Is there a 97% consensus among scientists that anthropogenic forcing is the primary contributing factor in climate change?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: While anthropogenic forcing is a contributing factor in climate change, there is no consensus that it is the primary contributing factor. This is where the slight of hand occurs. Climate alarmists, catastrophists, and the climate establishment (IPCC, NOAA, NASA etc), would have you believe that anthropogenic forcing is the driver of wild swings in climate, that carbon-dioxide is a pollutant, and other false assumptions.
Where did the 97% consensus myth come from?
In 2013, John Cook et al, managed to get a notorious, pseudo-scientific paper published in IOP ERL: Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.
What is wrong with their paper? I strongly advise you to read an article from Judith Curry’s website – http://judithcurry.com/2015/12/20/what-is-there-a-97-consensus-about/
The main problem with the specious assertions espoused by organizations such as the IPCC, is that their predictions have been consistently and wildly incorrect. They have exaggerated the climate’s sensitivity to carbon-dioxide, underestimated natural forcing , and most tellingly, adjusted data to suit their claims.
Climate change is completely normal, carbon-dioxide has minimal impact, warming or cooling is not necessarily catastrophic, in fact, moderate warming has advantages. We must stop the sociopolitical vilification of carbon-dioxide!
We are not approaching the event horizon of a greenhouse gas induced climate apocalypse. The CAGW argument is predicated on the assumption that; (a) CO2 is the primary contributing factor in climate change; (b) CO2 leads temperature change; (c) warming will be catastrophic.
Science must stop kowtowing to politics!
For a comical and bizarre example of the political inquisition that is underway in the United States – https://www.barackobama.com/climate-change-deniers/#/
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” H. L. Mencken
‘Climate change’ is not new to the biosphere, however, sociopolitical vilification of ‘climate change’ is. ‘Climate change’ is an oxymoron, something akin to ‘cold ice’. Tersely put, Earth’s climate seeks equilibrium through various feedback mechanisms, and transitions between glacial periods (ice ages) and interglacial periods (between ice ages). The past decamillenium occurred in the Holocene era, which was preceded by the Pleistocene era (the last major ice age). Compared to the Pleistocene, the Holocene has been a summer holiday, with temperature changes being comparatively minor and stable. Humans have thrived in this era of comparative warmth. Current trends are perfectly within the Holocene range, with the last major shift occurring when the previous great ice age subsided and ushered in a new trend of relatively stable and interglacial climate change.
There are many factors influencing the climate, predominantly natural, and to some extent, anthropogenic. Recently, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) alarmism has caused the largely irrational and uneducated public to become afraid of the term. Personally, I wasn’t aware that ‘climate change’ was intrinsically ‘evil’. What is the magical temperature we wish the climate to remain at for eternity? Is it currently too hot or too cold? And if so, by how many degrees? Of course this question is truly absurd. To make matters worse, politicians have partially succeeded in perverting science to their ideology. The IPCC and other bureaucratic organizations are interested in the side of the argument that fits the narrative of CAGW, and dare not take an impartial and objective position (bite the hand that feeds you at your own peril!). Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. On the other hand, manipulating data and forcing results to fit a preconceived conclusion is fraudulent and unscientific. Something more befitting of politicians.
In conclusion, climate science is kowtowing to politics (government research is particularly vulnerable to this, although skepticism needs to be applied to private organizations just as tenaciously). Additionally, scientists are not immune to group think, corruption, cognitive bias, peer pressure, social ostracism, character assassination, threat of funding cuts or termination of employment, and any other social complications that may impair the scientific method. We must respond in kind with a more tenacious, skeptical, and objective mindset. Heavy scrutiny needs to be placed on climate research, particularly governmental climate science propagated by dubious organizations like the IPCC. With great fortitude and honesty, the international community of independent scientists can disprove the assumptions that the IPCC has espoused, and take politics out of science. Religion by and large has been successfully mitigated from corrupting science, it now appears politics has become the new anathema.