The Climate Change Denier Who Became The Voice Of Hurricane Sandy On Wikipedia

We all rely far too much on Wikipedia without questioning the veracity of the source. As a reminder of the fallibility of the user-generated entries, Dan Nosowitz exposes the climate change denier Ken Mampel at PopSci:

“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…

[continues at PopSci]

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  • whassup

    I tried to send a message to Disinfo via the “Send a Message” form but it send “Failed to Send a Message – Try to Contact Some Other Way.” I’m using the comments section as another way. Anyway, with holidays approaching, I had some questions about shipping if purchasing from the Disinfo store. Are there options for gift certificates and, also, does Disinfo ship internationally?

    • Matt Staggs

      Hey Whassup, the main office is still closed due to the hurricane, but I’ll try to get an answer for you next week.

      • whassup

        That must be some storm that it knocked out their email inbox. If you can just let us know when that’s working again I can send my question and they can reply at their leisure.

        • Matt Staggs

          Yes, there’s an issue with the form. I should have been clearer in my response: the office is closed, and thus, my boss is out. However, I can get an answer to your question when he returns to the office. Edit: I see that you’ve not used your email address to comment. If you would, please email me directly at matt@disinfo.com.

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        Hey it turns out his comment was pertinent to the hurricane.

  • Francis Bacon

    Dear Disinfo, I really want to like you but you continually put up this garbage. “Climate change deniers,” are people reacting against “Anthropogenic Global Warming.” Climate change was the phraseused to replace AGW and subsequently “Global Warming.” Of course the climate is never in stasis, so people and scientists who disagree with the IPCC on Antropogenic Global Warming are labeled as believing the climate is in permanent stasis. Clever semantic politics, no? If you cannot understand this distinction, you are actively spreading disinformation, ironic given the name of this webzone. Furthermore, you sound just as retarded as the people constantly claiming HAARP is responsible for every earthquake and hurricane that occurs.

    In short, please fuck off you ignorant plebians.

    PS Cap n’ trade is the end goal of all this climate change nonsense, which will do nothing to stop “climate change,” implying that humans could ever achieve climate stasis.

    • Matt Staggs

      Please note that the title of this entry comes from the original article to which we’ve referred you. Additionally, you can find plenty of material skeptical of climate change on this very site. As a matter of fact, one ran last week: http://disinfo.com/2012/10/climate-and-state-high-temperature-records-wheres-the-beef/. If everything we offer makes everyone happy all of the time, then we’re not doing our job. Finally, much of the material on this site is contributed by readers like you. Well, actually not like you, as our contributors take an active interest in promoting dialogue rather than lurking and then just flying off the handle when they encounter something that makes them unhappy.

    • Andrew

      > In short, please fuck off you ignorant plebians.

      The feeling’s mutual.

    • I love BLTs!

      And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the truth. Got to love the moving target created by “climate change” believers (what a delightfully ironic term, isn’t it?). The science is still so young and naive when it comes to climatology, yet we’ve proven it to be true?

      As of now, it IS primarily a device to push cap and trade, which effectively creates an intangible commodity, which will tangibly increase everything you buy, that the super rich can’t wait to trade and muscle around companies with. Until science proves that AGW is true, or more accurately, that we can do a damn thing about it, it’s all about cap and trade, money and politics. Sir Francis Bacon is right once again.

      • Andrew

        The “moving target” is created by new evidence (which is how science works), and calling that evidence a target is an indication one wants to try and find a way to deny it.

  • 1plakat

    I find that wiki is good for non controversial subjects. When there is a lot of debate or when the article is about the funny business some corporations conduct, the article gets altered several times. Everything with a grain of salt and get a second opinion. Usually when I use wikipedia its for superficial research, in contrast when I am doing serious research, I try to read all the pages I find on the subject.

  • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

    When the facts don’t support your theories, be sure to stoop to rampant ad hominem attacks!
    “Deniers” what a load of poppy cock. I agree with Francis Bacon but Matt is right to point out there is some dissent, sadly there is also a preferential bias given to the AGW fear mongering not by intent but by numbers and by comments supporting this propagandized religious belief. I was duped by Gore’s inconvenient truth in ’05 but in follow up research I realized the scope of the manipulation and the coveted end game of Gore, the IPCC and government bureaucracies everywhere, that being to literally tax the air! I will post something rational and scientifically founded soon to help balance these types of sensationalist articles which of course don’t touch on the science but rely on tabloid type headlines and ad hominem/strawman arguments all together.

    • Calypso_1

      Perhaps part of the problem is that you ever payed attention to a fruitloop like Gore to begin with. Now we are all forced to watch the endless repetition of equally ridiculous refutations of such base political propaganda with whatever flavor of ‘skeptics truth’ you are offering up on any given day.

      You would have been better served to spend your time studying calculus & statistics than ‘researching’ air tax.

      • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

        hey look, there it goes spewing again! It’s old hateful!

        “we are all forced to blah blah blah”

        god you are melodramatic. You are a sad case lypservice. Still can’t debate me on the science so you jump at any meager morsel to fill that sucking void you call a personality.

        I calculate you spend too much time on my nuts, statistically speaking.

        Cheerio, nice to see my number one fan has remembered he prefers spitting to swallowing.

        • Calypso_1

          Dear Camron,

          I can see why you would wish to express certain unsatisfied desires towards me. As long as you find this useful you may continue to do so but please don’t expect them to be
          requited.

          As Always

          Calypso_1

          • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

            Ever the spindoctor, it’s almost as though you believe you can rewrite our little history one comment block at a time. Notice you stalked me here my dear lypservice.

            Now as you strive mightily to adjust and hide the hateful hard on you have towards my perspectives, do feel inclined to actually demonstrate some knowledge of the subject in question rather than these endless meandering diatribes you ceaselessly interject.

            For example how much CO2 is just too gosh darn much and by what methodology could one arrive at such certainty in your mind oh anonymous wizard of the disinfo dungeon?

            It’s a fairly simple question. I know you wont’/can’t answer it but feel free to humor me, if you have the guts that is. Your problem is you just can’t admit when you are out of your depth and I predict another tangential provocation to distract from this reality in the ensuing comments. Or you could always face facts and try to understand them.

            The balls are in your court lypservice. Gargle well.

          • Calypso_1

            dictatum erat

          • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

            Exactly. You Won’t/Can’t discuss the facts. Called it on the last thread.

          • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

            For Lypservice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PywI0BOxJpI&feature=related Just get it out of your system bro.

          • Calypso_1

            Are you trying to communicate a desire to commit an act of menace or battery?

            As the comment is directed towards me, am I the the intended target of such desires?
            Is there a time frame that I should consider in which you wish to act on these?

          • Andrew

            The implication is that you want to physically harm him, and he may actually believe it. Notice that he called you hateful while he’s been the one spewing invective. He’s just projecting as usual.

          • Calypso_1

            Unfortunately, correlations between belief & reality have not have not been a strong suit with this subject. His inability to internalize the scope of such distortions provides opportunities to assist in the transference of denial through more directed acting out towards individual conscious actors outside of his peer group. Recent manifestations of
            humor during cyclic downturns of impulsive expression have demonstrated moderate progress but thus far have had no significant impact on global functioning.

          • Andrew

            Man, just imagine the shit he’s going to call us and accuse us of when he gets back here.

          • Calypso_1

            …at least on the internets they can’t throw their own feces.

          • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

            Nice. Rationalize your own ignorance, project away behind a veil of psychobabble and meaningless jargon and continue to press on knowing that when you are wrong you need only employ an endless stream of non sequitur ad hominem attacks. Notice my above challenge still stands

            Ever
            the spindoctor, it’s almost as though you believe you can rewrite our
            little history one comment block at a time. Notice you stalked me here
            my dear lypservice.

            Now as you strive mightily to adjust and hide the hateful hard on you
            have towards my perspectives, do feel inclined to actually demonstrate
            some knowledge of the subject in question rather than these endless
            meandering diatribes you ceaselessly interject.

            For example how much CO2 is just too gosh darn much and by what
            methodology could one arrive at such certainty in your mind oh anonymous
            wizard of the disinfo dungeon?

            It’s a fairly simple question. I know you wont’/can’t answer it but
            feel free to humor me, if you have the guts that is. Your problem is
            you just can’t admit when you are out of your depth and I predict
            another tangential provocation to distract from this reality in the
            ensuing comments. Or you could always face facts and try to understand
            them.

            The balls are in your court lypservice. Gargle well.

          • http://www.sacredgeometryinternational.com/ Camron Wiltshire

            @ Lypservice. No I just see the seething rage you emit and have you figured as one of these office types who just needs to unload, preferably on an inanimate object, like your friend Andrew.

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