Why are Search Engines so Hostile to Climate Realism?

A large cluster of interlinked climate alarmist web sites clutters the web.  It heavily overlaps the cluster of the leftist, international, government, and academic sites. A content-neutral ranking algorithm would identify this cluster and some sub-clusters (such as personal attack websites), and would at least diversify results for climate debate related queries with pages outside of this cluster – conservative media, WUWT(1), and the climate realism blogosphere.  Instead, Google and Bing/Yahoo operate as amplifiers of climate alarmism.  At closer look, the search engines are not content-neutral. Let us investigate their biases closer.

Everybody that has been observing climate alarmism for the last few years has heard the denunciation of “carbon pollution” (1, 2), claims that “carbon dioxide is public enemy number one” (3), the EPA’s attempts to regulate carbon dioxide, and other statements and attempts of the same spirit.  But carbon is the basic element of all life on Earth.  Organic chemistry is even defined as a branch of chemistry that studies carbon compounds. Carbon constitutes most of the mass of a dehydrated human body.  We exhale carbon dioxide at each breath.  Plants grow by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air.  Respiration and photosynthesis are two opposite processes of the great biological cycle in nature.  These facts should be known to every adult who completed high school before the Clinton reforms in the 1990’s, and to many children and adults thereafter. These facts are broadly known and not controversial.  About 10%-15% of the world’s agricultural production comes from the elevated concentration of carbon dioxide in the air.  Any of these facts alone should incite any human to think twice before supporting climate alarmism, let alone claiming the things at the beginning of this paragraph.  It should be expected that every political party or another sophisticated organization would learn these facts and avoid such language.  Why don’t they?  Does any technology contribute to this attitude?

Welcome to Google Search

Let us start with Google Search.  Google Search is a computer program, which is:

  1. Complex
  2. Opaque
  3. Used to find and retrieve information on all subjects, including the vital ones
  4. Trusted by Internet users, including politically significant figures all over the world, especially in Western countries. Ultimately, it is trusted by We, the People.

Although Google Search was not built with malicious aims in mind, it misleads humans into thinking that their breath is pollution, spreads division between those who agree and those who disagree with this proposition, and promotes energy policies that are suicidal for society and genocidal for its people.

How Google Search Ranking Works

Gone are the days when a website’s ranking was determined mostly by the number of incoming links.  Today, Google Search uses a large number of factors to rank a web article or page.  From the official Google guidance (4), May 2011: “Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?” (emphasis is mine).  Yes, you read it right.  Google decides for us what is a fact and what is a factual error.  Google is upside down on the “facts” of climate debate, so it probably downranks climate realist sites for “factual errors.”  But this is only a part of the problem. Google has built Google Knowledge Vault, which by 2016 contained more than 70 billion “facts,” according to Google CEO’s tweet. Google Search probably uses them to evaluate the factual accuracy of a page or site in the ranking process.  The link equity is still an important factor.  The Google Search ranking process starts with a seed list of sites which Google deems highly authoritative.  The “juice” (or equity) from these sites is then distributed to web pages to which they link, and so on.  It is believed that the seed list is heavily populated by higher education, government, and formerly mainstream media sites.  These sites might have been trustworthy and authoritative in 2007, but have been taking a nosedive and left turn ever since. “With Google’s longstanding policy of favoring inbound links from .edu and .gov blogs, they’ve effectively created their own hard-Left political search engine” – Todd Dunning, 2015.  By the way, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt was in the Obama administration from 2008 to the end, and somebody might suspect that Obama’s administration used this relationship as another tool in suppressing conservative speech, but this subject is out of scope here.  The links data is used alongside the data from other Google applications and the real world information to rank web sites and pages.   Higher-ranked pages related to the user’s queries are listed at the top of the search results.

In short, the Google Search has its own world model.  There is nothing unusual about it.  Many games have their own worlds. But Google Search uses its own world model to give us answers about our real world.

This works well in most cases, and we trust Google search results a lot.  On average, the top three results get about 50% of clicks.  The first page gets 96% of all clicks.  The websites that do not make the first page might not exist as well.  We developed a habit of relying on Google Search for finding information and we allow it to decide for us, which sites deserve our attention on the topic of a specific search. We can still select whether to trust them or not, but if all the top sites in a Google search for ‘”climate change” agree, most people would conclude that they are right.  Thus, to some extent, a large part of humanity has already entrusted their decisions on political, ideological, and even spiritual matters to a computer program.  Where is the outrage?

The Google Search world model is inhuman.  I suppose the Internet is a center of it, and close to the center are the entities that have a large Web presence (Wikipedia, Facebook, Reddit, CNN, etc.), or those that are selected by Google executive management (possibly including UN and IPCC).  Credit cards are also important.  The role of humans is mostly as identifiable peripheral devices (IPD) – they type in queries, click on links, and are associated with the credit cards.

Google Search knows the prices of most goods and services offered on the Internet.  It “understands” the concept of money and is designed to maximize its flow to Google (the optimization function). Google Search also knows that the “IPDs” occasionally connect to it, enter queries, click on links, and transfer money.  The IPDs are entered in the database, along with their dates of birth, IP addresses, geographical locations, and the whole history of actions.  The IPD names are recorded only rarely, according to Google privacy policy.  What happens to the IPDs outside of their interaction with Google Search is not a part of the optimization function.

How humans breathe is not important in the Google Search world model.  How our food grows is not important either.  The same can be said for carbon’s role as the building block of all life on Earth. The respective knowledge is probably present in the Knowledge Vault, it is just not considered more important than other 70 billion “facts.” Consequently, Google Search cannot value human life or human civilization.  These ideals are not facts, but religious or ethical judgements.

Google Search probably does not properly connect the biological role of carbon and carbon dioxide to the climate debate. It rewards the sites that share its worldview and punishes the sites that do not.  These reward and punishment cycles are then spread through link equity and other ranking mechanisms.  It’s the inhuman computer program that sides with the inhuman side of the climate debate — climate alarmism — and would do so even in the absence of the political bias in Google’s executive leadership and the massive disinformation campaign by the climate alarmism network.

Each time anybody googles anything or visits a web page displaying Google ads, the Google Search performs actions that have real world effects.  One of them is that Google earns money.  But when the search or the page is related to the climate debate, the search results also help convince somebody that human breath is pollution.  This person can be an ordinary citizen or a Congressman, a judge, a TV news anchor, or an influential blogger.  When they are convinced, they begin to support climate alarmism through declarations, court decisions, news reporting, or blogging.  And because Google Search learns from the web, which in turn reinforces its alarmist bias, this adds yet another vicious spiral.

Google Search is obviously extremely biased on climate change.  Two of the apparent causes are the alarmist propaganda saturating the Internet and the political prejudices of the Google executive leadership.  But complexity of the underlying algorithms applied to the quirky knowledge base might have had an unexpected outcome. In fact, Google Search has apparently fooled its own creators (who are quite smart and inclined to healthy skepticism) into believing climate alarmism!  And they went to trust it and climate models more than other humans and the real world.

Similar Programs

I do not single out Google Search here. Other major US search engines also share some “genetic code” (software design and source code) with Google Search and have been evolving in the same web and “knowledge” environment.  Sharing of the “genetic code” happens when engineers who developed AI in one company are hired by another one, through scientific papers and patents, by reverse engineering, and when companies try to emulate results of their most successful competitor.  Important exceptions are Yandex and Baidu, developed in Russia and China, respectively.  Similar functionality exists in other web products, performing ranking of information for humans.  Newsfeeds (such as Google News, Facebook News Feed etc.) are first suspects.

To be clear, this technology is only one contributing factor to climate alarmism.  It interacts with other factors, some of which I have addressed elsewhere.

Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt

Google’s Eric Schmidt in his own words (emphasis is mine):

One person’s definition of evil is another person’s different definition.” (Gizmodo, 2010)

More and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type. I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions…They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.” (Ibid.)

We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” (The Atlantic, 2010)

Conclusion

Thus, society’s trust to the web search have contributed to the spread of climate alarmism, and, possibly, other cognitive errors.  With our trust, search engines became gatekeepers, limiting our access to information rather than expanding it.  Google Search is almost search monopoly.  Bing/Yahoo is its competitor in the marketplace, but not in the ideology.  Google Search frequently directs us to Wikipedia, that’s owned and controlled by the Wikimedia Foundation from San Francisco.  All three of them claim to be neutral and quite useful on the uncontroversial topics but are politically leftist and climate alarmist.

 


Endnotes

(1) By some link metrics known to be utilized by Google, WUWT apparently beats most sites appearing on the first page for the ‘climate change’ search: The Guardian, TakePart, NASA.gov, EcoWatch.  Nevertheless, WUWT does not appear even in the first five pages. One such metric is the number of linking domains.  See Google Engine of Climate Alarmism for more detailed data.

(2) For the record, in September 2016, I put Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo on notice that they might be on the wrong side of the law by acts and/or omissions, in connection to some search results related to climate debate.

(3) More from Google’s own blog, May 2011 (some Google bullet points are omitted), with my remarks in square brackets: “Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find ‘high-quality’ sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content. The recent ‘Panda’ change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality.”  But “the questions below provide some guidance on how we’ve been looking at the issue

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article? [I wouldn’t trust anything that the top links from a Google search say on climate, Donald Trump, and many other subjects.  But how could Google determine whether the user would trust it or not?]
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature? [Then why are articles by Andrew Revkin of NYT and George Monbiot of The Guardian on meteorology ranked higher than articles by Anthony Watts?]
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors? [discussed above]
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis? [But the top-ranked sites rarely provide anything original.  On climate, they usually repeat the same old lies that sometimes date back 30 years.]
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results? [If Google wanted pages that provide substantial value ‘compared to other pages in search results’ for climate debate, it would return links to WUWT or other climate realist sites. It does not do that.]
  • How much quality control is done on content? [same]
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story? [LOL! None of the top-ranked results that Google returns on ‘climate change’ searches describe both sides of the story.]
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic? [Recognized by whom?]
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site? [This was mentioned as a general requirement; see above.]
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name? [Would you recognize some top-ranked sites as Fake News Network, The New York Lies, and other FSM?]
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic? [Here, Google pretends that it does not only know what is true, but that is has complete and comprehensive knowledge of the truth.]
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious? [See previous remark.]
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site? [The activists would complain every time they see anything they don’t like.  Does Google act on such complaints?]
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135 thoughts on “Why are Search Engines so Hostile to Climate Realism?

  1. Google, like Wikipedia, is often useful, but looking for a lack of bias in search engines is like looking for a lack of bias in news organizations. The best one can do is recognize that organization’s bias, and how to find other sources with different biases.

    • I was not aware of the fact checking aspect of Google. Thanks for the heads up.

      As soon as you try to asses what is “factual” or “correct” you are creating opinion and judgemental choices. That is NOT what I want form a S.E.

      This is a dangerous trend like FB’s fake news filters, it ultimately turns in thought policing.

      • This all goes down hill rapidly since it is basically a “consensus” algo. Facts are not based on consensus any more than science is but this is the new future of computer “intelligence”.

      • I agree, and this must be recent. I tried to google some obvious sceptic pages ( my own actually) and it was very difficult to get them to come up compared with the past. I checked out bing as well and got even worse results.
        This is a dangerous trend at it should be well documented – somehow :(

        Cheers

        Roger
        http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    • I did an experiment to measure the bias against WUWT and other skeptic sites. When I search for ‘co2isnotevil’, there are about 4600 links with one reference to WUWT on the first page but none on the next 5 (I didn’t go any further), moreover; a post on sks from 2010 was above wuwt in the search order. The second and third pages had dozens of irrelevant results for ‘co2 is not evil’, all from the same thread on the same site, climatechangegenerational forum.org, whatever that is.

      When I google ‘co2isnotevil wuwt’, I get more than half as many search results (2900) all of which are either my comments or responses to my comments and when I google ‘cosisnotevil jo nova’ I get another 1000 results that are all mine.

      It seems that if you specify a site, it bypasses the bias applied to results from that site.

      • I just did the search and found WUWT on page 9. Higher up the food chain were “Hillary for America” and the Obama White House archives. Top ‘o the Heap was “NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming”.

    • I use DuckDuckGo as a browser but I’m not sure if they use Yahoo’s search engine. Allegedly they don’t track your searches. However anytime I try to access one of our climate conservative sites the next listing inevitably is the DeSmog Blog with allegations that what I am accessing is bogus.
      Isn’t the FCC in charge of monitoring this activity and as a group can’t we develop a petition to have them investigate this apparent tom foolery.
      At times I can’t access WUWT because I get an error message that says the page does not exist. I repeat my request by using my favorites button to access.

      • As far as I know, there is no current regulation of the internet, which the recent foofraw over “net neutrality” was about. The FCC under Obama attempted to institute Ma Bell level regulations, under the rationale of fairness. Any regulation would be under anti-trust rules or Federal Trade Commission rules, as with any business in the US.

    • Google will direct you to leftist propaganda almost every time possible. Enter “Washington” and it autofills “Post.” Need I say more? Not to mention their insanely annoying elaborate “doodles” spotlighting the “career” of every obscure brown/female/queer/3rd-world unknown who ever lived, yet for a major American holiday like Memorial Day all they can manage is a *tiny* flag superimposed by a yellow ribbon. For July 4th, the doodle was even odder. We need to get the word to these globalist, anti-American, pseudo-socialist master-of-the-universe wannabees that alienating HALF YOUR CUSTOMER BASE is a really poor business model.

      • Fourth of July was a perfect example. The “doodle” had a background reminiscent of the US flag covered with animals of the world… WTF?

      • @David – that doodle (had to look it up, as I avoid Google anything) did have a tenuous relation (very tenuous) to the 4th of July. It supposedly honored Stephen Mather, the first Director for the National Parks Service, who happened to be born on that day.

        Took a bit of chutzpah, IMHO, to find a way to honor a government bureaucrat who worked hard to lock up just as much land as possible to keep it out of the reach of us plebes…

    • This is what I call “the dictatorship of the internet”. It is insidious and evil and every effort should be made to stop it. If a lawsuit could force the relese of internal communication and reveal biases then I would support that action wholeheartedly.
      I have never been much of a believer in conspiracy theories but there is 0 doubt left in my mind that this is a marriage of convenience between the goofy greens and the loony left to attack Capitalism without the foggiest idea what to replace it with.
      A lawsuit would bring significant public attention to the farce that is AGW and doubtless some support from the legions who hate and distrust Google and other ISP overlords. Now we need somebody with an actionable gripe, the determination and either deep pockets or deep support.
      I would so love to see this!

    • Conservatives have been complaining about how Google has downgraded conservative sites for the sin of sharing facts that liberals disagree with.

  2. The climate censorship in Google is so ridiculous that they buried down in the search results the delicious South park clip of “WE DIDN’T LISTEN!!!”, when the inhabitants of the little city enter in panic because that they get convinced that Global Warming is going to destroy them: http://southpark.cc.com/clips/103844/we-didnt-listen

    The main Google results for me show just small cuts of a few seconds where GW is not even mentioned. In order to find that i have to go to the South Park site and search for the corresponding episode (“Two days before the day after tomorrow”). :/

  3. I have often found that google searches for specific topics put WUWT on the first page. Example:

    UAH RCC balloons

    As far as I can tell, the WUWT link is the only climate site visible on the first page. YMMV, FWIW

    • This site has such a lot of rep, they would have to explicitly ban it to push it down. Other less frequented and linked sites probably get hit for being “wrong”.

    • They also include about a dozen sites ‘debunking’ WUWT’ underneath the top search. Sort of a ‘yeah, you can look at it, but it’s all denialist crap’ message… complete with all those Wiki pages.

      Every now and then, I will change the word ‘denier’ to ‘skeptic’ or ‘realist’ on the Wiki-entry.
      Takes about a maximum of five minutes for it to switch back.

      • No point changing that. But I do think offensive search suggestions prove wuwt is important.

      • When they’re trying to silence you, it’s about 100% probable that you’re right on the mark. The one thing the Ministry of Thought can’t stand is FACTS and EVIDENCE. They can’t let those see the light of day.

    • A search for ‘feedback fubar’ gets here as the number 1 search result. Or at least it does for me. If it doesn’t for you, then they’re using individual search/click history to tailor future search result ordering. Talk about confirmation bias …

      • That result is for an article (web page) which has those two words in its HTML title. There are also over 500 occurrences of the word feedback in the article and comments, and fubar is there 11 times

  4. The first page gets 96% of all clicks.

    That is because relevance takes a nose dive after the first half dozen results, not because users are lazy.

    I used to always go to at least second page if I did not find what I wanted, but have long since realised it is futile. My main tactic is to modify the search.

    It also refuses to return results for specific quoted phrases, returning “no matches” or making unsolicited “did you mean” changes to my search.

    Google algos worked a lot better about 4 to 5 years back. There’s progress for you.

    • Relevance is still terrible on the first page. Try searching for alumina phase diagram- none of the first or later pages have anything to do with Al2O3

    • Google did very well before they tried to assess whether a page was “factually correct”. Since then the quality of their search results has been in general decline, not just on political topics.

  5. Was trying to find last week’s story on Ben Santer’s recent article. I could not find it with keywords at all, and did not turn it up until I searched for the actual title of the Article. Searched for “Ben Santer” today and got everything the guy ever wrote I suppose, except for that story.

  6. “Why are Search Engines so Hostile to Climate Realism”
    Because….. your climate realism is not real. People here live in an echo chamber. They think if they say something often enough, it will be true. It’s not.

    The ice is melting, the planet is warming, the climate is changing and the “truth” is human activity is largely to blame. That is the “real” truth and google would be misleading if it was to guide people in any other direction. That is the truth told by every “nationally representative” scientific body on the planet. It is the truth told by every reputable data collection set. It is the truth……

    • Why would a supposed search engine not return information on a topic just because it’s false? I can find millions of sights on nutrition that are so far off base it’s unreal, conspiracee sites, sites telling me UFOs are absolutely real, page upon page on political new that is false, etc. Google does not seem to give a wit about truth in many, many areas, so your claim appears to be blantently false and pretty foolish and desperate.

      • ++ Sheri as a scientist focused on food the food science research is appalling. It’s VERY interesting that the major blunders such as saturated fat/cholesterol, salt/blood pressure, dietary causes of obesity, were all fads, often promoted by misconduct. Much the same way global warming was fomented by Maurice Strong(and oil millionaire) who engineered much of the global warming scare for political purposes. With a bit of luck some warming started in 1975 and carbon dioxide continued its rise just in time to make the case for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Strong assumed command and ” the human causes” of climate change were locked in to the UNFCCC charter with Strong as the administrator.

      • “fomented by Maurice Strong(and oil millionaire) who engineered much of the global warming scare for political purposes”

        Yeah well I wouldn’t trust your dietry advice.

    • Once again, you are so misguided Simon …

      You do understand that skepticism and peer review are one in the same, right? How can any peer review process be complete if the claimed results are not approached with skepticism, especially when the claimed results demand a multi-trillion dollar hit on the economy to ‘fix’. The real echo chamber arises due to the lack of critical skepticism being applied to the peer review process of virtually every single paper cited in IPCC reports. Confirmation bias and group think driving conformance to a narrative does not constitute an adequate peer review process, yet the IPCC will not cite any paper that contradicts their narrative except obliquely or disparagingly.

    • Simon, I would suggest you do a lot more reading and less commenting, but I doubt you’ll even circle back to review the comments on your ignorance.

      • Yep I’m back. Do lots of reading of lots of sites, which is why I can confidently say this is an echo chamber.

      • Simon, concensus climate science is THE echo chamber. (regardless of whether or not it is the truth, which no one really knows)…

      • OK Simon, here’s your chance to prove that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is a real threat. Make a list of all the dire climate predictions over the last 50 years that have actually come to pass, and another list of the ones that have failed. And while you’re at it, provide another list of the researchers who have provided their data on request, as well as a list of those who have refused or stalled requests to provide their data for others to analyze.

        If you do so honestly, I expect you would that information easier to publish here than at web sites which follow the CAGW party line.

      • It’s a catch 22 Simon – if I get all my information from an echo-chamber I won’t beleive I’m in one.

      • Ralph Dave Westfall
        Yawn….. All info/data is freely available. It is an myth perpetuated by many here that it is not.
        There have been dire predictions made on both sides. How many here have predicted cooling to happen some time in the last 10 years? But if we follow the quality science, then you will know the predictions of dire consequences are for the future.

      • tony, i really don’t think of this blog as an echo chamber because it is fairly well represented by people like yourself. In fact, skeptics themselves are notoriously independent thinkers. (my worst fights have been with other skeptics) No two skeptics think alike about agw or anything else for that matter. i, myself, have never ventured to any of the pro agw sights because i’ve always assumed that they will delete my comments. (now THAT’S a blueprint for an echo chamber)…

      • afonzarelli
        “i, myself, have never ventured to any of the pro agw sights because i’ve always assumed that they will delete my comments. (now THAT’S a blueprint for an echo chamber)…”

        So let me get this right? You call yourself a “skeptic”, but you don’t read the other side, because you “think” they will delete your comments? I don’t think I could capture the one eyed view that pervades this site more completely in a sentence. Look Mr Fonzarelli, why don’t you just for a laugh go and read what the actual science says. Then you will be in a genuinely informed position to make a decision about whether you really are a skeptic.

      • No, i use wikipedia… i like it and i assume it gives me a good back drop for what the consensus science says. AND, i think they do it in a manner which is inoffensive which is good, too. Plus, there are a good many people here who represent the consensus science fairly well. (engelbeen, mosher & stokes to name a few) i learn a lot from the agw crowd, truth be told, the ipcc looks a lot better to me than when i first started out. And then the links, links are all over the place both for and against. One can learn all one needs to know about agw without having to endure the likes of “skeptical science” or “real climate”…

      • Can’t forget a hat tip to all the wonderful technical posts here that reference the consensus as well. (they are very good at pointing out the inconsistencies) So, we do get a heavy dose of what the consensus science says here at wuwt…

      • All info/data is freely available

        OK Simon, since you indicate that lists of successful and failed “dire climate predictions” are all over the Internet, would it be too much to ask you to demonstrate the truth of your statement by providing links to one of each?

      • Simon, one last thing… If i had the conviction that i could go to some of these sites without having my comments deleted, i would. i want to be able to cross examine anything they put out there. As it is, i’m relegated to cross examining skeptics here at this site. (i would prefer to debate pro agw peops at those sites, but it is what it is)…

      • SIMON? SiMoN? simon?
        ARE YOU THERE? ThErE? there?

        (folks, he’s right, this IS an echo chamber… ☺)

    • The ice is melting, the planet is warming, the climate is changing and the “truth” is human activity is largely to blame. That is the “real” truth

      But that’s not what we are denying here. That’s not what the debate is about.

      • Roger Knights
        “But that is not what we are denying here” Oh my word you can’t have been at the same WUWT as me. I agree some people don’t deny it, but a whole bunch do. Many even think CO2 has no influence. The motto at WUWT is deny any link between CO2 and problems that may occur in the future. I’ve been here for a while and the level of denial goes up and down with the evidence, it doesn’t agree with it. If 2017 was 2 degrees warmer than any other year they would find any reason other than CO2 to explain it.

        The last three years have been an excellent example. We have had three of the warmest years in modern history. But….rather than accept this is a result of increased CO2, people here championed E Nino. It made no difference we have had countless El Nino’s before, now it was the reason for the record years. It made compete sense to them and them only. Soon we will have a La Nina. It will cool. It will make no difference to the players here that it will (probably) be the warmest La Nina in history, they will be chanting that it is cooling. Watch and see.

      • How quickly we forget those climate scientists who were pushing the meme that the el nino spike had little to do with an el nino. (and when the temps came crashing down they quietly went away)…

      • “Is Michael Mann’s hockey stick “the truth”?”
        Pretty much. Been verified numerous times. Actually there are far more accurate versions now, but they pretty much say the same thing. Mann got it mostly right.
        From wiki
        “More than two dozen reconstructions, using various statistical methods and combinations of proxy records, have supported the broad consensus shown in the original 1998 hockey-stick graph, with variations in how flat the pre-20th century “shaft” appears”
        And here is the link to the reconstructions… enjoy.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_large-scale_temperature_reconstructions_of_the_last_2,000_years

      • Citing Wikipedia to justify Mann et al is like citing Alex Jones for political news. Ever heard of Wiilliam Connolly?

    • @Simon
      Do you know how the 97% consensus was concocted out of thin air? The echo chamber was invented by the AGW crowd. Where is the soul searching almost 20 years into hiatus? Too busy trying to b.s. your way through it!

  7. I’ve noticed the difficulty of finding WUWT on Google related pages for a long time. And I’ve noticed the leftest MSM bias against conservatives and skeptics for almost 50 years. How much this bias has contributed to the decline of the MSM is hard to say, but it certainly can’t have helped to turn off roughly 50% of the populace. Bottom line, I use Google, Wikipedia, etc. but I don’t trust them.

      • In God We Trust–all others, bring data. Observational data speaks for itself, needing no “adjustment.” The models and the rest is pure “science” fiction to serve a financial, not environmental, objective. My DOG’s BS meter could detect this scam . . .

    • why use them at all?
      use the options that dont tag track and bombard you with ads n trash?
      i always delete wiki google bing and yahoo from searchbars
      i use startpage and duckduck go and i can find what i am looking for
      i also remove explorer and anything else msoft pushes.

  8. I blame the ‘user’, many people do not know how to search for information correctly. Type in “Climate Change Wrong” as simpleton search example, there are endless news/links/video’s countering the alarmists point of view. People in general have to want to seek out specific information, it is there. If you type in “Dog”, you will not get a lot of information about the downsides of dog ownership, one needs to seek it out separately and specifically. The problem is most people don’t care to educate themselves on both sides of any issue. If you don’t seek you will not find.

    • On the other hand, if I type:

      global warming alarmist

      I get pages mostly hostile to the alarmists.

      We have to be wary of Google Personalized Search. I have cookies turned off but I’m still not certain that Google isn’t feeding me the version of the world I want to see. link

      • CB, of course “alarmist” will give you a bunch hostility. Lets face it, the alarmists have plastered the Web, I bet in more than a 100:1 ratio. No way around it.

    • Searching for ‘Dog’ may well just get you ‘best prices for Dog’ results! This used to be the case anyway, but may have stopped now as it became ridiculous. I dont use Google much these days.

  9. Still an artifact of group think/deference to authority. Not quite conspiracy, but certainly incompetence and subjectivity.

  10. You have to tag web pages with href keywords for the search engines to index on. That is, you have to be search engine literate to get best search index results for a site. Rankings of search based on cross links are resolved by cooperating among a set of climate sites and setting up those links.

    • Most of these approaches have been ‘gamed’ by SEO experts and are therefore no longer used. A more likely to be successful tactic these days is simply to pay Google. This is done indirectly through advertising through Google, but I’m pretty sure they take it into account.

  11. Not being literate in how to increase site search by use of keywords, hidden href tag words and cross links is not a conspiracy, it is called your competitors are search engine savvy and you are not.

  12. Kind of a long article for a simple explaination: search engines are hostile to Climate Realism because their owners and CEOs are.

    No greater issue than that.

    • This explains only a part of the problem. It is not different from the bias of a newspaper editor (except that Google denies the obvious fact of editorial decisions in building and seeding the search algorithm.) But the article brings up something that could not have happened in the past – inhuman decisions by inhuman machine learning algorithms.

  13. I suggest using yandex.ru.

    It has always been much better than Google for Eastern European and Cyrillic-character sites and in many cases it finds sites that Google can’t (or won’t) find. It is very popular in e. g. China since (unlike Google) it refuses to implement regional filters.

  14. Out of all the possibilities desmog or sks, come out in the top two in climate related searches no matter what. Google is amazing at learning everything else I ever type, just don’t mention climate. This is just the latest example. Want Tim? Get desmog;

  15. And because Google Search learns from the web, which in turn reinforces its alarmist bias, this adds yet another vicious spiral.

    Sounds a bit like Skynet.

  16. Having spent many years working for Google, I can assure you that the bias towards climate alarmism is very real among its engineering and management staff and that this bias can easily find its way into code that makes subjective decisions. While Google has a solid reputation of hiring smart people, such individuals tend to give peer review more regard than it deserves, can’t understand how smart people like them can be so wrong about something so important and like most others are subject to constant propaganda pushing the climate alarmism meme. There are skeptics among Google employees, but they’re generally afraid to make that known owing to the fear of being ostracised.

      • When policy is inconsistent with unconscious bias, especially with regard to a controversial topic, guess which side prevails.

        You can try to be impartial and give lip service to the attempt, but when partisan politics gets involved with an issue, even a demonstrably objective truth becomes subjective in which case the actual truth becomes irrelevant.

        Have you ever been to the SF Bay area where much of Googles workforce lives? It’s a cesspool of far left ideology masquerading as immutable truth, guided by emotion and supported by little more than self righteous indignation. If you haven’t noticed how much a far left political bias has distorted climate science, you haven’t been paying attention.

    • They also have uniform knowledge and skills sets. They know programming, and see the same technical concepts in different programming languages and environments. They cannot appreciate how broader and deeper are physics, energy engineering, and other scientific fields.

      Having the same very limited knowledge in computer sciences, and see the same factoids on the Internet, they arrive to the same conclusions on climate. That just reinforces their beliefs!

  17. I noticed the moment Panda went live. I’ve had trouble finding certain publications ever since, and now I know that once I find a useful paper I download it immediately.

  18. Ha ha!

    You think it’s bad now? The rise of utterly dumbed-down ‘CIA Listening Devices’™ now installed in dumbed-down people’s homes will skew this massively in favour of the No 1 listed search result. Forget ‘page 2’, ‘item 2’ won’t get a look in ever!

    • The same people embracing Siri and Alexa will happily queue up to have the self-destruct tracking microchip inserted in their nuchal ligament. “For your own good, dear–for “good health!” And you know what–they’ll DESERVE it.

  19. Good post. I was already aware of most of the substance, but had not thought to write something up—and would not have done as good a job as here.
    Use google extensively for research into my two businesses, topical antimicrobials and energy storage materials. Those are quite specific, not politicized, and there are few google biases. Search terms become, however, an art form.
    Also use google searches extensively for research on general energy and climate change. Here the politicized biases are palpable. So, a few google search tricks learned the hard way.
    1. Make queries as specific as possible. Sometimes a quick wikipedia (don’t rely on it) helps formulate a narrower query.
    2. Always go at least five search pages deep. On complex issues, go 10 deep. Don’t click on very much, just apply rules 3 and 4.
    3. Learn junk sites and avoid them. Desmog, RC, and SKS are junk. So are many energy sites like green car congress or the wind and solar trade association sites. They hype spin. A lot of mining for a few truth nuggets.
    4. Favor primary sources. PR announcements about a paper are NOT the paper. Any NGO is by definition not primary.

    All this works well when you have some knowledge, and poorly when no knowledge. Between IPCC, National Climate Reports, and Google, it is easy to (temporarily) mislead low knowledge people. It gets harder when a good list of easily verifiable skeptical sound bites is available, especially when Ma Nature also appears to be a skeptic. My last twp ebooks have been a way to move low knowledge readers to some knowledge about internet searching, energy, and climate.

    • I’ve switched to duckduckgo. It’s not great, but it’s more useful than google or bing.

      • My son likes Duck Duck Go and says they are much less intrusive than Google. Google is too big, too powerful and too manipulative for my taste. Boycott ’em, I say! Power to the peope!

    • Ha ha! The joke’s on you Martin. The entire world is the victim of the CAGW scheme.

      • Not any longer–Trump pulling us out of the shared-universe-fantasy is going to cause it to fall like dominoes. Don’t think for one minute that world leaders aren’t smart enough to parse the data for themselves and realize there’s no “there” there. The minute it’s no longer advantaging them financially, they’ll drop it like an overheated rock at a clambake. Ms. Merkel can prate her platitudes at the G-20, but when the door is shut on the media I don’t think she’s going to have to many takers this time; or more importantly, the big players PAYING to continue this charade.

    • (martin, i take it that you would have no problem making colored people ride in the back of the bus)…

      • afonzarelli, I would have a big problem with that. Especially on the bus I ride. I don’t think the driver could drive from the back of the bus.

      • Well… They could hire more white drivers, i suppose. Would you have a problem with a website that discriminates against colored people? Let’s say there’s a popular site where anybody who revealed that they weren’t white had their comments deleted and/or were blocked. Are you o.k. with that? The potentials are there on the “anything goes” internet. Perhaps a better analogy than the bus would be refusing service to colored people in a restaurant…

    • Pointing out well documented biases, is just “playing the victim card”?

      It really is sad how you warmunists reject reality.

  20. I spent some time today trying to learn more about the Russian Global Circulation Models that seem to be doing a better job than the others in predicting temperatures. I was using ‘Cartoona’ and Bing. The first site I tried was the actual Russian source. I received a warning that the certificate was invalid and I should immediately leave the site. I then tried a couple of links at Harvard; they did not load. Coincidence, or part of a larger problem, I don’t know.

    • CS. Ron Klutz did a decent analysis of INM-CM4 on his blog Science Matters. if I recall correctly about 2 years ago. Start there. Ron linked to other primary sources. There are also peer reviewed papers comparing the main CMIP5 models in various ways like sensitivity, clouds, polar amplification.

  21. Some good news: Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming, by Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer comes in at #12 for me in a search on climate change. However maybe Google hasn’t got enough complaints on it yet from the trolls to adjust their algorithm? And it’s possible that it shows higher for me because of my search history. Perhaps it would come in lower for people who follow pages that promote CAGW?

    • That’s a good point, Ralph. Just how much does your search history affect the results?

      • Well the computer I’m using now regularly visits WUWT, JoNova and The Chiefio and still put WUWT on page 9 using Google.

  22. I generally use Google, but as I usually know what I am after I ferret out the relevant result. As with some other commenters, I will go several pages deep if necessary.
    There is another search engine, with what I think is an ill-conceived name – http://www.4conservative.com
    Jennifer Oriel discusses it here: https://jenniferoriel.com/2017/02/01/conservative-alternative-to-google/
    I haven’t used it, and don’t know how useful it is. I’d prefer a website that promoted itself as neutral, and could be reasonably assessed as being so. An adherent to a less popular perspective is likely to feel aggrieved by their perspective missing out on page one in search results, so to some extent fair representation of ideas will always be in the eye of the beholder.

    • I’d prefer a website that promoted itself as neutral, and could be reasonably assessed as being so.

      I believe duck & go is just that, but am willing to be corrected.

  23. I quit using Google years ago. When they moved from link count to directed searching. I also avoid Bing as the have a Microsoft bias and I’m a *nix guy.

    Mostly, now, I use duckduckgo but sometimes used Yahoo… however they have been bought by AT&T which is usually the kiss of death for products… IMHO. Years ago I used AltaVista at times… then Yahoo bought them and shut it down…

    https://duckduckgo.com/
    https://www.yahoo.com/

    Now yacy has caught my eye. It is a distributed search engine, so no central control. Will likely take a year or two to gain traction, but the idea is right…

    http://yacy.net/en/index.html

    YaCy is a free search engine that anyone can use to build a search portal for their intranet or to help search the public internet. When contributing to the world-wide peer network, the scale of YaCy is limited only by the number of users in the world and can index billions of web pages. It is fully decentralized, all users of the search engine network are equal, the network does not store user search requests and it is not possible for anyone to censor the content of the shared index. We want to achieve freedom of information through a free, distributed web search which is powered by the world’s users.
    […]
    Imagine if, rather than relying on the proprietary software of a large professional search engine operator, your search engine was run by many private computers which aren’t under the control of any one company or individual. Well, that’s what YaCy does! The resulting decentralized web search currently has about 1.4 billion documents in its index (and growing – download and install YaCy to help out!) and more than 600 peer operators contribute each month. About 130,000 search queries are performed with this network each day.

    I’ve not installed or used it yet, mostly due to sloth on my part. But it does get the censor out of your life.

    There are lots of other search engines if you look around.

    https://www.ixquick.com/ claims to be the most private

    http://www.dogpile.com/ is a metasearch engine, so will use others and show their collective biases

    There is a long list here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_search_engines

    Including lustings for 3 Dark Web search engines…

    It is a big world out there, once you just walk away from Google….

  24. You can’t expect ‘fairness’ from the elitists that own/control the major search engines. They are ‘out of the closet’ participants in the catastrophic climate change cabal. They are not going to provide succor and support to ‘the enemy’….

    • But seriously, I once spoke to a socialist about global warming. He was seriously concerned that I was able to access information that didn’t push the warmist barrow.

      • There are plenty of folk out there that want to fix a robust set of blinkers on users – subjectively it seems that those that define themselves as “of the left” are far, far more prone to want to direct and control other folks inquisitiveness.

        The insidiousness of search engine bias is easily seen in the comedic down-voting of stuff. I wonder if it’s done by algorithmic methods or are there thousands of hourly paid folk tweaking results – my feeling is that it must be a bit of both…

  25. Calvin, use your favorite search engine to look up “projection”. Wikipedia is even fairly accurate on this subject. You are definitely engaging in it.

  26. 1) The people who write the search engines are left and 2) fake climate news gets masses of sponsorship from the likes of Tides Foundation, Ford Foundation, etc. So there’s a lot of fake climate news about. Much of the wealth of Intel, Hewlett and Packard foundations (both multi-billion dollar foundations) is funnelled into environmentalist causes. Greenpeace are known serial liars when it comes to environmental facts. Enviros often move about between NGOs. A culture a lying has spread throughout the enviro NGO world. I think this is, to a large extent, encouraged by funding. The bigger your claim, the more you grab the headlines, the more funders will reward you for it. Google are a tech company too. The mentality at Google is like Intel, Hewlett and Packard.

    The soft left give enviros the benefit of doubt even though the left know they’re lying. Because enviro claims are often existential threats against the planet, humanity, species diversity, … When facing an existential threat, one can’t help think “perhaps they’re right this time?“. The boy who cried wolf effect does not work in this case.

    I believe this is the reason why climate models have such long tails which forecast catastrophe. They may be very low probability projections but the point is “perhaps the long tail projection just might come true“. They pose an existential threat, with a small, hypothetical, probability. We are suckers for this.

  27. Those are actually used more in manual reviews, rather than their central algorithm which is the main deciding factor in what sites rank where and for what. That algorithm works off of things more like your inbound links, your page markup, the content on your page, etc. It’s still not so great at the whole factual errors thing, as can be seen in their results for things like ‘did the holocaust really happen’ that then put a holocaust denier answer in the instant answer box.

    As someone who has worked in SEO for a decade, I have no doubt that Google has its finger on the scale in a lot of ways (whether it’s intended from the top or not), and while I don’t think this is quite the smoking gun it may seem to be, it’s indicative of how a Facebook-style review and moderation effort can open the door to it happening.

    That said, if you’d like to rank better for Climate Change or other key terms, the moderator should feel free to reach out to me at the email address associated with this post. Seeing a lot of easy adjustments to improve how you appear to search engines, getting you ranking for more terms and ranking higher. Would be happy to throw some free advice your way : )

    • BTW, if anyone here wants to put a climate search-box like that on his or her own web site, here’s the HTML to do it (copied from my page); you can adjust the “size” value to change the width of the box:

      <form action="https://defyccc.com/search/" enctype="application/x-www-form-urlencoded" id="clse" method="get" target="_self">
        Leo Goldstein's <a href="https://defyccc.com/search/">Climate Search Engine</a>:
        <input type="text" value="" maxlength="256" name="q" size="28" type="search">
        <input type="submit" value="Search">
      </form>
      
  28. Just now I wanted to put to put a table into a comment on a different post.
    I remembered that Ric Werme’s guide (WUWT’s sidebar) had the html code to do that.
    Using Google, I clicked on it. I got a warning message about privacy.
    I highlighted the message and right-clicked to copy it, but it didn’t work. Nothing came up at all.
    I noticed the word “Advanced” in the lower left corner and clicked on it.
    It had the option to continue to his site.
    I did, but it seemed that a section was missing, including the section that included the html code I was looking for.

    Maybe there IS an issue with Ric’s site. Maybe he’s doing some “rebuilding”.
    It does seem odd.

  29. I’ve known for a long time now that google search results on politicized issues of supreme interest to leftist and progs of all stripes are completely faked.

    I’ve run tests in the past prior to the Presidential election, comparing specific searches that would be favorable to Trump and unfavorable to Hillary on both google and bing and the differences in the results were absolutely stunning, i’m talking two orders of magnitude in difference, with bing being FAR, FAR more honest than google.

    google is simply NOT to be trusted in the least on political issues. same with wikipedia. both are deliberately and grotesquely slanted wildly to the left ON PURPOSE!

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