"All I am is a contributor. I have no title, I'm just a Joe Blow," says Ken Mampel, a currently unemployed 56-year-old living in Ormond Beach, Florida. He's also largely responsible for the Wikipedia article about Hurricane Sandy. If it isn't already, that article will eventually become the single most-viewed document about the hurricane. On the entire internet.
In an unpaid but frenzied fit of news consumption, editing, correction, aggregation, and citation, Mampel has established himself as by far the most active contributor to the Wikipedia page on Hurricane Sandy, with more than twice the number of edits as the next-most-active contributor at the time this article was written.
And Mampel made sure that the Hurricane Sandy article, for four days after the hurricane made landfall in New Jersey, had no mention of "global warming" or "climate change" whatsoever.
Late in the evening of November 1st, a new section appeared at the bottom of the Wikipedia page, titled "Connection to global warming." It was the first mention of climate change the article had had, and laid out the response from climate scientists, mostly stating that climate scientists don't really know if the hurricane was caused in part or whole by climate change. I emailed Ken, who goes by the name Kennvido on Wikipedia, to get a response, and he wrote back: "thanks deleted again and told them to go discuss Sandy on the global warming page." I reloaded the page and confirmed: Ken had eliminated any discussion of climate change. A few minutes later, I reloaded and the section was back, only with a big block warning, telling me that "The neutrality of this article is disputed." By 10:23, that warning read: "An editor has expressed a concern that this Section lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. Please help to create a more balanced presentation."
By the morning of November 2nd, the section was gone again. The revision history shows an argument: "the existence of other views is solved by referencing them in RS, not deleting views one disagrees with," says one contributor. Mampel continues to fight, and he's not the only one: another user chimed in that the Hurricane Sandy page is "Not the place to push global warming when no evidence exists that this was a cause." But by early afternoon, the article had a small paragraph in the "Meteorological history" section linking to a few articles that suggest a connection to global warming. Ken had been overruled.
"I question Kennvido's own political motives in forcing this discussion out of the article," said one contributor on the article's "Talk" page, the (publicly viewable) page where contributors discuss the article's content. Another said "There is still no mention whatsoever of climate change in this article, even though there is no doubt that it's a systemic cause of hurricane Sandy. It's hard to take [Wikipedia] seriously sometimes." But mostly the argument is about "weight," one of Wikipedia's key guidelines. Here's what Wikipedia says: "Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views." But how do you judge what's a minority view?
Ken Mampel does not believe in climate change. (He referred to himself as a libertarian, by my count, six separate times during one phone call. I never asked about his political leanings.) Without my prompting, Ken mentioned that New York City's Mayor Mike Bloomberg had endorsed Obama for president based on his handling of the hurricane. This is true, and Mampel planned to add this to the Wikipedia entry. "But I don't believe that climate change bullcrap," he said. Bloomberg had specifically mentioned climate change in his endorsement speech, but Mampel wouldn't add that to the Wikipedia entry. That's despite dozens of articles pointing out the connection--not a causation, necessarily, but certainly a connection worth exploring. I myself spoke to a hurricane expert about three hours before I spoke to Mampel who told me that the roughly two-degree increase in the water temperature in the Atlantic could have had a major effect on Hurricane Sandy's strength in the northeast. Mampel doesn't care. He wasn't going to mention climate change.
"Someone did put it in," he told me via email on the night of November 1st. "I took it out stating not proven. They put it in again. This time someone else took it out before I even saw it...warned the person...and it never was put in again." When I mentioned that many reputable scientists and publications have pointed out the connection, he said, "It's still in debate in the world community Dan... even if EnviroGore thinks there is no need for debate."
The Wikipedia entry for Sandy was created by the user Anonymouse321 late on October 23rd. At that time, Sandy was a tropical storm over the Caribbean; NASA's Terra satellite had captured it, and the government of Jamaica had issued a hurricane warning, but nobody was really paying attention. The page was originally called "Tropical Storm Sandy." By October 25th, the storm was gaining speed and looking more dangerous, and Ken had taken notice. Ken lives on the central Florida coast, on the Atlantic side north of Daytona Beach, but he's originally from Hempstead, a town on Long Island just a bit east of Queens. The storm looked as if it would move through the Caribbean and up the east coast--past where Ken lives now, and up to his hometown. Ken took an interest.
When I talked to him, I believe he had slept for maybe 15 hours in the past five days. He spoke quickly and passionately but without any focus whatsoever, and even the simplest question could lead into a tangent from which I had significant trouble pulling him away. "Did you create the Wikipedia article originally?" I'd ask. Two sentences later, he was telling me about his son, who is about my age, who does something at George Washington University and is a veteran and received some impressive military medal and did I know that global warming is definitely not man-made?
At one point I told him I lived in Brooklyn. He paused, and then yelled "JOEY BAG-A-DONUTS!" at me in some kind of 1970s Brooklyn accent. I didn't bother mentioning that my part of Brooklyn was mostly concerned with being able to get fresh-pressed kale juice the morning after the hurricane. (We could, too.) He kept confusing Popular Science with Popular Mechanics, which, to be fair, also happens to people who haven't been sleeplessly editing Wikipedia articles. "I stayed up for 24 hours at one point, I don't remember when," he told me, "and then slept for five hours and then got up and got right back to it. I'm very much into this."
Ken is, he says, between jobs, "because of this lousy economy and I hope we get a new president." But Ken has actually worked in news- and media-related jobs for most of his career. He says he started writing radio copy when he was 13 years old, which would seem to violate some sort of labor law, but that's what he says. He stayed in radio, writing copy for advertisements and doing some production work, until around 1985. Then for the next 17 years or so, he worked as a stringer for TV news stations from Jacksonville to Orlando. A stringer is a freelancer, usually for photography and video coverage, with a loose relationship to a local news station. You get paid per item, not per hour, and you have no institutional benefits. It's a tough job. Ken took the night shift, sitting in his car in a rough part of central Florida with three police scanners on the seat next to him. Whenever something would happen--natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes, or just general crime, he'd rush off and document it, and TV news would pay him for each find.
That's just about exactly what he did when he began editing Sandy's Wikipedia page on the afternoon of October 25th, except without the pay, and without the original reporting. Ken now follows, he says, 66 different news organizations on Twitter, and spent that day constantly adding and narrowing until he had just the balance he wanted. That included both national and local news sources, both old-school and new--the New York Times, a local New Jersey station called NJ1, the Daily Beast. He took news from all kinds of sources, and plopped them into the Wikipedia page, in proper Wikipedia style. He edited the writing of other contributors. He created new categories and new pages--the storm's effect on Vermont, for example (pretty much none).
One of the key differences between the Wikipedia page and any other news source is that Ken, and indeed all Wikipedia contributors, are specifically forbidden from doing any of their own reporting. "Wikipedia articles must not contain original research," says Wikipedia, firmly. "'No original research' (NOR) is one of three core content policies that, along with Neutral point of view and Verifiability, determines the type and quality of material acceptable in articles." Mampel knows people in the New York area, but unless those people are reporters who have published their own accounts, he's forbidden from making any reference to what he's learned from them. Wikipedia is aggressively second-hand. The other key difference is that Wikipedia has, by design, a peculiar and de-centralized editorial structure. Wikipedia pages are constructed piecemeal, by lots of contributors who theoretically have equal footing. "Wikipedia is a meritocracy," says Jay Walsh, head of communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, among other wiki-properties. "What's beautiful is that it's a broad, instant collaboration."
But that's not how news is typically recorded and released. "You can't look at a breaking news story in the way you look at, say, a bio of a living person," says Walsh. That rule about no original reporting? That can be bent in the interest of having a complete and up-to-date view of a news story when verification is hard to come by. "There's an understanding that in breaking news stories, information may be rough or raw," says Walsh. Instead of just deleting an un-cited fact, editors may attempt to verify it, or just leave it where it is for the time being.
Any contributor can remove, add, or change elements of the article based on any of Wikipedia's many rules, or just because they want to, like Ken and the climate-change stuff. There's healthy back-and-forth amongst the contributors in the "Talk" pages, documented on the "revision history" page. Each Wikipedia article has both: a "Talk" page is where contributors discuss what should and should not be in the article, and "revision history" gives a timeline of edits to the page. Ken may have made the most edits to the Hurricane Sandy page, but he's not a "lead editor" in the sense that he's the point person for the article, able to decide single-handedly what goes into the piece. There's nobody, really, who does that, though there are a staff of just under 1,500 "administrators" on Wikipedia--also unpaid volunteers, selected by, essentially, a survey of other Wikipedia volunteers--who have a bit more power. One of those admins put the Hurricane Sandy page under, says Jay, a semi-lock: only registered Wikipedia editors who have participated in the community before, not anonymous new folks, can edit it now. But Ken did contribute much more than any other editor--he was the most active editor, though that didn't give him any added authority. It also doesn't necessarily mean he wrote most of the article, though he certainly wrote much of it. An edit is an edit, whether it's removing a comma splice or writing 2,000 words.
Ongoing news stories on Wikipedia are created in the same way as any other page there, but with a slightly different approach. On a less-breaking page--I used the page for "cornbread" as an example--the only impulse is to create the best encyclopedia-style reference page. There are arguments, of course, over the preference of yellow cornmeal verses white, or whether hushpuppies (which are fried) belong in an article about cornbread (which is baked), but the idea is to get all of the appropriate information into the article. Not so much with Hurricane Sandy, which the contributors know will evolve over time and take on a different shape in a week than it has now. Regarding the global warming issue, 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.
When I told Jay Walsh about the back-and-forth regarding climate change, he said, "It doesn't surprise me to hear that. Climate change is a bastard--it's one of those really complicated topics within Wikipedia, because the [editors] are so science-focused." But he wasn't upset that one point of view had been steamrollered on a Wikipedia page that received more than half a million hits in three days--he was intrigued about how the process went, and about how it was eventually ironed out, in a way. "The article doesn't not do its work because of that," he said. Walsh talked about a "good faith" versus "bad faith" edit: 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, not surprisingly, has gotten into scraps with some other editors. Despite the communal ethos, there is a distinct pecking order among Wikipedia editors, based sometimes on seniority and sometimes on sheer dickishness. Ken was chided for using "Monday" and "Tuesday" rather than "October 29th" and "October 30th." A user going by the name United States Man threatened to block him for "changing formats, changing info, and putting stuff in the wrong place." In an email to me, Ken called United States Man "one of those ahole members" and says this is "water off his back," but he apologized effusively to U.S.M. in public.
United States Man is one of several hurricane-fanatic Wikipedia contributors who contributed to the Hurricane Sandy page. Another is Cyclonebiskit, who has contributed to just about every inclement-weather-related page on Wikipedia. These guys are advanced hobbyists; they are certainly knowledgeable, if not professionally trained. Ken is neither. He was just captivated by the news story, like the rest of us, spouting off about storm surges and baroclinic pressure like we had any idea what those terms meant two weeks before. And Ken was the one taking the lead on the Wikipedia page. Not because he demanded it, but just because he wanted to do it. He was obsessed. "People just have their...interests," he said.
"Interests" are what made Ken spend five sleepless days racing to aggregate hurricane news, despite having no unusual amount of knowledge on the subject. They're what made him race against mainstream sports sites to post the results of each inning of the ALCS games on Wikipedia first. Ken has a lot of time on his hands, and a drive to join or beat the press at their own game. "I'm in between jobs, it's a lousy economy," he says. "How do you think I can be on here as much as I am?" But when I asked how he thought his speed and work compared to the professionals who were doing essentially the same thing, he glowed. "That's exactly it!" he said. "Bam! Bam! Bam! That's what I strive for, to be as fast as major media. I wanted to be there, and I wanted to be accurate." And Ken talks a lot about accuracy, about crafting a page that reflects the facts. But accuracy only goes so far on Wikipedia.
If one of the weaknesses of Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it, the solution to that problem is that, well, anyone can edit it. Mampel can't be vigilant against climate change's mention in the Hurricane Sandy article forever. In fact, he couldn't keep climate change off the page for an entire week--somebody else will keep adding that section until Mampel gives up. 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 apologized and offered to fix it. "If you're nice, you'll get nice back," he said about the community. He wants to edit in "good faith." For posterity, this particular problem will be ironed out. 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.
Find me one IPCC warning that isn't peppered with "maybes".
Science only says it “could” happen, never have they said it “WILL” happen. READ their reports!
All evidence points to exaggeration and real planet lovers are happy a crisis wasn’t real after all so get ahead of the curve:
*In all of the debates Obama hadn’t planned to mention climate change once.
*Obama has not mentioned the crisis in the last two State of the Unions addresses.
*Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.
*Julian Assange is of course a climate change denier.
*Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
Dan Nosowitz, while I appreciate your concern for the sanctity of truth in media. I feel as though you come off as more of a bully than anything. It makes me sad that one of the longest articles published to PopSci is basicly an attack ad. In my opinion the way in which you composed your article came off like a highschool facebook fight. ie( putting his picture up, talking on your emails, posting his account info, and discrediting him for his socio-economic status) It almost seems as though you are begging your more extreme readers to harrass the man. while I myself do believe in global warming, I also feel that since all the data gathered during the storm has yet to be fully analyzed, one cannot definately prove that the storm was in fact caused by global warming. therefore in my scientific theory, both opinons (however unlikely) in this situation are valid, Which makes you (Dan Nosowitz)look bad when you state your opinions as fact. when situations like this occur and both parties feel justified, it's a sad day for science indeed. And finally instead of going through all the trouble to force the global warming link onto the hurricane sandy wiki page, you could have just created a paragraph about sandy on the global warming page. But I guess im the only one who thinks outside the sphere.
Next year when all the data is in, hyposthesized, tested, and theorised. and the link between Sandy and Global warming is proven scientifically, I will apologize to you, Dan Nosowitz, believer of global warming, twitter :@dannosowitz. first creator and proclaimer of the quote- "this hurricane reminds me what a repulsive tub of shit i was when i worked from home all the time". to you a true conquistadore' I will give my sincerest aoplogies. See what i just did there Danny Boy? we're not so different you and me, Dan Nosowitz :D
Maybe if he spent as much time looking for a job as he does online he wouldn't be unemployed...
1 - Your first comment is simply stupid. Of course it has 'maybes' in it. Just like I say 'maybe' when people ask me if I'll wake up tomorrow. It's the future, we can't say for sure. Technical doccuments like UN doccuments cover their butts by using 'maybes' even though they mean 'will'. The ICPP doccuments from a couple years ago FAR underestimated the warming trends and sea ice loss. So they're not overstating anything, in fact, they understate it.
2 - Obama tries not to mention Climate Change because of the overwhelming number of Americans that think it's a sham. Those are the same ones who think the world is flat and 6000 years old.
3 - Carbon trading is going to be the only way will will stop the privitization of profits while socializing the costs. I think the OWS people are more concerned about that than anything.
4 - The problem with your last point is that people in Canada vote VERY differently than down in the USA. Half the people I talk to still think the Conservatives have the same views as back with Mulroney!
The climate has warmed over the last couple hundred years. That is undenieable (scientiffically). The causes can be debated, but the facts are that we're increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 traps heat. Therefore we're increasing heat in the atmosphere.
As for the article itself, I agree with Thyork. Picking a fight where none is needed.
Ken is an idiot. I hate to say it. He should not be allowed to take such knowledge off. It is people like him that are making it so hard to change our bad habits. I feel bad for my future generations with the world they will inherit. Things are already getting pretty serious.
"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..."
Dan, it is ironic that you attack Ken's lack of "meteorological training". According your Pop Sci profile you hold an undergraduate degree in English literature. That makes you just as qualified to speak global warming as Ken Mampel.
Yet you are the assistant editor of a science magazine. By your own logic: why should anyone bother to read any of your contributions when you don't have the educational background to fully understand the subject you are writing about?
I'm not a global warming skeptic, nor am I an global warming alarmist (see I can play the label game too). And I agree there should be a reference to climate change on the Wiki article. I simply found your personal attack on a man volunteering his own time to support an important resource disgusting. Where would Wikipedia be without its contributors? But more than anything, I derive great pleasure in pointing out your hypocrisy.
> The climate has warmed over the last couple hundred years.
Thank goodness. The Little Ice Age was a bad time for humans and other terrestrial life forms. Warmer is better and we're just getting back up to optimum temps.
> That is undenieable (scientiffically).
Undeniable (scientifically) is kind of like "the science is unequivocal" isn't it? Neither have a place in a scientific discussion.
> The causes can be debated, but the facts are that we're increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 traps heat. Therefore we're increasing heat in the atmosphere.
That conclusion is simplistic and does not follow. Before you can honestly reach that conclusion you have to eliminate all of the other possible causes. No, simulations don't count. Only observations count.
The anti-science people here are the ones insisting that Sandy is a result of "Climate Change" (They actually mean: Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change) when most of your own pet scientists (the non-advocates anyway) are insisting that we don't have evidence for that conclusion.
I suspect Dan Nosowitz knows that associating specific WEATHER events is inaccurate, but when your home is threatened someone has to be to blame for it. Who better than the bad people who don't share your faith?
This is nothing by another troll article to stir up people into massive flame wars. And honestly PopSci, more science, less politics, please. You might as well call this PolSci (political science) instead.
Ah. Gotta love the lack of scientific integrity. Since when are skeptics "deniers" because they don't believe scare-models that do not account for negative feedbacks, and in fact produce the famous "hockey stick" chart when fed random data?
I'm really liking this new trend.
"Putting the 'O' in Popsci".
Anyone other than me thinking science should be free of this political stuff? Then why is every other article some Global-Warming, Democrat-endorsing farce of journalism?
It is really a fallacy to blame any single weather event on climate. Weather is a chaotic system and chaotic systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions. It is possible that global warming prevented an even worse storm than Sandy from occurring in some other place. Even slight changes to the initial weather conditions can yield dramatic results to future weather.
This video illustrates my point. It is a video about math, specifically chaos theory and the Lorenz Attractor. It's not propaganda. It was not made to refute or support global warming. It uses weather as a instrument to teach math.
and in other news the earths climat has been changing constantly since it formed. How about some real science? Maybe an info-graphic that shows where it is legal to get drunk and shoot someone? That couldn't possibly be construed as political right? Pop-Sci has been infiltrated by moon beams....
Annual subscription to PopSci - $10.
Dan's first time editing a wiki - Priceless.
So Dan, forgive me if I'm being a bit thick here, but if "climate scientists don't really know if the hurricane was caused in part or whole by climate change", how is it relevant to a Wikipedia article on Hurricane Sandy? It looks an awful lot to me like climate alarmists are trying to use Hurricane Sandy as yet another platform from which to broadcast their beliefs even though it's completely irrelevant, as you pointed out. It says a lot about the motivation and methods of climate alarmists.
Consider this. If climate scientists don't know if the hurricane is connected to climate change, then "the wrath of God" is as plausible an explanation as "global warming" and it's just as relevant because more than a few people actually believe it is a causal mechanism of natural disasters. Would you allow it to be included in the Wikipedia article? I didn't think so. Case closed.
So, Ken Mampel: good cop.
And, by the way, interesting hatchet job on Ken Mampel. You can't come up with a compelling argument for why he should allow global warming propaganda to be included in the Hurricane Sandy article so you attack his credentials, his expertise. It's Wikipedia. Are any other hurricane articles on Wikipedia written by meteorologists? No?
And PopSci isn't a high school paper, either. You're a professional writer now. Mampel, who is not getting paid, is doing what any good Wikipedia editor does, policing the article to keep it news-and-fact-based. You could learn a few things about writing and editing from Mampel.
If a fraction of the time it took to research and write this article was used to improve the quality of writing on PopSci, we would have a winner all round. Unfortunately Dan, you believe your indignation over what someone doesn't believe rises to the level of Science and that perpetuates the tripe you and your fellow editors continue to dish. You suck at what you do...
Whether it's true or not, it's not up to Wikipedia editors to decide what is fact and what is not. It makes no difference whether the editor in question has any expertise. Their job is to take information from notable sources and report it. Right now there are a lot of notable people blaming the storm on global warming. This guy by removing content that contradicts his beliefs and is backed up by notable sources is violating wikipedia's NPOV policy.
No one is denying climate change. But if you think that this hurricane is PROOF that man is causing it, then you have no business having any part of the word science in your URL.
The tactic of describing someone that disagrees with the conventional wisdom of AGW as being a "climate change denier" is cowardly.
Seriously, can any AGW proponent produce even a shred of evidence proving that anyone has ever claimed that the "climate is not changing"?
On the other hand, anyone can easily show that the computer models AGW theory are based on are seriously flawed. These computer models cannot even come close to replicating the past global temperature history. So they obviously are not valid for future temperature predictions.
I have just created a starter page for Hurricane Sandy Controversies; will attach to the main page and see what our friend does next.
I believe global warming is largely responsible for Hurricane Sandy as well environmental changes in my own state, but seriously this is Popular Science for Christ's sake not your own personal blog. You don't get to write a hate piece on some poor guy, misinformed though he may be, simply because you disagree with his view point, and you certainly don't have the right to stick it in the most popular science publication in the nation and call it journalism.
Had you done as Wikipedia strives to do in the construction of all its articles and maintained neutrality then you could have had a thoughtful piece on the credibility of information on the internet. Instead you decided to ruthlessly trash a lonely unemployed hobbyist for wanting to contribute something to largest news story of the year.
This is a good example of why America continues to decline. We have someone who follows Tea Party science and is allowed to control what millions of people view (Wikipedia) as accurate information.....and then we have people who actually defend him.....simply amazing!
The article stated, "I myself spoke to a hurricane expert about three hours before I spoke to Mampel who told me that the roughly two-degree increase in the water temperature in the Atlantic could have had a major effect on Hurricane Sandy's strength in the northeast. Mampel doesn't care. He wasn't going to mention climate change."
Here's what Wikipedia says about the warming of the North Atlantic, in the article on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which indicates that the SSTs may decline after 2015 due to a downturn in the AMO (and implies that current warming is partly due to the AMO):
"The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is a mode of variability occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean and which has its principal expression in the sea surface temperature (SST) field.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
"Relation to Atlantic hurricanes
"In viewing actual data on a short time horizon, sparse experience would suggest the frequency of major hurricanes is not strongly correlated with the AMO. During warm phases of the AMO, the number of minor hurricanes (category 1 and 2) saw a modest increase. With full consideration of meteorological science, the number of tropical storms that can mature into severe hurricanes is much greater during warm phases of the AMO than during cool phases, at least twice as many; the AMO is reflected in the frequency of severe Atlantic hurricanes. The hurricane activity index is found to be highly correlated with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. <b>If there is an increase in hurricane activity connected to global warming, it is currently obscured by the AMO quasi-periodic cycle. The AMO alternately obscures and exaggerates the global increase in temperatures due to human-induced global warming. Based on the typical duration of negative and positive phases of the AMO, the current warm regime is expected to persist at least until 2015 </b>and possibly as late as 2035. Enfield et al. assume a peak around 2020."
What a nasty piece of work you are. An ad hominem smear job by a blogger with a political agenda. Is this what Popular Science has sunk to, not backing peer-reviewed science, but advocating internet Maoism?
My opinion on this is the Wikipedia article should, of course, be focused on the events and effects of the hurricane itself. However, it would be incomplete without a mention of the controversy over AGW and its potential link to the formation and strength of the storm.
As for the climate change discussion itself: the human race has seen a threefold increase in numbers over the last century. While CO2 emissions are most pointed to as the root cause, I prefer to think more of the deforestation caused by the proliferation of our kind. The more trees removed from the biosphere, the longer it takes to sequester any CO2 that is released regardless of the source.
Overall, it becomes our responsibility to ensure we do what we can do to preserve and conserve natural resources. Will any of that reverse the trend? It is too early to tell, but the wisdom of conservation has been explained in many, many stories.
This is disgusting. This article has nothing to do with science, and exists only to smear someone who Dan Nosowitz disagrees with. If PopSci has any respect for itself as a scientific journal it should fire the assistant editor. Bad form, Mr. Nosowitz.
I find it offensive how blatantly pro climate-change this is to openly ridicule a man (with his picture in the article). PopSci, many of your readers don't hold to your writer's politically tainted brand of "science". People do affect the climate. There I said it, so give it a rest. There are 7 billion people on earth, how could we not? But there were hurricanes before the last 100 years (as far as I know), and the climate will change with or without us. Besides, we can't calculate exactly how we affect the climate. Maybe instead of trying to focus on having no effect, we should work toward making a positive change and stop bullying people with different opinions.
There is a consensus in the scientific community regarding anthropogenic global warming. This is not up for debate.
Dan, this is possibly the most accurate representation of Wikipedia that I have ever read in the mainstream press. If someone like Mampel can keep mention of global warming out of a high-profile article like Hurricane Sandy, imagine what a group of dedicated and connected WP editors can do. There are all kinds of warring factions on WP - some pushing ideological or political agendas, some just trying to make a buck by keeping their clients' article free from bad press, and some where people of questionable mental health are just trying to control something in their lives (even if it is only a WP article). Great piece!
Lets put some facts down on the board here, FACT- you add CO2 to a Atmosphere in large enough amounts it will cause a green hose affect. Now with that being said, to understand our output and how it relates to this huge Super Complex Chaotic thing that we call our Atmospheric Condition, and make rules and alarmism is stupid. Also to ignore our Climate and how we affect it is equally stupid. I think that what we need to remember is that as man, we are just apart of nature as everything else, I.E. all of our actions are a direct result of Nature itself. So this CO2 we are releasing into the Air is natural. Mother Nature will correct herself, by our means or her means.
Less Money On War more Money on Science
The Evangelical Christian Right is working 24/7/365 to prepare the world for the Christian world they believe is coming. Wikipedia is monitored and constantly edited to suit the world-view of the Christian Right. If you upload anything to Wikipedia that is contrary to the views of the Christian Right, it will be removed or altered within days.