Also "consensus" is not how science is done.
Not on a study by study basis, but it's fairly common in general. You get a few of the bigwigs in the field together, they write a review article summarizing some knowledge, it gets cited a bajillion times, then it's pretty much considered fact.
No. It's considered a current working theory, or model, for the area in question. Facts and data are wholly different than theories and models. Amazing how often people mix them up though.
Do people question things that are considered 'fact' afterwards?
But in this case, anyone who does is called the kinds of names being tossed my way in this thread. All because I disagree with the argument that it's "settled science". Surely you can see how this is problematic. I hope you don't think that this forum is the only place where that sort of attack goes on.
Of course, happens all the time. There are always exceptions and things that were overlooked, times move on and theories change based on new data. The only difference between other fields and climate science is every lawn chair scientist and politician feels they have a stake in the process here. Every bump, question, contradiction and exception is over-analyzed ad nauseum.
No. The difference is that those other fields do not have an international organization created specifically to push forward an agenda based on the absolute assumption that a given conclusion within that field is true, and which primarily serves the function of pressuring governments into compliance and to discredit any scientist who dares to disagree with that assumed conclusion. The fact that you refer to anyone who questions their conclusions as "lawn chair scientists" speaks volumes about how this has affected your own perception of the issue.
Also, I'd like to point out that given the monumental costs associated with the political agenda at question, we all have a stake in this. The idea that someone should be dismissed because they "feel they have a stake" is pretty ridiculous. No matter which side you come down on and pretty much every position in between, you have stake. The question you should be asking yourself is why it even enters your mind that someone shouldn't have a say (or a stake) in this at all.
Frankly, I don't see how they ever get anything done with all that extra attention.
Good. When "getting anything done" means implementation of policies that have a lot more to do with damaging the US economy than with actually doing anything about the problem, then we should put the brakes on. Hard.
Even if one accepts fully the conclusions regarding global warming, what I honestly can't get is the complete disconnect between that and the proposed "solutions" being pushed. I've made this point in several past threads on global warming, and no one ever seems to have an answer. If the problem is global production of some set of pollutants, then any solution also should be global and should take into account total production of that set of pollutants. But what we're seeing instead is piecemeal policies, strongly pushed in some developed nations (like the US), not so much in others (like China), and not at all in the developing world. I long ago presented the math that shows that implementation of something like the Kyoto Accords (which were aimed at pollution in general and not ACC specifically), if implemented in the US, would actually significantly increase total global production of the various pollutants involved. If you want, I can reproduce said logic. It's not hard.
The same applies to this as well. While many people us silly stats like "pollution per capita" or "total pollution", the real number to use is "pollution per unit of production". This tells us how many tons of substance X is introduced into the environment while producing some number of specific industrial products. It's critically important to this debate because the US already has some of (if not the) highest pollution standards in the world. Assuming that global demand for some product doesn't change, then the most likely result of a mandate to reduce US emissions of some pollutant is for the industrial activity which produces it to be moved off shore. This will always result in a net global increase in the total amount of pollution created relative to total industrial output. Always.
And at the end of the day, it's not really the science people are bothered by, but the political agenda being pushed based on that science. You can sit there and declare that the earth is warming all day long if you want. But the second you insist that we should pass a law (in the US) mandating a 10% reduction in total CO2 generation from industrial activity, I'm going to take a lot closer look both at what you are claiming about ACC *and* whether what you're proposing we do makes any sense. The ridiculous thing about this is that it's quite apparent when one looks at the proposals that just as with the Kyoto Accords, they have nothing to do with reducing global pollution (in fact they would almost certainly increase them), but rather seem to be about redistributing industrial productivity from developed nations to non-developed or developing nations.
While this doesn't discount whether or not global warming is real and/or to what degree it's a threat we need to deal with, it does suggest that those making the proposals don't really care about global warming except to the degree that it allows them to go forward with an agenda that they failed to get passed 20 years ago. They're just using global warming and the increased concern it brings as a tool to do so. And that really ought to be the first concern of anyone who really thinks global warming is a serious problem. Because if you fall into that group, you should know that what they're telling you must be done to "save the planet" not only wont, but will in all likelihood make the problem worse.
Of course, those pushing the agenda most likely don't think global warming will have those catastrophic effects at all. But they know that if you believe it, you'll let them get the economic agenda they want. And when nothing bad happens, they can claim that it happened because of what they did. You'd think that more people would figure this out. I mean, if your neighbor keeps trying to get you to buy his old boat, and you refuse, then he tells you that there's a flood coming, you might be really suspicious about his claim. Doubly so when the boat leaks and wont save you from a flood if one even comes.