William M. Connolley is a British Wikipedia editor known for his fanaticism in promoting the anthropogenic global warming theory (AGW) and in censoring the views of critics and skeptics. He is the ringleader of the infamous global warming cabal at Wikipedia, a powerful pro-AGW group that has an iron grip on global warming-related articles. Any editors that attempt to introduce factual information that is against their point of view are ceaselessly harassed until they are forced to quit or are banned. Connolley—a Wikipedia editor since 2003—and the group enjoy tacit support from the Wikipedia hierarchy, who often turn a blind eye to the group's misdeeds. Lawrence Solomon said that "Next to Al Gore, William Connolley may be the world's most influential person in the global warming debate". Born on 12 April 1964, Connolley previously worked as a climate modeller and lives in Coton, Cambridgeshire with his wife and children.
Connolley is well known for slandering global warming skeptics—whom he calls "septics"—on Wikipedia, frequently introducing inaccurate or biased information in their articles. His position on Wikipedia allows him to "tear down scientists of great accomplishment". For example, "Under Connolley's supervision, [Fred] 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". Because of his violations of the policy regarding living people, Connolley has since been banned from editing the Fred Singer article. In contrast to his attitudes towards skeptics, Connolley frequently removes damaging information in the articles of supporters of the AGW theory; for example, he removed all mention of the Climategate scandal from the article of Michael Mann, a friend and fellow proponent of the GW theory.
Connolley's editing on Wikipedia is widely acknowledged to be a conflict of interest given his involvement in real life in many of the articles he is editing. For example, he added information criticising on a book by Christopher Booker that was itself critical of Connolley. When an editor contacted him to ask why, Connolley did not reply and simply deleted the question from his userpage. Connolley is known to censor facts regarding the Medieval warm period. Due to his prolific editing and his role in propagating the "scientific consensus", many believe Connolley receives funding for his editing, i.e., he is a paid editor.
Connolley was formerly an administrator but was desysopped in September 2009 when Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee found that he had misused his administrator privileges to further his point of view in a content dispute. In one dispute, he reverted to his preferred version of an article whilst the article was protected, stating "Lets wind everyone up". Connolley became an admin on 14 January 2006 until his rights were revoked. He is currently involved in an arbitration case relating to climate change, in which many editors brought to light Connolley's long history of misdeeds. However, he is unlikely to receive a topic ban on global warming articles, a sanction that many editors have long sought, due to his favorable standing amongst the Wikipedia hierarchy. Connolley's current sanctions are that: he provide an explanation for any revert he does on a global warming-related article on the talk page of that article; he is prohibited from making any edits to the Fred Singer article or its talk page until 26 August 2010; he is prohibited from interacting with the editor Abd in any way.
Connolley is currently employed as a software engineer at Cambridge Silicon Radio. He previously worked for the British Antarctic Survey as a climate modeller. He is a member of the Green Party (UK) and has stood and failed five times as their local candidate for South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. He is a governor at Coton Church of England Primary School, a school his daughter attends. Connolley is an atheist.
- Stephan Schulz (administrator)
- ChrisO (former administrator)
- Guettarda (administrator)
- dave souza (administrator)
- Short Brigade Harvester Boris (former administrator)
- JzG (alias Guy) (administrator)
- Dmcq (claims to be semi-retired but is still very active)
Perhaps the most prominent example of a victim of the cabal is Scibaby. Scibaby made numerous edits in the name of neutrality, including to global warming articles. These edits, however, contradicted the viewpoint of the cabal and Scibaby was indefinitely blocked by Connolley after being accused of sockpuppetry—an accusation that was not substantiated by checkuser but merely made on a whim. Since his ban, Scibaby frequently returns in the form of sockpuppets though these are quickly identified and blocked. The presence of Scibaby is now used as a weapon by the cabal against new editors that make edits in contradiction to the group's views. These new users are often accused without evidence of being Scibaby and are indefinitely blocked, many times without checkuser being performed. They justify their actions in the name of "fighting Scibaby".
Connolley claims to have a DPhil from the University of Oxford, as stated in his Wikipedia article. When an editor asked for evidence for these claims, Connolley could not provide them and requested Jimmy Wales' intervention. Wales closed down the debate and threated the editor that he "be blocked if he does this again". This directed contravenes Wikipedia's own policies, which state "All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source".
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.
Solomon also said that "Connolley is a big shot on Wikipedia, which honours him with an extensive biography, an honour Wikipedia did not see fit to bestow on his boss at the British Antarctic Survey. Or on his boss's's boss, or on his boss's boss's boss, or on his boss's boss's boss's boss, none of whose opinions seemingly count for much, despite their impressive accomplishments". Connolley himself has edited his own article on several occasions (see for example)--24 to be precise.
Connolley and the cabal responded by attacking Solomon's Wikipedia article, removing mention that Solomon was an environmentalist, minimising his achievements and questioning his credentials. This was despite the extensive body of reliable evidence describing Solomon as an environmentalist. Connolley also wrote in his blog that Solomon was a "frothing-at-the-mouth GW septic".
Connolley is a founding member of the RealClimate blog, along with Michael Mann and seven others, which has been described as a "propaganda outfit" which "in the guise of disinterested science, pumps out climate-fear-promoting hysteria on AGW and tries to discredit anyone who disagrees with the ManBearPig “consensus”." He departed from RealClimate in 2007 due to his belief that "the obstacles to progress are now very obviously political not scientific". Connolley frequently argues for the inclusion of RealClimate as a reliable source on Wikipedia, despite it being a self-published blog.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:LessHeard vanU