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Climate-change science: Who are the authorities?
What are the true data? Can a cold tongue lie?
CNN  brought the news that July 2023 was the hottest month on record “in around 120,000 years” . . . “the temperature for the first 23 days of July averaged 16.95 degrees Celsius (62.51 Fahrenheit)”, citing as authority the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Services (CCCS or C3S) and the World Meteorological Organization.
Curious what C3S is, how it derives the data, thus to judge how trustworthy the data are, I naturally resorted to a Google search, which immediately delivered a home page,
https://climate.copernicus.eu. My specific curiosity was about the qualifications of the individuals who do the actual collecting and evaluating the reliability of the data, so I looked at the “About us”, https://climate.copernicus.eu/about-us; which offers only bureaucratic public-relations spin and hype but no mention of actual people. It does mention a report of its achievements, https://indd.adobe.com/view/60b413bf-7c7a-449b-afeb-0f48f55fd076, and I thought I might find information there at least about the individuals who authored the report. But all I gleaned was more self-praise: “C3S is truly an international and collaborative effort involving over 300 Partners in more than 40 countries in Europe and elsewhere”.
But still no names of individuals.
A further Google search for “Copernicus climate change services staff members” did reveal some names: https://climate.copernicus.eu/sites/default/files/2020-12/C3S_CAMS_Overview_press%20kit_final.pdf — albeit only the names of managers and bureaucrats, not any actual workers.
A rather general principle of mine is to allow no credibility at all to anonymous sources, no matter what supposedly authoritative institution delivers the information.
But that is not the only reason for skepticism about July 2023 being the hottest month “on record”. One might ask for instance, how long is the reliable record? Given that the very long geological record describes the Earth as presently in a rather unusually long and unusually cool period , the concession, “in around 120,000 years”, makes much sense: since there have been 7 or 8 ice ages and interglacial periods in the last million years, one might actually expect somewhat similar conditions to recur every 120,000 years or so.
But does it even make sense to talk about the hottest July on record in terms of global average temperature? When July is hot in the northern hemisphere, it is cool in the southern hemisphere; what does an average global temperature mean?
Indeed, what is a global average temperature? It isn’t a tangible thing, it’s a concept. Therefore it must be defined.
A search for definitions delivers something like “averaging measurements of temperature at a large number of places around the globe”.
How are those places chosen?
Is each one allowed equal weight when the average is calculated?
Obviously, assumptions must be made, which means that informed experts may differ. Yet nothing in official statements warns the media or the public that there are fundamental uncertainties in the description and measurement of global climate, and in the very data about claimed global warming, let alone climate change.
All serious discussions make a clear distinction between contemporary weather and long-term climate; yet the media incessantly proclaim the relevance of any notable contemporary event as providing support for the claim of long-term climate change.
I find it also objectionable that public media report official statements about climate change with numbers like 16.95 degrees Celsius (62.51 Fahrenheit). The precision implied — asserted —by two decimal places can only serve to strengthen the illusion of scientific certainty, reliability, trustworthiness, reinforcing the failure to draw attention to assumptions and uncertainties.
So universally has it come to be believed that human activities have brought global warming and long-term climate change that any expression of doubt or uncertainty causes one to be described as an ignoramus, a Flat-Earther, a climate-change “denialist”. Yet perfectly competent, well-informed experts offer evidence that the contemporary official dogma is simply wrong, that official statements about global warming are based on computer models and not reality. Thus Ian Plimer, one of Australia’s most distinguished environmental scientists, points out that the actual data available in reports of the International Panel on Climate Change indicate that global temperatures did not increase after 1998 for at least a decade . Meteorologist David Dilley offers a graph  showing no net warming from 1996 to at least 2014.
The most trustworthy data set would consist of a long historical record of temperatures at the same fixed locations. Such data are available in NOAA’s (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s) U.S. Historical Climatology Network .
There are 19 locations in Virginia with a long enough and reliable enough history to be included, for example for Purcellville and Hopewell, neither of them in urban settings where buildings and roads make temperature measurements problematic. Those data show that extreme high temperatures in July have been no more frequent, nor higher, than during the last century .
Official statements do not, of course, feature direct contradictions of climate-change hysteria like the data sets from Julys in Virginia, but occasionally the media do pick up examples of happenings in the real world that do not fit with the mantra of incessant global warming. There is, for instance, the “cold tongue” in the Eastern Pacific where a sizeable expanse of water has been steadily cooling since 1980, as discussed in the New Scientist of 5 August 2023 . A news item had been published about that already in 2019 , citing scientists who claim that their model satisfactorily accommodates the cold-tongue phenomenon. But it is only in by-the-way comments that one catches climate scientists saying things like “The mismatch between observed changes in cold tongue temperature over past decades and the models is quite striking. . . . they’ve been out of line for decades. This is not a new problem.”
Yet I receive vigorous protests for describing the computer models as invalid.
It is natural for experts to wish to influence public opinion and public actions. As Stephen Koonin acknowledges in the context of climate change, “the path to convincing any wide audience calls for arousing emotion, so that scientists are inevitably in a dilemma: whether simply to describe the facts and hope for appropriate attention to them, or whether to find emotionally impressive ways of spinning and hyping the facts” .
The community of climate scientists obviously chooses to arouse emotion rather than to disclose fully all the doubts and uncertainties that they actually grapple with.
Public Health authorities continuously confront the same dilemma. During the COVID episode, for example, the public was continually urged to social distancing and masking, even in the absence of any strong evidence for the efficacy of those measures. Also in the “normal flu seasons”, the incessant urging for everyone to get their “flu shots” allows the general public to assume that being vaccinated reduces the risk of infection, and that the respiratory risks come from influenza; when in fact most of the circulating viruses are not actual flu, and the vaccines are not particularly good at preventing infection.
It is only in the technical literature that Anthony Fauci and others acknowledge that the flu and COVID vaccines are not particularly effective in preventing infection, though they may decrease the severity of infections that do occur .
 Laura Paddison, “This month is the planet’s hottest on record by far – and hottest in around 120,000 years, scientists say”, 27 July 2023;
 See first two graphs in Climate-change facts: Temperature is not determined by carbon dioxide, https://scimedskeptic.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/climate-change-facts-temperature-is-not-determined-by-carbon-dioxide/
 Ian Plimer, Heaven and Earth — global warming, the missing science, Connor Court Publishing, 2009; p. 437
at time 4.09 in video
 Steve Haner, “What Global Warming? A Century of Virginia Julys”, 16 August 2023; https://www.baconsrebellion.com/wp/what-global-warning-a-century-of-virginia-julys/. My thanks to Harry M. Kriz for this link.
 Madeleine Cuff, “A mystery in the Pacific”, New Scientist, 5 August 2023, 37-9
 Kevin Krajick, Part of the Pacific Ocean is not warming as expected. Why?”, 24 June 2019 (News from the Columbia Climate School); https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2019/06/24/pacific-ocean-cold-tongue/
 Henry H. Bauer, “THE most important book about climate change”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 35 (2021) 1032-42; https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/35/jse_35_4_Bauer_on_Koonin.pdf
 David M. Morens, Jeffery K. Taubenberger, and Anthony S. Fauci, “Rethinking next-generation vaccines for coronaviruses, influenza viruses, and other respiratory viruses”, Cell Host & Microbe, 31 (2023): 146–157; doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2022.11.016