Talk:RealClimate/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

notable criticism

Would someone describe what a notable critic would look like? Where their comments would be published? And how long they brush their teeth? I need to know so we can start looking for them.(Meltwaternord (talk) 03:42, 9 December 2009 (UTC))

As I said above, 5 days ago in this same argument: "RealClimate is a climate science blog; I would be happy for a quote from NOAA, the Met Office, New Scientist or any such organisation, had they criticised it. At least they would have a legitimate use for it [RealClimate] if they thought it was any good, they would have the viewpoint to be able to find legitimate fault and they are notable in related fields". That is, not the opinion of an individual or a political organisation, but the stated opinion of an organisation that is involved in science in general and/or climate science in particular. I compared the opinions of fringe groups, individuals who didn't make it in the world of climate science, political pressure groups, oil companies, lobbyists etc to being "like asking the turkey for a quote about Christmas". Nothing has moved on here except that every quote from these organisations (Nature etc) has turned out to be positive and the turkeys have carried on griping. --Nigelj (talk) 13:40, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Nigel, the Guardian is an acceptable source for commentary about the political content of the site. Monbiot is a non-scientist who writes for the Guardian, and his opinion appears on GW skeptic bios. As for the other source, I don't know, it appears to be a German newspaper (I am painfully uni-lingual) but it is also written by a scientist in the field. I have seen no reasonable NPOV argument why a climate scientist in a newspaper carries less weight than a scientific magazine, especially not when it comes to commentary on the political overtones of a blog. ATren (talk) 14:27, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Die Zeit is one of the most respected weekly periodicals in Germany. It's a newspaper with a somewhat liberal (in the original sense) bent, typically perceived as targeted to educated and academic audiences. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:42, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, ATren, I was attempting to answer the question, "what would a notable critic look like?" What Monbiot criticism of RC are you referring to? As for the von Storch comment that is currently in the article, that is not presented as the opinion of Die Zeit, but of the man himself (personally, I assume, and not speaking for the IPCC or any other notable body) expressed during an interview. Like yourself, I can discern little more than that he said something or other in German. --Nigelj (talk) 14:50, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Atren has a good point. If the journalist Monbiot's opinion articles in the guardian are used for criticism of skeptics then why can't a scientists opinion article in the guardian not be used? We've more than established that Cato, the Guardian, and Dr. Michaels are notable, relevant, and reliable. (I don't know what the political leanings the Guardian has, but some Americans seem to consider it left-of-center and skeptics suggest it is on the alarmist side - that is personal opinion of other people). The next argument is on undue weight. Since there are dozens of articles on skeptics this isn't some minority opinion that can be ignored. Their criticism must be included. This does not mean we have to include all criticisms of the RC. One will do. And since we have 4 items of praise, one item of criticism hardly gives the article undue weight.( (talk) 14:58, 9 December 2009 (UTC))
"what would a notable critic look like?" To avoid WP:BLP and WP:NPOV (especially WP:UNDUE) problems, a notable critic needs to either be: 1) A reliable source for reviewing similar blogs. 2) A critic whose views on RealClimate resulted in coverage by multiple, independent, reliable sources. --Ronz (talk) 15:55, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth these are some basic requirements in my opinion:
  • Constructive, i.e. not just "I like it" etc
  • From a notable and relevant source, e.g. the scientific journal Nature mentioned in the article is a good example, (it's a blog about science by scientists after all).
  • Not a tiny minority view.
  • Included in such a way that it's in proportion to the prominence of the view compared to the rest of the page.
Im sure there are other aspects I haven't thought of, but lobbyists or people with an axe to grind is generally something to avoid.
Apis (talk) 20:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Ronz, those standards have not been followed on GW skeptic BLP pages. Monbiot has been quoted for opinions in the Guardian, and there is at least once instance of a RealClimate-sourced quote. The sourced criticisms are generally unreferenced anywhere else. Yet the pro-GW editors have been adamant about including them. That is the standard I am applying here. If "coverage by multiple independent reliable sources" is required, then we have a lot of work to do trimming down criticism in skeptic BLPs. ATren (talk) 23:47, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
(sigh) - weight is a policy, whether it be on sceptical or other pages. All critique and praise must be presented in proportion to their prominence. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, they're very strict standards. Though I expect many editors will find them overly restrictive, I hope they represent common ground that we can all work from.
One of the difficulties with applying WP:WEIGHT is deciding when to not mention something at all. I think some common sense is helpful here - Does anyone expect that a blog would be completely unbiased, devoid of all personal opinion, and a forum for all opinions? I'd hope not. --Ronz (talk) 00:39, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
"Does anyone expect that a blog would be completely unbiased, devoid of all personal opinion, and a forum for all opinions? I'd hope not." If they did it would explain a lot of things though.
Apis (talk) 00:51, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
(.e.c.) Kim: I disagree with your analysis of weight in this debate. If I haven't made that clear before, I'm saying it now. There are skeptic bios where every single criticism is mentioned, listed and sourced, to the point where the criticism dominates the article. I've seen you and other pro-GW editors on those pages pushing for the inclusion of every nugget of negative press from any remotely reliable source. Now we come to a non-skeptic article (not even a BLP), and, lo and behold, weight becomes your favorite policy. Well, if that's the case, then we need to re-evaluate all those skeptic bios, where I've often supported inclusion of well sourced criticism even though it felt like piling on, only because pro-GW editors were so insistent on including such criticism.
So, if Ronz is correct that criticism requires significant independent coverage, and if you are correct in applying a strict weight standard, then RealClimate may stay criticism free, but there are plenty of skeptic bios that must be trimmed down. ATren (talk) 00:55, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Biographies and descriptions of individuals are covered by WP:BLP, which is very restrictive. Because RealClimate is a group blog not associated (at least from what I can tell) strongly with one or a few individuals, we have more flexibility on what we can allow here. --Ronz (talk) 16:16, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
The individuals who compile RC are not just random people off the street, though, so criticism from unqualified people who are unlikely to have understood what is under discussion has to be questioned. Equally, George Monbiot has a fair background in this topic. There has to be some comparability: Shirley Bassey on Albert Einstein? No. George Monbiot on James Hansen? Probably. Some guy from some the National Rifle Association on the editorial policy of Nature? You get my drift. --Nigelj (talk) 20:09, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Except in this case we've got criticism from 3 different notable scientists that cover this particular field who have either writing in notable publications or having been published there in the past.(Meltwaternord (talk) 00:39, 11 December 2009 (UTC))
This again is turning away from the real issue. We have a section containing praise from scientific outlets, if there is critique from such lets add that as well. Now some editors want to have individual critiques, which is all well and fine, but the critique must be balanced so that it shows how individual scientists view RC.
Let me give an example (from the other side of the spectrum): We could have inserted Gore's praise of RC a long time ago, but we haven't because Gore is just an individual, and not a particularly interesting one in a science blog context. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:59, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Pielke jr cristisism of RC as a science blog doing politics does make more sense. Compare The Uncertainty Trap. Best regards --Polentario (talk) 23:29, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
KDP, so now it has to come from a science based source?...Do you notice you keep changing your mind on this?(Meltwaternord (talk) 00:38, 11 December 2009 (UTC))
Could you please point me (diff accepted) at the place where i've ever said anything different? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:18, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Its a sort of Bullshit (in the scientific sense coined by Harry Frankfurt) or Buzzword bingo - the real ruling is based on Charles Erwin Wilson: What is good for Realclimate is good for Wikipedia and vice versa. :) --Polentario (talk) 01:07, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Does this have any relevance to the article? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:18, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
The fact that we even have authors closely attached to you and to RC is not without implications. Yes it has. You seem to try to evade any possible critism based on a biased Point of view, yes. --Polentario (talk) 01:39, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Please sit down and read WP:TPG and WP:NPA please. If you have issues with me, then i suggest you take it to the appropriate forums, and stick to the topic at hand, which is an article on RealClimate. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 02:32, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

If the section had personal praise from one person, then it would be OK to add criticism from one person (dubious nature of the criticism aside). But the praise is from two well known scientific journals and one well known popular science periodical, that isn't balanced by the personal opinion of one or two persons. I'm amazed this isn't obvious to everyone?
Apis (talk) 02:23, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

How big are the editorial boards of these journals? A few at best? On the other side, you have two climatologists making claims in two separate reliable sources, which means they were subject to those newspapers' editorial review. And we're only suggesting inclusion of one while all praise is included. No, I continue to stand by my earlier analysis that one short negative statement against an extended praise quote and two other praising mentions is fully acceptable per weight and NPOV. If the criticism must be suppressed, then the praise must be toned down. You can't have it both ways. ATren (talk) 17:36, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The editorial board of Nature is 38 editors [1], for Science it is 28 editors [2], i haven't found the figure for Scientific American (my guess is about as large - since the advisory board is ~40 scientists). So it is not just "a few" - and that aside, the Journals all have reputations that exceeds the individual editors. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:57, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • "you have two climatologists making claims in two separate reliable sources, which means they were subject to those newspapers' editorial review" - what the "editorial review" buys you is the reliability - yes, those editors did make these claims. Nothing more. "The Times reports Noam Chomsky calls Bush an idiot" does not mean that the newspaper supports Chomsky in this claim... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:25, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
You want to have a quote from a science magazine that states "RealClimate is objective". There is a counter criticism from two notable scientists which states that RC has political overtones, directly countering the praising quote. The counter criticisms are published in reliable sources, one of which has a columnist (Monbiot) whose opinion is frequently quoted in criticism of GW skeptics. Now, from a POV and weight standpoint, including that extended SciAm quote without including notable criticism is incorrect. Either both the quote should be included with the balancing criticism, or neither should appear. I am equally OK with both. Note that the statement about SciAm's award would remain, the only thing that would be removed is the SciAm opinion. ATren (talk) 03:40, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
If you want to include individual critique, then you must also walk the road of WP:NPOV which is that you have to represent the balance of individual praise and critique. Nature, Science and SciAm are in a different category - they represent a science media view - not an individual view. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 03:46, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Kim, first off, this is an opinion about a blog, not science. Second, the criticism is from climate scientists. IMO your arguments hold no water. Furthermore, there is plenty of Monbiot-sourced criticism in skeptic bios. Monbiot is not a scientist, and he is quoted in the same newspaper as Michaels (a scientist), yet his opinion is in those bios. If criticism from an individual non-scientist is permitted in a BLP, how can you justify suppressing criticism from a scientist published in the same source, and in a non-BLP? Your position is contradictory. As I've said earlier, if this criticism is not allowed here, Monbiot criticism should be removed from all skeptic bios. I would prefer it not come to that, but it would be required per NPOV. IMO, of course. ATren (talk) 04:07, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, could you try to separate articles? Weight is determined in context - not in comparison between who is sceptic or who isn't. You are very welcome to include criticism from science media to balance the praise from science media. Now as for individuals, which is no matter how you slice and dice it different from science media praise/critique - we also have to balance things. Let me ask you frankly here: Do you think that more scientists are critical of RC than the opposite? If the answer is No (or Perhaps) - then you aren't presenting a balanced picture. Once more: The trouble is that you aren't trying to present a balanced picture of the view that scientists have of RC - you are only trying to include critique for critique's sake - and that is POV. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 04:42, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but it seems like you just like it on those articles but don't like it here. ATren (talk) 04:52, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I can't but notice that you didn't answer the question. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 04:56, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Kim, you are wikilawyering to try to justify differing editorial standards on different pages of the same topic. To answer your question, I don't know if there are more supportive than against. Why don't you go find more supportive statements and we can evaluate them here? I've done a quick Google News searches on RC and I didn't find all the supposed support you claim. So if you want to make the assertion that the opinion on RC is so heavily weighted towards support, then justify it with more sources. ATren (talk) 05:36, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Address the article/issues not the editor please. If you do not know it - then you are not arguing for balance, but for critique for critique's sake. Do the footwork instead of complaining. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 13:42, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
No, the sources which I am referring to are real - the German newspaper and the Guardian. You countered with nebulous claims that support is greater than opposition, without providing any evidence of that support. It is your assertion that weight is so significantly in favor of RC that these sourced criticisms must be suppressed, so it is your job to provide evidence of that assertion. ATren (talk) 14:39, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see that. People who have said that they find praise for RC from Nature, Scientific American etc acceptable have repeatedly asked those who counter that to come up with something, equally notable and equally reliable, that criticises or condemns the blog for balance. All we have seen is criticism from individuals and irrelevant or non-notable publications, which has been said to be non-comparable. It's proving a negative, but if those who would like to see some criticism to balance the praise can't find any that is comparable, then that's the point. --Nigelj (talk) 14:49, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't see it either. You are rejecting a source that is used frequently in skeptic bios (Monbiot quotes). From my perspective you are relying on your own value judgement to rate one reliable source so much higher than another, that one deserves an extended quote of praise while another is suppressed entirely. The arguments in support of this value judgement have so far been minimal, just "SciAm is more notable than X". I asked Kim for more sources to justify this judgement and he deferred back to me.
As for the point that I am simply "including critique for critique's sake" (from Kim earlier), I'll point out that I have repeatedly accepted a version with no criticism, as long as the extended quote praising RC was also removed. So I have no problem with a criticism-free article, as long as the praise is not overstated by including an extended quote in support. ATren (talk) 16:45, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm having trouble on the shifting sands here - what Monbiot criticism are you referring to? I see none in the article, please provide a ref if you would like to include it. I was talking about the von Storch quote that is in the article. Second point: Are you asking Kim to find a source that actually says that a Scientific American Science & Technology Web Award is more notable under WP policies than a Die Zeit interview with von Storch? That seems a bit unlikely. --Nigelj (talk) 17:14, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
(reset indent) <======================
Re: Monbiot: this references my earlier dialog with Kim. Monbiot's critical opinions are scattered through GW skeptic bios, and whenever someone objects to them, the answer given is that Monbiot (a non-scientist columnist) and the Guardian are reliable. Weight doesn't seem to come up in those discussions. If the opinion of a single individual writing for the Guardian is not permissible in this article, per weight, then we need to re-evaluate all instances of Monbiot quoted in skeptic bios (note: I have generally supported Monbiot-sourced criticism in skeptic bios, because I was using the pure reliability standard as opposed to applying an arbitrary weight calculation as is being done here).
Re: SciAm Web award - the text about the web award is not in dispute here (at least not from me). Only the extended quote from SciAm which states their opinion on RC's objectivity is at issue. When you introduce an extended quote commenting on objectivity, that opens the door to a small statement in opposition. ATren (talk) 17:59, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, let's forget Monbiot then. We're not here to alter policy or discuss other articles: please stick to discussing improving this one. The extended quote you talk about is not in this article. If you're not proposing adding it, let's forget that for now too, until someone does. I want to remove the von Storch quote, as it is not notable or clear enough for inclusion. --Nigelj (talk) 18:45, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, OK, someone re-added the criticism without the quote last night. I've reverted back to neither, but I'd be just as content if both are included. ATren (talk) 18:56, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for that, ATren. However, there seems to be little point in carefully discussing the finer points here while at the same time unruly elements just continue to editwar the material however they like on the article itself, with no engagement here on the talk page at all. I give up. --Nigelj (talk) 21:05, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Von Storch's Zentralorgan quote

I have reverted this quote from the article. It is the opinion of just one man and, while I have no problem with taking a worldwide view, I find the fact that it has not been picked up by any English-speaking reliable sources in the UK, the US, Australia, Canada etc crucial. If its utterance was a defining moment in the history of RealClimate, I'm sure that worldwide media would have picked it up by now, given the current media interest in everything 'climate'. As it is, I get the feeling that we should be reading some hidden significance into this word Zentralorgan or it wouldn't be given such prominence. As a non-German-speaker, the word means nothing to me other than what it seems to sound like - 'central organ'. I understand 'organ' in the sense of 'publication', but there is no great significance for the RC website that I can see. The absence of any English language commentary on the quote to explain the significance adds to the fact that it is not notable enough for inclusion compared to what's already in the article, widely disseminated and perfectly clear. --Nigelj (talk) 17:51, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I've made my arguments above. Basically it's this: multiple sources of praise, including an extended quote, along with a single sentence of reliable criticism, is appropriate per NPOV and weight. It is also my opinion that a version with no criticism is OK as long as there is no extended quote on the SciAm award. But to include the extensive favorable quote and suppress all criticism is unacceptable due to undue weight on the praise. ATren (talk) 22:26, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I have argued above as to why this quote from one man is not notable enough for inclusion in en.wikipedia. Please discuss the points made. We don't just include random contrary views 'for balance', but on the basis of individual notability and weight. --Nigelj (talk) 22:48, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Central organ is not about music, and if, the background tone sounds like Auferstanden aus Ruinen. Storch used the expression Zentralorgan deliberately, as well in the english version on Pielkes Blog (which is a heavyweight of its own). Storch is not a random critic but the one that had to scrutinize on manns work in AR 3 and was hampered (as discovered during climatgate) as far as possible by Mann and his followers. So to erase him here is a sort of censorship I wouldnt acdcept, especially by those directly connected to RC or having a vested or biased interest to keep RC records clean. --Polentario (talk) 22:34, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Are people losing their judgement completely? Apply the same standard to this quote as is a applied to other sources all across Wikipedia and its only possible to conclude that some version of the quote belongs in the article. Deniers need PR. Proponents can and should embrace all truths, meaning inconvenient as well as useful facts. See the aside above for a fuller rationale.Dduff442 (talk) 03:10, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not convinced by any of the long argument in that section. First it states that robust counterargument pushes people "into the arms of the deniers". Then it says that we need "political subtlety ... in the interests of furthering aims we presumably both share." That is a massive assumption - that 'we' want to use WP to further our aims. I do not want to do this, I want to apply simple WP policies rigorously and fairly to let every reader decide issues for themselves. It goes on to say that the fact that AGW has hugely overwhelming support in the wider world (its supporters "more numerous and winning") will "draw their point of view into question". In fact, "the facts are completely in favour of AGW", so why do we need to worry about all this double-bluff subtlety, when just applying normal WP:WEIGHT and WP:NOTE leaves the matter perfectly clear? There is no shaky ground to argue so, I repeat, in what way is it true that "only the likes of von Storch can save climate science"? Climate science does not need 'saving', and including one man's non-notable, largely incomprehensible German-language put-downs, contrary to normal policies, helps no one that I can see. --Nigelj (talk) 12:41, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you serious? I mean von Storch is an renowned climatologist, hes THE expert about Mann and the hockeystick and was the one to report about the affair in the IPCC reports. He did as well contribute to different hearings (e.g. in the US House and other official bodies about the hockeystick and mann again. If he gives a quote about Realclimate and manns role in it, hes to be quoted. If youre not able to understand the various german quotes in major newspapers in german (its based on a DPAarticle which was reprinted various times), just try to read his essay on Pielkes Blog. I have done a lemma about Zentralorgan as well btw. --Polentario (talk) 22:34, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
von Storch is an renowned climatologist, hes THE expert about Mann and the hockeystick - no he isn't William M. Connolley (talk) 23:26, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Hmm which point re you talking about and are you able to prove it? What are you doing about your personal bias and involvement? Not at all. What stays here is bias and bullshit. --Polentario (talk) 15:15, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Our founding father once said: "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia regardless of whether it is true or not and regardless of whether you can prove it or not, except perhaps in some ancillary article." Or to put it differently: von Storch should not be mentioned.
Apis (talk) 10:46, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

This is totally irrelevant. There hasn't been an exchange with contradictory views expressed. von Storch expressed his opinion and nobody has countered him.
I had prepared an elegant response to Nigelj above but it disappeared due to a server error so I'm just going to add a simple note. After years of spin and PR (all backed by good science, but that's tangential) the latest polls indicate belief in AGW is now only around 50% in the UK. Public confidence continues to fall even as evidence continues to mount. Those of the opposition who are not actual charlatans are cranks; failure cannot be blamed on such perfect enemies. In the light of these facts I fail to see the logic in imagining more PR is what's required to do the trick. Dduff442 (talk) 19:04, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

The petty and baseless disputes to remove any and all criticism of realcliamte only shows that you just need a majority on Wikipedia in order to edit any article you like. (LVAustrian (talk) 21:47, 14 December 2009 (UTC))

Apis, WC, KDP et. al. 1) These are opinions about the objectivity of RC, not on whether the earth will be destroyed by human climate changing behavior and 2) those who dispute IPCC statements - however big or small the dispute - are notable enough to have their MINORITY opinion written about in mainstream newspapers or even published in peer reviewed journals. Having a minority opinion does NOT grant license for those in the majority to remove any and all complaints or points from that minority. If that was the case we should have almost no modern Marxist critiques of capitalism. Yet we have an entire article dedicated to Participatory economics, a topic that is given almost no credibility in modern economics. The 2 American professors pushing this (maybe there are a handful of others) have had their works published - making them notable enough to be referenced and at least according to communists editors on Wikipedia notable enough to make complaints on the articles about capitalism. Simply put, you guys are pulling rules out of thin air to keep criticism out. (LVAustrian (talk) 21:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC))
What subject is so beyond reproach that it can not be criticized? It is disingenuous to continually revert the slightest criticism for a rolling litany of reasons, as one argument against inclusion of a critical comment is dispatched, another arrives, some invented from whole cloth. This page and many others would do better by inclusion of fair-minded opposition. Some editors clearly believe that ALL opposition is de facto not fair-minded. It is called fringe, irrelevant, third-rate etc. and it should not be heard. That is clearly not what Wikipedia is about. The guidance on fringe is to avoid having an exhaustive list of crackpot comments. Using fringe and undue weight to eliminate ALL critical commentary by all sources is, intentional or not, an abusive use of the guidance. What critical comment would not be reverted? I agree with ATren, if the SciAm comment is there, then a critical one is allowable (and desirable). The page with is also fine with neither. HarmonicSeries (talk) 15:31, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
This is a dead horse, flogged to pulp! Over and over the same thing has been said, and still not heard: Rather than finding the individual opinion of a single person, can you find any body or organisation or publication or established group, that is involved in 'science' and/or 'climate science' that has published a criticism of RealClimate? If you can, then let's see it. If it's comparable in notability and weight to the other opinions here, then let's put it in alongside them. While you cannot come up with such a thing, it rather proves the point doesn't it? Here are some suggestions again: try NASA, NOAA, the Met Office, New Scientist and any of the bodies whose opinions appear in Scientific opinion on climate change. If any of those, or anyone like them worldwide, has published a criticism, let's see it. But no more personal quips from individuals. --Nigelj (talk) 16:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Aka individuals who publish opinions that reflect a negative outlook on RC. We get it. You'll bend the rules to keep that criticism out. What doesn't make sense is how peer-reviewed climate scientists published in respected, notable and reliable outlets cannot have their opinion included in this article while journalists writing in a similar fashion can have their opinion on the RC noted. THE ONLY difference between them is A) The critics are scientists while the supporters are popular journalists and B) the critics disagree with PARTS of the IPCC reports while the journalists may or may not have supported ALL of the IPCC reports. Simply put, your complaints are bogus. See, DIVAS: (Meltwaternord (talk) 01:23, 16 December 2009 (UTC))
Let’s dispense with this nonsense that Scientific American is somehow a paragon of scientific enquiry. It’s a popular magazine about science similar to Discover. It is not peer-reviewed, it is not technical. The editor-in-chief (John Rennie) at the time of their editorial (not scientific) comment on RealClimate holds a bachelor’s degree in biology. That’s it. No papers. Not a working scientist. The claim that this opinion in any way trumps that of published scientists in the field and of IPCC reviewers is at best misinformed and at worst disingenuous. HarmonicSeries (talk) 13:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Again, changing the goalposts. I think the shrill tone is counter-productive. There is disagreement here. What's next? Arbitration? HarmonicSeries (talk) 16:46, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think you can accuse me of moving any goalposts. I first stated this same argument on the 4th Dec and I have repeated it regularly here over the last 11 days. I think the problem is a certain reluctance to benefit from repetition, as in WP:HEAR. Hence the slightly more insistent tone, when the same argument drags on through its second week, on the same page, with still no new facts or notable citations to review. --Nigelj (talk) 16:59, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Whether or not you change your opinion (I think you do) your interpretation of Wikipedia rules is terrible. Even if Michaels and VonStortch are minority opinions they are not minority opinions that can be silenced on any subject. Not only do they have their own Wikipedia pages but they have been published in peer reviewed, notable, and reliable sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LVAustrian (talkcontribs) 17:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
LV: I have reverted back to Ronz's version. The reason is I believe that the "praise" is now muted sufficiently with the removal of the SciAm opinion, and therefore the criticism is not required for balance. It was the SciAm quote which specifically brought up objectivity, and which I believe required a balancing quote. With the SciAm quote removed, objectivity is not mentioned, so there is no need to provide balancing quote. ATren (talk) 17:37, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. The Scientific American is the opinion of journalists at a popular science blog. Giving them a tech award is no big deal (it needs a citation anyway). One of the science journals praises the blog on the condition that they remain objective. Saying "noticed" is kind of lame too. It is hardly notable for a journal to "notice" a blog. I've got no problem with the technorati ranking, that should stay.(LVAustrian (talk) 17:41, 17 December 2009 (UTC))


{{editprotected}} Please add remark tags around the {{pp-semi-sock|small=yes}} protection template, that temporarily is outdated. Debresser (talk) 12:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

 DoneTheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:28, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

A fundamental misunderstanding of what a blog is

To clarify my edit summary [3], trivial criticisms such as these show a fundamental misunderstanding of what a blog is, and are totally inappropriate for this article. See my comments above (15:55, 9 December 2009 (UTC)) and (00:39, 10 December 2009 (UTC)). --Ronz (talk) 17:36, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

At least one of the science journals praises the blog so long as it remains objective. Patrick Michaels quote calls into question the objectivity of the blog. If his criticism could not be kept then the blog quote cannot be kept. The scientific american quote should not be kept because its just the opinion of journalists at a popular science magazine. Who cares.(LVAustrian (talk) 17:38, 17 December 2009 (UTC))
This is an article about a blog, a science blog in this case. I think the best sources we can have for this article are from notable reviewers of such blogs that meet WP:RS. From this perspective, the Scientific American Science and Technology Web Award is by far the most notable recognition they've received. --Ronz (talk) 18:10, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, this is the WP article about the blog. It should list the main events and facts that are relevant to the life of the blog to date. I imagine that receiving that award, and/or a substantial mention in the editorial of a major journal or magazine are milestones in the story of the blog. Equally, a substantial criticism in a relevant and notable publication would be too. Random sniping from politically-motivated individuals just doesn't fit into that category. --Nigelj (talk) 20:24, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Attribution in lede

I've twice added "RealClimate states" to the lede, to qualify that RC not receiving editorial direction is a statement by RC and not an independently verified fact. This kind of attribution is uncontroversial in other articles, even GW skeptic articles where every association with Exxon is meticulously detailed, and any denial of influence by the skeptic himself must be similarly stated to be "so-and-so states...". This is no different.

But Kim has reverted twice, so I've put up the POV tag and brought it here to talk. If we can't hash it out here, we'll go to the noticeboards. ATren (talk) 20:40, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

What on Earth is the POV problem? And why are you dragging in incomparable examples from other articles?
If the statement had been in doubt, and by that i mean doubt raised in secondary reliable sources - then attribution would be necessary - in this case there isn't such (or is there?). As it is, you as an editor are raising the doubt - and that is OR and POV.
Why are the other examples below not equivalent? Because in all of these cases reliable secondary sources have raised doubts on it. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 21:14, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be an absurd interpretation about WP:FRINGE organizations (which this isn't), but it's not a reasonable interpretation of WP:RS, anyway.
If reliable sources agree on a statement about a not-very-notable organization, we can say that. If they disagree, then we need to attribute the statements properly, unless a reliable source comments on the relative weights.
If reliable sources are silent, then we may not use the organization's own statements, nor that of (generally reliable) critics, without noting who said it.
I haven't checked whether the OTHERSTUFF meets these minimal requirements for Wikipedia, but KDP's assertion on weight is inappropriate. As far as I can tell, reliable sources are silent on our lede paragraph, so we should not include any of it without appropriate disclaimers, although I would accept "aims to". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:51, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I have to admit that i have difficulty following your comment (what does "fringe" have to do here?) But if i have a reasonable understanding of it - then the correct way forward would be to remove the whole sentence, since it is 100% without any sourcing at all then (except for RC's own description). Reasonable compromise? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:05, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Should we remove everything from the (first paragraph of the) lede which is not reported by a WP:RS, then? Everything except "RealClimate is a commentary site (blog) on climatology" seems unconfirmed by reliable sources currently in the article, although we can probably find sources for some of the rest. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:32, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
There are at least 3 quite reliable references in the article already that can be used to source that. (Nature, Science and SciAm). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:39, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Among references [2]-[5], I only have present access to [3], which supports only the first two clauses of the first sentence:
  • RealClimate is a commentary site (blog) on climatology by a group of climate scientists.
The target audience and purpose, as stated in our article, are not supported by [3]; and, even if it were, [3] is an editorial in Nature. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:58, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Is it controversial in any way or form? Does any secondary reliable sources contest it? Otherwise i'm going to assume that you are simply trying to defend some point that i fail to see. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 11:21, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
  1. You appear to be redefining the word "controversial" to mean that secondary reliable sources contest a statement. That really is absurd.
  2. And you're now removing controversial sourced statements in favor of "uncontroversial" unsourced statements. That is not compatible with Wikipedia policies.
Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:13, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Ahem again. More reverts without discussion by WMC and KDP. In any case,
  1. I don't see a source for the identity of the target audience. We don't have an {{unsourced-word}} template, so things need to be made clear.
  2. The claim that discussion is intended to be restricted to scientific topics, rejecting political and economic topics, seems not to be disputed; what is disputed is that the discussion is so restricted. That probably could be saved by a rewrite, but it might be a {{syn}} violation. Perhaps it should just be moved down to the body of the article, so that the nuances can be properly explained.
  3. The fact that the scientists aren't paid for participation doesn't seem notable. It certainly doesn't seem notable enough for the lede.
Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:05, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I brought up WP:FRINGE because your argument leads to clearly absurd results in the case that an organization makes some statements so weird that no WP:RS comments on them. Your argument would suggest that those statements should be included. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:38, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Erm? No. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:40, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Example 1: Fred Singer

A quick search brought up this example on the Fred Singer article:

"Singer subsequently stated that his purported "connection" to ExxonMobil was more like being on their mailing list than to holding a paid position, pointing out that this single charitable donation comprised a tiny fraction (1%) of all donations received."

By the standard applied here, this should be changed to the unqualified "Singer's position was not a paid position, and Exxon's contribution was only 1% of all donations received." If we implicitly trust RC, we should implicitly trust Singer. Do you agree, Kim?

I will look for more examples and bring them here. ATren (talk) 20:49, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

"pointing out" implies endorsement of the factual claim being made.JQ (talk) 19:14, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
The point is, by the logic applied here, Singer's word should be enough to state the claim as fact, with no indication that it comes solely from him. ATren (talk) 13:29, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Example 2: Steven Milloy

Milloy's article has a section about Milloy's association with Exxon that states:

"A Fox News spokesperson stated that Milloy is "... affiliated with several not-for-profit groups that possibly may receive funding from Exxon, but he certainly does not receive funding directly from Exxon."[6]"

By the standard applied here, that should be changed to "Milloy does not receive funding directly from Exxon." ATren (talk) 20:59, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Example 3: American Enterprise Institute

The following appears in the AEI article to rebut statements about Exxon's association with AEI:

"The rebuttals claimed factual errors and distortions, noting the ExxonMobil funding was spread out over a ten-year period and totaled less than 1% of AEI's budget. The Wall Street Journal editorial stated: "AEI doesn't lobby, didn't offer money to scientists to question global warming, and the money it did pay for climate research didn't come from Exxon."
"noting" implies endorsement of the factual claim being made.JQ (talk) 19:15, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

This should be changed to the unattributed: "AEI doesn't lobby, and the money it paid for climate research didn't come from Exxon. ExxonMobil's funding was less than 1% of AEI's budget and spread out over 10 years."

"noting" implies endorsement of the factual claim being made.JQ (talk) 19:15, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

I found these three examples quickly with a simple Google search. I can probably find dozens more fully attributed claims related to the acceptance and use of funding by global warming skeptics. Yet here we must state RC's claims as fact. This is a topic wide POV issue and must be addressed one way or another. If RealClimate's statements are presented as unqualified fact, then statements from those on the "other side" should be treated the same way. ATren (talk) 21:08, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

And of course all of your examples are from articles where secondary reliable sources have raised doubts about Milloy, Singer and the AEI's statements. In this case no sources have raised such doubt. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 21:14, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Really? In the case of Milloy it's environmental groups. And if I searched more deeply I'd find others sourced to partisan groups. But, in any case, it doesn't matter. If we trust RC's word enough to elevate it to fact, then we should trust every individual or group when making statements about themselves. Your position trusting RC but rejecting those on the "other side" is POV. ATren (talk) 21:39, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Milloy's tobacco funding is not disputed. As regards Exxon, the primary source is the Thacker article in The New Republic, and again there appears to be no factual dispute. The money was paid to not-for-profit groups of which Milloy appears to be the sole employee. The quoted statement from Fox News doesn't dispute this. The idea that putting a blog on someone else's website is any way comparable to Milloy's long, undenied (at least since he got caught) and undeniable career of shilling for corporations is absurd. If this is the kind of example you are reduced to using, I think you should give this game away. JQ (talk)
What matters is whether or not there is a reliable source that disputes it or not. The question here is: Is there a reliable source that claims that RC is funded by EMS or not. You seem deeply embedded into an "equal time" kinda things between articles/subjects - which is so far from WP's NPOV policy that it hurts.
Each article and each topic must be regarded as separate on WP, since they aren't equal. There is a difference in what reliable sources that are available, how many, and how the relative balance of the references is distributed. This whole "other stuff exists" thing is a non-argument. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 07:00, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
No, Kim. OTHERSTUFFEXISTS should not be used to defend applying radically different standards to articles in the same contentious topic area. That's NPOV, not OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. This attribution is just one example - it is not at all controversial to insert attribution when a claim is made by any entity or person. I cited 3 examples here where such attribution is used elsewhere, and that was a quick, cursory search. Yet here it is resisted by the same half dozen or so editors who have insisted on qualification whenever a statement has been made by skeptics.
Another example: right now on the Richard Lindzen article, we have a former student commenting on his old professor, and that is acceptable as a source for critical information, while here there was a battle to include a single line of criticism from two notable climatologists. Taken individually, an argument can be made that they're both NPOV, but taken together, it clearly not. ATren (talk) 11:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)


Okay Kim, what is your issue with the reference to Environmental Media Services? [4] That statement has been there about two years and is sourced to RC directly. Surely RC is capable of stating who provides their own hosting, right? EMS is also still the name on the DNS records, for what it is worth. The only issue I can see is that EMS, which merged with Science Communication Network in 2005, seems to have started branding everything as SCN and not maintaining both brands like they had been for several years. RC now lists their hosting as SCN [5] so arguably that should be updated though it seems to be a succession primarily in name and not in substance. Regardless, I do think that the company providing the free web hosting is relevant to the article. Dragons flight (talk) 12:04, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not the one who has the problem. Look at the rest of talk. Apparently the hosting implies that RC must be funded by them as well - since that is what people want to assume. So it seems better to leave it out completely instead of coatracking it. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 12:09, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Some people are always going to believe lots of things, but I don't think suppressing the EMS/SCN information does this article any good. Dragons flight (talk) 12:15, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree - but apparently it has become highly "controversial". And i really don't think that we are "suppressing" anything, since the information really is trivial (which was why i compromised this way). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 12:18, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Kim, you have made it controversial by objecting to a very basic attribution that is common when making statements that are not sourced to independent third parties.
The RealClimate statement cites a Wall Street Journal article from 2005, but I have not been able to track it down. I do more searching in the next few days. I don't agree at all with removal of the text, as Kim has presented as his compromise. Frankly, this should be non-controversial, and the fact that it isn't reveals the root problem on these articles: a group of editors who resist even the simplest change if they view it as a weakening of their POV. ATren (talk) 12:32, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I've argued against inclusion of material about the identities of the sponsors of conferences in the articles about speakers (or even "featured speakers") at those conferences as being both irrelevant and that the only possible reason for inclusion is the implication that the sponsor supports the speaker, and that the speaker's statements should be considered to be that of the sponsor. However, the web host has the legal right to remove material from their hosted site, so a statement that they do not, if properly sourced, shouldn't be considered controversial. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:13, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I concede that if both RealClimate and the host state that the host doesn't restrict the site content, that would be acceptable. RealClimate's statement alone doesn't seem adequate. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:58, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the standard is even higher -- i.e. even a statement from both would require attribution since neither is independent -- but I do agree that RC alone is certainly not enough without attribution. ATren (talk) 18:54, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
It is clearly not appropriate to report a subject's words on a topic without citation, the source needs to be reported ... "RC reports/says/affirms ..." "claims" would be inappropriate and objections to words like "claim" with a shaded meaning would be fair. It is difficult to see how "RC reports that scientists are not paid for their time" is in any way objectional. Removing information is not a compromise. The information is important. The scientists aren't paid, it's something they are justifiably proud of and an important piece of information. HarmonicSeries (talk) 14:36, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Zentralorgan Quote

Some authors with biased interests have doubted von Storchs Credibility, his renommée as an climatologist and his work on Mann and the Hockeystick and the relevance of his contribution to the article to erase his quote from the article and to keep Realclimate in a the sun-is-shining-and-fish-are-jumping status. While anybody with an ability to read and check the IPCC reports and vStorchs various contributions to those and e.g. in US hearings is able to rule out that vStorch is not competent in that field and especially towards Mann, it has been as well being doubted, that vStorchs Quote has raised any public debate. To make it very clear, i give you some links to various german media that have quoted him respectively the news agency interview article about him on the point, that Realclimate is a sort of stalinist party news outlet (a zentralorgan) that censors opinion not according its own partisan opinion and policy.

Some of the CRU e-mails clearly show a will to exclude Storchs work and to get him squeezed out of the consens realm, especially since he denounced the hockeystick as crap [6], with a clear contribution of Realclimate authors behind it. I clearly see the need to include Storchs quote, due to the media cloud as well due to his personal credentials. The fact that some activists of Realclimate here try to censor any critical notion about the blog here by means of wikilawyering is a shame. Its exactly the same Zentralorgan approach vStorch critized about RC itself. BR --Polentario (talk) 16:34, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry - but you are attacking a strawman. I don't think anyone has questioned vS's credentials or competance. What has has been questioned is your idolization of him, by calling him the expert on Mann, von Storch is not an expert on Mann, he is one of many who have commented on Mann - nothing more. (and we've questioned your "stalinist" interpretation of "ZentralOrgan") --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:54, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Try for an overview on Storchs work on mann. Storch has been very explicit and within the scietific literature and the political realm about Manns problematic gatekeeper role . Check Gatekeeping (communication) - if you need to, you're doing it already to keep anything critical out of the lemma. Storch about RC: Its a mouthpiece of a Cartel, a modern zentralorgan trying to keep anything critical out of bonds. Thats clearly the stalinist meaning and not just a club newspaper. Its just a plain fact that youre wikilawyering to keep anything critical out of the article. Lawrence Solomon has told the story. --Polentario (talk) 01:46, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I therefore ask to add an brick to the article. --Polentario (talk) 15:11, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

possible sources

(emphasizing "possible" on the section heading; otherwise, certain editors will have conniptions)

APK whisper in my ear 04:56, 26 December 2009 (UTC)