim within any portion of the article. That is the current case. Again, my clarification still stands. However, at the current momenet it looks like the weasel words are gone, and doesn't need sources (that is, unless you know who undoes it). Also note the current intro has a grand total of TWO refs. That's hardly eye-soring. ~ UBeR 22:32, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support ~ UBeR 21:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. --Sm8900 13:29, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. holding nose. --Blue Tie 13:47, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. The "Last Version" was unacceptable.--Zeeboid 21:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Blue Tie. I don't see the choices here as being meaningful, but of the editors of the article in the last week, Blue Tie's look the most sensible and in line with Wikipedia policy. --Facethefacts 22:26, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support either this or using neutral language as in Blue Tie's version. Option 1 violates Wikipedia policy regardless of how many vote for it. --Tjsynkral 06:42, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Clarification of option 2

Someone added this:

CLARIFICATION OF OPTION 2: This is a clarification (I hope) that was discussed on my talk page: Option 1 is the option to go back to the original version and everything will still be willy-nilly, straight back to square one. It doesn't matter if there's a source that actually says "Most scientists agree that ... and few scientists disagree (...)" If there actually is a source, then use it! If there actually is a source, make sure you're stating what it is saying (that is, not verbatim--just don't change the context). If there actually is a source, attribute the claim to that source. HOWEVER, if there isn't a source, then that claim doesn't belong in Wikipedia. This option is the only supportable one under Wikipedia (of the two options so far). If feel so inclined to do so, feel free to change your vote.

Since they didn't sign it, I've no idea whose talk page we should be looking at. But you cannot possibly add a "clarification" that asserts that only one option is supportable, or that option 1 represents return to square 1.

William M. Connolley 08:28, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Objection: Badly designed straw poll violates wikipedia policy and philosophy

I object to the Straw Poll on the following grounds:

  • Poor design. It is a binary vote between a poor choice and a bad choice. Almost no discussion went into the creation of the options. In particular, I dislike both choices. The vote is a choice between two ways of not improving the article.
  • Purpose is to eliminate discussion. It even says this is not to discuss. Discussion on other choices has been cut off/excluded. No significant discussion was used to create the choices. The block is meant to help stimulate discussion and improve the article. The vote is an effort to stifle discussion and return the article to a previous state without discussion.
  • Contrary to Policy. Wikipedia Policy says Polling is not a substitute for discussion and Wikipedia is not a democracy. Straw polls may not be treated as binding. I have some problems with these policies in a few respects, but I do not have a problem with straw polls per se. I do have a problem with them used to squelch discussion as this one is. I believe that Straw Polls should be used to help guide a discussion toward consensus though. Typically this means smaller steps rather than giant ones as this vote is.
  • Multiple Issues but only one vote.
  • Short Duration. Even if I could agree to a straw poll that was a final arbiter without discussion (which is hard to imagine), I would not agree that it should be limited to only 24 hours. It smacks of steamrolling. Some people do not check wikipedia every day. Their views and contributions should not be determined by their rate of input but by the quality of their thoughts.
  • Wrong Topic. The blocking Admin blocked until there was consensus on whether the page has NPOV problems. To me it was a strange standard at first but upon reflection it actually makes sense; it encourages discussion. That is the standard he or she set, but our poll here does not address that issue at all.

Instead, of this badly designed poll that is contrary to policy, the wording of the opening paragraph should be worked out here. That is the wikipedia method. It is discussion.

Why don't you propose a first paragraph then? --BozMo talk 18:33, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Have done before and will do again. Working on it as I can. Maybe tonight. --Blue Tie 20:04, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I get a sense that somehow, this page and its key editors are seen as being "not subject" to wikipedia policies. Repeatedly policies are ignored or tramped on. This is one more instance of that. And in most cases, it seems, the intent of that effort is to completely eliminate discussion and input. That is not what wikipedia is about. Wikipedia is the Encyclopedia that Anyone can Edit. --Blue Tie 13:35, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I would like to see as many good-faith contributors and viewpoints included as possible. I agree with Blue Tie that there has been a pattern recently here at this entry of that not being done. --Sm8900 13:57, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
There has been considerable discussion, with a multiplicity of points raised, considered, and assessed. At some point in time, a consensus has to be explored, and such a straw poll is one way to accomplish that. When a poll does not reach the conclusions that one side wanted, it is typical to argue against the mechanism of a poll, even though at least one option was available that met the needs of both sides. Therefore let us accept the results of the poll (which can be kept open longer as far as I'm concerned) as a fair measure of the consensus. There can be more discussion in the future, no doubt, but we can move past the current deadlock and take the future discussion points as they arise. --
I greatly appreciate your reasoned and polite reply. In a heated debate, it is a rare thing to see. But I really do have a substantive issue with the poll. The first two reasons listed are serious and real to me. I cannot in good conscience vote for either option, and I really do believe that the better way to do this is a discussion. This poll is a short-cut way to circumvent that. It is efficient. But I do not think it is the right way to build consensus. I would not agree with its results no matter WHICH of the two options were picked -- they are both suboptimal. --Blue Tie 17:09, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Some rejoinders to your comments (if that makes any sense...)
  • At last check this talk page was 348 KB, reflecting the fact that there's been lots of discussion. I have not the slightest doubt that we could discuss the issue forever and not come to a universally agreeable conclusion. Granted, there may not have been enough discussion for some. But we cannot maintain a high-profile article in a perpetually locked state, so at some point we have to make a decision between...
  • ...suboptimal choices. Most real life choices are between sub-optimal alternatives. (U.S. presidential candidates, anyone?) In any case the version we choose will not be set in stone -- it will merely be a starting point for future development. Raymond Arritt 17:37, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, and as the locked version looks absolutely terrible with its misleading opening sentence, the unlock and revert should be done as soon as possible, as voted. As soon as that pressing issue is taken care of, we can move on to two unrelated issues: 1) the content forking of the scientific attribution may be solved, and 2) a citation should be searched to increase the precision of the weasel word some in the following context: "Some scientists believe that the effect of solar forcing is being underestimated". Narssarssuaq 07:48, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I did not vote in this poll for most of the reasons above. This poll is a red herring and should have been ignored. --Childhood's End 17:03, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

As long as this is an exploration, and not a binding poll, it might be useful. People can then figure out who to negotiate with and about what to negotiate, to finally come to a negotiated consensus. That much seems useful. --Kim Bruning 17:06, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I absolutely agree with Blue Tie in that this is a sloppy poll with perhaps not a great enough range of options. Options one obviously goes back to the same mess we started with, doing absolutely nothing to help, as the problem is still there. Option two is acceptable under Wikipedia policy, but may not be the best option. Wikipedia makes clear their policy on straw poles and democracies: they should not substitute discussion and they are non-binding. Using this to stifle debate would be a terribly unfortunate mistake.

However, I generally agree Kim Bruning. This poll could be used to figure out who holds which positions and we can discuss possibilities between the two (or more) groups. Obviously, with a limit of only being placed in two options for the time being, this isn't perfect, but if everyone can recognize the issues each person has it will lead to better negotiation and real consensus. ~ UBeR 02:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Option 1 does very much to help, as it removes a version of the page that makes an unsupported claim (see Scientific opinion on climate change) in the first paragraph of one of the most viewed articles on Wikipedia. That should be fixed instantly, other issues can wait. Narssarssuaq 07:57, 29 March 2007 (UTC) To put that clearer, the article as of now says "some scientists", which could be anyone, while according to for example [23] "Lord Rees of Ludlow, the president of the Royal Society, Britain's most prestigious scientific institute, said: "The IPCC is the world's leading authority on climate change(...)"". As stated already, this imprecision in the present introduction should be fixed instantly. Protecting the page for days in the state it's in now is a very, very poor choice. Narssarssuaq 08:06, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, if one thing is a constant, it is that the page is always protected on m:The Wrong Version. :-/ --Kim Bruning 08:19, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Talk page should be split

The talk page is too large. We do archive old talk, but that doesn't help much because there are too many topics that are still being discussed. Count Iblis 13:43, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I would work on it but I have no time right now. --Blue Tie 13:52, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Some topics should be archived at some point. --Sm8900 13:59, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

How about a separate page for all the NPOV/weasel talk? That would handle most of it William M. Connolley 14:14, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I do not know either way. Normally I would think that chronology is best. But that area is somewhat huge and takes much space so your proposal would help in that regard. On the other hand, separating it has the effect of closeting it off. So I do not know. --Blue Tie 14:31, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
It's possible to make a subpage to discuss specifics, but I have already prematurely archived the discussion of March 2007 of any discussion not taking place within the last 10 days or discuss that is uncontroversially dead. ~ UBeR 02:51, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Prematurely?--Blue Tie 03:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, just a bad choice of words. Premature in the sense that the talk page is usually archived once a month. The month hasn't ended yet, so I used the word prematurely. It doesn't really mean anything other than I archived old discussion sooner than I would have originally, given the large amounts of new discussion recently. ~ 03:26, 29 March 2007 (UTC)


I have unprotected the page and reverted it to the last version as suggested above in the straw poll.

Clearly, no one thinks this version is perfect and the page is now open for improvements. However I would consider restarting an edit war over the inclusion of an NPOV tag in these circumstances as edit warring. Please don't. Thank you --BozMo talk 08:47, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

It is not clear to me that no one thinks this version is perfect. But ..suppose that someone believes there are NPOV problems. Which of these two policies do you mean to implement here:
  • No one may identify this article as having problems with NPOV, even if they exist.
  • NPOV problems must be agreed to first on this talk page by the people who wrote or guard the article and believe it is flawless in this regard.
--Blue Tie 12:58, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with talking about NPOV. But to avoid swamping the talk page, how about creating a sub page /NPOV for discussion of this one issue? To answer your q1: the poll establishes a large majority of editors against tagging the page, so please don't William M. Connolley 13:11, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
No, the poll did NOT establish that. That was not the question. The question was: Which version should be established upon unprotect. This was not a poll about whether other wikipedia standards and processes should be violated. Tags exist as a part of wikipedia for a good reason. --Blue Tie 14:10, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you just almost sank yourself. Unprotecting is always fine, no matter what the outcome of the poll. But reverting was not ok. Let me undo that last part and say that that's what you actually did. ;-) In future: you need to be familiar with the polling guidelines. Based on the poll, we still need to discuss further. I hope folks can agree to stay away from the contested area for a while. :-) (though trying on solutions for size and seeing how they look should be fine. Don't revert tries, try to improve on them instead. :-) ) --Kim Bruning 08:59, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
The sense of the poll was clearly to return to the earlier version. I don't understand why you reverted to the "other" version William M. Connolley 09:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Because I wanted to return to status quo (and make it like BozMo hand't made his change) to start with. I'm a bit worried that there would otherwise be another edit war. Well, I can't sell that anymore, I guess. :-/ --Kim Bruning 09:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
And the vote was more than 75% for this. In WP (e.g. electing administrators) that kind of level is considered adequate consensus. --BozMo talk 09:20, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
That is not consensus, and that is not how you conduct a poll in the main namespace. I'll take this to E-mail. --Kim Bruning 09:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I've restored the std semi-prot we had before, which is needed. Also the move prot William M. Connolley 12:38, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Alright, and took it to E-mail, and am satisfied that BozMo is acting in good faith. I'm sure we both could have done things better, but things are survivable the way they are now. Still lots of work to do though! --Kim Bruning 14:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Scientific opinion on climate change

Right, once that's settled, we can get on with the problem regarding the scientific opinion on climate change. This is not mentioned in the article, only linked to. This is as I see it 1) because the article is already too long; 2) possibly to avoid the issue, the article Wikipedia:Content forking is mainly irrelevant here, but not entirely; and 3) because the issue is irrelevant in a scientific context (though it's not irrelevant in a public and political context). I think everyone would agree that a little information on the scientific opinion should be included here, if only the piece of information I cited above: that the IPCC consists of the "world's leading climate scientists" (see for example [24]). That single piece of information is in my opinion precise enough for this article's purposes. Narssarssuaq 10:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Thats not really correct. Para 2 of the intro is it, in substance William M. Connolley 10:45, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't see that. Does Wikipedia approve of mentioning something in the abstract/introduction but not in the article? It's taboo in science of course, but I guess encyclopedias are a different cup of tea. Narssarssuaq 10:58, 29 March 2007 (UTC) To be more constructive, I suggest that the introduction solely mentions that the IPCC consists of the "world's leading climate scientists", while the more elaborated explanation with wikilinks that's presently in para 2 is moved to "Causes". Narssarssuaq 11:00, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
But that material does need to be in the intro. Conversely, I don't see why the intro needs to go into who IPCC is William M. Connolley 11:07, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
OK. Looking at the article again, the controversy is of course mentioned both in the introduction and in the "Terminology" section. It seems a bit strange to mention more in the introduction than in the rest of the article, though. Also, the brevity of the introduction treatment could at present be giving undue weight to the "few scientists". Narssarssuaq 11:21, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it would be instructive to show how much money is given away by the US Federal Government every year to scientists who are studying how humans contribute to Global Warming. My guess is the number is in the billions. This tremendous amount of funding should be relevant to the discussion. It seems that most, if not all, of the funding goes to organizations who are out to prove man is causing Global Warming.

About the last straw poll...

Perhaps those who voted in good faith in the straw poll above would be interested to read this discussion between William Connolley and BozMo, who orchastrated that said poll... --Childhood's End 13:10, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

In which I suggested protecting the page myself during the edit war? Perhaps this one User_talk:William_M._Connolley#I_owe_you_an_apology is even more shocking :). --BozMo talk 13:22, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see anything problematic with the WMC/BozMo discussion. I wonder why people would want to raise suspicions in a manner that appears to be 'poisoning the well'. At some point, we have to stop feeding the trolls. --Skyemoor 14:24, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, yeah... WMC keeps saying that about people in disagreement with his climate views. That's getting old. You should elevate yourself above that kind of immature personal attacks/derogatory comments. --Childhood's End 14:27, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok ok! Enough of that! Let's all assume good faith here, please. --Kim Bruning 14:43, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Except when you have plenty of evidence to assume the contrary. ~ UBeR 18:28, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

AFAIK it is unlocked? I thought it was only protected against anon IPs? --BozMo talk 15:21, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

It was unlocked when I edited a couple of hours ago? :-) --Kim Bruning 15:26, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Take it easy for a day or two, just to be sure, eh? --Kim Bruning 15:38, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
that sounds good. thanks. --Sm8900 15:41, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Your right to edit this page

Just to be clear, the above straw poll does not change the fact that this article may still be freely edited by registed users. If you feel that a user has inserted weasel words into the article or otherwise compromised its NPOV, you are free to edit the article as you see fit to improve it to Wikipedia Standards. I intend to do so until my WP:3RR are up. --Tjsynkral 22:10, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, just keep in mind that straw polls are non-binding (it's a shame this one was used to stifle debate) and the article is still subject to all Wikipedia policies. ~ UBeR 22:33, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Keep in mind that WP:3RR limits distruptive editing, whether or not 3 reverts have been reached. I think if the edits are something which has been extensively discussed here, and most people are against, you would be better advised to find compelling reasons for your edit and convince other editors on this talk page before making the change. Making the same changes every day, full in the knowledge it will be removed, will get tiresome very quickly and may be taken as distruptive (in my view at least). --TeaDrinker 22:42, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, this is considered to be pre-meditated disruption. Note that 3RR is not a privilege. Interesting that you are taking this stance during mediation. --Skyemoor 02:20, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
It's a matter of fixing the page, within the rules, from POV pushers who insert weasel words beyond the rules. I'd almost be willing to claim reverting vandalism on it but I don't think it meets the WP standards of vandalism. --Tjsynkral 06:31, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2007-03-25 Global warming

When will the trial start? Count Iblis 21:03, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

There is no trial. Medcab mediation is unofficial and non-binding. A skilled mediator may help people communicate. Guettarda 21:13, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I see, so I don't need to consult with my lawyer :) Count Iblis 21:53, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
TINC O:-) --Kim Bruning 22:12, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Sentence on solar variation causing cooling...

The current statement in the reads as follows: "Other phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes have probably had a warming effect from pre-industrial to 1950, but a cooling effect since 1950." I originally inserted the former part of the sentence (prior to the comma) with the SPM cited, as this is what the source states. I also noted that volcanism "likely" (66%) had a cooling effect since 1950, per SPM and other IPCC reports. William added solar variation also had "a cooling effect" and blanketed it under the same source. Looking at the SPM, nowhere does it state solar variation (either with or without volcanoes) has had a cooling effect since 1950. Fig-4 does not imply it either. In fact, solar variation has positive radiative forcing. ~ UBeR 22:42, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

The reference is to fig 4 (haven't we been round this loop already?) which shows (bottom row) cooling since 1950 from runs with sol+vol forcing William M. Connolley 22:50, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
As I understand William and Fig. 4 in the SPM, solar and volcanos combined probably result in a net cooling effect. The claim is not "volcanos have a cooling effect and solar variations have a cooling effect". --Stephan Schulz 22:54, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Correct, Stephan. That was a bad point made on my part. However, less warming than if combined with GHGs is not equivalent to cooling. ~ UBeR 23:03, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Interpreting the graph is original research. --Blue Tie 21:31, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

William removing references

Regarding this edit, William is removing valid references supporting claims made by the article. The references are important per Wikipedia's policies on sources, including WP:V, WP:OR, WP:ATT. Many a administrator have informed William in the past that Wikipedia articles are not reliable sources. William is trying to use a Wikipedia article as a reliable source for a statement that was previously properly referenced. As someone else mentioned, convenience or prettiness does not trump policy. Discussion? ~ UBeR 23:09, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I've got no problem with the references staying in. But who is "someone else"? The only one I'v seen making this statement so far is you. --Stephan Schulz 23:14, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
This isn't a matter of removing sources, it's a matter of removing long lists. Long lists don't belong in an article. And while Wikipedia articles cannot be taken as "reliable sources", if sources are provided on the other end of a link, they can be considered as sources for statements on the original page - ie, saying its all in the sub-article is perfectly acceptable. Guettarda 23:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's not the case, Guettarda. ~ UBeR 00:06, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Really? And the basis for your opinion is what...? Guettarda 00:34, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
In other words, that's a ridiculous assertion Uber. Guettarda 00:36, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Why, Wikipedia policy of course: "Wikipedia and other wikis sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation are not regarded as reliable sources." Check. ~ UBeR 00:54, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
The references in a well sourced subpage can be used via a link to the subpage as reliable sources to the main article. Wiki articles evolve and grow - references needn't be duplicated - just point to their location. Vsmith 01:05, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's not the case. ~ UBeR 03:10, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
When a supporting article is branched off to avoid a too long main article, its references go with it. The summary in the parent article is supported by the references in the branch article and a duplicate reference listing should be unneeded. Now over the past few days a batch of skeptics have siezed upon this as an opportunity to enhance their position by claiming many and few in the article were unsupported weasel words (the supporting data and refs were in the daughter articles) and insisting on their removal. The removal of the two words many and few had the net effect of making the skeptic position seem more equal in importance or support - and thus amounted to POV pushing by wikilawyering on the part of those skeptical editors.
Following the unlocking of the page the skeptic weasel fighters returned to enhance their position by again removing those horrible weasels. To waylay this imbalance, I simply made a list of references from the daughter article and added the list as a single reference to indicate that many was indeed a valid term. The list only appeared in the ref list (and on the edit screen) and appeared as a single ref number on the viewable page. I personally didn't feel the list as needed, but used it to show the absurdity of the skeptic weasel campaign on this particular point. It can stay or go as far as I'm concerned, but if it goes, the many belongs and is supported by the subarticle refs. Vsmith 00:56, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
It's a nice story, but once again you have grossly misunderstood and distorted the situation. While, of course, summaries are allowed in sections of articles that are becoming overly long, there are certain procedures in which is this accomplished. But two brackets around a phrase is not the manner in which this is accomplished, nor does it apply to leads. For more detailed information, see WP:SS. ~ UBeR 03:10, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
From the grossly misunderstood page (WP:SS):
There is no need to repeat all specific references for the subtopics in the main "Summary style" article: the "Summary style" article summarizes the content of each of the subtopics, without need to give detailed references for each of them in the main article: these detailed references can be found in the subarticles. The "Summary style" article only contains the main references that apply to that article as a whole.
two brackets around a phrase takes the user to the sub-article containing the detailed references, that is quite simple - and those two brackets around a phrase do not constitute a reference, rather a link to further info which contains the detailed refs.
As for distorted, hmm... don't rightly know what I'm s'posed to have distorted. I presented the nice story based on my perceptions - I can't see thru your undistorted glasses :-) Cheers, Vsmith 14:14, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, Vsmith, you're arguing for a point I already made. "Summaries are allowed in sections of articles that are becoming overly long, [and] there are certain procedures in which is this accomplished." Note some important things I said though. First is "section." Sections can be summarized via WP:SS. ("Longer sections should be spun off into their own articles and a several paragraph summary should be left in its place.") Right, so this isn't so much a problem of summarizing excessive details in the lead. No one is asking to expand the lead so as to include everything in the subarticles. That's nonsense. This is about using a source to cite weasel words. (Although, note the current version is without problem.) The second important thing I said was "there are certain procedure in which this is accomplished." Sections use small text templates to show the reader the section is being summarized. ("Whenever you break up a page, please note the split (including the page names between double square brackets) in the edit summary. Add {{Main}} to the top of the section that is being split out, to indicate where the main article for that section is.") So when you put these two concepts together, you have: "Longer sections should be spun off into their own articles and a several paragraph summary should be left in its place. Such sections are linked to the detailed article with a {{main|<name of detailed article>}} or comparable template under the section title." So why doesn't the policy mention leads? Well it does, sort of. ("Each article on each subtopic, as well as the main article have lead sections that are concise encyclopedic articles in their own right.") Leads are summaries of the articles that they introduce. But you're a bit misleading, cherry picking quotes from the policy. You forgot to mention "the 'Summary style' article only contains the main references that apply to that article as a whole." What this suggests is that in the summary (of the section) you add a reference here and there that are applicable to the whole idea the summary is trying to convey. Do you see how this is different from "no references at all"?
P.S. SMcCandlish would like convey "anyone who removed sourced from an SS article should be WP:TROUTed.  :-)" My regards, ~ UBeR 21:21, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Uber, you obviously don't understand policy. If you don't understand what you are talking about, you should refrain from lecturing people about things you don't understand. If you don't understand something, and you are unwilling to take the word of more established editors, then the onus is on you to educate yourself about the topic. Everything you need to know is there if you are willing to make the effort. Please educate yourself about the topic. Guettarda 04:08, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Please assume good faith, Guettarda. That's at least one policy you can understand. "Wikipedia and other wikis sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation are not regarded as reliable sources. However, wikis are excellent places to locate primary and secondary sources." What isn't there to understand? You make a good point, there may perhaps be sources on that page, which is exactly what the policy concurs. Where you and policy differ is in that you think Wikipedia is a reliable source, where it obviously is not. Additionally, "All articles on Wikipedia should be based on information collected from published primary and secondary sources." Wikipedia calls this fundamental to encyclopedia writing. And if you were wondering, no, Wikipedia is neither a secondary or primary source. Check, mate. ~ UBeR 05:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
As I said, please familiarise yourself with policy - specifically, with what policy is. Quoting a line out of context which stems from a guideline, and concluding "checkmate" proves that you don't understand what policy and guidelines are. So please, educate yourself about the topic first. Guettarda 13:48, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh a simple comma omission. You know. Anyway, I provide links for you to check for yourself. You can check for yourself whether I am out of context or not. It's clear I'm not and the policy itself is clear. It's a neat defense to try to undermine the actual policy by saying I'm out of the context, but it's just a lame non sequitur in reality. You can read the quotes for yourself. ~ UBeR 21:21, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
It's your conclusion of "checkmate" that shows you don't understand the guideline you are quoting. Rules are descriptive, and can only be interpreted with a large dose of commonsense. Quite simply, the issue that Wikipedia articles are not reliable sources simply doesn't apply to this situation; in this case, the article isn't being used as a source, the references within it are being used as a is common (and widely accepted) practice. The guideline of sourcing is meant to inform people what constitutes a reliable source. You can't attribute some piece of information to a Wikipedia article, because Wikipedia articles aren't necessarily reliable or accurate. There's nothing that says that something isn't adequately sourced simply because the source is on another page. The fundamental rule to follow is common sense. And when you find a rule (especially a guideline) which conflicts with common sense, policy says "ignore it". And that, unlike WP:RS, is official Wikipedia policy. Guettarda 02:25, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Phew—good thing I never quoted WP:RS! ~ UBeR 03:34, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually yes, you did. The text you quoted is from Wikipedia:Attribution/FAQ, and is based on the WP:RS guideline. So yes, your argument is based on the RS guideline. As I said, if you refuse to take the word of people who know these things, then you need to make the effort to educate yourself about these things. Guettarda 04:01, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, Mr. Holier-than-thou. I actually didn't, but I'll let your post hoc stand. With that though, comes WP:OR which stands as a strong pillar against your perceived notions that Wikipedia supports circular reasoning. It states it pretty clear, and lest I be accused of taking it out of context, I'll let you read over it yourself. ~ UBeR 04:14, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
What does WP:NOR have to do with the interpretation of policy? WP:NOR applies to articles, not talk page, user pages or the Wikipedia namespace. Guettarda 04:20, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. ~ UBeR 05:38, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Stop edit warring NOW. Thank you. Kyaa the Catlord 04:28, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Pot, stop calling the kettle black. Don't jump into an edit war, re-insert POV nonsense, and lecture people. Funny, dude. Guettarda 04:43, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Inserting your own POV into the article is just as bad as the opposite. Now cool it. Kyaa the Catlord 05:43, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Once you start edit-warring, you really can't lecture people about edit warring. In addition, you replaced an accurate summary with a misleading one. Guettarda 13:48, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Take personal fights to the user pages or better yet, stop altogether. It clogs up this page with trash. --Blue Tie 21:27, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Consensus reference - not a reliable source

I would like to see a discussion on the latest change by User:KimDabelsteinPetersen - where she has re-introduced the word "Consensus" and uses as her cite this page [25]. It looks to me like political, slanted garbage, not peer-reviewed literature - and if a skeptic tried to use this kind of thing as a source, User:William_M._Connolley would have a cow! I don't think this meets the WP:RS standards but I would like to hear some other opinions. I'm also curious to find out if User:William_M._Connolley holds documents on HIS side of the argument to the same high standard as documents on the skeptic side. --Tjsynkral 17:45, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Much though I love the thought of WMC having a cow the Royal Society to a Brit is the ultimate representive of pure academic science. I don't know if a US equivalent exists. On requiring high standards on documents all round I am sympathetic and when I've got some time I will have a look. --BozMo talk 18:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, if we could cite as a Primary source the statement from the NAS endorsing the IPCC "consensus" that this source references - although I still have my issues with that, being that that statement reflects the opinion of one group yet we're claiming something about all scientists - that might at least meet WP policy. --Tjsynkral 17:52, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
You migh want to look at this, particularly footnote two. It's signed on behalf of the US NAS (and others). --Stephan Schulz 18:07, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Tjsynkral, the Royal Society is the british equivalent to the National Academy of Sciences - and Connolley would certainly not have a cow over an equivalent sceptic source. (hint: that would be the NAS or the NRC). This is about as good (imho) and as reliable as sources come. This btw is a source/document that unlike the G8+3 and the 2001 academies statement - makes the direct link and statement about consensus. So it upholds the guidelines in WP:SYN - which has so far been the problem. --Kim D. Petersen 18:22, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm - seems that Stephan Schulz found a footnote to relate the G8+3 statement directly to consensus. So that doesn't go against WP:SYN either. --Kim D. Petersen 18:25, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Must be an outstanding hoopy frood, this Stephan Schulz. He not only finds sneaky footnotes, but also the first proper sentence of the 2001 joint science academies statement: The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science.[26] ;-) --Stephan Schulz 18:46, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Yep - really sneaky ;) - so in effect we have lots of good and reliable sources to use consensus as a specific wording - and without running our noses against WP:SYN - now isn't UBeR going to be pleased. --Kim D. Petersen 18:51, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Very. I am pleased the Royal Society agrees the international community is in consensus with the IPCC. Whether the Royal Societies believes 16 countries constitute the consensus of a 192 country community is neither here nor there. ~ UBeR 20:25, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Happy and graceful!--Stephan Schulz 20:44, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
As I have pointed out before, when someone else presents their OPINION of something (and in this case an opinion of an opinion -- which makes it rather unencyclopedic, but never mind), the entity making the claim should be explicitly stated, if that is notable. Otherwise it is wikipedia making the claim, and wikipedia must remain neutral. So the article might say, "The Royal Society has described the IPCC as the consensus of the International Scientific Community". Then an alternative view, following, would probably be appropriate per NPOV.
But you know what is even better and what would help prevent edit wars? DO NOT STATE ANY OPINIONS AT ALL. Just state the facts, without adjectives and without opinion warring by proxy and then let the reader decide. That is really the heart of NPOV. --Blue Tie 20:55, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

First Sentence

The first sentence reads as follows:

Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation.

I disagree with this sentence and I believe it should be changed to reflect the following:

1. Global Warming is not a new phenomenon. It has existed at least as long as we have had an atmosphere.
2. Global Warming is directly related to greenhouse gases.
3. Global Warming does not need to be observed to exist. It may exist without observation.
4. "Global Warming" is a recent term, coined in the late 1970's.
5. Global Warming is of current interest due to observations of increased average temperatures over the last few decades and projections of continued increases in temperature.

So, I would suggest the following sentences instead:

Global warming is a phrase coined in the late 1970's to describe an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near surface atmosphere due to the greenhouse gas effect. Although there have been periods of both global warming and cooling in the past, it is currently a topic of hightened international attention due to observations of increased average temperatures over the last five decades and projections of continued increases in the next century.

--Blue Tie 20:51, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Ad 1: We've had this discussion before. "Global warming" is overwhelmingly used to refer to the current episode of warming.
Yes. In the previous discussion I said that the notion of "overhelming" or other such words is Original Research. I never saw a reply to that. Also I think that a version that is less tied up in what is "popular" now and more correct from a logical perspective will also be less POV. (Blue Tie)
Ad 2: Where do you mention that in your version?
Forgot but fixed it now. (Blue Tie)
Ad 3: See Ad 1:
My response: [citation needed] (Blue Tie)
Ad 4: [citation needed]
Dictionary. I can cite it, but did not because it is not on the actual page. Do you really need it right now or can you go on some trust here? (Blue Tie)
Ad 5: It's not just the last 5 decades. Also, [citation needed].
That's fine. I don't care if it's 20 decades. Just so long as it is some verifiable number. And if it is not a verifiable number then the phase should be taken out.(Blue Tie)
The current version is much less wordy and a much better introduction.
Less words is not always best and I clearly do not agree with your conclusion. (Blue Tie)
WP:NOT a dictionary.
But it can use dictionaries (Blue Tie)
--Stephan Schulz 21:03, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
It's confusing when you insert your own comments in-between comments that aren't yours. That said, "global warming" is typically used to described the current, observed warming of near-surface air and ocean temperatures. I think the opening sentence conveys this rather nicely. ~ UBeR 21:29, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
My apologies for the confusion. I shall try harder to do something else in the future. As I have said before, I do not think observation is required but I do believe the description of it as relating only to the current observation is wrong. The earth warms. It cools. For quite a while it has done this. --Blue Tie 22:11, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

At point 3 it should be mentioned that this also depends on the way quantum mechanics should be interpreted see e.g. here  :) Count Iblis 21:40, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Heh heh. Well, I suppose, if global warming were a quantum level phenomenon, it probably would not be in the headlines quite as much either. To what degree has the quantum flux cooled down or heated up in the last 50 years anyway? Heh heh. I think any significant change would be essentially terrifying. --Blue Tie 22:15, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
WP:NOT a dictionary.
But it can use dictionaries (Blue Tie)
Sure. Wikipedia is not about describing the term "global warming", it is about the phenomenon. Your introduction gives focus to the term, not to the phenomenon.--Stephan Schulz 21:47, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, an encyclopedia is not a dictionary because it is MORE than a dictionary in some ways. But it can contain much of the same information... no harm in that. However, if you want the focus taken off of the term I will re-edit.--Blue Tie 22:17, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
      • Newly Coined Intro #2

Global warming refers to an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near surface atmosphere due to the greenhouse gas effect. Although there have been periods of both global warming and cooling in the past, it is currently a topic of hightened international attention due to observations of increased average temperatures over the last five decades and projections of continued increases in the next century. The phrase "global warming" came into use during the late 1970's. (Note this was placed here AFTER the next two comments were placed on the page). --Blue Tie 22:39, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Your newly-coined intro is still not correct, as it restricts the cause to the greenhouse effect. By the way, please give modified proposals by stating them anew rather than simply editing the earlier version. The latter approach leads to confusion, because the comments that follow no longer apply to the proposed text. Raymond Arritt 22:30, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I will propose anew. However, I think the restriction to the greenhouse effect can be sourced, but I am always open to a broader view. Can you find a reliable verifiable source that gives a broader definition of the term? I'm fine with it if we can find one. --Blue Tie 22:34, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Earlier you made a point on how the Earth has cooled and warmed in past. While true, this doesn't fit under the definition of global warming. As I said, the term today generally applies to the recent, observed increase in warming. Of course the Earth has warmed before, but no one calls that global warming. Also note the previous cooling and warming cycles were mostly because of orbital forcings, not GHGs (though they, of course, played a role)> ~ UBeR 22:57, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure that no one calls prior periods of warming "global warming"? Suppose I found someone who did? Or more than one? Do you have some source that describes the cooling and warming as primarily from orbital forcings? Not arguing that is not true, but the real problem here is that I am trying to not have wikipedia invent a new sense or defnition for the term and most of the definitions I have seen attach greenhouse gases and do not mention recency. Am I making sense there? No original research. We report what others say or find. --Blue Tie 23:26, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
You're the one who is trying to report global warming refers to past ice ages, and glacials and interglacials. I have never seen this term used in this sense. Have you? ~ UBeR 23:35, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually I am trying to not restrict it to the current period. That is different that trying to report that it refers to past ice ages. However, here is one quote:

During the glacial, not only was the temperature lower by 8 Celsius (and some estimates put it at more than 12 Celsius – the record is a superposition of ice volume and temperature), but the climate was extremely irregular. The irregularities in temperature during the glacials, the wild bumps and wiggles that cover much of Figure 1-4, are real, not an artifact of poor measurement. The same bumps and wiggles are seen in two separate cores in Greenland, and in data taken from sea floor records found off the California coast. The ability to adapt quickly during this wild climate ride may have given a substantial advantage to adaptable animals, such as humans, and made it difficult for other large fauna to survive. Maybe it was these rapid changes, and not the rapaciousness of humans, that drove the mammoths, camels, giant ground sloths and giant beavers (the size of bears) of North America extinct. Recent global warming appears negligible on this plot. However, if predictions of climate modelers are correct, global warming temperature changes will be comparable those during the ice age.

I think I could find more. That one took about 1 minute to find.

More to the point, the term Global Warming is already defined. We should not be making up a new definition. Remember.. we do not make the facts (even if we think that they go in a certain direction) we report them. --Blue Tie 23:48, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

User:UBeR is absolutely correct. It is you who are proposing a "new definition", so it is your responsibility to support it. So far you have not done so. Notice the material you quote doesn't apply the term "global warming" to past temperature changes. It merely says "global warming temperature changes will be comparable to those during the ice age", not "the current global warming temperature changes will be comparable to past global warming" or similar. If anything, the modifier "global warming" is construed to apply to the present, in contrast to changes "during the ice age." Raymond Arritt 23:59, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
To slow again...what he said! --Stephan Schulz 00:08, 1 April 2007 (UTC)