We human beings have an amazing ability to believe what is patently false. One of the more stubborn falsehoods is the idea that scientists don’t agree on climate change. It’s often argued that either the very fact of climate change is disputed by scientists and/or that scientists agree climate change is happening but are divided as to whether it is being caused by human action.

The way to tell what scientists believe is to look at peer-reviewed publications. Last year the journal Environmental Research Letters published an article titled “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature“. Not a sexy title by any means. But the results are clear. The authors searched the ISI Web of Science database for peer reviewed articles in which the abstracts used the words “global warming”or “global climate change”. The search yielded 11,944 papers written by 29,083 authors and published in 1980 journals. Of these, 66% simply didn’t address the question of whether humans were causing climate change. They simply talked about things like climate change trends, mitigation of climate change or adaptation to climate change. Of the 34% that did address the question of whether humans are causing climate change a whopping 97.1% argued it was caused by humans, 1.9% argued that it wasn’t, and 1% were undecided. By any measure that represents an overwhelming consensus that climate change is caused by humans.

So let’s have no more of the nonsense that there is a scientific debate to be had. There isn’t.

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