Talk:Ross McKitrick

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Chris Chittleborough[edit]

...has been making some edits I regard as dubious. Under one headed "add details" he has removed "The corrigendum did not affect the results, however"... perhaps a detail that he finds inconvenient? Also "and that the global warming reported by MBH depends on the inclusion of data from a few bristlecone pines in California" is total nonsense. Also there is now far too much Mann on this page... one presumes that McK has some kind of life outside attacking Mann. William M. Connolley 17:25, 9 November 2005 (UTC).

Chris Chittleborough 17:43, 9 November 2005 (UTC): I'm open to debate about the changes I've made. My basic aim was to add detail; I've also tried to clean up some wordy passages. Thanks to Mr. Connelly for catching my stupid mistake re "The corrigendum did not affect the results, however". M&M have repeatedly claimed that their reconstructions of MBH98 lose the hockey stick shape if you take the bristlecones out. Since McKitrick's critique of MBH is his best-known (and, arguably, most important) work, I think it is appropriate to include some details.

(Now to see if our edits cross again! Third time lucky?)

I have made a number of changes. Firstly, removing the list of papers makes no sense (for someone who was adding more detail). Feel free to flesh out the list if you like, but don't take it away.
Second, you coyly describes M&M's nature submission as "declined". The usual word is "rejected", and I see no reason for euphemism here.
Why have you archived the previous talk page. Where the discussion has already taken place. We can of course just add M&M side of the story.--MichaelSirks 12:16, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Because it was mostly discussions with the banned septic JonGwynne. William M. Connolley 12:39, 11 November 2005 (UTC).
If you insert that the paper is rejected by Nature you should also insert McKitrick side of the story.--MichaelSirks 12:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Third you describe A&W as rejected. I think its in press. But if you can provide a proper ref for the rejection, feel free to supply it.
Maybe we should not base a encyclopedia on stuff which hasn't been published yet, like your blog suggests.--MichaelSirks 12:16, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, we shouldn't be reporting tittle. Do you have a point here or are you just trolling again? William M. Connolley 12:39, 11 November 2005 (UTC).
I never troll. My comments are always on topic. My question still stands and you obiously have broken your parole again.
You agree that we should not refer to papers which are still in press or are not published and then you put the paper of A&W back in the article. --MichaelSirks 12:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Fourth, you write selected only part of the available data for analysis without explanation (the unused data being kept in a directory named "BACKTO_1400-CENSORED"). This makes no sense. MBH used all the data they had. If you think otherwise, please find a ref for it.
and that the global warming reported by MBH depends on the inclusion of data from a few bristlecone pines in California which are known to be poor proxies for temperature This too makes no sense: the upward portion of the hockey stick is from instrumental data, and can't be affected by 1000-y old data.
MM don't claim; The essence of their claim is that the statistical technique used by MBH has a built-in tendency to produce an upward trend over the last century as an artefact of the data-processing. Their main point is that MBH statistical technique and their reliance ristlecone pines produces hockey sticks. Where the main problem is in the Stick rather than in the blade. Look like you want to create a strawman. Please feel free to add a reference.--MichaelSirks 12:16, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
I have to plead guilty to putting that text in there

My preferences[3] but in defence it was a replacement for garbled nonsense. If you can produce a better summary of M&M's claim, feel free. William M. Connolley 12:39, 11 November 2005 (UTC).

William M. Connolley 18:10, 10 November 2005 (UTC)


While cleaning up some bad grammar in the "Criticism of Mann et al" section, I noticed an out-of-place link to [4] at the end of the section. As far as I can see, this link is totally irrelevant to Dr. McKitrick. Anyone disagree? Chris Chittleborough 10:23, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Probably a hangover from the wars. If you went to climateaudit I suspect you'd find a post on that paper that would be a more... errmmm... McK-centric view of that paper and probably more appropriate for the page. William M. Connolley 16:47, 30 November 2005 (UTC).

Rv by Sirks[edit]

In general every where Mann et al says something you state it as a matter of fact, everwhere McKitrick says something you insert the words "He claims". --MichaelSirks 12:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

You have removed without any attempt at justification A paper claiming to show this was rejected by Nature.. I know this is embarrsing for them, but it is indefensible to delete it.
Your source for the rejection of the paper is McKitrick himself. But you don't want to mention why it was rejected according to McKitrick. This clearly a very bias way to use sources. A rejection by Nature is not the same as saying that your paper is flawed or worthless. Suggeting it does is very misleading. By not mentioning that it was rejected I hoped circumvent this controversy.--MichaelSirks 21:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
We can be certain of the rejection. We can't be certain of the reasons, since McK obviously wants to present himself in the best light. Simply stating that it was rejected seems the most neutral thing to do. William M. Connolley 21:36, 15 November 2005 (UTC).
I still think it is interesting to add McKitrick's side of the story but by adding the line that GRL has accepted their paper it is a bit less bias so I will let it rest.--MichaelSirks 21:19, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
You have altered The corrigendum did not affect the results, however. to Mann et al claim that the corrigendum did not affect the results, however. This is indefensible, and shows that you simply don't know what is going on. *No-one* (not even M&M) claims the corrigendum affects the results. It couldn't: it ws simply a restatement of the materials used. The results, as it says, were entirely unaffected.
You have a point the sentence should have read; "The incomplete corrigendum did not affect the results, however." Because you now have admitted yourself that there are mistakes which aren't mentioned in the corrigendum.--MichaelSirks 21:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I've said no such thing: you're making things up. Asserting that the corrigendum is incomplete is simply your personal opinion and has no place here. William M. Connolley 21:36, 15 November 2005 (UTC).
Here is the bit[5];
Ah, thank you, thats rather more helpful than referring us to somewhere in a 5-page thread. I've also looked at the Science article (don't bother look at the paper, its in the online additional material). Its a throw-away comment by von S. Its probably an error in MBH98, though I haven't verified that. Its very unlikely to be of any significance (for the obvious reasons), UNLIKE M&M's degree/radian error which completely scrambled their dataset. William M. Connolley 10:34, 20 October 2005 (UTC).
So you have admitted that it is propably an error. If you changed your mind please let me know. And it hasn't been mentioned in the corrigendum. Also this error was known at the time of the corrigendum. If the error has a big effect or small effect is not important.--MichaelSirks 21:19, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Haven't M&M commented on the corrigendum in a way we can reference?

Rd232 talk 22:41, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes there is. [6]--MichaelSirks 21:19, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
You've also censored the reply and A&W:
I read your reaction in the above section that we shouldn't refer to unpublished paper as an approval for removing this reference. When will the paper of A&W be published I can't wait.--MichaelSirks 21:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I said we shouldn't ref tittle tattle. A press release from a reputable institute isn't. William M. Connolley 21:36, 15 November 2005 (UTC).
Which all goes to show that your skepticism is unreasonable like your edits. William M. Connolley 12:51, 15 November 2005 (UTC).
And that from the person who just a section earlier admitted that he misrepresented the views of M&M and who has admitted that it was his purpose to discredite McKitrick.--MichaelSirks 21:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
More wild invention on your part. William M. Connolley 21:36, 15 November 2005 (UTC).

your admission that you had misrepresented the views of M&M(see the sectin above)

and that the global warming reported by MBH depends on the inclusion of data from a few bristlecone pines in California which are known to be poor proxies for temperature This too makes no sense: the upward portion of the hockey stick is from instrumental data, and can't be affected by 1000-y old data.
MM don't claim; The essence of their claim is that the statistical technique used by MBH has a built-in tendency to produce an upward trend over the last century as an artefact of the data-processing. Their main point is that MBH statistical technique and their reliance ristlecone pines produces hockey sticks. Where the main problem is in the Stick rather than in the blade. Look like you want to create a strawman. Please feel free to add a reference.--MichaelSirks 12:16, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
I have to plead guilty to putting that text in there

My preferences[7] but in defence it was a replacement for garbled nonsense. If you can produce a better summary of M&M's claim, feel free. William M. Connolley 12:39, 11 November 2005 (UTC).

your admission that your purpose was to discredite M&M[8] :::M&M didn't make a mistake in degrees and radians I think you mean McKitrick in a not related article made that mistake.

Of course M&M did. But McK and McI don't have a trademark on the M&M label.
And thereby deliberately misleading people who read this talk page. --MichaelSirks 20:40, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
That is the reason why I am amazed that you want to mention it here. You give the impression that you want to suggest that McKitrick doesn't know the differnce between radians and degrees.(thereby suggesting that you can't trust the work of M&M.)
On the latter point, definitely. William M. Connolley 20:15, 20 October 2005 (UTC).
It doesn't surprise me, but now it is in writting.--MichaelSirks 20:40, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I've removed the increasingly excessive detail - this page is about McKitrick, not the work by McKitrick and McIntyre, or even the validity of MBH. If anyone wants to move the detail I've lost elsewhere, I think the revision to work from would be this one. I also made some other changes (to publications). Rd232 talk 14:24, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I've undone some of your changes (inc the rejection). I still think removing the papers list is a mistake but have lived with it. As a sop to MS, I've added that A+W "claim to" have replicated MBH.

Also, I've corrected the sci pub from 7 to 6: although he claims the Nature corrigendum as a publication, this is a distinctly dodgy thing to do: the corrigendum is authored by MBH, not M&M!

This page has been fought over so much its in a poor state. It doesn't do a good job of explaining M&M's complaint against MBH (which I think should be here if anywhere).

William M. Connolley 21:36, 15 November 2005 (UTC).

I just reverted MichaelSirks since he reverted me without explanation. Rd232 talk 21:26, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm. In retrospect, I'll agree with you re the reply and A&W. William M. Connolley 21:39, 15 November 2005 (UTC).
I'm not at all convinced this the best place for details of M&M criticism of MBH. This is fundamentally a page on McKitrick; unless the criticism is so unfounded and so non-notable that it may as well be here, I think it should be somewhere more clearly related to the substance of MBH. I think there should only be enough detail here to clarify who McKitrick is and what sort of thing he's done. Rd232 talk 22:41, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
You have removed the heading criticism of McKitrick. It now looks if the comments of Tim Lambert are on the paper of McKitrick an McIntyre. This not the case his critcism is on a totaly non related paper. This should be clear.
In principle I would agree that this article shouldn't go into detail(for instance the cosine error), but WMC wants to discredite McKitrick.
The other changes are explained in the talk above. --MichaelSirks 21:34, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
"It is now accepted that the corrigendum was incomplete.[3]" - accepted by whom? I'm sorry, this is too vague. In fact, the link you supplied says "Nature responded to our concerns about the defects in the draft Corrigendum in a very unsatisfactory way." This suggests exactly the opposite - that there is no general agreement that it is was incomplete. Am I missing something here? Guettarda 21:49, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
This is bad use of passive voice - we should say who's accepted what. Rd232 talk 22:49, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
The link is the response of MM to the corrigendum which Rd232 asked for. The corrigendum is incomplete because the paper contains errors which are dealt with in the corrigendum. It is the cosine error of Mann which now is accepted by WMC and by Tim Lambert.
Here is the bit[9];
Ah, thank you, thats rather more helpful than referring us to somewhere in a 5-page thread. I've also looked at the Science article (don't bother look at the paper, its in the online additional material). Its a throw-away comment by von S. Its probably an error in MBH98, though I haven't verified that. Its very unlikely to be of any significance (for the obvious reasons), UNLIKE M&M's degree/radian error which completely scrambled their dataset. William M. Connolley 10:34, 20 October 2005 (UTC).
So WMC admitted that it is propably an error. If he changes his mind please let me know. And it hasn't been mentioned in the corrigendum. Also this error was known at the time of the corrigendum. If the error has a big effect or small effect is not important--MichaelSirks 22:36, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I still don't understand. Our articles aren't self-referential - it doesn't matter what editors think. The statement needs a reference - the ref provided actually suggests the opposite, that M&M's position was not accepted generally. Guettarda 19:37, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Maybe we can turn it around. Can you give me one scientist who thinks that this isn't an error. If You can find one you may reverse this section.-- 20:10, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Huh? Since when does our policy require negative proofs? The link provided suggests the exact opposite of the text. As per policy it should be removed. Guettarda 20:17, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
This is mad. You can't quote a long screed (I haven't actually read it all, but G doesn't think it supports your case) by M&M as evidence of what is generally accepted! You *can* quote me as evidence, but only if you are consistent in adopting my views in general, which I suspect you would be reluctant to do. William M. Connolley 20:25, 18 November 2005 (UTC).
I tried to make it easy for you, but your right that we don't require a negative proof.(just one scientists who disagrees) The link I provided was for Rd232. (see above) I can refer to climateaudit[10] or to the blog of tim lambert[11](comment186). To quote Tim Lambert; So that to weight by area, the input to PCA has to be weighted by the square root of area. I retract my sugestion that von Storch might have been mistaken — he found an error in MBH98. Or in scienceScience--MichaelSirks 20:43, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I still don't understand you. We already *know* that M&M don't like Mann. You don't need any more links to them to prove that. And what is the Science link for? William M. Connolley 20:47, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I honestly don't understand what MichaelSirks is talking about. Why are you adding links to the article for Rd232? And how is it "making it easy" by asking other people to disprove your insertion? I am not saying it shouldn't be there. If it's both accurate and relevant, then maybe it should be there. But you provide no evidence that the statement is accurate, and follow up by asking other people to disprove the statement. You should really read up on Wikipedia policy - starting with the link I provided. Guettarda 20:53, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
If you read the whole section you will encounter this;
Haven't M&M commented on the corrigendum in a way we can reference?

Rd232 talk 22:41, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes there is. [12]--MichaelSirks 21:19, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
To WMC; I have given two links which have nothing to do with M&M. These to links state that MBH have made a mistake. This mistake isn't corrected or mentioned in the corrigendum. So the corrigendum is incomplete. To Guettarda; It sometimes easier to give a negative prove. If I claim that every scientist agrees on something. You can easely disprove this by naming one scientist who disagrees. --MichaelSirks 21:12, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Your insertion says "It is now accepted that the corrigendum was incomplete.[13]". In my experience, ref's pertain to what comes immediately before...if the ref contradicts what comes immediately before, you say "but see...". As for your point about disagreement - I'm not interested in playing games. Finding one person to disagree with something is what lawyers do. If you cannot support a statement, it doesn't belong here. Our job is to document what's out there. If it's that hard to find a reliable source to support your assertion, then it can't be "accepted". What is the basis for your assertion? You haven't even bothered to say "yes, I have spoken about this to dozens of my colleagues and all agree". While that would still count as original research, at least it would mean that you had a good starting point for your assertion and it might be worth leaving in while you track down a citation. Instead you go for "prove I'm wrong"; not a valid argument in adult discourse. You really need to come better than that. We are supposed to be writing an encylcopaedia here. Guettarda 21:37, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I give 3 links which support my point of view. I haven't found any link which disproves or disagrees with this point of view. So to talk about negative proof is not correct. Maybe the link for Rd232 should be on an other place.--MichaelSirks 21:55, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Three links? Two links to blogs and one link to Science (what, all of it?) Please - Guettarda 21:59, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
The last time you asked this on 19 October I pointed you to "Reconstructing Past Climate from Noisy Data Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, Julie M. Jones, Yegor Dimitriev, Fidel González-Rouco, and Simon F. B. Tett Science 22 October 2004; 306: 679-682; published online 30 September 2004 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1096109] (in Reports)". Perhaps your memory is as weak as your good faith. 00:32, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that Rd232 has got it about right. Fine work!-- 17:24, 19 November 2005 (UTC)


Unlike what the anon said, I have never had a problem with blogs as sources - I said that you can't consider a link to a blog as evidence that "it is now accepted that the corrigendum was incomplete". Guettarda 00:58, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

What about Science (see ref above)? 02:12, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Links to Deltoid Broken[edit]

While trying to tighten up the "Criticism" section (any comments, BTW?), I discovered that Tim Lambert's blog, "Deltoid", has moved to a different server and lost its archives. I gather that Dr. Lambert is getting his archives restored. When this happens, we should link to his criticism of McKitrick and Michaels again. Chris Chittleborough 06:28, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind. I found a link: ... article fixed. Chris Chittleborough 06:54, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

On the article I think someone misquoted Tim (criticising mann), so I deleted the quotation. It was under the "McKitick, criticisms of" so even if correct it was in the wrong spot. Making the article confusing. I will look into it and if it was ineed wrong I will simply let it as it is.

Yep, checked. I deleted something that said that Mann et al got their latitudes wrong when it was in fact M&M. they messed up their angles and did not account for latitude. "If you do calculations and get degrees and radians mixed up, you get the wrong answer. Which is what McKitrick did. His analysis included a variable cosablat, which was supposed to be the cosine of absolute latitude. Trouble is, the software he used expects angles to be measured in radians, his data has latitude in degrees, and he didn’t convert from degrees to radians."

Thus, As I said above, they did not just misquote Tim, but even if the misquotation had been right, it would have been on the worng part of the wikipedia entry. Thanks

RealClimate's description of Energy and Environment[edit]

I've reworded the text about E&E being a social science journal, in an attempt to decrease the POV, though I may have swung it too far the other way. I could use some peer-review here, guys.

More substantially, there is an on-going dispute about the status of E&E. Should we have an article about it? Will anyone volunteer to create/edit it? (My hand is not up.)

Chris Chittleborough 07:16, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

E&E is a very low status "journal". Its peer review policies are vague; it doesn't (I believe) appear in the ISI citation index. Were it not for its happy of publishing dodgy papers on GW, it would certainly not be notbale. I don't really see an ongoing debate about its status though. I've reworded the re-word a bit, though I'm amenable to 6-2 rather than 4+2 if you feel strongly. I don't really see the need to link to RC's desc of E+E. William M. Connolley 09:43, 22 February 2006 (UTC).
You're right, Dr Connolley: E&E does not show up in Thomson ISI's Master Journal List. I like your version of this text better than mine; in fact, I'd say you've nailed it. (I made 2 small changes: linked ISI to Institute for Scientific Information, s/two/2/ for consistency). At some stage I'll propagate your text into the McIntyre article. —Chris Chittleborough 10:46, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

The Thacker Attacker[edit]

A anonymous editor has been inserting POV material into this article and the Stephen McIntyre article. The aim seems to be to discredit M+M by (1) not mentioning any of their publications except the Energy and Environment paper, (2) quoting from and/or linking to attacks on E&E[14] and McIntyre[15] in Environmental Science & Technology written by a journalist[16] named Paul D. Thacker, and (3) cleverly describing ES&T as a "science journal", whereas Thacker writes for the news and opinions section of ES&T.

Why do I say "editor" instead of "editors"? Because these IPs all resolve to the domain, which is owned by the company that publishes ES&T. (They also publish the journals, newsletters etc of the American Chemical Society; hence the domain name.)

Now go and read Mr Thacker's article. It is not science. It is not good journalism. It is very bad journalism. It is a collection of invited ad-hominen attacks on McKitrick and McIntyre.

Someone from Mr. Thacker's workplace seems very eager to see Mr. Thacker's article mentioned in these articles. In a saner world, Mr. Thacker would be trying to suppress all knowledge of this shoddy piece of journalism for the benefit of his career.

Incidentally, Energy and Environment was described as "a leading international journal" by Rajendra K. Pachauri of all people, at an IPCC meeting !

Chris Chittleborough 06:37, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Chris Chittleborough, if E&E doesn't appear in the ISI (which doesn't appear to be under dispute), it isn't remotely a leading journal; surely that is beyond dispute. There is no match for the string "Energy and Environment" in the document you link to that supposedly attributes this view to Pachauri. Crust 17:02, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
No, E&E is not a leading journal. McIntyre & McKitrick's publications in GRL etc are much more significant in terms of showing at least some acceptance of their demolition of MBH98 and its successors.
I thought Pachauri's description of E&E was amusing, not informative. You need quite a lot of background information to "get it". Searching that PDF for the string I put in quote marks would be a good start.
Cheers, CWC(talk) 17:48, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
OK, now I get it. That was one subtle joke. ;) Crust 18:01, 13 July 2006 (UTC)


I've re-inserted the C does not affect the results. It doesn't. I don't think this is open to dispute. The C merely corrects the listing of various datasets, as I understand it, to what were actually used in the study. Who says otherwise? William M. Connolley 21:00, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

After a long discussion we agreed on a certain text and now you just want to re-insert the old text. Secondly your revert results in a incorrect sentence.( M&M and say ???)--MichaelSirks 21:30, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

The C doesn't adres the above mentioned error so it is incomplete. So please explain why it is POV to put that in.--MichaelSirks 21:33, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi, Dr. Connolley (and Michael). McKitrick and McIntyre claim[17] that
  1. the changes in dataset do matter (search for "extrapolation of the Gaspé series"),
  2. the C. omits several known defects in MBH98, especially Mann et al's "failure to describe the subtraction of the 1902-1980 mean prior to tree ring principal components calculation", and
  3. the explanation in the C. for the difference between the series MBH98 said they used and the series they actually used cannot be true.
(Please read that link itself; I am not confident I have accurately summarized it.) I don't feel up to attempting an encyclopedia-worthy summary of this stuff at present; when I do, I'll stick it in the article for other editors to improve.
Cheers, CWC(talk) 06:30, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
The C doesn't affect the results. They are the same now as they were before. As to what M&M say... I'm not going to wade through all that. But I guess you can William M. Connolley 07:43, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Coming into this late... unbelievable. I was scratching my head trying to make head or tail of the line "it doesn't affect the result." Aside from the obvious POV behind a statement like that, it indeed makes Mann himself sound rather stupid. Why waste taxpayer's money writing a Corrigendum in the first place that makes no difference? The reader again feels he's being played the fool here. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:21, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Meat of the matter[edit]

We need a summary of MM's critique of MBH98. Merely saying tha McKitrick disgrees with (or dislikes?) Mann is not enough. This is not a gossip column.

Can't we put some science into this article? McKitrick is engaging in a scientific dispute with Mann, and wiki readers would probably like to know a bit about his arguments, in simply terms which laymen can understand.

For example, doesn't McKitrick say Mann puts undue weight on a particlular pinecone (bristlecone) series?

Then there's the whole matter of whether there was a Medieval Warm Period - which means the Hockey Stick graph is inaccurate. Laymen place great store in the hockey stick as "proving" the GW theory. --Wing Nut 14:14, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Laymen shouldn't: etc etc William M. Connolley 18:38, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
That's your own web site, which you and Mann run. Might you not be biased in this matter? (No offense, meant, doc.) --Uncle Ed 19:50, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Its not mine, but I do help out. I'm pointing you to a posting on it. You don't have to accept it as gospel, but you might try reading it, since it attempts to correct some common errors William M. Connolley 20:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


There is the question of he partnership with McIntyre... I have the impression that McI, certainly now, is doing far more of the work William M. Connolley 18:39, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

I've wondered about that also. Crust 18:20, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Degrees vs. Radians and Latitude[edit]

The current article includes the following text:

Among other things, Lambert found a bug in which the input to a cosine function was in degrees instead of radians. The authors have acknowledged the error and published a corrected version. They claim that the effects were "very small", that the correction "improved the overall fit", and that their overall conclusion was unaffected.

I thought the angles being input to the cosine function were latitudes. Needless to say, latitude is a very important variable for temperature. And switching degrees with radians will totally mangle latitudes so that the Arctic will sometimes look like the tropics and vice versa. Is the claim that the effects of the correction were "very small" credible? I suppose since we're talking about global mean temperature, it's possible there's a numerical coincidence and the corrections happen to cancel. Crust 18:20, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Ross McKitrick accepted the error when it was pointed out, and published his recalculations. So we have his statements about it to quote [18] [19] (unlike Michael Mann and his error on cosines of latitude). 21:41, 24 July 2006 (UTC)Comment by user (talk · contribs)
User:Ed Poor's recent edits explain what happened. Basically, McKitrick and Michaels did an analysis of variance, and latitude did not correlate with warming (change in temperature, not temperature itself) whereas economic facts did. So the bug (speaking loosely) added pseudo-randomness into the data, which is why fixing it "improved the overall fit". Cheers, CWC(talk) 18:55, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Right, that's a good point: change in temperature not temperature itself. That makes sense. Crust 19:31, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
The paragraph is still POVish - the Lambert site is a personal polemic and TL's linked reference is WP:OR. Attempt at neutral description: the "bug" was a "cross cultural" discrepancy in transliteration of an undocumented angular dimension in the MBH paper (according to MM) where "accepted practices" do vary. In pure mathematics and some science courses, angles are implicitly meant as radians and are considered "dimensionless", angular units not reported; in common usage angles are reported in degrees. In science, engineering and other papers, practices have varied, one often explicitly notes units - degrees, grad, rad, revolution, mil, hours for technical papers or liability. According to the M&M statements, there was no archived computer code or other detailed documentation to check against.--I'clast 22:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

the "bug" was a "cross cultural" discrepancy in transliteration of an undocumented angular dimension in the MBH paper (according to MM) where "accepted practices" do vary is a feeble attempt to excuse M. He put in his input in the wrong units, having failed to check - thats all. Its a bug - it doesn't need a fancy name. *Linking* to stuff isn't OR. William M. Connolley 08:45, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

What's wrong with web sites which contain personal polemics? We quote Naomi Oreskes on the question of how many scientists support, oppose (or are undecided about) the GW theory, even though she hangs a partisan action message on her findings.
I don't think there's any way to untangle the science from the politics. Not with 2 billion dollars a year of government money being spent to advance one side of the argument. --Uncle Ed 14:26, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
The "cross cultural" bit reads like parody. Crust 13:26, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
No, sigh. Mathematicians and people from mathematical fields, eg., numerical programmers, tend to think in radians. Engineers think in degrees. Result: lots of Engineering students getting the same wrong answer to certain programming assignments. (Of course, it's better that they learn about this problem before they graduate!) I guess economists also think in degrees. "Culture clash" is a good description or an apt analogy, I'm not sure which.
So the description WMC removed is basically correct, though wordy, but the current text is just as correct. Terse is good.
On a more important point: the more you know about numerical programming, the less you'll trust most of the scientific papers that rely on lots of computing. There's an analogous problem with people doing analyses of variance without understanding the statistical methods and tests they use, especially (legend has it) psychology grad students. — CWC(talk) 14:21, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly the point the Joe Barton committee made: the paleoclimate community should have sought out more help from the statistics community (read that as, "Please doublecheck this before I publish). McKitrick says that putting evenly distributed random numbers into Mann's graph generator gives hockey stick shapes every time. That's a red flag right there.
Now I haven't seen Mann's computer program, so I can't check what McKitrick says. But it's a serious charge, especially in light of the fact that Mann dragged his feet on sharing his data and methods.
Again there are two POVs on this: (1) government funded scientists should be free to choose which data and methods to conceal, for as long as they want, even after publishing journal articles intended to affect government policy; and (2) government funded scientists should be required to publish ALL data and methods related to journal articles which describe their research. (My own POV is that they should have to publish everything, even false starts and obvious mistakes, on a National Science Wiki, but that's just between us contributors; not for inclusion in the articles.)
The conflicts over what data and methods were revealed, and when, should be in Wikipedia.
Comments by statistics experts who have reviewed the data and methods should be in Wikipedia. --Uncle Ed 14:35, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
If you haven't looked at Manns code its because you haven't bothered to look for it. Its available via, for example.
M&M make two contradictory claims: that Manns code always produces HS; and that the HS shape crucially depends on a very few proxies. The contradiction doesn't seem to bother them very much
BTW, as far as I can tell, Stephen McIntyre deserves far more of the credit tham McK William M. Connolley 15:12, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
All 3 of you points should be in Wikipedia (probably in this article or linked from it). Are you the source, O notable one? Or shall we look for another? (Messianic dig offered free of charge to an old pal ;-) --Uncle Ed 15:17, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Thats Manns code is available, rather than not, is no great secret. The credit between M&M... less clear (note that M&M for deg/radians is *not* McI, who gets indignant when people forget that). That M&M contradict themselves... that particular point is, AFAIK, my own William M. Connolley 15:47, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
"the "bug" was a "cross cultural" discrepancy in transliteration of an undocumented angular dimension in the MBH paper (according to MM) where "accepted practices" do vary is a feeble attempt to excuse M." No, it is not. To me, an independent Wiki reader, the current text & Deltoid link might imply to many less conversant Wiki readers about varying units treatments, M&M are idiots, rather than even say sloppy, stumbling in the dark or out of cultural-technical mileu. An unsympathetic treatment.
"Tim Lambert has criticised ..." Tim already gets his credit and Wiki article link for finding the error. Since Tim is not the subject, the added harsh, specific Deltoid link seems excessive. I was hoping for replacement with a more dry, balanced academic link to discuss the nature of the computation problem. Tim's site link, as used, lambastes the subject's error as a huge hard to miss item, off 57x (in the input) vs the output view where the discrepancy in total change was not even sqrt{} or log{}, but purportedly, a slightly negative, very weak function that reflects the actual methodology of the M&M point.
Some technical societies that have strict units reporting in papers, required for *every* variable. These societies would tend to see the MBH paper as slightly defective for M&M to even have made this mistake in a vacuum. Some entities are getting more anal about units reporting due to international projects and actual adverse loss experience, ie Mars Polar Lander, from a discrepancy in units in software.
The precise timing of MBH code & output availability vs M&M development seems to be a detailed conversation that exceeds my attention span. Perhaps this could be clarified in Talk. But I have to say I am not so sure that even SE (scientists & engineers) picking through accreted spaghetti code and personal scratch routines are likely to find a given error (one usually finds some interesting artifacts, miss others, next class of grad students pls).
Purely based on Dr Connolley's statements above, "shape of sticks" vs "sticks" doesn't seem mutually exclusive (contradictory). Some sticks could have 45deg blades vs 85deg blades, or, humped, snaggle-toothed or straight handles depending on data, right?
PS: It's not *my* article or subject, but I would encourage an improvement in tone in that paragraph.--I'clast 10:53, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

BLP problems with links?[edit]

I am puzzled as to how this link is problematic with regards to either BLP or EL. Someone care to explain (Chris?) Guettarda 20:54, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

People are increasingly using over-strict interpretations of BLP as excuses to remove stuff they don't like William M. Connolley 21:30, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Edit conflict with Prof Q's comment below
People are increasingly using feigned inability to read to insert links to shoddy hit-pieces into articles about people they don't like.
You could argue that the link to that pathetic, misleading, unethical hit-piece passes WP:BLP. You might even be right; I have either remembered WP:BLP wrongly or lost track of the (steady stream of) changes to WP:BLP. ("Unsourced or poorly sourced questionable material, whether negative or positive, in articles about living persons should be removed immediately and should not be moved to the talk page." Therefore, any attempt to put even a summary of Thacker's hit-piece into the article would violate WP:BLP, but apparently linking to it not violates only the spirit of WP:BLP, not the letter.) I apologise for my incorrect edit summaries.
BTW, American journalistic ethics requires contacting the subject(s) of the article, giving them a chance to respond and reporting that response, but Thacker did not do that. See here. For a long list of factual errors made by Thacker, see here.
Note Thacker's smears: "they’re quacks", put in the mouth of someone who has is on record as saying he never said any such thing, and they've "done incredibly stupid things". Also Dr. Famiglietti says that Thacker used something he said in a misleading way.
Nonetheless, as I repeatedly pointed out in my edit summaries, that link does violate WP:EL. To see any editor blithely ignore that point is disappointing. To see people with long-standing, well-known off-wiki feuds with McKitrick putting this sort of link into the article is really, really disappointing.
I repeat: even if someone who the link passed WP:BLP was plainly wrong to reinsert it when I clearly stated that it violated WP:EL.
In other words, passing the one does not excuse violating the other.
That is, the link has to pass both criteria.
More technically, acceptability is a conjunction, not a disjunction.
Why am I repeating this obvious point? Because at least two editors here just don't get it.
On the WP:EL problems:
  • Avoid "A page that contains factually inaccurate material or unverified original research". This contains both.
  • "Each link should be accompanied by a detailed explanation informing the reader which point of view it presents." Not given.
(Aside: As already pointed out, Thacker's piece was not peer-reviewed, despite the title of the magazine in which it appeared, was obviously not fact-checked and does not qualify as journalism. It therefore would not be acceptable as a WP:RS.)
Guys, this is not rocket science! I'm amazed that editors as experienced as Guettarda and WMC would have any difficulty with this.
Cheers, CWC(talk) 05:15, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

EL problem with links[edit]

Chris, please explain why you think the Thacker link violates EL. The article appears factually correct (nearly all scientists dismiss McKitrick's work, and he is promoted by WSJ and similar sources), and while there are some striking quotes, the tone of the article itself is reasonable. JQ 02:57, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

See my comment above, written before my edit conflict with Prof Q. See also my comment further above, written somewhat earlier. (BTW, Prof Q, do you remember Paul Keating taking a swipe at the Australian media for not having a "get the subject's response" rule? If so, do you remember when he did that?) Regards, CWC(talk) 05:15, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I think you're misinterpreting EL here. "Poorly sourced" doesn't mean that we should exclude material from otherwise appropriate source publications because (it has been alleged that) the writer in question did a bad job with the sources. It means we shouldn't cite personal web pages and similar. As regards "get the subject's response", while I don't remember PK saying this, it merely emphasises my point - I assume you don't mean to argue that, since Australian media do not follow this rule, reference to Australian media reports violates EL. In the Wikipedia context, we can easily get the subject's response by linking to Climate Audit's response, and that's what we should do. JQ 05:51, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Please, Prof Q, you're doing it again. I said that EST article contained "factually inaccurate material" and "unverified original research". If it's factually inaccurate, it's prohibited. If it's unverified OR (that is, not a RS), it's prohibited. It has to be both accurate and RS to get through. (And no, I was merely curious about Paul K and Aus media ethics from having skimmed the journalism article earlier today.)
Or are you arguing that a news item in ES&T counts as a reliable source? I've demonstrated that it is not reliable in any sense of the word, let alone qualifying as a WP:RS.
Further, anyone who regards "quacks" and "incredibly stupid things" as reasonable comment that can be attached to a BLP article probably should either find other articles to edit, or start making an energetic attempt to overcome their obvious confirmation bias. I'm sincere here: to me it is plain that WMC and JQ suffer from confirmation bias regarding McKitrick, McIntyre and Climate Audit. That does not mean they should stop editing those articles, only that they should take more care than they currently do when editing those articles. How seriously they take this unsolicited advice is up to them, of course! (My own policy is to avoid editing articles about individuals I dislike, and be doubly careful when I do edit articles such as Michael Fumento. That makes it very hard for my own biases to cause BLP problems. Luckily, only one of the articles I edit is about someone I'm strongly biased towards, and he's (1) not controversial and (2) not living.)
Cheers, CWC(talk) 06:08, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me that you have this almost exactly back to front. Here's the claims made by ES&T about their status
Environmental Science & Technology is #1 in total citations and #1 in impact out of 35 journals in the category of engineering, environmental with 39,785 total cites and an impact factor of 4.054.* ES&T is also #1 in total citations and ranks #5 in impact factor out of 140 journals in the environmental sciences...Published twice monthly, ES&T is a unique source of information for scientific and technical professionals in a wide range of environmental disciplines. In its research section, contributed material may appear as current research papers, policy analyses, or critical reviews. Also included is a magazine section called the A-Pages that provides authoritative news and analysis of the major developments, events, and challenges shaping the field.
Unless these claims are totally bogus, it's pretty obvious that ES&T is a WP:RS. As I understand it, you want to exclude an external link to a particular critical article on the basis that (as posted in a blog) the subject didn't like it, and wasn't satisfied with the responses he got when he emailed people who were quoted there. It's perfectly reasonable to include this response, but I think you're way off-beam in your interpretation, which would essentially preclude any links to criticism of public figures.JQ 06:23, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure ES&T-the-journal is a fine institution. That hit-piece has nothing to do with ES&T-the-journal. I already said that; please read what I write more carefully. (That exercise in repetition above is not my typical style.) Prof Q, can I say that you seem to be reaching very hard to find a way to avoid a rather obvious conclusion: the link is not acceptable. Cheers, CWC(talk) 06:54, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm honestly not following you. The link goes to the journal website from which I quoted the material above. And Factiva gives the following publication details which seem to run pretty strongly against your claim that it has nothing to do with ES&T-the-journal.
HD How a global-warming skeptic became famous
BY Thacker, Paul D
WC 105 words
PD 1 November 2005
SN Environmental Science & Technology
PG A436
VOL Volume 39; Issue 21; ISSN: 0013936X
LA English
CY Copyright (c) 2005 ProQuest Information and Learning; All Rights Reserved.
This seems to me to be exactly the same as editorial or news material in Nature or Science. Are you saying that this isn't allowed? If so, what about links to articles in, say, the New York Times about which there is disagreement? —Preceding unsigned comment added by John Quiggin (talkcontribs)
This seems to me to be exactly the same as editorial or news material in Nature or Science. Are you saying that this isn't allowed? If so, what about links to articles in, say, the New York Times about which there is disagreement?

There is no problem with ext links being OR. Nor, apparently, does CC have any problem with this link appearing on the McIntyre page. So quite what he is up to I don't know William M. Connolley 08:54, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

WMC, you are quite wrong. Read WP:EL. ELs to OR are not allowed if the OR is unverified, meaning peer-review, fact-checkers or the like.
I do have a problem with the link remaining in Stephen McIntyre. My last edit was dedicated to cleaning up the existing links, not adding or removing links; I tried to indicate that in my edit summary. I'm not sure that the link is consistent with wikipedia's rules, but I do see the argument that we have a detailed listing of Thacker's factual errors to link to, and it's barely possible that the Thacker-McIntyre controversy is notable. On the other hand, WMC, your last edit there violated WP:EL 3 times. Please do better.
JQ, if you were trying to discuss this honestly, you could not have written that last comment, because you would have taken the few minutes required to answer the question yourself. Until you do that reading, you are wasting your time here, and mine. I know you're a smart bloke, so I conclude that you are being lazy. (Don't get me wrong: in my world, laziness is a virtue.)
But I will explain where my recent heightened concern for WP:BLP comes from: David Gerard and Jimbo Wales. The policy-makers keep tightening up WP:BLP. One of the reasons for my "avoid articles about individuals I don't like" policy is so I don't need to keep close track of the changes to WP:BLP ;-).
BTW, JQ, I wikified your comment above; you should also read the Help:Editing page sometime. Best wishes, CWC(talk) 09:23, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I forgot to say that the Thacker hit-piece is over 3,500 words long, so there's something screwy with those publication details. CWC(talk) 10:42, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I think the publication details are for the abstract, which is what Factiva offers. Having said that, I'm a bit annoyed at your repeated imputations of dishonesty. I honestly can't make sense of what you are claiming here. So, let me ask you whether your claim is that an external link to what would normally be regarded as a reputable source is not allowed under WP:EL if the piece linked to contains factual errors? If that's not what you'ce claiming, can you quote the part of WP:EL you think is relevant here, and say how it applies.JQ 12:45, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
To JQ. Getting angry here. Did not call you dishonest; you are not dishonest. Not a RS, already said that. Very angry at your persistent failure to read what I write. Please go back and re-read my comments properly. If you cannot be bothered at least pretending to engage in this discussion, why are you here? To repeat: you are repeatedly completely ignoring/forgetting what I've written here. The point of discussion pages is discussion, not repeatedly asking questions that have already been answered. (Also, your failure to read the linked page properly is alarming.) Seriously, either start reading what I write properly, or find some other part of Wikipedia that needs your undoubted expertise. Better yet, read this discussion to see where I'm coming from. (I somehow doubt that you've read it yet. I hope you understand that I put it there because I think you need to read it.)
From your link "Some controversies require quoting others who use emotional language - those we put in proper NPOV encyclopedic context." This seems right, particularly in the context of an external link to what is clearly a reputable source. The appropriate thing here is to summarise the article linked, and also to link to McIntyre's response. JQ 23:56, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Short version: (1) It's not a RS. (2) You are unintentionally being very annoying.
Why oh why oh why do you care that Wikipedia implicitly slurs a non-famous Canadian academic? Would you be happy for Wikipedia to put a news item labelling you as a "quack" who did does "incredibly stupid things" one click away from the article about you?
In fact, here's a question I entreat you to answer: Do you believe those labels apply to McKitrick? I'm sure that an honest person would have no hesitation in answering that.
Anticipating an answer, CWC(talk) 14:00, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
On your question, these are emotive descriptions and would be inappropriate as Wikipedia text. But McKitrick has made very silly errors (not just the degrees-radians thing, but his claims about there not being a global average temperature) and he presents himself as an expert on topics where he has no qualifications. In both cases, the underlying motive is political partisanship. The terms quoted are emotive restatements of these judgements JQ 00:06, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

WMC, you are quite wrong. Read WP:EL. ELs to OR are not allowed if the OR is unverified, meaning peer-review, fact-checkers or the like. Nope, its you that are wrong. Firstly, thats a guideline, not a rule. Secondly it doesn't say "not allowed", even the guideline only says normally to be avoided. You have repeatedly said things like it's prohibited when this is certainly false. Many (most) links on WP would fail the absurdly high standards you are trying to claim for links you don't like.

But rather more than that, you have asserted that the Thacker article is inaccurate. Your source for this assertion is a CA post. I've just read it. That post doesn't back up your assertion at all. It mostly consists of McI contacting various people and their responses. If you think the Thacker article is substantially inaccurate, then I think you need to list those inaccuracies. A quick skim seems to indicate to me that its a fair summary on the factual points, with some bias toards a particular viewpoint. One that you dislike, clearly. Your repeated asserting that this isn't a RS is bizarre, so its not odd that people are meeting you with incomprehension William M. Connolley 15:07, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


I think we need a compromise re [20]. I suggest simply "was rejected". Its not clear that mcks website is a reliable source; and CC clearly has problems with RC William M. Connolley 10:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. It is very clear (or at least should be very clear) that Professor McKitrick's website is completely acceptable as a Reliable Source for certain topics, from the "Self-published and questionable sources in articles about themselves" part of WP:ATT.
Nature explained quite clearly why they "must decline to publish" M&M's comment.
In the light of this detailed advice, we have regretfully decided that publication of this debate in our Brief Communications Arising section is not justified. This is principally because the discussion cannot be condensed into our 500-word/1 figure format (as you probably realise, supplementary information is only for review purposes because Brief Communications Arising are published online) and relies on technicalities that do not bring a clear resolution of the underlying issues.
This comes from an email from Rosalind Cotter dated 3rd August 2004, available on McKitrick's website; emphasis added. William, your long-standing and deep hostility to M&M and all their works is quite notorious (see above), so I'm sure you would like to believe that the comment was rejected for demeaning reasons, but Nature themselves said otherwise, so that's what we have to go with.
And, of course, Wegman agreed with M&M's criticism of MBH98. Someone ought to include that in the article.
BTW, WP:RS has been demoted to a guideline again; its return to policy status sure didn't last long! Cheers, CWC 17:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
His website is reliable as a source for what he has to say, but when there is a conflicting opinion you can't say that "X is the case"; NPOV requires us to acknowledge both opinions (or do like William suggested and just stick to the facts. Guettarda 17:18, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Disregarding the tedious nonsense part of CCs text and trying to stick to the point: ATT makes 2 exceptions: the first is non-contentious (this isn't); the second doesn't seem to apply either since it is talking about their own work, not reposts of others. Whether or not the email is genuine is unknown; whether out of context, ditto. My main aim here is to avoid a tedious edit war. What we know for sure is that (a) it was rejected (b) McK says he has an email saying it was for space (c) RC says it was "based on negative appraisals by reviewers". My preference would be not to fight over which of b or c we include but to use a only. If we have one of b or c we should have both (unless there is some other source that can be definitive; but given this is peer-review, which is usually confidential, its unlikely) William M. Connolley 17:42, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
NPOV policy points to including a, b & c. The alternative, as William said, would be just a. Obviously we can't include b without c. Guettarda 17:47, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

This page[edit]

My opinion is that this page is terribly badly written - a hodgepodge. I don't care enough to fix it; I'm just inviting someone else too (and whilst I don't care enough to fix it I do care enough to check the re-write for NPOV).

Also, I added a new section on McK's latest. Personally I consider it laughable, but I don't think Ive said so - please feel free to adjust this a bit. I may have pushed the bounds a bit with the Rabett link William M. Connolley 19:17, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the comment concerning Nature, "rejected" is rather misleading. Articles "in submission" and "under review" are quite legitimate elements for a scientist to put on a CV or Grant Biosketch. As such, it seems only proper to distinguish McK's submission, which was deemed to be valid at first by Nature but ultimately cut, from those articles submitted by rejected out of hand. Furthermore, the very fact that McK's article countered Mann et al's statement is evidence that not everyone agrees that Mann's original oversights were, in fact, minor and that the conclusion would remain unchanged. Simply stating "because" does not constitute a valid argument for reverting the rather minor change.

Certainly there is a bit of a bias here, as WMC indicated above, but fiat statements regarding ongoing research seems a tad hasty.

And, as a p.s., my apologies for forgetting to sign in when I made those changes originally. Thought 21:59, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Rejected is accurate. As to why... we don't know. We have M&M's word: this isn't good enough. They may or may not be showing us an email from Nature; they certainly aren't showing us all. You don't seem to understand the nature of the corrigendum: it corrected misdescriptions of datasets. As such it can't change the results; and indeed it didn't. Had the results changed, Nature would have noted that. They didn't. Simply stating "because" - don't know what you're talking about William M. Connolley 22:13, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


The blog cite for this line: "Yet, after Lambert ran the regressions using the correct angle measurments, he claimed to have found that they "no longer 'explain' half of the surface warming trend McKitrick has pointed out."[21] is a clear WP:BLP violation. I've removed the line. Please don't put it back in until you find another source or wikipedia starts allowing blogs as sources of controversial material in BLPs. --Theblog 16:52, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Please stop whitewashing under guise of BLP. Please also stop adding spurious fact tags - the corrigendum itself is the source William M. Connolley 18:42, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
WP:BLP: Material from self-published books, zines, websites, and blogs should never be used as a source about a living person, including as an external link You are wrong about this, it should not be used. There is nothing supporting Lambert's claim about McKitrick's data in the other acceptable sources. Let the correction speak for itself. --Theblog 18:48, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Sorry Raymond, I shouldn't have reverted those too. --Theblog 03:08, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


I believe this statement is more accurate:

"...As a result Mann et al. published a corrigendum on July 1, 2004 in which they claimed the corrigendum did not affect the previously published results. McIntyre and McKitrick say the corrigendum failed to address some of their methodological concerns [4]. However, Nature rejected a McIntyre and McKitrick submission on the subject, with McKitrick claiming that the rejection was mainly because the submission did not adhere to the specified format of 500 word and one figure. Additionally, they believe that Nature responded to their concerns about the defects in the Corrigendum in a very unsatisfactory way.[5]"

Than this:

"... As a result Mann et al. published a corrigendum on July 1, 2004 which did not affect the previously published results. McIntyre and McKitrick say it failed to address some of their methodological concerns [4]. However, Nature rejected McIntyre and McKitrick's submission [5], M&M believe that Nature responded to their concerns about the defects in the Corrigendum in a very unsatisfactory way."

First off, if the corrigendum effects the results or not is subject to WP:V, it is easy to verify that Mann believes so, that is what he wrote. I have not seen another reliable source indicating that it does not effect the results, if there is, it would be great to include. McKitrick criticises the line as hair splitting.

Second off, McKitrick's claim about Nature's rejection of the submission is properly verified. There is not reason not to include it. If there is another reliable source that goes against his words, then it would of course be appropriate to include it as well.

I do not feel that it is proper to take Mann at his word in one instance (when it makes M&M look bad) and then turn around and not take McKitrick at his word (when it would make M&M look good). I feel that would introduce bias into the article that need not be there if we just include the full information, ie, what people said.--Theblog 21:26, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

That the corrigendum doesn't affect the results can be verified by reading it: it does no recalculations, merely restates stuff about the datasets used etc. Can you point to anyone who say it *does* affect the results? If neither M or M say so, and they would be desperately keen for it to ahve done so, then I see no reason to think it does. Second, McK's *claim* is verified but its not at all clear he is a RS on this; he has a strong motive for making the rejection based on length rather than quality William M. Connolley 21:37, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
An editor reading something and making a conclusions about its correctness violates WP:OR- if it doesn't please explain to me how it isn't. McK's claim is detailed as his own explanation (not anyone else's), it is as accurate as we can make it without additional sources. The reader is free to make his own judgement, I would just rather present the information than make the judgement for them. --Theblog 21:42, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
No, statements made by people about themselves, with no independent corroboration, are not necessarily acceptable. Just prefixing something with "X claims..." does not make it acceptable. However the corr (which I've just found a public copy of [22] clearly states that it doesn't change the results) William M. Connolley 21:48, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
William, I believe you've missed my point about WP:OR. These two instances are both people saying stuff about their work, in one case you choose to believe it, in the other case you choose not to believe it. In both cases it comes down to as how you, the editor, read it. That is why I suggest the first version as more accurate. --Theblog 22:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
(a) You are failing to distinguish between something published in Nature and something self-published (b) in the case of M&M's review, there is no checking possible - we just have to take their word (or not). In the case of the corrigendum, you can verify it yourself. But you don't have to, because Nature is unquestionably a WP:RS William M. Connolley 22:25, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
The whole verify it yourself part is where you run into problems, an editor should not do that as per WP:OR. Unless you are claiming that everything published in Nature or whatever else we've decided is a top journal is unquestionably true, which if that were the case, there would never be a corrigendum in the first place. --Theblog 23:01, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
I editted it and I believe I could live with the current lines re the corrigendum (although the first version above is still the best IMO). I still think the McK reason for rejection should be included. --Theblog 23:56, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

I note that you've focussed on the trivia and ignored point (a), presumably because you have no answer to it. I suggest that natures defn of a corrigendum belongs on the Nature page, not here. If you want to say what the corrigendum actually did do, ie restated the datasets used etc, please feel free William M. Connolley 22:28, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

In this case (a) does not matter, because in both cases outlined above it takes WP:OR to reach a conclusion as you have. You have completely failed to grasp that. How about this, another editor reads the corrigendum and decides it does not follow that the material did not affect the previously published results. Whose word do you take? Yours or the other editor?--Theblog 23:05, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I am misrepresenting it as OR when it is WP:POV: "None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being judged as "the truth," in order that the various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader, not just the most popular one. It should also not be asserted that the most popular view, or some sort of intermediate view among the different views, is the correct one to the extent that other views are mentioned only pejoratively. Readers should be allowed to form their own opinions." --Theblog 04:50, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
This is all a waste of time. We have one highly reputable source, Nature, which says it makes no difference to the results. We have *no-one* who says it does make a difference William M. Connolley 08:27, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I see you are unable to answer my questions. How about this, you prove that no one says it makes a difference and we'll leave it in? --Theblog 14:57, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Look, I found someone, McKitrick, "Even within the artifice of the Corrigendum, the claim is refutable on the Gaspé series, which we discussed in detail in our submission. "--Theblog 15:09, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Sigh, as you say in order that the various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader - but there is only one published viewpoint, since McK's self pub isn't. But even McK *doesn't* say the C affects the results. Quite what they are talking about there is rather obscure William M. Connolley 15:29, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Is there another published viewpoint that says the corrigendum does not affect the results or is it just Mann's word? --Theblog 19:23, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
You are twisting and turning with a whole variety of excuses for not having these words in. How you can justify "accuracy" I don't know. We have only one reliable source - Nature - that has offered an opinion. It says they don't affect the results. For reasons of your obvious biases, you're not happy with that. You have just removed that did not affect the previously published results despite it having an impeccably WP:RS for the statement. If you can find a RS that unambiguously says the corrigendum did affect the results, then please include it William M. Connolley 20:15, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Where am I twisting and turning, the very first comment I wrote is still true. You are trying to have an article about McKitrick's where the man's self published items are not allowed because you don't consider him a reliable source on his own thoughts. Then you turn around and allow others to do the same. --Theblog 17:48, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, AFAIK people aren't generally allowed to write things down themselves and have wiki publish them, particularly in areas where they have strong interests and no verification can exist. By contrast, Nature very definitely is a WP:RS and... have we done this already? William M. Connolley 19:42, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

This line: "with McKitrick claiming that the rejection was mainly because the submission did not adhere to the specified format of 500 word and one figure." is correct, McKitrick is obviously a RS on what McKitrick's claims. It is not presented as anything more. --Theblog 21:18, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

GW skep?[edit]

He is listed in the GW skeptics category, but there is no clear indication that he is one. Is there a quote or something we can put in? --Theblog 23:23, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, he did write a whole book from the skeptical point of view. Maybe you could pull something out of there. Raymond Arritt 01:25, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Then I'd have to read it... I'll see what I can google up. --Theblog 03:51, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
He is skeptical of the accuracy of the science [23], but I am not sure that is specifically "expressed skepticism regarding the mainstream scientific view that human activity is responsible for recent global warming". As far as I can tell he hasn't supported an alternate theory. Plus, the very definition is vague. --Theblog 04:10, 18 July 2007 (UTC)


I don't believe the hockey stick articles should be rehashed again in McKitrick, and I don't currently think it is NPOV. Why can't we just do like McIntyre and send people on their way to the main article which is much more detailed anyway?

If we can't do that, then more specifically the current version: "A panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences rejected the main claims of McIntyre and McKitrick, and endorsed, with a few reservations the work of Mann and others [7]." is inaccurate, first off, the panel did not "rejected the main claims" or that part is not in the NY Times source anyway. Since it is an article about McKitrick, we should have his views of the NAS panel result in there too, but they currently aren't. --Theblog 21:12, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

This has been almost a year, and 3 paragraphs for a major participant in the debate is hardly excessive. It's a summary. We know both NAS and the Barton committee agreed the statistical issues in the Mann stuff was inappropriate, whatever that means, and however the bickering has been going on. Seems like time to drop the issue and remove the NPOV tag. --Sln3412 (talk) 21:04, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
"Inappropriate" is a polite euphemism for erroneous. MBH's attempt to use Principal Components Analysis went completely wrong in an early step: instead of recentering their data on zero, as required by PCA, they recentered some of it, then applied the same transform to all of it. So their results were GIGO. They also used tree-ring-width measurements from bristlecone pines in the Sierra Nevada, despite those measurements being described as not temperature-correlated by the people who collected them. That is, the hockey-stick papers rely on invalid analysis of invalid data.
I've edited that section to reflect a NPOV summary of the NAS report. (I kept the "the committee finds it plausible" quote, for NPOV.) Let's see how much of my changes stick, then add a link to, and a quote from, McKitrick's response to the report, then consider removing the POV tag. CWC 08:54, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
All of the above is WP:OR. The article as it stands is a direct quote from the cited WP:RS, a New York Times report. If you think the Times got it wrong, find a comparable source saying so. For example, did the NAS object to what you apparently see as a misrepresentation? JQ (talk) 22:20, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Reverted back to my version before any changes, some of the formatting got messed up and it seemed easier than undoing and re-editing the section. John has it exactly correct, the citation backs up the text and "If you think the Times got it wrong, find a comparable source saying so". The NAS report and hearings are there for anyone that wants to read them. Chris, if you want to show "bristlecone pines are not valid temperature proxies." you should find a published source saying exactly that. --23:00, 28 May 2008 (UTC)Sln3412 (talk)

December 2007 Op-Eds[edit]

Prof McKitrick published two op-eds in December 2007.

I'm not sure whether either should be mentioned in this article. Any comments? CWC 11:47, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

can't see any reason why not to, if done NPOV William M. Connolley (talk) 22:04, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
If someone wants to take this on, the primary cite for the UHI one should be to the JGR-A article:
-- which in turn cites the National Post op-ed, & an interesting discussion+ slides
Also see a discussion at Climate Audit: , which cover both op-eds. I'd have to say, the carbon-tax one is... well, odd. See for yourself. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 19:37, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
The CT one is mad, but I don't see why that should stop it going in :-) William M. Connolley (talk) 22:08, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

man, this article has problems.....[edit]

Because it's late and the number of problems in the article is depressing me presently, may I just begin with the inclusion of the section which reads, "Oh, yeah? well, guess what, Tim Lambert, a computer scientist, showed that McKitrick makes mistakes too, so THERE!" It doesn't belong in a bio this short... Can I remove it please? Alex Harvey (talk) 15:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

No, you can't. Because the error-correction is attributed to Lambert in the correction to MM04 [24]. The section could use a removal of all the scare-quotes though, and a toning down of the language. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:51, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
It is the nature of science that scientists make mistakes. They are meant to make mistakes. It is therefore absurd and not to mention childish and petty to have an entire section devoted to showing that (guess what?) McKitrick once made a mistake. If the mistake had affected history, if it had led to some huge controversy, that would be entirely different. McKitrick himself seems to have acknowledged the mistake quickly and professionally. Should we include a "list of mistakes" section against all living scientists? Be serious... Alex Harvey (talk) 06:09, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Since it is the hockey-stick controversy that is the notable issue here, the error is notable. Especially because its not a subtle error - but a rather blatant one... The difference between radians and degrees is a major one, especially when it is used to place proxies in relation to each other. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 11:10, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
The McKitrick page is not here for the purpose of discussing the hockey-stick controversy. If it was, then I might hypothetically agree that this should be included. Further, whether this is a "blatant" or "major" blunder is your POV, but if you are right that it was a "blatant" and "major" error, then inclusion here is clearly serving no purpose other than to embarrass McKitrick (given once again that he has acknowledged a mistake), which makes it even more clearly contrary to WP:BLP policy. Alex Harvey (talk) 14:18, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry - but the Hockey-stick debate is the major reason for McKitrick's notability, so of course the hockey-stick debate is part of his bio. Critique is not ruled out on BLP pages, it just has to be verifiable - and it is. You can (as i said before), trim it or tone it down, and remove some of the scare-quotes which certainly do not belong. But the critique itself is notable (it made it into a science paper). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:24, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Let's suppose you're right and that this article ought to duplicate some of the hockey stick controversy discussion. Inclusion of this "McKitrick's mistake" section must have therefore substantively affected the hockey stick debate in order to establish relevance in its own right. If not, then it would be serving no purpose other than to embarrass McKitrick and should be removed immediately per BLP. In order to establish relevance, you have said something that is largely unintelligible above (you say it's "notable" because it was so "blatant", which appears to establish only embarrassment, not relevance). Can you clarify? Alex Harvey (talk) 02:26, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Further note, he's a prize-winning writer independently of the hockey stick controversy, a professor of econometrics, and you say his only notability lies in the help offered McIntyre in the hockey-stick controversy... very objective... Alex Harvey (talk) 02:36, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

"E&E is not a science journal in this regard"[edit]

re: 07:42, 23 June 2009 KimDabelsteinPetersen (Reverted to revision 297506389 by William M. Connolley; rv either cut the E&E and leave figure at 4 - or add the additional text. E&E is not a science journal in this regard.. using TW) (undo)

It is not necessary to be arguing for the distinction between "peer-reviewed" vs "non-peer-reviewed" journals in an article on Ross McKitrick. That is a discussion for somewhere else. It is also not interesting to the biography of McKitrick to know exactly how many peer-reviewed and how many "non-peer-reviewed" published science journals he has written. Meanwhile, it is simply inaccurate and false to say he has written 4. This quibbling about the Energy & Environment journal does not belong in this article. Currently, the text sounds patently ridiculous, and there is no other sensible wording I can think of other than the one that was just reverted. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:37, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

E&E is a Trade journal according to SCOPUS, it is not listed in the Web of Science, and it has a very suspect peer-review. To state is as a science journal is stretching reality beyond limits. If you want to mention the papers in E&E its going to be as a separate part.--Kim D. Petersen (talk) 06:05, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't frankly care about the E&E journal, and I don't think the general reader cares, either. It is only in the article because the editor who put it there believes this is an important piece of information to discredit McKitrick. For a neutral reader it is a completely irrelevant detail in a bio this long. I would have guessed that he has articles published in E&E because nearly all skeptics do. Alex Harvey (talk) 08:43, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not care either. As i've said before, you are welcome to cut it completely - but you cannot add it to the science journal count (this is where i care). You may add it to the other count if you want. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:59, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Support for Harvey in this dispute. Comments on E&E belong on that page, not in an author's biography. --Pete Tillman (talk) 14:49, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Thats all very well - but what Harvey is doing isn't just to delete it. He can do that as much as he wants, it makes no difference. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:19, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, i've removed them completely. They neither belong in the economics journals or in science journals. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:44, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Good to see you building consensus, Kim. Just like old times! Cheers -- Pete Tillman

"he has also written a number of opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines, many of which have also written about McKitrick." ???[edit]

I've read this sentence a number of times to try to understand what it is saying. Is it saying that "not only has McKitrick written opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines" but (oh gosh) some of these very same newspapers and magazines have also published (wait for it) articles about McKitrick? If so, the point is ... ? Alex Harvey (talk) 02:53, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Touch up on the bold, revert discusss cycle... Be bold. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:38, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

"The subject of the meaning and impact of the issue is still being debated in multiple blogs on the Internet."[edit]

It is hard to find a subject that isn't being "debated in multiple blogs on the Internet." Aside from the fact that there is no supporting evidence, it is rather difficult therefore to understand the relevance of this statement. It would be more meaningful to close this section with the fact that IPCC2007 cites the McIntyre & McKitrick result, suggesting consensus that the issue has been resolved in their favour. Objections? Alex Harvey (talk) 13:59, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Referes to McKitricks own disussions with others. In primary the major climate blogs. The AR4 cites it, but doesn't agree on it. (It also cites Svensmark for that matter, and previous reports have cited the iris hypot.). A cite != consensus. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:37, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

"an Op-Ed by ..."[edit]

This is rather patronising to a normal reader (as well as to McKitrick). This isn't a children's encyclopaedia, so I don't believe the reader needs the editor's help in finding out firstly what an "op-ed" is, and secondly what the editor's opinion of an "op-ed" is, before he may proceed for himself to read the said "op-ed." Alex Harvey (talk) 14:08, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Op-Ed tells us something about the editorial and veracity checking that at minimum have gone into the article. Thats information that a reader may like to be appraised of before going to the external resource. (bother or not bother to read). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:42, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
In this particular case it is even important, since it isn't a link to the original article, where you could have appraised yourself on the editorial status - but instead a reprint. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:47, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
In other words, you're agreeing, yes, you feel the reader needs help here, and have just said as much yourself. Alex Harvey (talk) 02:03, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I had never heard the word "op-ed" before coming to the US. It isn't a normal English word - it's jargon. So yes, it should be linked. Guettarda (talk) 12:56, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
You may have missed the point, and I may have been unclear. It was really the disparaging labeling of McKitrick's writing as "op-ed" rather than the editor's hyperlink to "op-ed" that I objected to. There is also a clear question of bias via double-standards here, as you can find plenty of other op-eds in other climate change articles, some linked in by KDP himself, without any disparaging "op-ed" label stamped on them. However, after looking at it more closely, I resolved the dispute by simply removing the link to the external article altogether, which KDP doesn't seem to have objected to. Alex Harvey (talk) 22:42, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

"A panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) endorsed, with a few reservations, the MBH paper."[edit]

Very strong POV of editor biasing the article here. The NAS in fact agreed with the MM criticisms of said MBH paper, but suggested something along the lines of, the overall conclusions of the MBH paper are probably still correct, even if their method was wrong. The hockey-stick shape may still be right, but on the basis of other studies. In the context of McKitrick's biography, the relevant piece of information here is that both North & Wegman conceded that MM's statistical criticisms were valid. There are no references given here... this needs to be changed. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:44, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry but there is no endorcement of MM in the NAS report - in the NAS report (as well as the press conference afterwards (see it)) it quite thoroughly endorced the MBH results. (you may also want to see the Wegman hearing where this is confirmed). We have a whole article on this.... --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:27, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion of McKitrick mistakes section intended only to embarrass / violation of BLP policy[edit]

Guettarda, inclusion of the "McKitrick made a mistake" section is clearly contrary to BLP policy. There would be no scientist alive who has not made a mistake before. The mistake discussed is of no consequence in the history of science, or in the life of McKitrick. Your revert states "please make a case on talk." Well I have already made the case above, thus it is in fact incumbent on you, not me, to be making a case here. Alex Harvey (talk) 22:58, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

As above the error is notable, and it is acknowledged by McK in a correction to the paper. And please reread BLP, it does not rule out critique as you seem to surmise. It requires that critique is referenced - and it is. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:30, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Once again, there is no critique here at all; this is about pointing the finger at an acknowledged mistake. But, in this case you continue to ignore the real issue, viz. failure of WP:WEIGHT, as raised above. Tell me, how you can claim that a single mistake of McKitrick's has weight sufficient to justify an entire section in a bio this long? You have so far responded to this by "arguing" that the alleged "blatantness" of the McK error establishes its weight automatically. Aside, the alleged "blatantness" is merely your POV; there is nothing "blatant" about it to me. Thus, removing POVs from the discussion, there is no argument here at all. But, even allowing POVs in the discussion, your argument makes absolutely no sense, if interpreted as you say it should be as an argument about weight. It is clearly not an argument intended to establish weight, but an argument intended merely to make McKitrick look bad. Your underlying, faulty argument is (a) Stupid people make blatant mistakes (b) McK made a blatant mistake (c) therefore, section has weight(???) & should be included. WRONG, Kim, non sequitur. Show me another example, anywhere in Wikipedia, or anywhere in anything, where "weight" has been established via alleged "blatantness"? Alex Harvey (talk) 00:51, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
WP:WEIGHT: An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements. ... Keep in mind that in determining proper weight we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors. Alex Harvey (talk) 01:41, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
  1. Regarding WP:BLP, I can't find anywhere that you've explained how this section violatesWP:BLP. Could you please point me to the diffs where this is discussed?
  2. Regarding WP:WEIGHT - McKitrick appears only to be notable in the context of the hockey stick controversy. It's the remainder of the article that has a problem - most of the rest of it is fluff, lacking sources independent of McKitrick himself.

You made an assertion in your edit summary that there are WP:WEIGHT and WP:BLP issues with the section, and you've repeated the assertion here. That's a start, but it isn't sufficient. Now you need to explain how these policies apply to this section. Guettarda (talk) 02:05, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Guettarda, the burden of proof falls on those who want to include the potentially embarrassing/damaging material to explain why it is of such significance to the subject that it deserves mention at all -- in a bio this long. Read the policy above, again, and see where it is stated, An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. We are arguing about an error made in one econometrics article, which has impacted the hockey stick controversy in no way whatsoever. What else has this mistake impacted? Apart from the time taken by a Tim Lambert in pointing the mistake out, and in McKitrick's time in correcting said mistake, I see no evidence that it has impacted anything at all. I am happy to be proved wrong WP:PROVEIT, although not expecting to be. The question then arises, what is the signficance to the subject then that justifies its inclusion here? There is no significance, is there. Thus, WP:WEIGHT is violated. Alex Harvey (talk) 02:56, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
On reading a second time, you do realise we're not talking about the hockey stick section, but the section that follows it? If all you knew was this article, you could be forgiven by being mislead that the section following the HS section in some way is related to it... it's not... it's just a tit-for-tat addition added by Mann's Wikipedia friends to show McKitrick has made mistakes too. To answer your other question, this has all been discussed above in the section "man, this article has problems". Alex Harvey (talk) 03:08, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Harvey makes a good point --that this insignificant incident was inserted as a "gotcha". Support removal per Harvey. --Pete Tillman (talk) 03:32, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Yep. So insignificant that a correction had to be printed (and all figures recalculated). We can find other references for this one, if it is needed. One of Harvey's point here seems to be that this is in a separate section.. It doesn't need to be - cut the section header and add it to the hockey-stick text (where it belongs). Criticism sections should in general be incorporated in the text. This paper is one of the main reasons for McK's notability. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 07:40, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
You make that sound rather dramatic, you mean "all figures had to be recalculated?" Gosh, you don't mean, he had to run his scripts again? That does sound terribly significant, doesn't it. It certainly sounds very significant the way Tim Lambert puts it at his McKitrick smear site that you've linked in, but the question is, once again, how has it affected the history of science here? It hasn't, has it. How many times was the paper cited before the error was picked up? How much controversy was generated, outside of Lambert's blog & ego? There wasn't any, was there. It was completely irrelevant. The point stands. Alex Harvey (talk) 09:38, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Kim, you have stated that this should be moved to the hockey-stick section... why? I now look further and find this has nothing whatever to do with Mann's work or the hockey-stick controversy. The MM04 paper (where MM in this case is McKitrick & Michaels, not McIntyre & McKitrick) is about a supposed warm bias in thermometer record / Urban Heat Island hypothesis. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:10, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
And I would just like to add how truly sad it is to see people arguing here in Wikipedia for inclusion of this McKitrick's mistake ahead of a summary of the work in which he made the mistake. Those arguing in this way should feel ashamed of themselves. It is truly sad to see Wikipedia abused in this way. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:13, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

OK, let's try this again, since you don't appear to understand what I said. My apologies for raising two issues at once. The WP:WEIGHT issue is secondary, and cannot be used to justify entirely removing the section. So let's deal with the major issue first. Can you explain how inclusion of this material violated our policies on biographies of living persons? Thanks. Guettarda (talk) 13:15, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

No, I am not going to explain it again. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:28, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
"Again"? Where have you done so before? Guettarda (talk) 13:32, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Have you actually read the WP:BLP policy? Here is the first line: "Editors must take particular care adding biographical material about a living person to any Wikipedia page. Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity..." Alex Harvey (talk) 13:41, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

You said that you are "not going to explain it again". Presumably that means that you have explained it before. So I am asking that you show me where you have explained it. It's simply a request for clarification. Where did you "explain it" before? That's all I'm asking. Guettarda (talk) 21:28, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Guettarda, I have nothing futher to say here. Alex Harvey (talk) 00:16, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
On where I discussed "does this or does this not violate BLP" you would need to actually read the thread. That it is in violation of the spirit of WP:BLP is self-evident, and I am disappointed to be having this discussion with an administrator. To the extent that Wikipedia is exposed to litigation from Professor McKitrick I intend to find out. Alex Harvey (talk) 00:24, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I've read your contributions to this thread and others here. You've asserted that this section violates our BLP policy, but I don't see where you have made a case how this section violates the policy. Hence my question. Where have you explain this? Where have you made the case? It seems like a reasonable enough question. Are you willing to answer it? Guettarda (talk) 02:16, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
William M. Connolley in fact reverted the last edit. Alex Harvey (talk) 02:12, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Please abide by our policies on civility and personal attacks. Guettarda (talk) 02:16, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Guettarda, I have nothing further to add; I will continue to fight this from outside the forum. I encourage others to fight this within the forum as I have become too angry. Alex Harvey (talk) 02:36, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I really don't understand what it is that you expect of other editors here. What is there to get angry about? All I have done is ask you to explain what why you see this section as violating the BLP policy. Why is that not a reasonable request? "Because I say so" just doesn't cut it. Guettarda (talk) 04:26, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I will consider the possibility that you are genuinely confused. Very well, (1) are you or are you not able to see just a few lines above that I have quoted the very first line of WP:BLP that cites a requirement to apply sensitivity in a living person's biography? Do you agree or disagree that there is a requirement to apply a high degree of sensitivity in a living person's biography? Alex Harvey (talk) 06:05, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The next question would be, (2) is discussion of a mistake McKitrick (and Michaels...) made in a (peer-reviewed) article where the content of the article in question has not been discussed in any way consistent with "a high degree of sensitivity"?
WP:BLP continues: "Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity, and must adhere strictly to all applicable laws in the United States and to all of our content policies, especially: Neutral point of view (NPOV) "
Thus, the next question is, (3) is a discussion of the mistake McKitrick made without any discussion of the article in which he made the mistake or discussion of McKitrick's response or the fact that the overall result of MM04 paper was only marginally affected in any way consistent with NPOV? (NOTE: as mentioned, I fully intend to investigate the extent to which this adheres or does not adhere to US law.)
WP:BLP continues: "Be very firm about the use of high quality references." Next question, (4) is a blog post by a minor academic entitled "McKitrick screws up yet again...", full of juvenile language and personal attacks, in any way consistent with with "high quality references"?
WP:BLP continues: "Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionableshould be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion. (emphasis in original)... The three-revert rule does not apply to such removals." So I have tried this policy in practice, tried to remove the material, and (5) is it true or not true that then Kim D. Petersen, and then you, an administrator, restored the material without giving any reasons?
WP:PROVEIT states: "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material." (6) how come after restoring the contentious material, you then stated that the burden of evidence lay in fact with me to prove that it shouldn't be included, rather than with you, for restoring the material? Alex Harvey (talk) 16:23, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Mistakes section revisited[edit]

My attention is directed here from the BLP noticeboard; I have not looked at this article before. As I scientist myself, I believe that the paragraph starting "Tim Lambert..." does not belong in this article, unless there is a reputable source that asserts that the error is important. Corrections of minor errors occur quite frequently; it's wrong to devote a whole paragraph to such a thing without backup from a good source. It's also regrettable that Alexh19740110 (talk · contribs) has been making this argument in such an unpleasant way, but that shouldn't obscure that fact that the point is valid. Looie496 (talk) 18:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Second to Looie. Alexh, I understand your frustration with "The Team" -- I've been there -- but you need to take a breather. (I've gotten carried away, too. Same guys, mostly.) Best regards, Pete Tillman (talk) 18:58, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Alright, fine, but for how long do we let Wikipedia continue to be used in this way? This systematic abuse of Wikipedia has continued in here literally for years. Politeness and reasonableness hasn't changed anything and it is never going to. I apologise to Guettarda, who may be an innocent bystander here. Yes I'll take a breather, goodbye all. Alex Harvey (talk) 23:33, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Deletion of publications section... altogether?[edit]

Atmoz has deleted the publications section from the article altogether now, arguing firstly that it was "COATRACK", which I didn't and still don't understand, and then that McKitrick's publication history isn't "notable". Although the publication history section could do with expansion, I am struggling to understand how a publication history can be deemed irrelevant to a professional academic's biography. It, indeed, raises the question, well, what is relevant to an academic's biography, if not the publication history? It's kind of like saying the actions of the George W. Bush administration are not relevant in the life of the President. May I suggest (politely) that this material be re-included? The same applies to William M. Connolley's complete removal of all mention that McKitrick was involved in the hockey stick controversy. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:45, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

This is the bit I removed: "From 1997 to 2005 McKitrick has authored or co-authored a number of articles, including 16 in economics journals, and four in science journals. In addition to co-authoring Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming, he has also written a number of opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines." It's all fluff. Add something that actually says something about his publications. -Atmoz (talk) 15:34, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
The deleted section provided a reasonably clear summary (although I too had issues with the wording, see above) of McKitrick's professional output. It seems to me that it provided some useful information to the reader (for example, it provided useful information to me, even if I found the original disparaging remarks about E&E that were thrown in inappropriate). That useful information is no longer there, as a result of this disputed deletion. May I suggest that the appeal to "fluffiness" (is it the wording that is "fluffy"? is the content?) hasn't added much clarity to the discussion. Could you show us an example of another scientist where publications have appeared in a way that would regard as more approrpiate? If you want something added about his publications, I could add some links & references to the PDFs where they're available. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:00, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Atmoz, after a few days of pondering I understood your 'COATRACK' angle, i.e. in the subtitle of McKitrick's book. I think that's a little far-fetched, but the subtitle could be removed. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:45, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I stand corrected and apologise, this was providing totally false, not useful, information to the reader & I agree now definitely that it should have been removed. According to McKitrick's publications page here he has in fact authored or co-authored 12 "peer-reviewed Science Journal articles". McKitrick's University pubished 12 vs Wikipedia's 4 is quite a large discrepancy. Then it's 14 scholarly economics articles vs Wikipedia's 16, and then finally a very large number of other writings (e.g. book chapters) were lost by the wayside. Alex Harvey (talk) 10:34, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Full professor[edit]

Okay, so Pete Tillman and others have been, trying to update the text to note that McKitrick has held a full professorship since 2008 at the University of Guelph. These edits are being reverted without discussion. McKitrick's (already cited) publicly available CV states

  1. BA (Hons) Economics, Queen's, 1988
  2. MA Economics, UBC, 1990
  3. PhD Economics, UBC, 1996
  4. Assistant Professor, University of Guelph, July 1996 - June 2001
  5. Associate Professor, University of Guelph, July 2001 - November 2008
  6. Professor, University of Guelph, December 2008 - present
  7. Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute, Vancouver B.C.

So I would like to understand why these edits are being reverted to not show McKitrick's full professorship? Alex Harvey (talk) 06:10, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Removed the remaining material too, in line with recent deletions[edit]

Since Atmoz & WMC have removed all discussion of McK's publications & hockey stick controversy, I have removed the remaining two items, T3 & criticism of the global average temperature, as the whole thing was then skewed to his less known works (and not to mention badly written). Personally, I don't have a problem with a minimalist McKitrick biography since we can all find out about McKitrick at other places. The publications section had in fact removed from the article count his most historically important article (i.e. MM03a) after KDP's insistence that an E&E article can't be counted as a science article... My aim was to remove the defamatory material, and I am satisfied that it's gone now. People can find out about McKitrick at plenty of other places where McKitrick's side of the story is likely to be presented either sympathetically or negatively depending on what the reader wants. Objections? Alex Harvey (talk) 09:01, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I have never heard of him. The article is it stands now doesn't tell me why he is interesting or important. On the other hand it doesn't say anything bad or offensive. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 13:17, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
How about we add a "see also" thing at the bottom with a link back to the Wikipedia eds. version of the hockey stick controversy? The sensible reader will look at both the Wikipedia version and McKitrick's own version of the story, also linked in, so all will be fair (in love & Wikipedia). :) Any objections to this? Alex Harvey (talk) 14:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how anyone could object to that. The more views available the better. Steve Dufour (talk) 18:38, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay, done. And I agree, the article still needs rewording to accurately establish the area of his notability (currently, it sounds like notability comes from the Essex/McKitrick book, which I don't think is right. Alex Harvey (talk) 23:19, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Sort-of edit-war material[edit]

Here is the material that has been repeatedly added & removed by various editors, most often removed by editor William M. Connolley.

Global warming related activities (draft)[edit]

From a statistical perspective, McKitrick and McIntyre (MM) in the 2003 paper "Corrections to the Mann et al. (1998) "Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average Temperature Series"[1] examined the Michael E. Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes (MBH) 1998 paper, "Global-Scale Temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing Over the Past Six Centuries."[2] As a result Mann et al. published a corrigendum[25] which did not change any of the results of the paper. McIntyre and McKitrick say the corrigendum failed to address some of their methodological concerns, and the two claim that Nature responded to their concerns about the corrigendum in an unsatisfactory way.[26]

A panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) endorsed, with a few reservations, the MBH paper. One of the panel's reservations was that "...a statistical method used in the 1999 study was not the best and that some uncertainties in the work 'have been underestimated,' and it particularly challenged the authors' conclusion that the decade of the 1990s was probably the warmest in a millennium." However, they also said that "'an array of evidence' supported the main thrust of the paper", leading to even more confusion on the situation.[27]

A subsequent investigation, undertaken at the request of Republican Senator Joe Barton and headed by prominent statistics professor and NAS member Edward Wegman of George Mason University [28] supported the statistical criticisms by McKitrick and McIntyre, saying "It is not clear that Dr. Mann and his associates even realized that their methodology was faulty at the time of writing the paper. We found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling."[29]

In 2007 McKitrick was co-author on a paper in the Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics arguing that "Physical, mathematical and observational grounds are employed to show that there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming".[3]

In June 2007, McKitrick suggested "a climate policy that could, in principle, get equal support from all sides": a "T3" tax on carbon emissions tied to a three-year moving average of tropospheric temperature change, starting at a low rate. If global warming occurs, the tax would climb quickly and "could reach $200 per tonne of CO2 by 2100, forcing major carbon-emission reductions and a global shift to non-carbon energy sources."[4]

While I agree that this section needs work (starting with the title), the McKittrick article is currently very sparse, so this is at least a starting point. --Pete Tillman (talk) 20:25, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. The first 3 paragraphs are a POV "description" of Hockey stick controversy (and not even POV written from a McKitrick perspective - simply a rewrite of Hsc). The 4th paragraph is about a paper that has had no impact, and which has disappeared down memory-lane (might be converted to an entry in publications). The 5th paragrah is the only thing that might have merit, but a single Op-Ed shouldn't have all that much weight. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:23, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sorry, I fully agree with Connolley et al. that this WP:COATRACK section stays out of McKitrick's article. I don't think it's a good starting point, as it seems to be a "troll magnet" section in a BLP. If someone can write a very quietly stated account of McKitrick's role in the hockey stick controversy, that doesn't already appear in the related article, then I would probably support keeping it here. Alex Harvey (talk) 23:36, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Get this, I removed this section, in support of Connolley et al., and Atmoz, the editor who first proposed removing it all, way back, is now edit warring to keep the section in per WP:PRESERVE? I have removed the section, again, as a lot of BLP violations, per prior consensus from Atmoz, and all others. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:37, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
[[30]]. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
There are no BLP violations. Your repeated actions demonstrate that you clearly don't understand the policy. And I don't recall having removed that section, nor suggested its removal. Diff please. -Atmoz (talk) 06:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I see, you're saying that I was the editor who technically removed this bit, therefore the mature thing to do is to restore it now, despite that William Connolley and Kim D. Petersen both want it out too? Anyhow, on WP:BLP, where it is of utmost importance that we adhere to WP:NPOV, you're saying you can't see that this quote by McKitrick has been cherry picked, and is not representative of his considered views? Indeed, you can't see that it's a coatrack for skepticism, and has very little to do with his notability? Alex Harvey (talk) 14:31, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
(And I do understand the policy; it is the status quo here that does not understand it, and needs to therefore change.) Alex Harvey (talk) 14:44, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to suggest that you don't read anything into my comments than is actually written. If I wanted to write something else, I would have done so. -Atmoz (talk) 20:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
That's fine, so you now need to explain why the cherry-picked statement from McKitrick, which gives an impression that his stance on global warming is far stronger than it actually is, is not a BLP issue. I remind you, although you say I'm the one who doesn't understand the BLP policy, that The burden of evidence for any edit on Wikipedia rests with the person who adds or restores material. Therefore, an editor should be able to demonstrate that it complies with all Wikipedia content policies and guidelines. I look forward to some good discussion on this point. Thanks. Alex Harvey (talk) 08:17, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


As I found it this page was crudely one-sided. It suppressed all negative mentions of McK's work - including a considerable catalogue of errors in key papers that a high school student should have spotted - and used quotes in a way that included significant positive spin for the views that he propounds. Whoever is doing this: unless you can explain why it isn't significant that the man's key papers have crude errors in them that, for example, mean his results were wrong by a factor of two, then you are heading for trouble. If you are a PR company stooge or McK himelf, this sort of thing is much too crude for you to get away with it! Keep to neutral POV. And don't delete negative material unless you can show that it is either incorrect or less significant than the positive material that you leave.

The whole reason that McK is significant enough to justify a wikipedia entry is his claim that his work debunks global warming. If his own work contains a catalog of errors - which according to credible linked sources which provide excellent attributions it does - this can not be suppressed for the reasons stated above. "He acknowledged the error later" (this is in relation to the radians/degrees error - what choice did he have when even a 14 year old child could understand his mistake) or "You haven't provided a source saying that the error was significant" (if the work is significant enough to justify a wikipedia entry for McK, then errors in the work have to be significant too! and anyway the source discussing the error clearly regarded it as significant,or it wouldn't have bothered...) are NOT good enough. Umptious (talk) 17:01, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


I removed the sourcewatch page from the external links. On any biography of a living person I think we have to be very sure of our sources. I don't know who these people are and their use of a wiki format is worrying. --TS 20:33, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

- That you don't know who sourcewatch is not significant of anything except your unwillingness to check the information on that site or wikipedia. They are explicit about there sources, which are easily checkable. As for objecting to their use of a wiki format - huh? Does this make any sense? Moreover, Sourcewatch doesn't say anything at all "potentially libellous" about McK - it lists information (eg the funding of the institute that he works for) that he routinely acknowledges. Umptious (talk) 18:16, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Improper deletion[edit]

Someone has also removed the details of the flaws found in McK's work despite scrupulous sourcing - but doesn't seem to have commented on this! This constitutes a flagrant breach of wiki editing rules - it is the deletion of content because it doesn't suit a certain ideological pov. If this continues I will appeal to have the page tagged as being under suspicion of non-neutral editing. [b]If you don't think that details on errors in McK's work should be part of his profile then explain why.[/b] Umptious (talk) 18:30, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm probably the one, so let's step through your latest edit :
  • You added "right-wing" to McI's descrip, no cite: WP:OR

- No, that was afterwards.

  • You added back a long, tendentious description of an error in one of his pubs, sourced to a blog: gross WP:BLP violation, also violates WP:Weight, and see the original edit line in History.

Then we have a problem here - because without the detailing of McK's errors - we have an article that consists only of him talking about himself. For now I'll deal with this by removing his self promotion and replacing with NPOV summary. (talk) 14:28, 1 January 2010 (UTC) (talk) 14:28, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

  • You put some blog links, inexplicably, in the See also. Wrong place, and violates WP:EL and BLP rules. --Pete Tillman (talk) 19:44, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Article probation[edit]

Please note that, by a decision of the Wikipedia community, this article and others relating to climate change (broadly construed) has been placed under article probation. Editors making disruptive edits may be blocked temporarily from editing the encyclopedia, or subject to other administrative remedies, according to standards that may be higher than elsewhere on Wikipedia. Please see Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation for full information and to review the decision. -- ChrisO (talk) 03:02, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Cornwall Alliance statement removed[edit]

I removed a statement claiming McKitrick endorsed their 2009 statement on global warming. McK says he has problems with some of this document, doesn't endorse it, and has asked that organization to remove his name from their list of signatories: see "ME & THEOLOGY" in Recent Items at --Pete Tillman (talk) 05:21, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

That is correct; more specifically I see McKitrick's explanation at [31], and I don't see McKitrick's name at [32]. I regret that User:Jess may have missed this item in the talk page before re-inserting. I have removed references to this Cornwall Alliance evangelical statement again today. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 00:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

BLP noticeboard[edit]

Section = 109 BLP articles labelled "Climate Change Deniers" all at once. This article was placed in a "climate change deniers" category. After discussion on WP:BLPN and WP:CFD the category was deleted. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 17:04, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Edit to lead (now the "writing" section)[edit]

New readers of this page may note that this section was titled "edit to lead" and there is a section further down the page with the title "lead edit". The reason is that there is a sentence added in 2005 in the lead which remained there until a few days ago. I made an edit to that sentence while it was in the lead. It was moved (without discussion) to a section with the title "writing", so this heading was accurate when added. I'm modifying the title to reflect the new location.--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:56, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Looks like the denizens of denial are at it again. Instead of accepting that some people raise some legitimate questions about some aspects of the global warming debate, some editors act as if they have a vendetta to label all these people deniers. It is a pejorative term, which doesn't mean it should be eliminated if accurate but given the baggage associated with the term, it is critical that editors be very careful to support the usage with solid references. Before I made an edit, the second paragraph of the lead asserted that the subject "authored works promoting climate change denial" and then went on to list a book co-authored by the subject, impugning that as a book about climate change denial.

On the surface, there are four sources following the word "denial". However, under examination, there are problems with all four.

One of the sources is a blog written by the subject. As editors know, a blog is generally an unacceptable source with a few exceptions. The blog is used at the end of the sentence to reference the claim in the blog that the subject is the co-author of the book. That's not ideal but probably acceptable. The blog might also be acceptable if it contains a statement that he promotes climate change denial. It doesn't make that blanket statement. I predict that some editor will find some statement in use some synthesis to argue that it equates to denial, but that's not acceptable. We can use it from the blog if the subject says it in so many words. (Note that the absence of such a statement is not proof that he is not a denier, but it does mean we need to find a reliable source making the claim).

Another one of the sources is another blog, not even by the subject. That ought to be enough on its own, but for those who want more, let's look at the actual text in the blog:

I should first caution readers that I am not an expert in this area—I’m a computer scientist, not a climatologist. In other words, I’m no better qualified to comment on this than McKitrick.

We don't need to argue whether he qualifies as a reliable source he openly states that he does not. I can only imagine how quickly my edit would disappear if I tried to use a blog as a reference — one that didn't support the statement and is self acknowledged not to be reliable.

Another source is a book by Michael Mann, an acknowledged reliable source on the subject of climate science. One technical problem is the reference identifies the page number, but note the quote is not included and I do not have the book so I do not know what was said. However, while Mann is a reliable source on the subject of climate science, it is well-known that the subject is one of the two most well-known critics of some of Mann's work, so it would hardly be surprising that man's opinion of McKitrick isn't very high. Perhaps he does label McKitrick as a denier but we need an objective source not someone with a massive conflict of interest.

Finally there is a reference to a book by Martin Lack. While the link opens to Google books, the identified page 8 is not viewable. It would be helpful if someone could provide the quote which purports to support the claim. Suppose, for the sake of argument that it does. Then we have one non-peer-reviewed book making a claim. Given the likelihood that there are many other sources describing the subject differently, and the serious nature of the allegation, we need far more than one source to include such a negative comment.

We do have an article on the book Taken by Storm. It isn't very good, but there is nothing in the article about the book that even hints that it is about climate denial. I used a perma link rather than a general link because I won't be surprised if the denizens of denial take on this article as well, so I want to point out that at least at this minute, the book isn't described as a promotion of climate change denial.--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:31, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Some of what you saw was due to edits by Jess which I tried to undo on October 29. What Mann says on p. 199 is: "This episode is a revealing case study in the anatomy of a climate change denial smear campaign. First, bloggers manufacture unfounded criticisms and accusations. Then their close allies help spread them. McIntyre's colleague Ross McKitrick writes an op-ed piece in the right-wing National Post more or less accusing Briffa of fraud: 'Whatever is going on here, it is not science.' ..." Not useful for claiming McKitrick is a climate change denier. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 00:03, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree our project's article Taken by Storm is very poor, and its inadequate characterization of the book is one of its most serious problems. Hugh (talk) 15:23, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Timeline of edits to sentence regarding authorship
Edit number Year Time and date Editor Note Text
1 2005 21:24, 15 November 2005 Rd232 First inclusion McKitrick co-wrote the 2002 book Taken By Storm...
2 2009 22:51, 28 June 2009 Alexh19740110 Minor reword In 2002 McKitrick co-wrote book Taken By Storm...
3 06:54, 3 July 2009 Alexh19740110 Minor reword In 2002, with Christopher Essex, McKitrick co-wrote a book Taken By Storm...
4 2010 01:52, 10 May 2010 SlimVirgin Minor reword He is the co-author of Taken By Storm...
5 2015 07:06, 6 October 2015 Banedon First use of "denialist" He is noted as a climate change denialist, co-authoring the book Taken By Storm...
6 12:28, 6 October 2015 Peter Gulutzan reversion He is the co-author of Taken By Storm...
7 14:52, 6 October 2015 Banedon reintroduce He is noted as a climate change denialist, co-authoring the book Taken By Storm...
8 13:19, 27 October 2015 Peter Gulutzan revert with BLP mention He is the co-author of Taken By Storm...
9 17:26, 27 October 2015 Jess revert, with edit summary about cat edit,
not denialist edit
He is noted as a climate change denialist, co-authoring the book Taken By Storm...
10 17:28, 27 October 2015 Jess undoes part of her own edit He co-authored the book Taken By Storm
11 17:36, 27 October 2015 Jess re-introduces "denial" He has authored works promoting climate change denial[3], ...
12 06:13, 29 October 2015 Whenzler es: NPOV edit He has authored works questioning the conventional views on climate change...
13 08:17, 29 October 2015 Nomoskedasticity reversion He has authored works promoting climate change denial[3], ...
14 12:31, 29 October 2015 Peter Gulutzan revert, request for talk page discussion,
which was ignored
He co-authored the book Taken By Storm:...
15 14:31, 29 October 2015 Jess reversion with es: See WP:BOLD.
I gave a rationale for every change.
Please indicate a reason before reverting.
He has authored works promoting climate change denial[3], ...
16 10:01, 30 October 2015 Whenzler reword to exclude "denial" He has authored works questioning the conventional views on climate change...
17 10:18, 30 October 2015 Squiddy revert, with no talk page discussion He has authored works promoting climate change denial[3], ...
18 04:47, 3 November 2015 One Red Cent revert, no talk page discussion,
but es: this is OK
He has authored works questioning the conventional views on climate change...
19 09:36, 5 November 2015 Squiddy revert, with no talk page discussion He has authored works promoting climate change denial[3], ...
20 15:30, 7 November 2015 Sphilbrick try neutral wording,
invite discussion on talk
He has authored works in the field of climate change...
21 21:28, 8 November 2015 Jess revert, without contributing to
talk page, where each source was discussed
He has authored works promoting climate change denial[3], ...
22 23:27, 8 November 2015 Peter Gulutzan restore edit which was changed
without discussion, and another
request to go to talk page
He has authored works in the field of climate change...
23 23:37, 8 November 2015 Jess "please discuss on talk"
(which she hasn't editied!)
He has authored works promoting climate change denial...
24 00:37, 9 November 2015 Ashaeria es: NPOV edit He has authored works questioning the conventional wisdom on climate change...
25 00:39, 9 November 2015 Jess Revert again - claims to be
"happy to discuss this on talk"
but has not yet edited talk page!
He has authored works promoting climate change denial...
26 01:15, 9 November 2015 Sphilbrick try again with neutral wording,
request again to join talk page discussion
He has authored works in the field of climate change...
27 01:23, 9 November 2015 Jess reverts, claiming she doesn't
see discussion
He has authored works promoting climate change denial

Inspired by a comment in the next section below by Peter Gulutzan, I've collapsed it for size, but I've attempted to trace the editing of a particular sentence in the article from its initial inclusion to the current date.

Notable observations:

  • It was first added in 2005 almost 10 years ago
  • The wording was not fundamentally changed, although some minor wording changes occurred between 2005 and October 2015
  • Starting in October of this year some editors tried to introduce denial or denialist and other editors remove this wording
  • Several editors including Jess, urged editors to discuss the wording on the talk page but none did, not even Jess After several requests, she has joined in
  • I tried introducing neutral wording and wrote a long post here on the talk page explaining my rationale and discussing each of the purported sources for the alternative wording.
  • My edit was reverted by Jess with a claim that she was happy to discuss on the talk page but she did not join in the existing discussion. She now has joined in
  • Eventually, just started a new section on the talk page (below), and when I brought her attention to the fact that it was already in discussion here, she still declined to join this discussion--S Philbrick(Talk) 02:59, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not addressing the article timeline further; I reverted your change only once, and only after participating on the talk page. You've insisted I post here instead of the section below. Okay, I don't know why you want that, but I'll address you once again up here.
The content you removed is sourced to Lack, Mann, Desmogblog, and Lambert. 1) Your objection to the subject's blog is strange, since no such source was used. 2) Your objection to Lambert listing a disclaimer doesn't disqualify him as a RS, and scienceblogs tends to be well respected. 3) Your objection to not having page # or quote for Mann was addressed in the article. 4) Your objection to not having a quote from Lack was addressed in the article. I also added several additional sources throughout the article. I've asked several times, but have not yet seen any source which supports your suggested change, or which supports your claim that McKitrick "doesn't reject climate science, he contributes to it." Could you please provide one?   — Jess· Δ 19:40, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Desmogblog is a blog, deltoid is a blog, Lack's book's publisher AuthorHouse calls itself a "provider of supported self-publishing services", I said "Blogs" before in this edit summary but got reverted, the policy description is at WP:BLPSPS. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 21:48, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not addressing the article timeline further; What does this mean?--S Philbrick(Talk) 02:54, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Do you think my timeline has errors? Very possible, there were hundreds of edits to review, and it is highly possible I missed one or got something wrong. Can you explain what you found incorrect? Yes, I see you stating I reverted your change only once. I don't see anything in the timeline that says otherwise. I identified reverts you made, I didn't track whether you reverted me or someone else. Is that important to you?--S Philbrick(Talk) 03:00, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • 1) Your objection to the subject's blog is strange, since no such source was used. Look at footnote 1. It links to the first item in the bibliography, which is a blog by Ross McKitrick. You even listed it in your list. (I see that Peter Gulutzan has already made this point, but I don't see how you could miss it, as you said The content you removed is sourced to Lack, Mann, Desmogblog, and Lambert. (emphasis added.)--S Philbrick(Talk) 03:08, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Desmogblog is written by several authors, none of whom are Ross McKitrick.   — Jess· Δ 03:29, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
My bad, the way the page was written, I thought it was by him. So instead of being disqualified becasue it is a blog written by the subject, it is disqualified because it is a blog. The usual exception is that a blog can be used to reference an article about the blog - that doesn't apply.--S Philbrick(Talk) 03:45, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • 2) Your objection to Lambert listing a disclaimer doesn't disqualify him as a RS, and scienceblogs tends to be well respected.
I read a lot of blogs, some of which I respect far more than most newspapers I read, but that doesn't make them an RS. There are situations in which a blog can be accepted, you haven't identified that they apply in this case. I note that Tim Lambert is a red link, has been deleted because it failed to meet notability guidelines. And even if it does qualify for some purposes, he is a lecturer (not a full professor, not even an assistant professor) in computer science, and the usage is not related to expertise in computer science.--S Philbrick(Talk) 03:41, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • 3) Your objection to not having page # or quote for Mann was addressed in the article. Please note that I made the edit on 7 November, and you added a quote on 8 November, so it was not addressed when I raised it.
However, if your edit adding a quote, was supposed to provide evidence that McKitrick promotes climate denialism, it failed miserably. Mann claims some failed journal formed an opinion about the work by McKitrick. Mann is a respected source, but is it your contention that Mann believes McKitrick's article is the "death knell of human-caused climate change"? Of course not. He included that precisely to make fun of it. Do you disagree? Do you seriously think Mann was citing TCS because he thought they were accurate? I'm pretty sure Mann would blanch if someone thought he was endorsing TCS.--S Philbrick(Talk) 04:10, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • 4) Your objection to not having a quote from Lack was addressed in the article. Where? I see you added a quote from Lack to footnote 9, but it is footnote 4 which was used for the claim of denial.--S Philbrick(Talk) 04:15, 10 November 2015 (UTC) See discussion of Lack in the next section


My comments in the section above about the Lack reference were necessarily limited because I did not have access to the book and no quote was provided. I purchased a copy of the book, so I could see for myself whether the book supported the contention that McKitrick "authored works promoting climate change denial". I purchased the Kindle edition so I could search but it didn't allow search. (Seriously, what's the point of having electronic version of a book that does not allow search.).

I have reservations about whether this book qualifies as a reliable source. I hope it does, but I'll explain below why I doubt that it will qualify.

There's an intriguing sentence in the Preface, where the author provides a summary of his conclusions:

Whereas the majority of CTT's[Conservative Think Tanks] examined dispute the existence of a legitimate consensus and the majority of sceptical journalists focus on conspiracy series, the majority of scientists and economists equate environmentalism with a new religion.

(empahsis added) The sentence is a poster child for reasons why quoting out of context can be misleading.

As an interesting aside, I note the author quotes Wikipedia a lot. I'll leave it to others to decide whether I bring this up as a bug or a feature.

I found Steve McIntyre mentioned on page 8. No discussion of anything he has written on this page, so I'm at a loss to understand how his inclusion in a list supports the contention about his writings. Of course, if it was a list of people writing to promote climate science denialism, it would qualify, but the heading at the top of the list is "Skeptical Organizations and Individuals in the United States of America".

I accept that there are issues in labeling someone a skeptic, but there are also issues labeling someone a denialist. I understand that some editors insist, not just that the terms are synonymous, but that denialist is the better term, but Lack does not support that position.

Lack states (in the introduction)

Therefore, the term "climate change denier" is avoided herein because of the pejorative way it is often used, even though they would appear to be quite a variety of things that are actually denied (or questioned) by the sceptics.

This is a point I've made on more than one occasion. I wish I could now support it with a reliable source, but I noticed that this book is published by AuthorHouse, "a vanity publisher based in the United States". I don't think that qualifies as a reliable source.--S Philbrick(Talk) 17:02, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Jess: You're the one who inserted Lack and the blogs. Are you going to reply to anything that's been said above? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:18, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
After receiving no reply from Jess, I tried to remove Jess's cites to self-published sources today, citing WP:BLPSPS. Jess reverted me again. It's probably going to be difficult to restore the article to a policy-compliant state. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 17:33, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

"in the field of climate change"[edit]

Regarding this edit, I don't see the sources in any way supporting that Ross McKitrick publishes works in the field of climate change. I do see sources, in ample number, that state he has published works that dismiss, downplay, or reject climate science, characterized "climate change skepticism" or "climate change denial". What sources support this change?   — Jess· Δ 01:21, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

By the way, Sphilbrick, you made a change here, and are now edit warring ([33], [34]) to keep it in the article. Please don't do that.   — Jess· Δ 01:28, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Excuse me? I made a change, and started a discussion on this page. You reverted, without even joining the discussion. That is unacceptable. Please read about how the editing environment should be conducted. You make a chnage, and if it is reverted, you discuss before forcing it into the article again.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:31, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
You should review the article history again. This is your change we're discussing, and you are reverting to force it into the article. Again, what sources support your change?   — Jess· Δ 01:33, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I urge you to review the article history. It didn't say he promoted climate change denial until you added it. Several editors tried to remove it and you Reverting without discussion on the talk page. I'm just one more of the editors who saw the statement saw that it wasn't supported by any of the references and rewrote it with neutral wording. If you want to use the highly pejorative term "denial" you need to show that sources support it.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:38, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I made the edit due to the lack of sources supporting the term "climate denial". He doesn't reject climate science, he contributes to it. If you can find sources that claim he is a denier please provide them but short of that please stop the edit warring. We have a talk page to discuss changes. I am trying to discuss you are simply reverting without engaging in discussion. Please stop.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:34, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I provided exact quotes from every source. See my changes here. Again... what sources support your assertion that McKitrick "doesn't reject climate science, he contributes to it"?   — Jess· Δ 01:37, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Have you read the section above where I discussed, in detail, every single reference at the end of the sentence? I don't see any evidence you've read it, you didn't respond, and you write as if it were transparenet. Does it look like a ghost to you?--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:40, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Your primary complaint is that there weren't quotes, or the sources weren't accessible to you. I provided citation links, page numbers, and exact quotes. Did you read them? I see not one source you've provided that supports your assertion here. Can you please provide one?   — Jess· Δ 01:42, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
And regarding your threaded claim above, I did not add climate change denial. Up until October 27th, the article said McKitrick was "a climate change denialist". I changed it to say he published works promoting climate change denial, which is not only softer, but well supported by sources. Would you like to go back to "noted climate change denialist" before I made my change?   — Jess· Δ 01:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I saw this edit, but I see that isn't the first time the term denialist was included. It was removed because it wasn't sourced, which was a proper removal. You reverted the removal, but should not have.
It is now time to discuss what it should say. I started a discussion in the section above, which you've declined to contribute to, and instead simply edit war.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:54, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Check the history more carefully. Particularly my very next edit, and my subsequent addition of sources. If your only claim is that the sentence is unsourced, that's silly. It is. Can you please provide a source backing up your claim that McKitrick doesn't reject climate science, he contributes to it?   — Jess· Δ 01:59, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── BTW, I think this article is subject to 1RR which means your recent revert could lead to a block. If you undo it right now, I'll let it go. If I'm wrong about 1RR, I am right that I started a discussion on this plage which you ignored. Rude.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

1) This article is not subject to 1rr to my knowledge, 2) you have made more than 1 revert, yourself, 3) your most recent revert undid my edit already, so there's nothing to "self revert", 4) please stop ignoring my questions while arguing with me about how I'm ignoring you. I've pointed to exact sources and exact quotes, which you asked for. What sources support your change, and your assertions here?   — Jess· Δ 01:52, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Ignoring you? I wrote this entire section about your edit: Talk:Ross_McKitrick#Edit_to_lead. You haven't yet commented there. Is anything I said incorrect? It looks like you are ignoring me. Which cuts me to the quick. I'm offended :)--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:57, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
So I take it you're not going to provide a source. Your complaints in the section above that there are not quotes have been addressed, so I'm not sure what you'd like me to say up there. I gave you what you asked for in the article. Would you like me to copy/paste my comments here up there?   — Jess· Δ 02:01, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
In short, yes. That's where the discussion was started - it is confusing to fragment it.--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:21, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Jess says "Up until October 27th, the article said McKitrick was 'a climate change denialist'". In fact for five years (since 26 March 2010) it was "He is the co-author of Taken By Storm ...". On 6 October 2015 Banedon changed to "He is noted as a climate change denialist ...", on 6 October 2015 I put back to "He co-authored the book Taken By Storm ...", on 6 October 2015 Banedon reverted the reversion, on 27 October I put back to "He co-authored the book Taken By Storm ...", on 27 October Jess changed to "He has authored works promoting change denial ...", on 29 October Whenzler changed to "He has authored works questioning the conventional views ...", on 29 October Nomoskedasticity reverted that, on 29 October I put back to "He co-authored the book Taken By Storm ...", on 29 October Jess reverted that, on 30 October Whenzler reverted Nomoskedasticity, on 30 October Squiddy reverted Whenzler, on 3 November One Red Cent reverted Squiddy, and so on. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:37, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Peter, you should be aware that several of those editors are Scibaby socks, and were reverted per WP:LTA.
Spilbrick, you're saying you refuse to have a discussion with me unless it takes place in a section you started, instead of one I started? I'm really not sure what to say... you removed sourced content, claiming it was poorly sourced, yet you've failed to produce even one source to support your edit. I can't have a conversation with you about sources unless you provide some.   — Jess· Δ 15:52, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
... which makes absolutely no difference with respect to the "Up until October 27" claim. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:55, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
By the way my post was originally in a relevant place, but Jess moved it to here, then moved this reply. Jess, please, WP:TALK says: "Never edit or move someone's comment to change its meaning ...". Others, please: when you see something that looks out of context, check whether Jess shifted it. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 16:43, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
That's demonstrably untrue. You moved my comment here. My response to you and to Sphilbrick were intended as one reply, despite having made them in two consecutive edits. I do not want them broken up. Please don't add sigs to my comments and move them around. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 16:48, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Anyone can see by looking at the diff I supplied that what I said was true. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 17:02, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth, it is impolite, especially when you are wrong. I didn't refuse to do anything. You asked, I answered. The section above is where I brought up the the issue. That seems like a sensible place to discuss it. It was rude for you to make edits without even checking the talk page. I'll AGF that you missed it, but now that you know it exists, it is incredibly rude to suggest that we ought to discuss it in the section you started. In the section above, I explained my edit, and discussed each and every reference that was used purportedly to support the claim. I think it works best if you respond to my points. Why is that so difficult?--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:47, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
You answered? Great! I must have missed it! Where is the source that backs up your change, or your claim that McKitrick "doesn't reject climate science, he contributes to it"?   — Jess· Δ 16:53, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Talk:Ross_McKitrick#Edit_to_lead Do you have a magic computer? One that fails to display discussions of edits? Or is there some other reason you have multiple requets to discuss on the talk page and have yet to edit the section where I discussed the edit? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sphilbrick (talkcontribs)
I'm really trying, but I'm having trouble. I only see one link in your post there, and it's to another wikipedia article. Which part of your reply is the source I asked for?   — Jess· Δ 19:11, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Let's do this one thing at a time. I started the section above to address why I removed the word "denier" and I thank you for joining the discussion. I believe I responded regarding all of the sources although one is still open because I don't have access and there is no quote, but we are making progress. Once we settle whether the word should be out we can discuss the optimal wording.--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:50, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Lead edit[edit]

The lead had been changed to assert that McKittrick supports climate denial and that a book he co-authored is about climate denial but there is absolutely nothing supporting the claim that the book is about climate denial. I understand some editors are under the delusion that anybody who doesn't march in lockstep to some of the more outrageous claims in the mainstream media are labeled deniers but that doesn't make them deniers. If someone wishes to assert that the book is promoting climate denial they need to provide multiple solid references which trump any sources which might suggest it is simply a discussion of climate skepticism issues.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:28, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

I share the concern. This is no way to initiate the lead of an encyclopedia article. 03:11, 9 November 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ashaeria (talkcontribs)

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Reverting "denial" for "skeptic" in lead[edit]

Tillman (talk · contribs) recently reverted "climate change denier" to "skeptic" in the lead with the summary "Pejorative per WP:BLP."

My understanding that this editor has been sanctioned indefinitely with a topic-ban from making such changes to climate-change related topics. Perhaps he is testing the bounds of his ban, but this is clearly within that topic.

Climate change denial is not a pejorative, but an accurate descriptor. Skepticism is an inherent property of being scientific[35], following critical processes and inquiry, not cherry-picking data to support a particular argument. It is inaccurate to ascribe "skepticism" to McKitrick -- he is presenting a contrary position that denies the vast majority of scientific inquiry, and denying that such a consensus even exists. His background is as an economist, not a scientist; he does no fundamental research into climate science. He does, however, write on tendentious matters which are weighted to be pro-business and economic development, but have no validity otherwise. It might be pejorative (but true) to call him a "corporate shill" as part of his work for the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation -- but it isn't to call him a climate change denier.

Of additional note: the Associate Press issued a Stylebook guidance two years ago, which suggested that since "skeptic" and "denial" were controversial descriptions, "Our guidance is to use 'climate change doubters' or 'those who reject mainstream climate science' and to avoid the use of 'skeptics' or 'deniers.'" While I appreciate the AP's attempt to shape a more neutral term, "doubter" has only limited acceptance and their other suggestion ("those who reject mainstream...") is laughable. --HidariMigi (talk) 15:13, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps we can revert the the edit of 27 July 2017 by so that the sentence says neither "skeptic" nor "denier". Otherwise, you can see that the label is disputed by reading the previous threads in this talk page, regarding earlier attempts to add words with root "deni-" in the lead. So I believe that WP:BLPREQUESTRESTORE applies, that is, an editor who wishes to re-insert should acquire consensus first. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:02, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Agree with Gulutzan. And, for User:HidariMigi, ban doesn't apply to BLP violations, which this clearly is. Pete Tillman (talk) 20:58, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
  • As you're well aware, the ban is on any subject related to climate change ("broadly construed")-- and that includes biographies and making reversions. The Arbitration specifically addressed this issue:
3.1) Editors topic-banned by the Committee under this remedy are prohibited from (i) editing articles about Climate Change broadly construed and their talk pages; (ii) editing biographies of living people associated with Climate Change broadly construed and their talk pages;
You wouldn't be monitoring this article if the subject were not a climate-change "denying" economist. This is precisely the sort of editing that got you into hot water originally. Further discussions on this can and should be taken up on your talk page, because even editing on this page is considered a violation of your topic ban. --HidariMigi (talk) 14:37, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I have reverted the edit by Peter Gulutzan (talk) 23:04, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Likewise, the tag-team editing of both of the above editors shows a pattern of concerted effort to bypass sanctions on climate-change topics, which has been noted previously. Removing the description "climate change denial" from this article is clearly another such attempt, testing whether anyone is paying attention or is still around. (Such as, for example, Jess (talk · contribs) who appears to have stopped editing.) --HidariMigi (talk)
  • Yes, I've essentially stopped editing due to IRL circumstances, but thanks for the tag. Both these editors were well aware of our policies and the extent of the TB before I left, years ago. If this hasn't been put to an end by now, it's well past time to take further action.   — Jess· Δ 16:06, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
My one and only edit of this article in 2016-2017 was to remove from the lead "and climate skeptic", in effect partially reverting Tillman and partially accepting your complaint about use of that term (read the title of this thread). I believe that an objective observer would call that "compromise" rather than making such strong accusations about my conduct.
Now you have made another change to the lead, to say McKitrick has "authored works on climate change denial", which is nearly the same as what's in Jess's October 27 2015 change = "authored works promoting climate change denial", which was disputed in the earlier talk page discussion (mostly between Jess and another editor) and removed. Since you only pinged Jess and not the other editor, I must ask: have you read WP:CANVASS which says you should not be selective? And I must ask -- this is the second time I must bring it up -- have you read WP:BLPREQUESTRESTORE which says you must not re-insert disputed material without consensus? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 18:04, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
HidariMigi: If there's no reply, then I'll revert. If there's objection to reversion, then I'll start a new thread and ping the editors who discussed this in the earlier threads. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:26, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Threatening reversion by way of getting response is inappropriate and antithetical to Wikipedia norms. There's no requirement anyone reply to tendentious editors such as yourself. The body of evidence from your edit history shows that you are pushing a particular fringe viewpoint on climate science; and that your ongoing campaign is to obfuscate "climate change denial" by watering down "denial" and relabeling denialism with the euphemistic and oxymoronic "skeptic"[36] or removing the phrase entirely.[37]. So yes, that's an objection and repudiation of your methodology.--HidariMigi (talk) 23:53, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
Ignoring the accusations about my conduct, and realizing that some of my questions will not be answered, I acknowledge that there is an objection. So I will, as I said, start another thread and ping the editors who discussed this in the earlier threads. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 02:31, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

"authored works on climate change denial"[edit]

HidariMigi made another change to the lead, to say McKitrick has "authored works on climate change denial", which is nearly the same as what's in Jess's October 27 2015 change = "authored works promoting climate change denial", which was disputed in the earlier talk page discussion (mostly between Jess and S Philbrick) and removed. So I hereby ping S Philbrick and Jess (Ashaeria also participated but is now blocked).I believe that, as was true before, it's poorly sourced contentious material in a BLP, and re-insertion without consensus is not allowed. But I've delayed reverting in case there are other comments. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 02:40, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

  • I can simplify this discussion: does economist Ross McKitrick write articles, speak and present papers contrary to the scientific opinion on climate change? Or to use the previous terminology, does McKitrick believe that "global warming" caused by human activity is not real? The answer as taken from his own writing and reported on by others, is yes.
For starters, McKitrick disbelieves in the very concept of a scientific consensus -- and calls studies citing "97%" agreement a "con" or a fabrication".
McKitrick claimed at the 2011 Beijing Forum, "[R]ecent comparisons between model forecasts and actual observations show that the climate does not appear to be as sensitive to greenhouse gases as was earlier feared. Data from weather balloons indicates that the troposphere over the tropics has not warmed significantly since the late 1950s..." (Hint: He was wrong.)
In a 2014 article "'Climate Change Denier' Dismisses Label" (Calgary Herald), he is quoted, "The issue really is the extent to which you accept that greenhouse gas emissions are causing a major catastrophe...I would just say my reading of the evidence is that so far, it doesn’t appear to be a big issue."
Claiming that "there is a systematic bias towards overstating the risk of global warming", McKitick laments, "The drumbeat of alarmism never seems to stop, helped along by a media that seems incapable of elementary fact checking when environmental issues are raised."
In the same paper, he acknowledges his position is contrary to the mainstream, "[N]owadays to question any of the climate change narrative is to risk being attacked and denounced as a “denier” or an anti science industry shill."
However, in an article for the pro-business Frasier Institute, he hedges that even if there is any warming going on, it's actually a good thing: "Looking at the past 1000 years, it is apparent that warming is a better trend than cooling, and temperatures at contemporary levels are associated with general prosperity... By accounting for feasible adaptation to changing growing conditions, more recent studies have shown net gains in global agriculture and forestry due to climate warming."
McKitrick lauds himself as "an expert on global warming and environmental policy issues." He is an expert on global warming denial. Full stop. --HidariMigi (talk) 14:43, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
This is exactly what should be happening. There are differences of opinion regarding whether the best way to characterize McKitrick's work as climate change denial or some of the phrasing. Let's continue this discussion and reach a consensus before making a change to the article. (I have a major family event in progress over the next two days so may have limited time to contribute but I'll see what I can do) --S Philbrick(Talk) 15:45, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Let me start with why this is more than simply wordsmithing. I think we can all agree that there is a range of opinions on the subject. I'll start with one view of how to characterize that range although I'm sure that there are other ways to do this. Imagine a line and mark a point somewhere near the middle, representing people who largely agree with the opinions of the IPCC report. There are many people on this point or close thereby. There are some people who think the IPCC report understates the potential problems, and there are some people who think the report overstates the problem. Of those who think the IPCC report overstates the problem, there are some who raise legitimate questions about the conclusions in an effort to improve the science, exactly the way science is supposed to be conducted. There are also some who take a stronger view, either ignoring or denying that the science has any validity. (I'm focusing on the science, there's a whole other layer getting at the economics and proposed responses — I'm ignoring for simplicity but recognize that some of the more significant differences of opinion lie in that arena.)
We often characterize those who disagree with some aspects of the IPCC report as skeptics. In practice, this term is typically applied to those who think the issues are less significant than the IPCC report rather than those who disagree with the report because they think that you situation is more serious. We characterize those who events wholesale denial of the scientific conclusion as deniers.
So far, none of the above should be particularly controversial. What is becoming controversial, in my opinion is a penchant by some to use the term denier for people who are making a legitimate case for skeptical arguments.
So why should it matter whether an individual is placed within the skeptical portion of the range or in the denial portion of the range?
Because there are people characterizing deniers as murderers, and openly calling for the death.
If it were simply a case of a choice between two slightly different, benign terms, it wouldn't be a big deal, but when it is a distinction between a term that means a legitimate player in the scientific process, and a term that could get you killed, then it's worth making sure we get it right.--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:09, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
You're being over-dramatic (if you want to go full-on with this, you need to do it more generally, so not here). The more obvious answer to "why should it matter whether an individual is placed within the skeptical portion of the range or in the denial portion of the range" is because these do, indeed, represent the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable "skepticism"; the latter being effectively denial (note the quotes around skepticism, because obviously all good scientists are skeptical; he "skeptics" don't get to appropriate the word to describe their fringe behaviour). So, should wiki accurately describe people? Obviously, yes, to the best of our ability. So the question is are there good sources for the D-word William M. Connolley (talk) 16:52, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
We are in agreement that we ought to accurately describe people.
The test isn't whether we simply need to find some good sources for the D-word. You no doubt know that there are climate activists attempting to smear anyone who strays from orthodoxy as a denier. The issue isn't whether there are any such sources, but what the preponderance of sources say. If responsible, published reliable sources are close to unanimous, then the term can be used. If the usage is more nuanced, it is Wikipedia practice to reflect that nuance. My pair of links (and there are many more) I merely intended to emphasize that this is more important than many Wikipedia discussions about word usage.--S Philbrick(Talk) 17:27, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
"Denier" is a word to avoid and we should only use it in Wikipedia's voice if that's the mainstream viewpoint. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:55, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
No; it's in the "Words to watch" section. As usual, it should be used, if appropriate William M. Connolley (talk) 10:45, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
The re-introduction of "denialist" in the style guideline "Words to Watch" was part of the campaign to expunge "climate change denial" from WP by the self-same editors who have attempted to skew descriptive language about climate change towards that which legitimises their fringe beliefs. The consensus was to remove it from the list, in contrast to the closing statement by admin DDG. As pointed out by editor Ubikwit, "With regard to "climate change", the discussion reached consensus that the term was not controversial and its use policy-compliant. Only tendentious recourse to "WTW" has prevented the edit warring and talk page disruption from ending."--HidariMigi (talk) 19:44, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Going through HidariMigi's claims in order:
"McKitrick disbelieves in the very concept of a scientific consensus -- and calls studies citing "97%" agreement a "con" or a fabrication". There's no evidence that he said there's no such thing as a concept, the first supplied link isn't to something said by McKitrick, the second is to "the studies" and not what McKitrick called some studies, the third doesn't contain the word "fabrication".
"McKitrick claimed at the 2011 Beijing Forum ... (Hint: He was wrong)". McKitrick mentions troposphere in the tropics as of 2011, and HidariMigi says that was refuted by a blog that mentions troposphere in subtropics in 2014.
"In a 2014 article "'Climate Change Denier' Dismisses Label": So if he thinks denier is a bad label and failed to say climate change is a "major catastrophe", HidariMigi thinks it's okay to call him a denier? I prefer the standard set by Jimbo Wales: "Unless we have a firm reliable source quoting the person self-identifying as a "climate change denier" we should almost always avoid the term, due to the "Holocaust denier" connotations. I suppose there could be exceptions, but the sourcing would have to be really good, i.e. not just a throwaway remark by an intellectual opponent." (here).
"In the same paper, he acknowledges his position is contrary to the mainstream": Actually in the linked article he says "how mainstream alarmism has become". The only way that we can use that as evidence is if we say that alarmism and mainstream are the same thing.
"However, in an article for the pro-business Frasier Institute": (sic, actually it's the Fraser Institute): the linked article says "Over the past century, despite the observed warming, there is no upward trend in the frequency of storms" etc. Er, thanks for pointing to a paper where McKitrick says of course there's been warming.
"McKitrick lauds himself as "an expert on global warming and environmental policy issues.": No, the linked item says "Professor McKitrick is widely-cited in Canada and around the world as an expert on global warming and environmental policy issues."
"I have added a citation to the American Behavioral Scientist Journal article identifying Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick's book Taken By Storm amongst "Climate Change Denial Books".": Dunlap + Jacques say "The present study extends our earlier work by examining books espousing climate change denial per se published through 2010, including some examined in the prior study since they represent examples of environmental skepticism." -- I can't read this without concluding that they think denial and skepticism are synonyms. In any case the McKitrick book is just an item in a long list without any backup or explanation, so I'd give more weight to reviewers who used whole sentences ([38]). Peter Gulutzan (talk) 19:25, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

  • I see the above editor's Jimbo quote, and raise Wale's own "General Rule: "I think that almost any argument, on any topic, which has premises beginning with "Jimbo said..." is a pretty weak argument. Surely the merits of the proposal should be primary, not what I happen to think."
Much of the editor's argumentation is predicated on picking at pedantic nits: as is obvious from the context and the linked references that "concept of a scientific consensus" refers to climate change, not just any old general consensus. McKitrick denies there is such a scientific consensus-- he titled his editorial, "The Con in Consensus". For inexplicable reasons, Mr. Gulutzan was unable to find this at the end of the first paragraph: "[T]he 97 per cent claim is a fabrication." [emphasis mine.] (Oh, and pointing out my single-letter typo in the Fraser Institute, when not only is the context clear, but it was previously referenced correctly is the height of pedantry.)
Likewise, Mr. Gulutzan fails to get to the gist of what the small selection of quotes were about: establishing that McKitrick denies that global warming is real; that he is, in all ways, a climate change denier. Not a "mere" skeptic, which connotes some sort of minor disbelief of some of the evidence, McKitrick is a full-on denier of every element of (yes) the scientific consensus: he denies that warming is actually occurring, or claims it is so minor as to be negligible; he denies that anthropogenic carbon emissions are problematic; he denies that even if there were any warming, that it would be a bad thing; he even denies that he is a climate change denier, because, according to him, "a climate change denier would be somebody who thinks we’re still in the middle of an Ice Age and the continent is covered by a glacier."--HidariMigi (talk) 22:57, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
HidariMigi is correct that "fabrication" occurs in the article, I erred. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 00:38, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree with HidariMigi that argumentum ad Jimbo is not a silver bullet. Were it the only rebuttal, it would be weak tea, indeed. Yet the substance of the argument, that the use of a loaded term ought to be used with extreme caution, and arguable requires self-identification, is a good argument. Typically, deniers, such as creationists and flat-earther, are not just willing to so self-describe, but proud to do so. It is quite understandable why opponents would use the term "denier", it's intellectually lazy, and means one can claim victory without doing any heavy lifting. I don't think we should encourage such mudsmearing, without extremely strong supporting evidence, which is quite lacking. Note I am not taking a position as strong as Jimbo's, I can accept a label if adequately sourced, and by that I don't simply mean evidence that someone has called him a denier, but evidence that a proper definition of denying is utilized, and evidence is presented by experts demonstrating that the label applies.--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:40, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

I think we're done. There is no consensus for re-inserting "denial". On the other hand, there is no consensus that HidariMigi's edits were obvious violations of the policy about biographies of living persons. Unless others have seriously different impressions about this discussion, we can end it. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 16:48, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Section Break[edit]

Good god. HidariMigi, don't you have better things to do in your Real Life? Give this a break, OK? Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 20:15, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

Telling someone you disagree with to shut up is not the way to a solution. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:24, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
I both disagree with Tilman's request to give it a break, and Gadling's characterization. There's no need to ratchet up the rhetoric.--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:42, 26 September 2017 (UTC)