The American public's perception of climate change is radically different than that of the scientific community's -- this is no secret. While the vast majority of experts on the topic -- climate scientists -- believe that human activity is causing global temperatures to rise, huge chunks of America don't share that belief. Most of those dissenters have yielded to ideological concerns, and some to conspiratorial impulses. But, as Gary Gutting argues in this fascinating Opinionator piece, so as long as we accept climate science as a field capable of producing an authoritative consensus, we have no business disputing that consensus. In other words, as non-experts, if we accept that climate science is a sound field of study, we must accept the conclusion of the experts working in it.
Therefore, so as long as 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are warming the world, we should take their word for it. Agree?