Tol creates new IPCC wiki – anyone can take part

Dr. Richard Tol writes:

One of the ideas that came out of the AR4 debacle was to create an IPCC wiki: Put the entire report online for people to comment and amend as needed. Wikis have two advantages:

  1. Anyone can take part
  2. Updates can be as frequent as required

Of course, the IPCC did not follow this suggestion. So I made a start.

I would proceed as follows:

  1. Upload the Fifth Assessment Report, one section per page
  2. Create links within the report
  3. Create links to the underlying literature
  4. Audit the agreement between IPCC report and literature
  5. Audit the quality and representativeness of the authors
  6. Amend the report with new findings

However, this is a wiki. If you want to use it to audit the responses to the review comments, contrast IPCC to NIPCC, or do whatever, that is perfectly fine. The second contributor, Donna Laframboise, started by adding links between IPCC authors and environmental organizations. I had not thought of that, but it is very relevant of course.

Wikis operate on the basis of a simple principle: If you want something done, do it.

The Fifth Assessment Report is long and complicated. Uploading it all will take many hours — and a correspondingly greater effort would be required if drafts and previous reports are added too.

It is probably worth it, though, if you focus on your pet peeve.

I picked Wikia. It is a user-friendly environment. Anyone can sign up, anonymously if they so want. Wikia uses the same syntax as Wikipedia. There are additional software bits that can be added if this takes off. Maps is one example. Semantics is another, which would automate diagnostic tests and uncover hidden links.

Let’s see where this ends.

See it here: http://ipcc.wikia.com/wiki/IPCC_Wiki

Donna Laframboise also has some words on this http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2014/05/11/ipcc-wiki-launched-volunteers-needed/

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55 thoughts on “Tol creates new IPCC wiki – anyone can take part

  1. “The second contributor, Donna Laframboise, started by adding links between IPCC authors and environmental organizations. I had not thought of that, but it is very relevant of course.”

    Excellent idea.

  2. “Let’s see where this ends.”

    Wiki’s don’t end, they just start. ;)

    Great project.

  3. It’s obvious that stuff like this and the recent Obama climate report be subjected to public scrutiny.
    The big problem has always been the fact that the IPCC and the WH have been able to
    put massive documents out there without having to pass thru any kind of critical review,
    and the mainstream media is too dumb/disinterested to provide any critical viewpoint.
    Science is very much like a judicial system – you need debate from all sides, not just from the prosecutor or from the defense.

  4. Watch out for that William Connelly guy changing all the facts to suit himself. !

    Once started you are going to have to keep a really good eye on who is editing what.

  5. This is the final report? So the official changes to make the science conform are also of interest.

  6. So long as the editors remain in control, and so long as they are academically rigorous this could be a good thing. If it winds up being anything like Wikipedia on the topic, it is a waste of time.

  7. Upload the Fifth Assessment report? All 9000 pages of it? I would not know where to begin using it. Can I suggest something that is more approachable? For most of us we find out what is in the report by reading the summary for policymakers. I think that a parallel summary that includes an unbiased treatment of the actual contents would be of use. Similarly, independent summaries of sections with key references included would really help us zero in on parts of the report we would want to concentrate upon.

  8. Upload the Fifth Assessment report? All 9000 pages of it?

    I have to second this. I have (for example) Chapter 9 close at hand, and would cheerfully upload it ALL AT ONCE for reference and comment on it in extreme detail, but surely chapter granularity is adequate. Also, one has to be able to upload whole PDFs, not individual pages, or countless errors will be introduced and will propagate. AR5 is what it is — there is a difference between uploading its objective content and discussing it. Even if one wanted to be able to amend it or make it a dynamic document, a real typesetting program and markup source would be needed (e.g. latex) — not a wiki “editor” interface — if one wanted to be able to actively publish any particular snapshot of it as a “final” result (as of thus and such a date).

    rgb

  9. Dr. Tol:
    Conceivably, we could re-write sections removing all of the weasel words and false assertions leaving science and solid clear attributions yet stripping out reams of wandering sentences and unclear musings?

    Taking the AR5 Ch1 (151) Executive Summary

    “Human activities are continuing to affect the Earth’s energy budget by changing the emissions and resulting atmospheric concentrations of radiatively important gases and aerosols and by changing land surface properties. Previous assessments have already shown through multiple lines of evidence that the climate is changing across our planet, largely as a result of human activities. The most compelling evidence of climate change derives from observations of the atmosphere, land, oceans and cryosphere. Unequivocal evidence from in situ observations and ice core records shows that the atmospheric concentrations of important greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) have increased over the last few centuries. {1.2.2, 1.2.3}”

    Could (should) be rewritten as:

    “Previous IPCC assessments amply demonstrate the incredible complexity of Earth’s atmosphere. Human activities affect Earth’s energy budget with increasing atmospheric concentrations of radiatively important gases, aerosols and by changing land surface properties. by Researchers attempts to simulate both current and future Earth’s climate are not yet successful. Evidence from in situ observations and ice core records shows that while the atmospheric concentrations of important greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) have increased over the last few centuries; modeling Earth’s climate successfully requires greater understanding of all Earth’s climate components and processes.{1.2.2, 1.2.3} ”

  10. Wiki always ends up in controlling the narrative. It becomes the iron will of whomever controls the page, and a poo-slinging affair.

  11. Also, since it is about the IPCC they will insist (demand) control over their public information.

  12. Just documenting the funding sources and author organization affiliations is a great service.

  13. Arno Arrak says:
    May 11, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    “Upload the Fifth Assessment report? All 9000 pages of it? I would not know where to begin using it. Can I suggest something that is more approachable? For most of us we find out what is in the report by reading the summary for policymakers.”

    Yeah Arno, this is exactly why it is necessary. The SFP is not a reasonable summary of whatever science there is in the main document but rather a thing hashed over by politicians. But you probably knew that. The point in all this is that 9000 people can handle a page each. Indeed, with all the bibliography and CVs we need maybe another swack of volunteers – hey there are a lot of people out there.

    Regarding Wm Connolley, he should be banned for a start. There will be probably others whose agenda is to try to wreck this as they know that people knowing the details would kill the whole corrupt movement CO2 political party.

  14. Are there any copyright issues with explicitly copying sections of AR5 into the Wiki. I notice there are currently links and images.

  15. As an experienced wikipedia edtitor I caution you to be very aware of POV pushers with a lot of spare time. I predict large scale vanalism by envorinmentalists with an agenda, just like wikipedia.

    This is a full time job, I hope that you know what you are embarking on.

  16. I’ve just been onto the wiki. It took me ages to work out how I “sign up” to this wiki, by which time the adverts had so got on my nerves (as they hide the content without being able to be shut down), that I’ve decided I will probably not be contributing.

    I will instead suggest an advert free version using mediawiki.

  17. Hans Erren says:
    May 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    why don’t you have an edit button

    We did, for a short while. Read twice, post once… :)

  18. Is there any editorial control over the Wiki? For example – I think the author CVs will be very useful. However, will authors be able to delete their CVs?

  19. Just one example of how Wiki have utterly corrupted the facts, regarding the Australian drought of the early 2000′s

    The 2000s drought in Australia, also known as the Millennium drought, is said by some to be the worst recorded since settlement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000s_Australian_drought#cite_note-worst-1

    The reality is that droughts in Australia were more common, longer lasting and intense for most of the 20thC.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/australias-droughts-decreasing-contrary-to-warmists-claims/

    I wonder what influence Connolly had over these false claims?

  20. Isn’t this just going to end up with the sort of shambles that Wikipedia’s climate pages display with edits and counter-edits, and not just from the AGW side – what are you going to do if the “slayers” and “cyclomaniacs” start loading their nonsense in?

  21. Scottish Sceptic writes:

    I’ve just been onto the wiki. It took me ages to work out how I “sign up” to this wiki, by which time the adverts had so got on my nerves (as they hide the content without being able to be shut down), that I’ve decided I will probably not be contributing.

    I will instead suggest an advert free version using mediawiki.

    Weird… I registered in less than 2 minutes by clicking the sign-up button.
    You should start using an ad-blocker.

  22. Gregory says: “Wiki always ends up in controlling the narrative. It becomes the iron will of whomever controls the page, and a poo-slinging affair.

    As I found out at Wikipedia, they called it a “science” article – but it was called “science” but only in the sense that that small group of academics referred to as “scientists” could ever have their views quoted.

    So, e.g. when I tried to start a new section some time around 2007 on “the pause”, whilst I could prove that the climate had paused, and I could show that this was being actively discussed in the media by reliable sources (for the rest of wikipedia) because the [academic?] editors who edited wikipedia said that only scientists [i.e. those editors] could be quoted – despite the overwhelming scientific evidence – it was not deemed “science”.

    So, if there is one thing I would change it is this: that assertions have to be supported by facts, and irrespective of the number who disagree, if one should have the facts to support their edits, then their edits should be included no matter howmany have opinions to the contrary.

    In other words facts trump opinion and “poo-slinging”.

  23. Donna owns the IPCC. She has been documenting the extensive links between advocates and scientists with advocacy group connections INSIDE the IPCC. It’s quite shocking as to the scale. I do believe it’s one of the reasons for the Himalayan 2035 meltdown debacle. There is also Greenpeace and a host of other infiltrators.

    Nofrakkingconsensus
    How the WWF Infiltrated the IPCC – Part 1

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/09/23/how-the-wwf-infiltrated-the-ipcc-%E2%80%93-part-1/

    How the WWF Infiltrated the IPCC – Part 2

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/09/26/how-the-wwf-infiltrated-the-ipcc-part-2/

  24. Daniel G. says:
    Weird… I registered in less than 2 minutes by clicking the sign-up button.
    You should start using an ad-blocker.

    As I have my own advertising sites I know that adverts are an important source of income for many sites including this one and by blocking them you are getting content for free which someone like Anthony works damned hard to produce.

    Producing good websites costs money – and someone has to pay for it and if the only websites you want to see are those paid for by all those rich green government-funded capitalists shoving their green nonsense down our throats – then fine – get an ad blocker,

    However, then you get idiotic sites like this wiki which go way way over the top and even I am forced to agree that I cannot possibly use their site with their level of adverts. So it is a stark choice between getting an ad-blocker or not using the site.

    So, let’s examine those two:
    1. Getting an ad blocker – you then stop every site including mine and Anthony’s getting revenue. The result is that websites have to get more revenue from less users which means even more intrusive ads – meaning even more get ad blockers, meaning sites like Anthony might have a massive hit count, but almost no money to show – so eventually what choice do they have but to give up.

    2. You stop using that particular site – they loose revenue, they go out of business and a better behaved and less greedy site steps in to fill the gap.

    Which do you prefer?

  25. Scottish Sceptic writes:

    As I have my own advertising sites I know that adverts are an important source of income for many sites including this one and by blocking them you are getting content for free which someone like Anthony works damned hard to produce.

    Producing good websites costs money – and someone has to pay for it and if the only websites you want to see are those paid for by all those rich green government-funded capitalists shoving their green nonsense down our throats – then fine – get an ad blocker,

    However, then you get idiotic sites like this wiki which go way way over the top and even I am forced to agree that I cannot possibly use their site with their level of adverts. So it is a stark choice between getting an ad-blocker or not using the site.

    So, let’s examine those two:
    1. Getting an ad blocker – you then stop every site including mine and Anthony’s getting revenue. The result is that websites have to get more revenue from less users which means even more intrusive ads – meaning even more get ad blockers, meaning sites like Anthony might have a massive hit count, but almost no money to show – so eventually what choice do they have but to give up.

    2. You stop using that particular site – they loose revenue, they go out of business and a better behaved and less greedy site steps in to fill the gap.

    Which do you prefer?

    Ad-blockers are configurable. You can create create rules to specifically target some sources, and create exceptions.

    By the way, the marginal effect of adblocking (even if I weren’t adjusting my configurations, because I am) is close to zero. You are exaggerating.

  26. rgbatduke says:

    >>Upload the Fifth Assessment report? All 9000 pages of it?

    >I have to second this. I have (for example) Chapter 9 close at hand, and would cheerfully upload it ALL AT ONCE for reference and comment on it in extreme detail, but surely chapter granularity is adequate.

    Seconded and thanks to the organisers if this important approach to getting a substantive review. Policy should be informed by the facts, not a pre-cooked agenda.

    Don’t worry about the ‘Connollys’. This is not about personalities, it is about science. It is reasonable to block disruptors. For that reason I doubt the ‘anonymous’ edits rule will last because of the….you know what I mean.

  27. Went there, saw that.

    First question arising:

    Does the albedo of plant leaves change with temperature? There is no mechanism shown in the usual ‘GHG effect’ chart http://ipcc.wikia.com/wiki/Special:NewFiles?file=WGI_AR5_Fig1-1.jpg turning temperature or LWR into a change in SWR at the top. One way this might be happening is if there is a change in albedo (lightening in colour) as plant leaves get hotter in the sun during the day.

    Forests are very large. If there is a 2 W/m^2 change in albedo with temperature, for example, then there is a variable that affects what is shown only as “LWR emitted from surface” over the cartoon forest, Suppose the difference was 20 Watts. A dark green leaf changing to a paler shade has a very different absorption coefficient, the balance being rejected as SWR.

    Combined with the cloud and thunderstorm thermostat we find a powerful self-regulating mechanism.

  28. Hans Erren says:
    May 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    > why don’t you have an edit button

    WUWT uses a free service of WordPress. He could have edit features if he ran a WordPress service on systems he controls, but there are very good reasons not to do that.
    The free service doesn’t provide one.

    I use “It’s All Text” for big comments, I think I have a link to that at my Guide to WUWT on the right side nav bar.

  29. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 11, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    So, let’s examine those two:
    1. Getting an ad blocker – ….

    2. You stop using that particular site – they loose revenue, they go out of business and a better behaved and less greedy site steps in to fill the gap….

    Which do you prefer?

    I have a compromise – I use Flashblock (I despise dynamic ad images and wouldn’t buy from them anyway). I configure Firefox to display dynamics once. That’s a big hassle for blink images and other dynamic GIFs in WUWT posts, but it’s a big help in taming the ads.

  30. Good idea. Bad wiki! It is white on gray. I give up already. I cannot read this stuff without eyestrain. I can and should participate. I refuse to do so if not black on white. Sorry.

  31. Excellent idea for the state-of-the-science to be developed and updated continuously, not in silly set-piece battles a few months before arbitrary (and no doubt politically influenced) deadlines.

    Kick politicians and political agendas out of science.

  32. When this view, I have to give a general assessment that characterizes such comprehensiveness related to the study of climate change and weather conditions. We have a one proverb that says, “where many grandmothers, children have a hernia.” So here there are too many “grandmother”.
    Science, like most individuals, serving all means, even illogical, to prove something to the benefit of their policies and not for the benefit of science and mankind .. This effort to address the millennium puzzle about the true causes of climate change on our planet, will never lead to a real solution. The causes of climate change, by all logic, can not be effect ofhuman activity. For this there is a lot of evidence, other than political.
    I saw the budgets for these studies in 2011, 2012, 2013 i2014 year, and it is a miracle that no one was in so much money found real evidence.
    I offer forums such as: USGCRP and NSF, I’ll give you an idea and true causes of climate change for all time, for a lot less money than they spend with no real results. Make a deal and everything will be fine. Will not be known for several months. This is not to irritate anyone, because it is really illogical to so many people and organizations are looking for solutions and so spend money without a solution.
    Now a serious question: How would America be willing to pay for a solution to this problem.
    Where should I contact to arrange for the solution of the true causes of climate change on all the planets, not only in our. With what I have, can be explained almost all phenomena in the sun. These phenomena are only indicators of climate change, reconnection of magnetic poles of the sun, maybe an earthquake (to be checked).
    Waiting for a call to solve this so far the most important issue humanity.

  33. While this has useful and appealing potential, Wikipedia is well – but not widely – known to be a place where controllers and editors and other gatekeepers destroy its crowdsourced balance. Then it becomes a propaganda tool. And it happens to controversial topics whenever people with too much times hold agendas supporting vested interests.

    “Noble Cause” corruption at its finest!

    Lacking adequate controls, I vote with Scotish Skeptic – “I’ve decided I will probably not be contributing.” There are better things to do – for instance, to crowdsource the filling out of the Wiki pages of climate-related CAGW-skeptical scientists who have not yet been smeared into Martian-believing nut jobs, like Fred Singer has been.

  34. IPCC Wiki
    s/b
    IPCC AR5 Wiki Project

    IMO, IPCC Wiki misrepresents the project as it implies the wiki is endorsed by the IPCC.

    Why not simply match the look of Wikipedia which is very readable. I’d be happy to help in this regard if you need it.

  35. Spoke to soon, the landing page changed from a dark background to a more readable format when I joined the wiki.

  36. “Let’s see where this ends.”

    LOL, where to begin?

    Questions:
    - do you want an OCR of the pdf chapters so text can be edited on the wiki or pdfs so the pages can’t be edited without replacing the chapter or page pdf?
    - is the IPCC willing to give us the text version of the assessment reports?
    - if yes to OCR, do you want the content to be structured using xml to make a TOC, searches, etc. easier?
    - if yes to xml, which DTD would you prefer?
    - obvious question, is the AR5 report copyrighted material and or do we have permission to post it?
    - does any of the AR5 artwork require rights permission from the authors?
    - If post pdfs so the content can’t be edited online, would you like single page pdfs posted by chapter?

  37. Dr. Tol,
    IMO, the biggest question relates to standards and practices.

    how to ensure assessment authors are treated with proper respect and to ensure the project doesn’t spin into failure before it gets off the ground.

    Any suggestions?

  38. YIKES! This isn’t a good idea without express permission from the UN?

    United Nations Partners on Climate Change

    http://www.un.org/climatechange/blog/category/ipcc/

    excerpts
    Copyright United Nations 2014
    “All rights reserved.
    None of the materials provided on this web site may be used, reproduced or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or the use of any information storage and retrieval system, except as provided for in the Terms and Conditions of Use of United Nations Web Sites, without permission in writing from the publisher.

    News-related material can be used as long as the appropriate credit is given and the United Nations is advised.



    To request such permission or for further enquires, please visit: https://unp.un.org/rights.aspx.”

    Terms and Conditions

    http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/terms/

    United Nations’ Privacy Notice

    http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/privacy/

    “By accessing this site, certain information about the User, such as Internet protocol (IP) addresses, navigation through the Site, the software used and the time spent, along with other similar information, will be stored on United Nations servers. These will not specifically identify the User. The information will be used internally only for web site traffic analysis. If the User provides unique identifying information, such as name, address and other information on forms stored on this Site, such information will be used only for statistical purposes and will not be published for general access. The United Nations, however, assumes no responsibility for the security of this information.”

  39. I was pretty sure there would be that old ‘reproduction’ problem. Quotes, yes.

    However, you don’t have to live with ‘fair use’ common law. Write and ask them for permission to make a copy. A Wiki on it is sure to bring publicity and maybe even generate sales.

    Another possibility is link to the chapters on the UN website, then have discussion pieces on each page (if you wish) at the wiki. But the document people read each time should be located at the UN.

  40. A noble thought, Richard. The good news: it will be like Wikipedia. The bad news: will be like Wikipedia. But, as the famous philosopher, Homer Simpson, once said: “Don’t you worry about wikipedia. We’ll change it when we get home. We’ll change a lot of things…”

  41. Scottish Sceptic says:

    1. Getting an ad blocker – you then stop every site including mine and Anthony’s getting revenue. [...]

    2. You stop using that particular site – they loose revenue, they go out of business and a better behaved and less greedy site steps in to fill the gap.

    Which do you prefer?

    3. AdBlock, which can be configured to allow ads on sites that I want to support.

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