It just keeps piling up, doesn’t it? If you trust scientists at all, there really is no reason to be in doubt about human-caused global climate change. Even studies that refute such consensus are being pulled due to plagiarism and fraud.
Unfortunately, what we often see on the news is a fallacy called false equivalency. This means that even though climate “skeptics” (they are not true skeptics in my book) represent less than 1% of scientists, they are still given equal time and coverage as scientists that accept human-caused climate change. For the public, this creates confusion, and it is easy to see why. If we give equal weight to the claims of every fringe idea, how are we ever to make up our minds? This is when we must rely on true scientific consensus, and not media hype. Climate deniers are the vast minority, and their notions are refuted, rejected, and discredited by mainstream science.
To give you a better idea of what the scientific consensus looks like on climate change, I will utilize the fantastic visualizations created by Information is Beautiful:
Because of the false equivalency that I mentioned above, climate deniers have a pretty vocal position in the media. But did you know that in total, in comparison with all US scientists, that the deniers only make up 0.24% of scientists?
Let me put it another way. If nearly 13,000,000 doctors recommended a procedure, would you refuse to have that medical procedure done if only 0.24% of doctors thought that the procedure was ineffective or fake? Of course not, because in climate science, medicine, and science in general, we rely on accurate consensus, and do not give fringe deniers and their theories equal weight.
To get the gist of the disagreements and the science behind them, I again will refer to Information is Beautiful, as it is probably more interesting to look rather than to listen to me (click here).
Consensus is what drives good science and scientific progress. Because we have millions of scientists, all performing separate experiments, in different fields, with differing ideas, when they all come to the same conclusion, we know that those conclusions are backed up and supported by evidence and theory. Because climate science also works this way, the consensus has shown us that it is time that we stop pointlessly arguing with the fringe deniers or along party lines and move on to solve perhaps the biggest problem our species has ever faced.