A somewhat unfair title; the person in question is Marcel Leroux and the “death” is the deletion of his wiki page. The “sales” is his wacko views on GW. I don’t think ML is particularly interesting – wiki certainly thought not – but perhaps the way wiki deals with minor characters is.
Background: anyone is free to create a new page on wikipedia (there is probably a brief qualification period, but this is a trivial barrier), but there are various mechanisms for getting rid of pages that are junk, just offensive, or for some reason better not present. Any admin can delete a page; there is a whole page about criteria for speedy deletion.
But sometimes a page exists, about a real person or event, and there is doubt about whether the page is desirable or not. Perhaps they or the incident appear insufficiently notable. You can look at WP:AFD if you care to. Note that deletion debates are generally closed by admins who like doing that kind of thing, and almost always by people who don’t know anything about the subject to hand. They aren’t supposed to know; they just evaluate the arguments given (its not supposed to be a vote, either, though weight of numbers usually counts; its supposed to be weight of argument). If a page gets deleted and you disagree, there is a review mechanism. If a page doesn’t get deleted and you disagree, you can always try again. The page about me has been nominated 5 times (last infobox, click the “show” tab).
In this case: we’re on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Marcel Leroux which (as you’ll see) was closed as The result was delete. Ultimately, “fails WP:N” is a very difficult argument to get around, and the humming and hawing about maybe possibly meeting a criterion or two of WP:ACADEMIC is not supported by consensus (even its advocates don’t seem to really believe it).
WP:N is his notability. This comes up in the rationale for deletion by the nominator [update: which, perhaps I should point out, wasn't me], which was I couldn’t find significant coverage in google scholar or books. Google news returns various hits to various individuals. More specifically to the scientist I only found a good amount of passing mentions in the news sources (some of which were comments) but nothing providing significant coverage. And indeed, if you look for him he doesn’t show up much, with no coverage at all in what wiki calls “reliable secondary sources”: newspapers, books by other people, and so on. Unfortunately I forgot to webcite the page before it was deleted [update: its temporarily undeleted at DRV, so now cited in case it goes again] (aha, but one of the WUWT regular wackos did copy it, so here is a webcite of the copy), but here is a pic from google’s cache, and if you click through you’ll get to the article text.
If you look, the article is almost entirely sourced to himself. My “delete” rationale is that the article was only started in order to push Leroux’s wacko views on GW: essentially all of the lede is about his views and his books; not about his career. This view is supported by a contribution from one of his boosters on the AFD talk page. Meanwhile, if you try to follow his career then the criteria becomes WP:ACADEMIC which tries to make sense of the thorny question of whether random academic X is notable enough viewed as an academic only. And he fails that: just writing a textbook isn’t enough.
For those interested in puzzles and sleuthing (are you out there John?) the issue of his “chevalier (knight) in the Ordre des Palmes académiques” might be worth chasing down. Someone uploaded what is supposed to be a copy of his citation (webcite) in a desperate and ultimately failed attempt to show how notable he is. But is it genuine? Note that even if genuine he’s still not notable; this is just a puzzle, not a matter of significance. I don’t know what the genuine certificates are supposed to look like. There are a couple of things that look a bit dodgy about it, but nothing definitive: the “69 – LYON -” is odd – shouldn’t there be something after the second dash? The failure to get all the text centered. And the inconsistent spacing around “LEROUX”.
* If you’re wondering why the sudden upsurge of, errm, “odd” opinions in the comments, Death by Stoat at WUWT 2012/10/09 is probably the answer (webcite). If you’re one of the more thoughtful WUWT folks who wonder why I don’t answer at WUWT, the answer is I’m banned there. So if you’ve come here to complain about lack of freedom of speech, you might find that ironic.
* ‘Tabloid climatology’ may be the real reason for the Marcel Leroux – William Connolley Wikipedia dustup – more trash at WUWT.
* Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2012_October_11 – are reports of the death of his death premature? No – despite the shrieks and wails of the wackos, wiki managed to get the right answer to an obvious question, which doesn’t always happen.
* [Update: the last few copies are being chased down and killed. Part of the problem is simple incompetence on the part of the Watties -W]
* Even more death, this time of Timothy Ball (who?)