Most Of Your Hurricane Sandy Knowledge Is Coming From A Man Who Doesn't Believe In Global Warming

If it's not already, the Wikipedia page on Hurricane Sandy will become the most widely viewed internet resource on the storm. And as PopSci discovered, it's being largely controlled by a 56-year-old, unemployed Floridian who doesn't believe in rising global temperatures. 

Ken Mampel, a one-time disaster reporter by trade, began editing the page on October 25 and has since spent countless sleepless nights patrolling for accuracy, honest reporting, and any mention of global warming's role in the storm, which he promptly deletes. Theoretically, no one Wikipedia editor carries any more weight than another, but Ken currently has twice the number of edits as the next most active contributor. Still, editors with conflicting views have resigned themselves to humouring people like Ken, assuming he'll eventually give up his crusade against global warming references: 

One contributor wrote: "With the article being edited heavily with updates at the moment, many of whom are in the storm, my view is that it can wait for a day or two." Another said, "It sounds more like, 'We'll keep all mention of global warming out of the discussion until after nobody's interested in this storm any more.'" This isn't so much "waiting for new information to come in." This is "waiting for majority rule to overcome the will of the few". The few are what kept global warming off that page for so long.

Ken Mampel really thinks he is improving that page by eliminating an unclear passage about climate change, so that's a "good faith" edit. Which, for Wikipedians, means the system is working. But what about for those 500,000 readers who didn't get the full story?

Ken may be keeping "the full story" off the page now, but the nature of Wikipedia won't keep it that way. As a seasoned contributor, Ken knows the politics of Wikipedia's editing community, and it's a group he has no desire to alienate:

Mampel doesn't want to risk being banned; he's very concerned about being a good guy in the contributor community. Whenever anyone commented with any issue about his work, he immediately apologised and offered to fix it... But for days, the internet's most authoritative article on a major tropical storm system in 2012 was written by a man with no meteorological training who thinks climate change is unproven and fought to remove any mention of it. [PopSci]

Image: NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab


Comments

    And that's why in the science world if you want to express an opinion, whether it be based on your research/experimentation etc, you need peer reviewed reference material to back you up.

    What's the big problem? Global warming/cooling/whatever is a function of climate. Sandy is weather, albeit a rather nasty bit of it.

    It doesn't do to confuse the two.

    I'm assuming Mampel is removing remarks from the AGW faction who want to promote Sandy as a result of all the climate deniers' follies. Until there is a proven link, like real scientific cause and effect, and can offer proof that climate change caused Sandy, then good luck to him.

    Disclaimer: Before I get dumped on by all and sundry, I am currently climate agnostic.

      Hi Doug. I'm also climate agnostic. However, keep in mind that while weather and climate aren't the same thing, weather events are PART of climate.

      I'm of the opinion that it doesn't matter whether global warming is real or not. We need to pollute as little as possible REGARDLESS. I mean, if it turned out global warming *wasn't* real, or wasn't our fault, would we just pump as much crap as we could into the air?

    Well, that's because the worlds average temperature at didn't cause it, and I bet you no one will be able to prove that it made it worse...
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/02/next-time-somebody-tries-to-tell-you-hurricane-sandy-was-an-unprecedented-east-coast-hurricane-show-them-this/

      +1 Linking Sandy with Climate Change is "Tabloid Climatology". New term to me and I consider it gold.

      Your confirmation bias will just have you asking for more and more proof anyway, just like the people who cling to their guns and religion. I'm not a climate scientist, I know that most all climate scientists support the theory of anthropogenic global warming so I know it's the best possible explanation of what is going on. Until or unless the common knowledge flows another way, then I will willingly accept my mistakes and it's the best position to be in.

      As far as your actual link goes, it's just like saying cold snaps prove that global warming isn't happening. It's attacking a fragment of a fraction of a bigger argument and is by no means definitive.

    How's that for getting your 'facts' from Wikipedia? Kiddies, take note.

      wikipedia is fine if you use the references, not just take it all on face value.

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