Sick green activists have been gloating over the death of Bob Carter, the heroic climate sceptic geologist who died of a heart attack earlier this week.
Here’s a selection of nasties from Australia, where Carter worked. (Knowing Bob I’m sure he would have been delighted at the response, on the principle that if you’re taking flak it means you’re over the target).
WOOO! FUCK YEAH! DO YOU FEEL THE WARMTH NOW YOURE IN HELL ARSEHOLE? https://t.co/jy26yeos9l
— connor.ser (@connor_ser) January 21, 2016
Well that’s good news. Now for that equally unqualified aerospace engineer who thinks it’s the Sun
— InCythera (@InCythera) January 21, 2016
@bencubby He’s no more dead than he has been at other times in the earth’s history.
— Erik Jensen (@ErikOJensen) January 21, 2016
— Bugpol (@bugspol) January 21, 2016
@bencubby I don’t care if there is a 99.5% probability of this being true; I demand total proof.
— Nick Firth (@nickalexfirth) January 21, 2016
But the most damaging one – to the green cause, that is – comes from this man, William Connolley.
Connolley is now little more than an embittered, vindictive, green blogger with no readership. But for a time this British, Oxford-educated green activist was arguably the most influential figure in the entire climate change industry.
A former scientist with the (notoriously alarmist) British Antarctic Survey, a friend and associate of Michael Mann’s, and a co-founder the RealClimate attack dog site, he enjoyed extraordinary power thanks to his privileged position as a senior editor at Wikipedia in charge – de facto – of all the entries that had anything to do with “global warming”.
Before his unmasking and partial disbarment as a Wikipedia editor five years ago, Connolley was the climate alarmist establishment’s Alger Hiss: a fanatical ideologue who had penetrated the heart of the system and seemed for a period to be quite untouchable. As Laurence Solomon first reported in the National Post:
All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.
The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed. The glorious Medieval Warm Period will remain in the history books, perhaps with an asterisk to describe how a band of zealots once tried to make it disappear.
You don’t need to be a great admirer or user of Wikipedia to understand why this is a problem. The point is that lots of people did and do use it as their go-to information source whose authority they more or less trust. Connolley abused this authority horribly, rewriting history and pouring poison into everything he touched with his leprous green hand.
He didn’t just engage in lies about the science but also in hatchet jobs on leading sceptics. As Solomon once noted:
Connolley is not only a big shot on Wikipedia, he’s a big shot at Wikipedia — an Administrator with unusual editorial clout. Using that clout, this 40-something scientist of minor relevance gets to tear down scientists of great accomplishment. Because Wikipedia has become the single biggest reference source in the world, and global warming is one of the most sought after subjects, the ability to control information on Wikipedia by taking down authoritative scientists is no trifling matter.
One such scientist is Fred Singer, the First Director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service, the recipient of a White House commendation for his early design of space satellites; the recipient of a NASA commendation for research on particle clouds — in short, a scientist with dazzling achievements who is everything Connolley is not. Under Connolley’s supervision, Singer is relentlessly smeared, and has been for years, as a kook who believes in Martians and a hack in the pay of the oil industry. When a smear is inadequate, or when a fair-minded Wikipedian tries to correct a smear, Connolley and his cohorts are there to widen the smear or remove the correction, often rebuking the Wikipedian in the process.
Though Connolley’s influence has since waned, the damage is already done. His propaganda heyday was between around 2003 and 2009 – before Climategate blew the scam open – when fewer sceptical scientists were prepared to stick their head above the parapet and when, consequently, there was far less resistance to the enlargement of the green blob which now costs the global economy $1.5 trillion.
Connolley himself may have been a squalid little nobody: a character from a Graham Greene novel; the sort of person who, had he been at Cambridge in the right era, would have joined Philby, Burgess and McLean in selling his country’s secrets to the Soviets. But for a period – thanks the weakness inherent in Wikipedia’s editing system which renders it vulnerable to takeover by entryist ideologues like Connolley – that nobody became a somebody with consequences we are ruing to this day.
But the most interesting part of the story, which has yet to emerge and quite possibly never will, is the question of who is paying Connolley – and people like Connolley – to engage in all this frenetic editing, astroturfing and sock puppetry.
It’s worth re-visiting a blog that Greeniewatch did on the subject back in 2010 when Connolley was averaging 56 to 60 Wikipedia edits a day, almost always on topics to do with climate change. So too were three of his fellow editors.
That’s a lot of time and a lot of effort to do pro bono, even if you’re a green fanatic. Greeniewatch suspects powerful hedge funds. That would be my guess too. Remember, climate change is the most expensive scam in the history of the world: a lot of very unpleasant, very cynical people have made an awful lot of money skimming off their share of that $1.5 trillion.
In the context of the big players, Connolley is just a useful idiot, a forgettable piece of lowlife. Still I’m very grateful to him for that cheap, nasty attack on my old friend Bob Carter. It’s always helpful when your enemy shows his true puke-tinged colours.