In the northern hemisphere, July has been hot. Very hot. Along the rim of the Mediterranean, more than 40 people have died and wildfires are raging. In Death Valley, California, the thermometer hit 50C (122F) on several days. Phoenix smashed the record for consecutive days above 110 F (43.3C) as of yesterday – 31. The previous record was 18 days.
The headlines have been incendiary. CNN describes the heat wave as “the hottest in around 120,000 years”. Scientific American goes the whole enchilada and says, “July 2023 Is Hottest Month Ever Recorded on Earth”.
“The extreme weather which has affected many millions of people in July is unfortunately the harsh reality of climate change and a foretaste of the future,” said World Meteorological Organization’s Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever before. Climate action is not a luxury but a must.”
Even more dramatic was a speech from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived.”
Why is this happening? Mr Guterres echoes the media consensus. “For scientists, it is unequivocal – humans are to blame.”
Is it really so unequivocal? Are there no other explanations, no dissidents, no one marching out of step with the consensus?
The Monthly Global Lower Troposphere v6.0 Anomaly report shows that at the end of June 2023, the global average temperature anomaly was almost 0.4 ℃ compared to the base period 1991-2020. There’s no evidence of a heat wave there. Check again soon for the July results.
There are scientists with impeccable credentials who don’t even believe that this is “unprecedented”. A lot of journalists seem incapable of assessing lurid claims of global warming. For instance, a headline in the Washington Post on July 25 read: “South Florida ocean tops 100 degrees; could be world record”. The next day WaPo quietly dropped the words “world record”. Why? Its journalists had “discovered” “another extraordinary sea surface temperature near South Florida in 2017”. In other words, they hadn’t bothered to fact check their own hysteria.
As climate scientist Roger Pielke Jr tweeted in response: “Science journalism is broken. No, it is not a world record. It’s not even the highest at that station in the past 6 years. When did journalists and editors stop doing journalism and start turning incorrect but viral Tweets into headlines? Recipe for misinformation.”
It is folly to shut one’s ears to alternative explanations. As the WaPo motto says, “Democracy dies in darkness”.
But this is what the scientific establishment and the media are doing, even to scientists with impeccable credentials.
The International Monetary Fund was responsible for the most recent cancelling disgrace.
A co-winner of last year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, Dr John Clauser, had been scheduled to deliver a presentation by Webex on climate models to the IMF when his talk was suddenly “postponed”, i.e., cancelled. It was titled, “Let’s talk – How much can we trust IPCC climate predictions?” Given the IMF’s policy on climate change, it’s surprising that he was scheduled to give this talk in the first place.
Dr Clauser is a highly accomplished scientist in the field of quantum mechanics. He has also done some leading-edge analysis on the role of clouds in climate. So, when somebody like him comes out swinging at the UN/IPCC/climate establishment/mainstream media climate narrative, a lot of people are going to feel threatened. If you can’t take on somebody like him in a debate about science, your only alternative is to ignore him, hoping that most people don’t notice.
He criticized the awarding of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics for work in the development of computer models predicting global warming and told President Biden that he disagreed with his climate policies. That must have made some people nervous. He sent shockwaves through the climate establishment with remarks he made in May to the CO2 Coalition, a group of dissident scientists:
“The popular narrative about climate change reflects a dangerous corruption of science that threatens the world’s economy and the well-being of billions of people. Misguided climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience. In turn, the pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills. It has been promoted and extended by similarly misguided business marketing agents, politicians, journalists, government agencies, and environmentalists.
“In my opinion, there is no real climate crisis. There is, however, a very real problem with providing a decent standard of living to the world’s large population and an associated energy crisis. The latter is being unnecessarily exacerbated by what, in my opinion, is incorrect climate science.”
Dr Clauser’s real “mistake,” however, was to give a brief talk at the Korea Quantum Conference in Seoul on June 26. His assessment of the media consensus on climate change was blistering.
Like everyone else, he is worried by “fake news”. “The current world I observe is literally awash, saturated, with pseudoscience, with bad science, with scientific misinformation and disinformation, and what I will call ‘techno-cons’,” he said. “Techno-cons are the application of scientific disinformation for opportunistic purposes.”
However, his audience must have been shocked to learn that he regards the popular narrative about climate change as part of a culture of “scientific disinformation”. “I believe that climate change is not a crisis,” he declared.
There are many other credible scientists who don’t agree with the IPCC – which Dr Clauser has denounced as “one of the worst sources of dangerous misinformation”. Many of them belong to organizations such as the CO2 Coalition. They’re accomplished and credible professionals too. There is no true consensus on climate change.
A consensus manufactured by expelling dissidents is bogus.
The IMF could have easily allowed Dr Clauser to speak as a representative of intelligent alternative viewpoints. By suddenly cancelling his presentation, its officials revealed their fear and lack of confidence in having their ideas being seriously challenged by someone who knows what he’s talking about.
By the way, if the IMF cancels dissident scientists, how do they treat dissident economists? “The strength of the Fund comes from its talented and diverse employees,” according to an IMF statement. Except, perhaps, if they think differently. Cancelling Clauser undermines the credibility of the whole organization.
Given the very high stakes in the debate over climate change, isn’t it time to stop pretending that the IPCC is 100% correct? Isn’t it time to have a “red team/blue team” open debate between scientists on climate change? Isn’t it time to have an honest review of the basic science of Earth’s climate?
With virtual meeting software, this wouldn’t be so difficult to arrange. There’s enough time to hold this meeting before COP28 starts in late November to give it a solid foundation.
It’s a safe bet that the current leadership at the UN and IPCC will not take a leadership role in organizing this debate. But I will agree with one point that Mr Guterres made in his warning: “Leaders must lead.” If you are that leader, please stand up and get moving! The world depends on your courage and integrity, whoever you are.
Fabiano Micoli has a B.Eng. (mechanical), MBA, and B.Ed. (math and physics). He writes from Toronto.
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