Two recent offerings published raised questions about accepting the scientific consensus (“Unsettled science” and “Antiscience ruins the climate debate”). It's true; scientific consensus doesn’t guarantee absolute truth. Often, however, we must make decisions based on the opinions of experts, who interpret the data to the best of their ability.
What if your child was having trouble keeping up with other kids and was found to have a heart defect? You consulted the best physicians and found that 97 percent recommended surgery, but 3 percent told you to let the condition take its course. Would you hold on to the hope that the small minority of physicians was correct?
Now 97 percent of climate scientists say the earth is warming, human activity is the primary driver of this change and the consequences will be more serious than we are already experiencing if we don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.
What if this large majority is right?