Gulf Coast Crisis: Day 56 – BP starts burning oil leaking from well – What Took So Long?

BP starts burning oil from leaking ruptured well

By Ray Henry   Associated Press   Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 8:37 a.m. MDT
NEW ORLEANS – BP began burning oil siphoned from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday as part of its plans to more than triple the amount of crude it can stop from reaching the sea, the company said.

BP PLC said oil and gas siphoned from the well first reached a semi-submersible drilling rig on the ocean surface around 1 a.m.

Once that gas reaches the rig, it will be mixed with compressed air, shot down a specialized boom made by Schlumberger Ltd. and ignited at sea. It’s the first time this particular burner has been deployed in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP officials previously said they believed the burner system could incinerate anywhere from 210,000 gallons of oil to 420,000 gallons of oil daily once it’s fully operational. The company did not say how much oil the new system has burned. It said work to optimize the new system was still ongoing.

Under pressure from the Coast Guard, the energy firm is attempting to expand its ability to trap leaking oil before it reaches the water. Already, oil and gas are being siphoned from a containment cap sitting over the well head and flowing to a drill ship sitting above it in the Gulf of Mexico.

Adding the burner is part of BP’s plan to expand its containment system so it can capture as much as 2.2 million gallons of oil a day by late June, or nearly 90 percent of what a team of government scientists have estimated is the maximum flow out the well.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700040730/BP-starts-burning-oil-from-leaking-ruptured-well.html

McAuleysWorld: Why did it take so long to do this? Why did BP stop burning the oil in the first place? Who were the players who participated in the decision making process? Who made the decision to stop burning oil in the first place? 

Crisis On The Gulf Coast: Day 56 – Excerpts & Criticisms of Obama’s Oval Office Speech

The Presidents words are “bolded”, the comments and criticisms are not.  

On April 20th, an explosion ripped through BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about forty miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives. Seventeen others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water.

The underwater spill actually began two days after the “explosion or fire” and after the “Rig” sank into the sea.  Why did the President not simply say as much – to avoid discussing why the rig sank? We don’t know if the rig sank because of fire or structural damage related to an “explosion or fire” of if the rig sank because of negligence in fighting the fire. It has been suggested that the “Rig” sank because the 4 “legs” of the rig were filled with water as a result of the firefighting. So who owned the 5 boats used to fight the fire? BP? Transocean Ltd. , the company that owned and operated the rig and was drilling the well, or the U.S. Coast Guard?  It has also been reported that the EPA prohibited the use of a chemical fire fighting agent, Purple K, that may have allowed those fighting the fire to extinguish or control the fire without sinking the rig. Had the “rig” not sank, there may be no “spill” now. Later we will review the topic of regulation, but for the moment I’ll note that the President has not suggested a need to review the actions of the Coast Guard or EPA and whether additional regulation of those entities is being considered.   

That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge – a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s Secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.

Mr. President it took you 9 days to even mention the crisis. Do you expect me to believe that you “assembled a team” prior to even mentioning the event.

Who exactly, are the other team members? So Dr. Chu is the “Capitan”, but who are the team members and when were they added to the team?

Steven Chu (born February 28, 1948)[3] is an American physicist and currently the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. Working at Bell Labs and Stanford University, Chu is known for his research in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.[3] At the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, he was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level.[1] He is a vocal advocate for more research into alternative energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change.[4][5][6] For example, he has conceived of a global “glucose economy”, a form of a low-carbon economy, in which glucose from tropical plants is shipped around like oil is today.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Chu

While Chu is a very bright man, Chu has no specific specialty even remotely related to the issues of oil production, offshore oil production or deepwater oil production. In fact, his specialty is in the remotely related field of “alternative energy” sources. If we were in the middle of a crisis involving “alternative energy sources” I doubt that I would look to a specialist in “deep water drilling” to lead the team to address the problems. Would you?

Again, I want to know which of our “experts” and “academics” are participating? What are the suggested back-up plans?

As a result of these efforts, we have directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90% of the oil leaking out of the well.

This isn’t good enough for me. A fuzzy estimate of when we will be capturing 90% of the oil. Do we have a back-up plan? The Government originally reported that 5,000 barrels a day were leaking into the gulf – that “estimate” is now 60,000 barrels a day. If we capture 90% of the 60,000 barrels that leaves 6,000 barrels leaking into the gulf, 1000 barrels more than originally estimated.

Isn’t anyone looking for alternate ways to cap the well? 

The President who gutted NASA’s budget and ended our plans to return to the moon, has the nerve to invoke memories of the Lunar Program, but can’t convene a group of our best scientists to develop an alternate plan to cap this well? How pathetic!

17 nations have offered assistance – can’t we benefit from the assistance of at least one of these Countries?

First, the cleanup. From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history – an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost forty years of experience responding to disasters.

President Obama has a strange sense of time. Admiral Allen wasn’t appointed until 14 days after the spill. Mr. President, it took you 9 days to even mention the incident.  

Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf. And I have authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast. ……and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.

The Governors of the involved states dispute the count of “ships & vessels” and so do I. As to the National Guard Troops, they were requested 6 weeks ago and apparently were authorized during last night’s speech. The President spent the previous two days in the gulf and then waited to return to Washington for his speech to “authorize deployment”.  

You can Google it if you like …. When you do you might note that the President authorized 1200 National Guard Troops to our southern the border to assist with immigration issues – the 1200, authorized 3 weeks ago,  have yet to arrive – maybe they are walking to the border from Washington.

Forty eight hours ago, Admiral Allen proudly announced that 400 skimmers were deployed. 400 skimmer boats for 3000 miles of coast line. Other than say, a strange desire to support American Unions during this crisis, is there any scientific reason that Dutch oil skimming vessels can’t skim oil off American waters. Scientific not political.  

Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents.

This is a great idea. Why doesn’t this approach apply to capping the well and pursuing the cleanup – why did it take so long – 7 weeks to be exact. I’m thankful for this step – but I am also overwhelmed by the totality of inaction.

I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe – that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken. That was obviously not the case on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why. The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion – these families deserve to know why. And so I have established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place.

How odd. After 7 weeks we don’t know what happened – not a clue. We have guesses but no facts. Yet the President refuses to acknowledge that we may, in fact, need no additional regulation. We may not need a single new regulation. There are over 16 million pages of regulation that that govern oil drilling …. 16 million pages. The odds are quite good that, just like with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and immigration, the regulations have already been written, but they are not being enforced today. 

Already, I have issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety, and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue. And while I urge the Commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them to do that work thoroughly and impartially.

I’ll say this simply, I don’t trust the Presidents motives. I believe his motivation is in passing “Cap & Trade”. We have known since day two that 11 men were lost as a result of this accident. The President waited for over 40 days to schedule and capitalize on a photo opportunity with the dead men’s families.  The President has not focused on determining what the facts are and taking the actions to prevent a reoccurrence. The President and other Politicians are interested in photo opportunities and “30 second sound bites”.

Deepwater drilling has gone on for years. Rather than suspend the needed drilling, before we have even identified what went wrong or what caused the “disaster” the President could order “permanent safety inspectors” aboard the rigs to oversee operations and insure compliance with the safety standards already in place. Rather than throwing 10’s of thousands of people out of work, increasing the cost of American energy and reducing our supply of American Oil, why not do what we know to be possible now and move forward with production in the most heavily regulated manner I can think of … an ever present “inspector” overseeing the current work? Is the answer, because that won’t help the President meet his true objective, passage of “Cap & Tax”.

For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked – not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.

Speaking of a lack of candor, cheap and easily accessible oil is, in fact, bountiful.  Americans are denied access to this “natural resource” by the politicians and their supporters in the “green agenda machine”. Environmental regulation places 80% of America’s oil “off limits”, the vast majority of which is easily accessible.  America is not “addicted” to oil. America’s reliance on oil and other fossil fuels is based on our native intelligence, an intelligence that rejects wasting trillions of dollars on “alternative fuels” that are less portable, less plentiful, less effective, and less reliable, alternative fuels that lack any type of cohesive marketing or distribution network. Other so called “clean fuels” like natural gas or nuclear energy are attacked just as is oil. The rejection of carbon fuels is about the subsidization of the “alternative energy sources” that fund and control the “green agenda”. Solar, wind and battery powered initiatives have been around and subsidized for almost 40 years. If and when these “alternative energy” programs become practical and profitable, artificial Government subsidies will not be necessary.

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.

Oh please, Mr. President. You have the statistics available to you; please don’t lie to the American people. China is investing in alternative energy, but it is doing so as it buys every drop of oil it can get its hands on. China is also opening 10 new coal fired energy plants every month with plans to continue to do so for the next 10 years.

This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels will take some time, but over the last year and a half, we have already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry. As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels.  

Mr. President, we are well aware of your exaggerations concerning the “green economy” and all of the green jobs it has created.

When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill – a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses.

You just could not resist the opportunity to use this tragedy to try to manipulate the people, to manipulate the Congress, to rally support for “Cap & Trade”, a policy that has been around for years, to resurrect this “bill” on the backs of those suffering in the Gulf. Mr. President “Cap & Trade” will not plug that well. “Cap & Trade” will not get the oil workers back to their jobs and Cap & Trade will not return the crowds to their vacation destinations throughout our south. “Cap & Trade” will make that small group of your supporters in the “Green Agenda Movement” wealthy beyond all imagination; a wealth that will be taken from America’s working families.

The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon. And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom.

 

Mr. President, on behalf of those working on our Space Coast, let me remind you that you gutted the NASA budget and ended our program to return to the moon. How dare you make reference to our Lunar Program when in practice you reject all that it has done and all that it can do, while you lay off the workers from the space industry, workers who will join the ranks of the oil rig workers you are putting out of work? Please save us from the rhetoric and phony job counts, more action less words.  

Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is our capacity to shape our destiny   

 

Exactly, Mr. President. We want to shape a destiny, an immediate destiny, a destiny that finds a solution to capping that well.  Let us just leave all the “Cap & Trade” frenzy for later and focus on “capping” the well and cleaning up the spill, now.

Mr. President you just don’t get it. When we, the people say, we need to get the “outhouse painted white”, we want a plan to “paint the outhouse white”, not for someone to form a working group, panel or committee of architects and environmentalists to study building a museum to display various works of “outhouse” art. Heavens no – besides it takes too long to get the Washington bureaucrats to pass all the required “outhouse art” regulations necessary to keep us all safe. Regulations no one will ever enforce.    

 The President’s full and unedited speech can be read here: http://gretawire.blogs.foxnews.com/this-is-what-president-obama-wanted-you-to-know/n

Update: BP starts burning oil from leaking ruptured well

NEW ORLEANS – BP began burning oil siphoned from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday as part of its plans to more than triple the amount of crude it can stop from reaching the sea, the company said.

BP PLC said oil and gas siphoned from the well first reached a semi-submersible drilling rig on the ocean surface around 1 a.m.

Once that gas reaches the rig, it will be mixed with compressed air, shot down a specialized boom made by Schlumberger Ltd. and ignited at sea. It’s the first time this particular burner has been deployed in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP officials previously said they believed the burner system could incinerate anywhere from 210,000 gallons of oil to 420,000 gallons of oil daily once it’s fully operational. The company did not say how much oil the new system has burned. It said work to optimize the new system was still ongoing.

Under pressure from the Coast Guard, the energy firm is attempting to expand its ability to trap leaking oil before it reaches the water. Already, oil and gas are being siphoned from a containment cap sitting over the well head and flowing to a drill ship sitting above it in the Gulf of Mexico.

Adding the burner is part of BP’s plan to expand its containment system so it can capture as much as 2.2 million gallons of oil a day by late June, or nearly 90 percent of what a team of government scientists have estimated is the maximum flow out the well.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700040730/BP-starts-burning-oil-from-leaking-ruptured-well.html

McAuleysWorld: Why did it itake 56 days to do this? When was it first suggested? Who was involved in the decission to delay burning the oil and why was that decision made?  

Obama’s Gulf (Oil Spill) War: Day 56 – Obama’s Speech

According to the MSM and the “Talking Heads” that claim the title of  ”Democratic Strategists” there is no question. Oppose or criticize and you are branded a racist.

Personal Criticism of Obama, The Man and His Policies 

As an American and as a Conservative I was elated to celebrate the election of our first black President, however, I was not willing to celebrate the election of Barack Obama, the man,  nor am I currently willing to celebrate Obama’s policies. “Content of character not color of skin”.

Oh how I wish our first black President would have been General Colin Powell.  I can only speculate as to how General Powell would have handled our current set of crisis.

While I’ll never know for sure, I’d speculate that under General Powell’s leadership we would now be moving towards securing our borders, that after 53 days the oil leak in the gulf  would be capped.

Under General Powell’s leadership, Operation Desert Storm only lasted 40 days  (01/17/91 to 02/27/91) and the “ground war” with Iraq lasted a total of 13 days (02-14-91 to 02-27-91).

I just can’t imagine General Powell conducting an international “bow and scrape” tour or engaging in a never ending set of apologies for America’s role in world affairs.

I can’t imagine Powell embarrassing his Nation. I have never heard General Powell play CYA and blame others or point the finger of blame. He was probably to busy leading ….

Under Powell’s leadership would we, as a nation, be speculating on whether the latest set of “impotent sanctions” against Iran would have any meaningful effect on stopping that rogue nation from developing nuclear weapons? Would the Nation be wondering, “and if these don’t work, what do we do next?”

I doubt that the national economy would be be any worse than it is today, if General Powell, if he were President, had simply ignored it.

Yes, these are speculations, but my strong criticism of Obama has nothing to do with race. My speculation as to  “what would General Powell do” has nothing to do with race either.   

When Obama was elected the Liberal Main Stream Media and the Democratic Party heralded the beginning of a “post-racial” America. Less than 18 months into Obama’s Presidency the MSM and the Democratic Political strategists are running to the familiar comforts of race and gender baiting.

It is 2010, isn’t it time we move on?  Let us remember and never forget the lessons of the 1960’s, even if those lessons are 50 years old! We, as Americans, need to learn and move on. To understand this is 2010 and not 1960. To learn from the past but not surrender to being a victim of it.

To try and use the disaster in the Gulf to pass “Cap & Trade”, no matter what they are calling “Cap & Trade today, is inexcusable.

If I heard the President correctly, 56 days into the disaster and we still have no idea what really caused  the explosion or fire. The “root cause” is still a mystery. Nor do we have a “sure fire” plan to cap the well.

I may have missed it, but who exactly “serves” of the President’s committee “evaluating our options to cap the well”. What? That committee doesn’t exist? The President is setting up multiple committees, panels and conferences but he is not establishing a national command structure to respond to the Gulf disaster, a committee or working group of the best “deep sea mining specialists” in the world nor is he accepting help from any of the 17 Countries who have graciously extended an offer to assist the United States in its time of need. The President’s focus is always on “Attorneys”, “Courtrooms” and more “regulations”.

The President talked about leading, about his “war against the gulf spill” but unfortunately he has no idea how to accomplish his goals. One thing you can count on, he has called the Attorneys. No matter what the problem, the answer is always the same, call the Attorneys.

FUN FACT: Once again the Obama Administration has claimed that the problem rests with a failure to regulate. Let me suggest that the problem in the Gulf, like our immigration problem is not a failure to regulate but a failure to enforce the existing regulations. Did you know that there are over 16 million pages of regulations concerning offshore oil drilling, over 16 million pages. Regulations on the density of the material used in the pipes, regulations concerning  the compounds used in the seals and gaskets that are used in the various assemblies, regulations concerning the components  in the electrical assemblies to be  used in the various sensors, sensors that are also regulated . Changing or adding regulations to this mess would be meaningless until we start to enforce the regulations that exist today. Just like our immigration problems …. Why write new regulations if you don’t enforce the ones that exist today.

How, exactly, do we write new regulations to address this disaster when we have not figured out exactly what caused it?

Did the President say last night that while he had a vision for the Country, that he wasn’t exactly sure where we were going or how he we would get us there, but that if we gave him our money, he would drive as fast as he could and maybe, just maybe, we might like where we ended up. Is he kidding me … sounds like a  juvenile road trip from my youth not a plan for a “war against the spill in the gulf”.

Mr. President we want answers …. We want action on capping that well.

Wikipedia & Peer Review: Real Climate.Org Allowed To “Edit Or Delete” 5,428 Climate Articles

By Lawrence Solomon

THE NATIONAL POST – Canada’s Largest National, English Language Paper http://www.canada.com/entertainment/product/national-post-0x138c3b/topic.html

The Climategate Emails describe how a small band of climatologists cooked the books to make the last century seem dangerously warm.

The emails also describe how the band plotted to rewrite history as well as science, particularly by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, a 400 year period that began around 1000 AD.

The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.

The Medieval Warm Period, which followed the meanness and cold of the Dark Ages, was a great time in human history — it allowed humans around the world to bask in a glorious warmth that vastly improved agriculture, increased life spans and otherwise bettered the human condition.

But the Medieval Warm Period was not so great for some humans in our own time — the same small band that believes the planet has now entered an unprecedented and dangerous warm period. As we now know from the Climategate Emails, this band saw the Medieval Warm Period as an enormous obstacle in their mission of spreading the word about global warming. If temperatures were warmer 1,000 years ago than today, the Climategate Emails explain in detail, their message that we now live in the warmest of all possible times would be undermined. As put by one band member, a Briton named Folland at the Hadley Centre, a Medieval Warm Period “dilutes the message rather significantly.”

Even before the Climategate Emails came to light, the problem posed by the Medieval Warm Period to this band was known. “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” read a pre-Climategate email, circa 1995, as attested to at hearings of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. But the Climategate transcripts were more extensive and more illuminating — they provided an unvarnished look at the struggles that the climate practitioners underwent before settling on their scientific dogma.

The Climategate Emails showed, for example, that some members of the band were uncomfortable with aspects of their work, some even questioning the need to erase the existence of the Medieval Warm Period 1,000 years earlier.

Said Briffa, one of their chief practitioners: “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. … I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1,000 years ago.”  

In the end, Briffa and other members of the band overcame their doubts and settled on their dogma. With the help of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the highest climate change authority of all, they published what became the icon of their movement — the hockey stick graph. This icon showed temperatures in the last 1,000 years to have been stable — no Medieval Warm Period, not even the Little Ice Age of a few centuries ago.

But the UN’s official verdict that the Medieval Warm Period had not existed did not erase the countless schoolbooks, encyclopedias, and other scholarly sources that claimed it had. Rewriting those would take decades, time that the band members didn’t have if they were to save the globe from warming.

Instead, the band members turned to their friends in the media and to the blogosphere, creating a website called RealClimate.org. “The idea is that we working climate scientists should have a place where we can mount a rapid response to supposedly ‘bombshell’ papers that are doing the rounds” in aid of “combating dis-information,” one email explained, referring to criticisms of the hockey stick and anything else suggesting that temperatures today were not the hottest in recorded time. One person in the nine-member Realclimate.org team — U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley — would take on particularly crucial duties.

Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed. The glorious Medieval Warm Period will remain in the history books, perhaps with an asterisk to describe how a band of zealots once tried to make it disappear.

Financial Post
LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com

Normal 0 0 1 32 184 1 1 225 11.512 0 0 0

 Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute and author of The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/18/370719.aspx

Climate Gate: Wikibullies at work. Wikipedia allows RealClimate.Org to “Edit” or “Delete” 5,248 Climate Articles

From: Watts Up With That       – The 2008 Weblogs Award Winner – Best Science Blog

http://himaarmenia.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/wikipedia-logo.jpg?w=157&h=189

UPDATED: see stats below the “read more” line.

Lawrence Solomon at the National Post writes about a topic that WUWT readers have known about for a long time: How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles.

We’ve known for some time that Wikipedia can’t be trusted to provide unbiased climate information. Solomon starts off by talking about Climategate emails.

The emails also describe how the band plotted to rewrite history as well as science, particularly by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, a 400 year period that began around 1000 AD.

The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.

He then focuses on RealClimate.org co-founder William Connolley, who has “touched” 5,428 Wikipedia articles with his unique brand of RC centric editing:

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed. The glorious Medieval Warm Period will remain in the history books, perhaps with an asterisk to describe how a band of zealots once tried to make it disappear.

Wikipedia suffers from the same problem that climate science in general suffers from now. A few determined zealots have influenced the vast majority of the published information.

IMHO it is time for Connolley to step aside from Wikipedia, one person should not have so much influence over so many articles. At the same time, the number two person, almost as influential, is Kim Dabelstein Peterson. Here’s a National Review article on the kind of things Petersen has been doing in similar to the work of Connolley.

Additionally, there are many Wikipedia editors and contributors that do so anonymously, and I think that is terribly wrong. There’s no accountability, no quality control, and no recourse to people who falsify information, or mold it to fit a personal agenda. Wikipedia relies upon an honor system, and as we’ve seen from the Climategate emails, there’s no honor in some circles of climate science.

Here is another example:

The Opinionator
Posted: May 03, 2008, 2:53 AM by Lawrence Solomon

Connolley is not only a big shot on Wikipedia, he’s a big shot at Wikipedia — an Administrator with unusual editorial clout. Using that clout, this 40-something scientist of minor relevance gets to tear down scientists of great accomplishment. Because Wikipedia has become the single biggest reference source in the world, and global warming is one of the most sought after subjects, the ability to control information on Wikipedia by taking down authoritative scientists is no trifling matter.

One such scientist is Fred Singer, the First Director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service, the recipient of a White House commendation for his early design of space satellites; the recipient of a NASA commendation for research on particle clouds — in short, a scientist with dazzling achievements who is everything Connolley is not. Under Connolley’s supervision, Singer is relentlessly smeared, and has been for years, as a kook who believes in Martians and a hack in the pay of the oil industry. When a smear is inadequate, or when a fair-minded Wikipedian tries to correct a smear, Connolley and his cohorts are there to widen the smear or remove the correction, often rebuking the Wikipedian in the process.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales recently put out an appeal for donations here. He writes:

I believe in us. I believe that Wikipedia keeps getting better. That’s the whole idea. One person writes something, somebody improves it a little, and it keeps getting better, over time. If you find it useful today, imagine how much we can achieve together in 5, 10, 20 years.

In a perfect world, maybe. In a perfect world unicorns frolic in the park, free money falls from the sky, and people are honest and without bias 100% of the time. But when you have Wikibullies, such as Connolley and Peterson, your honor system goes up in smoke. Fact is Jimmy, your honor system is as corrupted as the peer review process is for climate science these days. In my view, don’t give Wikipedia another dime until they make some changes to provide for a more responsible information environment.

Making free reference information available to the public shouldn’t be a battle of wills between Wikibullies with an agenda and the rest of society.

Here’s where to write to complain to Wikipedia:

Wikimedia Foundation

Postal address

Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
USA
Phone: +1-415-839-6885
Email: info(at)wikimedia.org
Fax: +1-415-882-0495  (note: we get a large number of calls; email or fax is always a better first option)

UPDATE: I’ve located Solomon’s source of information, an independent Wikipedia author tracker. Here is Connolley’s base statistics:

Click image for full report

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/19/wikibullies-at-work-the-national-post-exposes-broad-trust-issues-over-wikipedia-climate-information/

Vote Totals For the 2008 WEBLOG AWARDS – Best Science Blog:  

Real Climate’s Vote Total:   1,446 votes or 4.6 %                                                                                                                                              Watts Up With That Vote Total:  14,150  or  37.6%

http://2008.weblogawards.org/polls/best-science-blog/ 

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