Talk:Mark Steyn

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UK career[edit]

The article mentions Steyn's role at the Spectator, but not the role that brought him to prominence, and for which he is still most remembered in the UK: he was one of the rotating presenters of BBC Radio 4's arts programme Kaleidoscope (UK radio series). This was during that blind spot before sources are regularly archived on the web, but can be seen in old Radio Times listings at [1]. This period seems to have been from April 1987 to 13 July 1994 during which he continued to broadcast about musicals and moved to New York. --Cedderstk 07:17, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Climate change viewpoints[edit]

As someone who's followed Steyn off and on for a while, I'm not exactly sure what his specific viewpoints are on global climate change. I'm inclined to think that he likely believes that warming is indeed occurring and has gotten altered due to human influences but that either the nature of that influence is exaggerated, that the warming isn't as dramatic as is being forecast, or the warming may actually be beneficial depending on the area (or, possibly, some combination of those three positions). Again, though, I'm not sure.

At any rate, the article presently labels him as a "climate change denier", which is a specific charge that ought to be sourced by at least one ironclad news article if not multiple ones (this is a biography of a living person, after all)... right? Has anyone run across particular news stories that detail what he actually thinks is happening with climate change? CoffeeWithMarkets (talk) 07:56, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Perhaps Wiki5537821 who changed "skeptic" to "denier" on January 24 can explain? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:39, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
See Climate change denial and the types of denial listed there. The term clearly includes Steyn, as he is a conspiracy nut who levels baseless accusations of fraud at scientists who did nothing wrong, such as Michael E. Mann. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:19, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
CoffeeWithMarkets: So far there is no reply from Wiki5537821. JungerMan_Chips_Ahoy! has removed the offending line. Okay now? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 23:02, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm personally not interested in what arbitrary labels Steyn could get labeled by random people. The questions are a)what have reliable sources said and b)what, in depth, does he actually believe about climate change. That's the issue. I'm 100% fine with including material that would make Steyn look clueless in the article if that's what's been actually stated by reliable commentators (hell, let's not forget that in 2011 he forecast that the U.S. would face an imminent debt crisis and widespread collapse... been like a freaking decade and no such apocalypse has occurred). That's it.
As the saying goes: "Replace the symbol with the substance." CoffeeWithMarkets (talk) 23:07, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
Will you look the definition in the article climate change denial or will you not? Yes, Steyn is a denier, even if he "just" believes that "the warming isn't as dramatic as is being forecast". He is a layman who thinks he is smarter than the experts. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:17, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
And of course, there are sources: the National Center for Science Education, for example: [2]. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:24, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
You've been active on this project long enough to know better. We can't use Wikipedia's voice to present the personal opinion of Josh Rosenau as if it was fact. JungerMan Chips Ahoy! (talk) 21:11, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
The National Center for Science Education is a reliable source. The article was written by a person, so what? All articles are. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:07, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
What you linked to is an opinion piece by Josh Rosenau. But even if it was the official position of NCSE, the opinion of that advocacy group needs to be attributed and presented as such, not stated as fact in Wikipedia's voice. I suspect you already know that. Even opinions that we really really like are still opinions. JungerMan Chips Ahoy! (talk) 15:32, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
Hob Gadling's "is a denier" comment was one of several "BLP issues" that caught the attention of an administrator, who eventually concluded "I'm convinced this is no longer needed and HG has committed to turning over a new leaf." So I believe this discussion can end. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 23:20, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
You wish it were that simple. You know about the "quacks like a duck" thing? Steyn defamed an innocent climatologist, claimed that a perfectly ordinary scientific result is a fraud, and is not a climate change denier? Dream on. The only reason that there are not many sources is that Steyn is relatively unimportant, compared to all those heavyweight deniers with actual political influence. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:00, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
And of course there is this resource documenting what reliable sources say about him. The picture is very clear. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:05, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

The section now reads:

  • "In early 2015, Steyn together with the Institute of Public Affairs published Climate Change: The Facts, a collection of twenty-two essays by what Steyn describes as "some of the most eminent scientists and some of the most rollicking commentators" on the economics, politics, and science of global climate change. In a blog posting about the book, Steyn asserted that the world temperature record has been stuck on a "pause" for the past eighteen years and gave his opposition to the predictions of mainstream climate models.[3] The argument that global warming stopped in the late 1990s has been debunked by science journalists and scholars in the field as based on invalid reasoning."

I'm not exactly happy with this because it's not quite clear how to source the last sentence and also word it. I'm not saying that any of the current wording is false. Just that it may need tweaking. CoffeeWithMarkets (talk) 14:46, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

This is a BLP. If it is not clear to you how to source the last sentence, it needs to stay out. JungerMan Chips Ahoy! (talk) 15:25, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
Don't put words into my mouth. There's nothing false about the statement. It's the exact choice of words that's the matter. I would rather not say something like "Steyn is known as a liar and advocate for pseudoscience" or something like that in this context because it's stretching and distorting what's actually been said. CoffeeWithMarkets (talk) 15:30, 11 April 2020 (UTC)\
I didn't put any words in your mouth, but you appear to be putting some in mine, I didn't say your statement is false - I said that you can;t put a disputed sentence into a BLP without a source. The sentence you just added comes from an article that does not mention Steyn or his book, as far as I can tell. It does not belong in an article about him. This is WP:SYNTH-violation, in a BLP.JungerMan Chips Ahoy! (talk) 15:36, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
The claim is pretty obvious bullshit. The sources can be found in our article Global warming hiatus. I Wikilinked that article. Maybe that helps: I see no point in sourcing the same stuff here again. --Hob Gadling (talk) 14:54, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm aware that his claim is false. Even a small child with little understanding of climate science would be able to look at the 1980-2020 temperature record and see a straight-ish line going up. I just don't see the reason to be so insistent on labeling his falsehood with pejoratives from "bullshit" to "denier" and so on in the official voice of Wikipedia when we can just grab the sources and phrase things how they do. CoffeeWithMarkets (talk) 15:10, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
I've removed the section as based on self-published puffery for a book which seems to have gone unnoticed by any mainstream sources. The attempt to put in some balance about the "hiatus" doesn't go far enough to debunk Steyn's claim, which seems to be based on his blog comment about other living people. If good quality reliable secondary sources can be found which discuss the book and how it's been received by the mainstream, the section can be rewritten and added. . . dave souza, talk 18:26, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

The subsection under discussion was Climate Change: The Facts and didn't actually cover Steyn's views of climate change. Found a couple of sources:

  • Steyn was one of many speakers at the libertarian Heartland Institute's 10th “International Conference on Climate Change,” a major event for climate science contrarians. [and] "simply made fun of" Mann and Pachauri.
    • Scott K. Johnson. "Echo chamber of outrage: Ars attends a climate skeptics' summit". Ars Technica. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  • Mark Steyn’s testimony focused on his accusations that climate science is fraudulent and oppresses contrarians. Steyn’s claim to climate fame is that he’s being sued for defamation by Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, whom Steyn has repeatedly accused of fraud.

That probably covers all that's needed about Steyn's views. . . dave souza, talk 21:49, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

This whole discussion is getting off the rails. But back to the point, though, neither of those sources appear appropriate to me. Both simply state that Steyn has mocked climate scientists and insulted their work both generally and also specifically, in Mann's case, and that's it. Empty commentary by Steyn presented without context. There's no discussion of what Steyn actually thinks in depth and/or why he believes that. Just that he's been... I'm not sure how to phrase this politely, well, so I'll just say it glibly: that he's been a bit of a troll on the issue. (This isn't a criticism of the journalists per se, since it's very possible Steyn did indeed do nothing but that and didn't speak precisely as to the science.)
It's honestly killing me a bit since for a writer as well known as Steyn there likely exists some reliable source out there that does in depth and says essentially "in contradiction to scientists who have found X, Steyn has argued for Y based on fringe science". I've just yet to see it. CoffeeWithMarkets (talk) 04:15, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
CoffeeWithMarkets, he's a conservative. In today's environment that requires that he denigrate climate science, because it is inconvenient to the agenda of those who fund the movement. Guy (help!) 20:18, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
What Mr Steyn actually said doesn't resemble the Ars Technica summary. The presentation in full does not have anything like "climate science is fraudulent", he said that the hockey stick is fraudulent. Also, almost all of it was about bullying scientists or lethargic judges or politics. Out of 5683 words (I count with wc -w), the two sentences about a "pause" plus "climate science needs to acknowledge its own failings" are 62 words i.e. 1%. It's undue to seek out "Steyn's views" on climate when sources show that he's overwhelmingly more concerned with other matters. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 20:08, 13 April 2020 (UTC)

Struck comments by JungerMan Chips Ahoy!, a blocked and banned sockpuppet. See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/NoCal100/Archive § 06 May 2020 and Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/NoCal100 for details. — Newslinger talk 17:04, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Claim that Steyn left school at 16[edit]

In support of the edit that I made today, which contradicts the claim that Steyn was a "school dropout" who left school at 16. Of course, it's not possible to determine solely from reading the article in The Age whether this was a claim made by Steyn himself, or just embellishment by the interviewer.

KES yearbook 1977-78 page 25

STeamTraen (talk) 14:07, 20 October 2020 (UTC)

But it seems to me that Mr Steyn does not vehemently dispute that he left at some point. In response to Ellen who mentioned that The Age mentions that, he wrote: "Yes, I'm working so hard at covering that up that Ellen's hyperlink is to an Australian interview with me that mentions it. I'm so embarrassed by the revelation that on page 149 of my bestselling book After America there's a whole little section about "the unlettered Mark Steyn" ..." It's trivial though. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 21:54, 20 October 2020 (UTC)

"Unfettered Muslim immigration"[edit]

The line about "unfettered Muslim immigration" is a bit problematic. It makes sound Steyn's view on the issue is a fact. That is true that there people from Muslim nations do immigrate to the United States, but the line about "unfettered Muslim immigration" makes it sound that anybody from any Muslim nation can just go the United States whenever he or she wants, which is definitely not true. Would it not be more accurate just to say that Steyn opposes immigration in general, and Muslim immigration in particular? --A.S. Brown (talk) 02:29, 1 August 2021 (UTC)

Steyn, a Canadian living in the United States, opposes immigration in general? And it would be "more accurate" to attribute statements to him without showing where he said them? No. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:48, 1 August 2021 (UTC)