…“consensus” is more often wrong than not.
Victoria Lamb Hatch

Its only logical that the devotees of any body of knowledge cannot be in 100% agreement. However, what makes knowledge the foundation of truth is that, very little is known about anything without science?

Most scientists are hesitant to bestow a 100% certainty about any subject they have studied, including the sciences, unless they are very knowledgeable about that subject. And in general scientists who haven’t followed any rigid ways that define the truth often are able to build upon the scientific knowledge shared by our ancestors.

Look at it this way, if scientists were not able to be sure of the many forms of knowledge that they have studied, then how would science have learned anything? Was the math that took Apollo missions to the moon and back, not fully agreed upon or accepted by all astronauts ? Are Doctors still debating whether the body’s insulin supply has anything to do with diabetes. Do automobile manufacturers just guess about how to calculate horse power or do they argue about the claim that catalytic converters can lower exhaust emissions? Are they all still guessing if the Earth revolves around the sun — do only 58% of physicists believe that as a fact? Do nutritionists and doctors not know anything about vitamins, minerals, and the role of Protein? Do airplane fly by creating lift from the shape of their wings? Is Iron good for your red blood cells, Do things really go better with coke? In fact does anything at all of what a preacher says, have moral value? Does a bear crap in the woods, do blonds have more fun, is the Pope Catholic? who put the ape in apricot?

All right, some of those last examples are not parts of actual scientific knowledge, But you get my point don’t you? How do we know that anything about science is true or even that anything at all is true, without running our ideas past other people and other scientists?

No, Correlation does not always mean causation, but who is in a particular consensus actually means a great deal. If nearly 100 percent of physicists with a Master’s or Bachelors degree in science were able to survive radioactive contamination that might be proof to others that what we know about radiation is wrong. If ten orangutans told you that you have a tail sticking out of the back of your pants and then ten more and ten more after them etc. what at first seemed to be silly might turn out to have some value after all. If 200 people you met were former members of the Paris accords and the United States has pledged to cut domestic greenhouse gases emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, and also pledged to donate up to 3 billion in aid for poor countries who are less able to afford to pay for their own green energy infrastructure, is that a good reason for you to consider accepting that AGW is real?
“There are no penalties for falling short of declared targets. The hope was that, through peer pressure and diplomacy, these policies would be strengthened over time.”
“Under the deal, the Obama administration pledged to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 as well as to commit up to $3 billion in aid for poorer countries by 2020. (The United States has delivered $1 billion to date.) China vowed that its emissions would peak around 2030 and that it would get about 20 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by then. India would continue to reduce its carbon intensity, or CO2 output per unit of economic activity, in line with historical levels.”
“The brutal storm pummeling the Houston area is likely to rank as one of the nation’s costliest natural disasters, with tens of billions in lost economic activity and property damage across a region crucial to the energy, chemical and shipping industries.”
“There is little doubt that climate change made Harvey worse. Surface waters in the Gulf of Mexico are 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer at this time of year than they were three decades ago, and Harvey tapped into that energy as it barreled onto the Texas coast. There is more water vapor in the atmosphere now to make rain than there used to be, because evaporation is increasing and warm air can hold more vapor than cold.”
“All over the world, extreme rainfall events are on the rise. The one in Texas this past week has so far killed more than 40 people in Houston, and the counties around it.”
“Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a global risk modeling firm, estimates the losses from Harvey to be as high as $70–$90 billion, most of it from flooding in Houston, where more than seven million properties are valued at a total of more than $1.5 trillion.”
But the question persists: what should cities do as extreme rain storms becomes less rare? Harvey’s flood may have set records, but it is also the third “500-year” flood to hit Houston in the past three years. A 500-year flood is one that has a one in 500 chances of occurring in any given year—unless global warming is changing the odds.
So, Mr. Duncan, although the total costs of donations including money needed for individual countries to reach desired reductions, is expensive, according to Risk Management Solutions, the losses from just one storm like Harvey could total about $70-$90 billion dollars.
If the United States has committed itself to donating up to 3 billion to help poor countries develop renewable energy sources and adapt to climate change, how does that cost compare with the 10 to approximate 24 times more in total damages related to global warming, that have recently been incurred--- including large loss of human lives during storms like these, which have proved to be much more psychologically burdening? So, the very large reductions that other nations have already pledged to make, may result in real changes happening in a relatively modest period of time, and will undoubtedly be needed to effectively deal with the re-occurrences of storms like Hurricane Harvey?
So, either 3 billion paid out to help the rest of the world avoid climate change, or up to 70 billion in losses that will be needed to face the daunting task of rejuvenating the disaster area again, and again and again! ---you choose! But isn’t losing 3 billion a lot more devastating to our environment than taking the Chicago A train? The question persists: what should cities do as extreme rain becomes far less rare? Harvey’s flood may have set some records, but it’s also the third “500-year” flood to hit Houston in the past three years. A 500-year flood is one that has only a one in 500-year chance of occurring in any given year—unless global warming is changing the odds. And right now, millions of us lack the motivation to give a damn about scientific facts?