'Tabloid climatology' may be the real reason for the Marcel Leroux – William Connolley Wikipedia dustup

As WUWT readers know, a climatologist who bucked the consensus trend had his profile summarily deleted at Wikipedia thanks to the William Connolley effect as outlined in “Death by Stoat“. It appears that Connolley had to justify his own guilty feelings on the issue by posting an explanation on his own blog titled “Death of a Salesman”. I’m only a bystander in all this, but the Wikipedia deletion did pique my interest and I went looking for some references about Leroux simply out of curiosity over “what do this guy do/not do to merit this”? I think I found the answer; Connolley and his friends simply didn’t like the stinging criticisms Leroux made and sought ways to diminish them. I think WMC and friends have now invoked the Streisand effect instead.

We have a new (but coined long ago) term thanks to a review of Leroux’s book. The reviewer coined the phrase: “Tabloid climatology”.  Pierre Gosselin touched on the label last year as well. This is an excerpt from his book, as documented by Thayer Watkins at San Jose State University, reposted below:

==============================================

The Critique of Tabloid Climatology by Marcel Leroux

Marcel Leroux, a French climatologist, has written a very interesting and valuable exposé of the climatology that has come to dominate the attention of the media and government policy makers in this era of global warming hysteria. Leroux is an empirical climatologist and thus a real climatology who is a professor at a university in France and the head of a climatological research institute. His book is entitled in translation Global Warming — Myth or Reality? : The Erring Ways of Climatology.

Leroux is outraged at what has happened to the respectable field of climatology in the past twenty years since the U.S. federal government started pouring about a billion dollars a year into global warming research. This level of funding provided the climate modelers each with several million dollars a year and what the U.S. government got was tabloid climatology because those research grants were dependent upon producing sensationalistic, apocalyptic pronouncements. The tabloids do not have to exaggerate these sensationalistic pronouncement; they only have to assert that the apocalyse is coming next summer instead of fifty years in the future.

Leroux’s book is solid empirical climatology but in the introduction he allows himself to express his outrage in some fine rhetoric. For example, he says

Recent happenings in the field of climatology give cause for complaint, as do the approaches of some of its practioners, especially those who, lacking any real qualification, claim to belong to the climatological community, but give it an erroneous image. It is galling to see the media ‘hype’ which ensues every time a meeting of the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] is announced, every time an extra drop of rain falls here, or fails to fall there, or every time a door slams because the wind is blowing a bit more strongly than is ‘normal’. How irksome it is to hear the simplistic slogans, and sometimes barefaced lies, churned out yet again; to have to put up with the Diktat of an ‘official line’ and the parroted pronouncements of the ‘climatically correct’, numbing all reflection. It becomes over more difficult to stomach the kind of well-intentioned naïvety or foolishness which, through the medium of tearful reportage, tugs at our heart strings with tales of doomed polar bears, or islanders waiting for the water to lap around their ankles …Hardly a week goes by without some new ‘scoop’ of this nature filling our screens and the pages of our newspapers. ‘Global warming’, caused by the ‘greenhouse effect’, is our fault, just like everything else, and the message/slogan/misinformation becomes ever more simplistic, ever cruder! It could not be simpler: if the rain falls or drought strikes; if the wind blows a gale or there is none at all; whether it’s heat or hard frost; it’s all ‘because of the greenhouse effect’, and we are to blame! An easy argument but stupid! The Fourth Report of the IPCC might just as well decree the suppression of all climatological textbooks, and replace them in our schools and universities with its press communiqués!

Leroux is not impressed with the output of the IPCC:

We do have to resort to complicated models to tell us that an increase in CO2 brings about, theoretically, an increase in temperature, a simple of rule of thumb, a ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculation, will suffice.

Leroux might have noted that the IPCC managed to leave out all negative feedback effects while included the positive feedback ones. It also manages to justify leaving out dissident opinions. After referring to an example of the suppression of alternate climatological views by a French government official, Leroux says

This process of the elimination of opponents, which is general at all climatic conferences, has been denounced, notably at an IPCC meeting at the Moscow Academy of Sciences in July 2004. Some British scientists, great proponents of the official doctrine, committed ‘intellectual terrorism’ by excluding ‘climato-skeptics’ from the proceedings even though they were internationally recognized: modeller R. Lindzen, entomologist P. Reiter, oceanographer N.-A. Mörner and meteorologist R. Khandehar. One of the principal advisors to the Russian government, A. Illinarinov, called it ‘totalitarian ideology’! And is not the idea of censorship unacceptable in so-called democratic regimes?

Because Leroux knows that the standard ploy of the tabloid climatologists and the religio-political movement they have spawned is to assert that any critic is either a crackpot or in the pay of the oil companies or both. He therefore gives some personal information that ordinary would not appear in a scholarly work. As he puts it:

I was going to omit certain facts, but the passionate nature of the debate suggests that they be mentioned. [I am] Doubly a doctor, from University and from the state, in Climatology, I am a member of the Société Météorologique de France and the American Meteorological Society. As a Professor of Climatology, my employer is the French Republic, which has adopted the official religion of ‘climate change’, to which I do not adhere. I am not beholden to any ‘slush fund’, and my Laboratoire de Climatologique, Risques, Environment (LCRE), in spite of its links with the Centre National de la Rechererche Scientifique (CNRS), has never received any funding from this state institution, certainly by reason of heresy. I am neither a militant nor an armchair ‘eco-warrior’, but I live in the countryside, near the littlel village of Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence, on the ‘Grand Site Sainte Victoire’ (immortalized by the painter Paul Cézanne), a listed and protected area of mountains and wild forests. I grow vegetables in my (small) ‘organic’ kitchen garden. I am naturally inclined to question things, and I am basically a Cartesian, living by Réne Descartes’ primary precept of ‘never assuming anything to be true which I did not know evidently to be such’ (Discours de la Méthode, 1637).

==============================================

I think WMC and his friends just didn’t like this critique, and so decided that Leroux must be marginalized. After being marginalized (and dead, unable to defend himself) they made a case for deletion which now appears to be backfiring on them because I have no doubt now that this will be picked up elsewhere.

The deleted Wikipedia page about Leroux continues existence at Lucy Skywalker’s page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lucy_Skywalker/Marcel_Leroux.

You can also get Leroux’s book from Amazon here, but be prepared for sticker shock. Perhaps his estate will find a second publisher so more people can read it.

We also have WMC’s efforts to thank for helping bring ‘Tabloid climatology’ to the forefront of the discussion. Perhaps someone can attribute it’s soon to be widespread use to him on WMC’s Wikipedia page.

Better yet, ask the people who run Wikipedia why WMC was allowed to return after being banned. Nothing has changed and he’s still acting as a self righteous gatekeeper, just as before.

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“You can also get Leroux’s book from Amazon here, but be prepared for sticker shock. Perhaps his estate will find a second publisher so more people can read it.”
Curiously, when I go to Amazon and click to look inside, I seem to be able to read the contents *of the entire book!* I don’t know if that’s determined by the publisher, a mistake on Amazon’s part, or just a glitch in the software that will probably never be repeated, but if other people can see this also, it would appear there’s no need for a second publisher.

Oh, crackers! Never mind, there *are* some pages missing from the preview. But it’s surprising how much is there for free.

pat

Warmists have infected every area of Wikipedia. Ready to pounce on anything and use it as confirmation if CAGW.
I do note that it is still with the Antarctica is melting and therefore that proves CAGW instead of this week’s meme: we told you that ice would grow in Antarctica because of AGW.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctica#Effects_of_global_warming

beesaman

Why do these Warmists always come across as odious, thin skinned, despotic creatures with risible social graces, particularly in their online personas?

jorgekafkazar

Wankerpedia still has its little circle of climate jerks.

Jimmy Haigh

beesaman says:
October 11, 2012 at 9:17 am
Because that is exactly what they are.

Thayer Watkins (@San Jose State University),
Your article on Leroux’s book was very enlightening.
Assuming you are associated with SJ State, do you do outreach to the Santa Clara County community on such topics? The reason I am asking is that I live in San Jose and am interested in any outreach you have.
John

Billy Liar

Apparently WMC is holding 2 used copies of the book and selling them on Amazon Marketplace!

MikeN

Why does William Connolley merit a Wikipedia page?

Marcel Leroux is an important figure who has become less fashionable over the years, perhaps because of the sort of antics described here. I recently quoted Leroux in my recent article as follows;
“Global’ records are much less reliable than local ones due to the manner in which they are assembled, and the reality of a meaningful single global temperature is the subject of much debate, as observed by French climatologist Marcel Leroux. ‘Yet, they know very well that there is not one “global” climate, but a large variety of climates, depending on latitude, geographic conditions, and atmospheric dynamics.’ (18)
Brown and Jones commented on the many instances of local cooling trends, seemingly recording different- and cooling- climates to that observed in the global – and warming- record (19)”
http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/
Leroux is well worth exploring and makes many –what should be obvious-points about the climate.
tonyb

Ged

If you look at the list of french scientists. Why aren’t people like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Jouzel being deleted when they have a much smaller article with only 1 reference? Maybe someone should go through and flag all these smaller, less referenced (and less notable) articles on french scientists for deletion. If they are going to go after one, why not the full gander? Apply the rules equally.

P Wilson

Wikipedia has a reputation as being incomplete and biased.
It isn’t exactly what you would call an authoritative web-pedia. I’m sure Mr Connolley is quite at home editing within.

The deleted Wikipedia page about Leroux continues existence at Lucy Skywalker’s page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lucy_Skywalker/Marcel_Leroux.

Lucy Skywalker, may the Force by with you!
“Try not. Do or do not!! There is no try.” – Yoda.
Lucy, you DID.

Ged

Heck, what about this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tienne_Juillard . It is literally one sentence, no reference, and no other articles link to it. Someone should flag that for deletion, for sure.
Hopefully, if enough of this “house cleaning” is done, WP will wake up and notice how ridiculous things are getting. We want more information, the more the better, deleting important info is a loss for the public. But I’m sure certain individuals know that, and are abusing that fact on purpose.

Interesting Factoid. When I google “Marcel_Leroux”
This WUWT page is #3.
Lucy Skywalker’s page is #8.
Amazon page for his book is #7.
Now Google is known for custimization of search results. So take this with a grain of salt.

DirkH

Ged says:
October 11, 2012 at 9:54 am
“Hopefully, if enough of this “house cleaning” is done, WP will wake up and notice how ridiculous things are getting. ”
You mean Jimbo himself will give one of his apparatchiks a slap on the wrist and a two month timeout?
Yeah, I think so as well.

Bob

NPR interviewed a Wikipedia official last week. The host asked something like, Would it be fair to say that Wikipedia is not a collection of facts, but rather a collection of what people write about facts?” The answer was in the affirmative.

Ace

Curious to know if indeed Connolly was banned from comment here? If so, what was the reason? I know that it typically takes an awful lot.

beesaman

I’d love to see Connolly try to remove Leroux over at the Fench language Wikipedia, they’d stick his private parts into a guillotine!
Indeed it will be interesting when this does come to the attention of L’order des Palmes Academiques and Connolly’s admited xenophobia towards the French, from his turgid blog
[As a proper English-type person I am naturally rabidly anti-foreigner…]
Could I just say as another Englishman, that Connolly’s contempt for foreigners is an indication of his overall cognitive ability, ie lacks maturity, experience and depth…

I think this obit of ML is quite interesting:
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/8/14/64552/3547

artwest

Doesn’t the controversy over his Wikipedia deletion now make Leroux even more notable and hence more worthy of being included?
Is “irony” the word I’m looking for?

artwest

Beesaman:
“Could I just say as another Englishman, that Connolly’s contempt for foreigners is an indication of his overall cognitive ability, ie lacks maturity, experience and depth…”
Seconded.

markx

Apparently he still exists in the French Version of Wikipedia:
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Leroux

Naaa he is just a w—-r.

pat says:
October 11, 2012 at 9:13 am
Warmists have infected every area of Wikipedia. Ready to pounce on anything and use it as confirmation if CAGW.
I do note that it is still with the Antarctica is melting and therefore that proves CAGW instead of this week’s meme: we told you that ice would grow in Antarctica because of AGW.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctica#Effects_of_global_warming

And they’re pumping out the press releases to try to hammer this home.
http://news.yahoo.com/experts-global-warming-means-more-antarctic-ice-194009890.html
Funny thing is, even at Yahoo! they’ may be throwing the BS flag. That article is under the headline:
Global warming leads to, er, more ice?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Marcel_Leroux
There is the deletion page at wiki. You can see the comments and process. Connelly’s words could not be more clear – that he is doing exactly what he was banned for in the past.
He strongly advocated for deletion because he believed the original posting was so Leroux’s name could be included in a list of skeptical scientists:

delete – the article has been hijacked by global warming deniers … William M. Connolley (talk) 08:11, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
[Update: in fact that’s not quite accurate: the article was originally created purely to support his inclusion in List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming; see [11] and User:Mariojalves contributions around then William M. Connolley (talk) 20:07, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Having 2/3 of the lede taken up by GW denialism is a problem. Even if you believe it, its clearly not a reasonable representation of his importance. Or alternatively, if that really is all he is notable for, he isn’t notable William M. Connolley (talk) 08:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Connolly states his position quite clearly. And it is equally clear he is doing exactly what he was banned for prior. He could have simply corrected the portion he had issue with, instead he deleted the entire section.
And then advocated for deletion of the entire article – for the primary stated reason – initially, that “the article has been hijacked by global warming deniers” – which should have been at worst a correction if he felt excessive or unwarranted … and then because by his grand proclamation, the article was “was originally created purely to support his inclusion in List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.”
He could not offer a better indictment of his return to the past practices he was banned for if he tried.

Bloke down the pub

It’s heading towards Christmas and we’ll all be looking for ideas for presents. Would it be possible to have a page here with suggested books so that we can spread the word to our family and friends? I’m sure Leroux’s book would make a good start. You could even call the page Tabloid climatology.

Kelvin Vaughan

pat says:
October 11, 2012 at 9:13 am
Warmists have infected every area of Wikipedia.
It should be call Sickipedia then.

beesaman says October 11, 2012 at 10:14 am
I’d love to see Connolly try to remove Leroux over at the Fench language Wikipedia, they’d stick his private parts into a guillotine!
Indeed it will be interesting when this does come to the attention of L’order des Palmes Academiques and Connolly’s admited xenophobia towards the French, from his turgid blog

So, we may have a chance to see in living color how war among ‘the civilized’ start after all?
I wondered aloud on the other thread if WMC feared treading on the French version of the Leroux wiki page; it would appear he knows ‘the size’ of his sandbox after all …
.

Louis

If the hamlets of Ugley and Nasty England can have a Wiki page, why can’t Marcel Leroux? The only thing of note that I can find about Ugley is that the “Ugley Womens’ Institute” changed its name to the “Womens’ Institute (Ugley Branch).” (Unfortunately, I was unable to determine if Nasty, UK has a “Nasty Womens’ Institute.”)
I don’t see why a Wiki page should be deleted in the first place. The only reason to delete anything is if it is false or inaccurate. And then only the inaccurate information should be deleted, not the entire page. I have to wonder if Connolly and friends would also burn books and erase all science or history they disagree with if they had the chance.

jaunjaun

In protest I’ve copied the Marcel Leroux page to my wiki sandbox. Information wants to be free.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jaunjaun/sandbox

Billy Liar says October 11, 2012 at 9:26 am
Apparently WMC is holding 2 used copies of the book and selling them on Amazon Marketplace!

NEITHER of which he has publicly claimed to have read! … making this statement applicable:
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” -unattributed (parts attributable back to William Paley)
.

Sam the First

The fact that Connolly wasn’t banned from Wikipedia for life, but on the contrary is still permitted to edit articles on climate scientist when he has no qualifications in that discipline, says all you need to know about the wiki. This truly is Orwellian stuff! And very depressing
It’s a shame btw there are so many typos in the piece above; it would look more authoritative if they were remedied

Louis says October 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

I have to wonder if Connolly and friends would also burn books and erase all science or history they disagree with if they had the chance.

In a HEARTBEAT and (I’ve got to think) with great RELISH; All-the-while clothed in the appropriate attire (something in the neighborhood of matching brown shirt and trousers) …
.

P Wilson says:
October 11, 2012 at 9:46 am
“Wikipedia has a reputation as being incomplete and biased.
It isn’t exactly what you would call an authoritative web-pedia. I’m sure Mr Connolley is quite at home editing within.”
It keeps him off the streets and out of trouble.
(PS He has run off with all the sarc tags)

Anthony
Is William M. Connolley banned as he claims? I’m sure i saw him postig here only a month or two ago. Also R Gates also seems to think he’s banned-is that so?. I always found him quite reasonable .
tonyb

REPLY:
I suggested to Mr. Connolley that he was now a permanent resident of the “troll bin” due to his thread baiting behavior. What that means is that his posts always go to the inspection que as opposed to the moderation que. He might still get a post through from time to time. If he wants out of that troll bin, some behavior change is needed.
As for R. Gates, he has chosen to voluntarily stay away. This stems from a tif that developed where he criticized me on other blogs, and I told him that if he wants to criticize me, he needs to be man enough to put his name to his words since his issue with me were about my disclosure of things he felt important. He isn’t very reasonable outside of WUWT if you look.
He’s a government wonk in Colorado, and his name isn’t R. Gates, that’s a fake name. He doesn’t want to use his real name and risk criticism of his government funded position. I don’t have a lot of tolerance for people that demand personal detail things from me behind a fake name. There are sometimes valid reasons to use a fake name, but using it to smear others with no consequences isn’t one of them.
I tried to be civil to these folks, and both of them smeared me. So I’m just not too concerned about any complaints they might have. – Anthony

john robertson

Why not call it what it is Weaslepedia.Its rubbish what use is an online reference that destroys its own credibility.The stoat lies cheats and slimes, wikipedia allows this behaviour, wikipedia is done.

Francisco

Climatology has become a booming red-light district in the scientific metropolis. You walk by its main street and all you hear are invitations like: “Come on, fellow, to my bordello.”

CaligulaJones

Perhaps relevant:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-wikipedia.html
“I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all.
Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.””

JamesS

” Stephen Rasey says:
October 11, 2012 at 9:46 am
The deleted Wikipedia page about Leroux continues existence at Lucy Skywalker’s page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lucy_Skywalker/Marcel_Leroux.
Lucy Skywalker, may the Force by with you!
“Try not. Do or do not!! There is no try.” – Yoda.
Lucy, you DID.”
Yoda’s line always bugged me. Until you either “do” (succeed) or “do not” (fail), one IS trying. Until there’s a result one way or the other, there’s ONLY”trying.”
Figures that Lucas would consider that to be a great philosophical thought.

Josualdo

“I have to wonder if Connolly and friends would also burn books and erase all science or history they disagree with if they had the chance.”
It looks a lot like Connoley’s wettest dream.

Solomon Green

markx has drawn attention to the Fnench version at http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Leroux.
This differs from the version that Lucy Skywater retained in that it is fuller. The discussion on the French version shows that those who are afraid for their propaganda tried to get it removed but it is still there.
The English translatio, for once, is pretty accurate.

Bill Marsh

So the Ministry of Truth (Wiki) has declared him to be a ‘non-person’? and is removing all references to his existence? Sure sounds like it.

DirkH

Pravdapedia.
NPOV = Normal Point Of View. (All other points of view are abnormal)

DirkH

Dear Leader Jimbo Wales’ e-mail.
jwales@wikia.com

DBCooper

Missing word?
“We do [not] have to resort to complicated models to tell us that an increase in CO2 brings about, theoretically, an increase in temperature, a simple of rule of thumb, a ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculation, will suffice.”

John F. Hultquist

artwest says:
October 11, 2012 at 10:22 am
“Doesn’t the . . .

Back to the top please. Notice Anthony’s link to the Streisand effect at the end of the first paragraph.

JamesS says:
October 11, 2012 at 11:48 am
“Yoda’s line always bugged me. Until you either “do” (succeed) or “do not” (fail), one IS trying. Until there’s a result one way or the other, there’s ONLY”trying.”
You miss the point. It’s not about the action. Yoda was speaking to Luke’s attitude. Essentially this is what Yoda is saying: “Don’t think you could fail, think you will succeed, or don’t bother”
Hope that clears things up for you

Cam_S

The French version is still available. Have not tried Google or some other translator yet, so I don’t know if the content is the same. But just just a quick perusal, and my high school French tells me it’s the same.
Marcel Leroux
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Leroux

Twiggy

I read this book a few years ago and have mentioned it and Leroux a couple of times on this site only to have a few people dismiss his work, seems like the campaign to discredit his work has a lasting power. ( I still think there is a good chance his opinion on El Nino/ La Nina is correct and it is a co-varience.) :0)