The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a coalition of scientists assembled by the United Nations. They represent many countries and work mostly by email, but do get together occasionally to exchange ideas and drink, mostly beer. They publish massive reports.
The reports are very conservative in their findings, and they are quite clear about margins of error. They report most findings in terms of "how confident” and "how much," as in "low confidence that sea level will rise more than 15 meters by year 2100," or "high confidence that sea level will rise more than 1 centimeter by year 2050."
There are literally thousands of scientists who contribute to and review these reports before they are published. I cannot accept that there would be a conspiracy among this many people to provide false conclusions without someone blowing the whistle.
Further, IPCC people receive data from many academic institutions, worldwide. Much of that data is available if one looks for it. I've read and studied a lot of the raw data, and have reached the same conclusions as the IPCC. NASA and the European Space Agency have some pretty cool information from some incredible satellites, too. Much of that is on-line and searchable.
There are people, including scientists, who disagree with the IPCC's findings. I've read some of their positions, including peer-reviewed papers in reputable journals such as "Nature" and “Science”. On the other hand, I do not consider papers published by colleges and universities who claim to teach “a Bible-based understanding of the universe” to be credible, although I have read some. The Bible is not a science text. Some of the history it contains may have some association with reality. It contains (in the King James Version at least) some excellent poetry and clever aphorisms. But it is not a science text.
Most of the disagreements about global climate change seem to be in the noise. That is to say, someone will pick apart a minor point, often without showing how it fits in the big picture.
Nothing I have read or learned adequately counters several critical facts: the Earth has warmed in the past 150+ years; the only source of that warming is the sun; the sun's energy is (and long has been) trapped by greenhouse gasses (GHGs); there is no doubt that much of the GHGs in the atmosphere today have been created by humans burning fossil fuels; the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is higher today than it has been in several hundred thousand years (some suggest millions of years); the climate is incredibly complex and difficult to model *; the ocean has become more acetic; growing seasons and locations have moved northward in this hemisphere; one can no longer find real icewine because it's not been cold enough in wine country for about ten years **; and more.
Is climate change the only thing (or the most important thing) we need to worry about?
If I were to make a list of worrisome things, I'd include terrorism, overfishing, dead zones (usually in gulfs and bays at the mouths of significant rivers), Christian and Muslim fundamentalism, Kim Jong-un, rogue nations and Israel with nuclear weapons, Zika, residual radiation from Fukushima, the Congress of the United States, the two current presidential candidates, American television, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, college sports programs, fluoridated water, the racial divide in the US (in fact, perhaps I should say the Balkanization of America and the rest of the world), inequality of wealth and income, a rewrite of the Japanese constitution to permit aggressive military forces, refugees (worldwide), Mexican drug cartels, the spirit of indifference that has taken hold of so many people, the dangers that lurk in refrigerators and freezers, and more.
* To paraphrase a statistician whose name I've forgotten: "All models contain some error; some models are, however, useful."
** I read a recent article reporting that grapes, including grapes for icewine, are being grown in Siberia. Think about it.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.