"In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming."This is a truly hilarious statement, that could only have been made by nonscientists. (I haven't been able to identify these Brumberg chaps, but I'd bet.) That any scientist, even Curry, would agree with it is quite puzzling.
– D. Ryan Brumberg and Matthew Brumberg
By there logic, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for the existence of atoms or conservation of energy, because there's a universal consensus on both.
Look: scientists agree about a great deal in science -- yes, consensus is everywhere except at the edges where research is taking place -- and the sciences that are used to calculate global warming from the many possible physical sources is very well-established science. All scientists agree on the basic laws of quantum mechanics, including the Planck Law (its integral is the Stefan-Boltzmann law), and radiation physics, and the absorption/emission spectrums of the greenhouse gases. As well as the thermodynamics and other physics that go into atmospheric dynamics, which again, are not that complicated and about which there is near-universal agreement.
Given all this, it's just a matter of analyzing and calculating. The consensus of the underlying sciences doesn't mean the calculations are easy -- they certainly aren't, especially for the particulars of the carbon cycle. (Not many deniers seem to realize that the radiative transfer parts of global warming science are among the best known parts of the subject, because they are the most amenable to the standard techniques of analytical physics that physicists have been doing for a long time and are very good at.) Calculating climate sensitivity, which decades of successively more thorough calculations find to be ≈ 3°C ± 1.5°C (note: the uncertainty here just represents the range, not the standard deviation or uncertainly limit), is probably the most difficult calculation scientists have ever attempted. The error bars are still bigger than anyone would like -- but it may not be able to reduce them much more -- but not nearly so big as to justifying ignoring the problem or, given the huge amounts of greenhouse gases we're emitting, waiting for more information while the world keeps warming about about 0.15-0.2°C/decade, which has been the 30-year trend for over a quarter of a century now.
But scientists certainly haven't ignored all other potential causes of modern warming besides anthropogenic GHGs -- indeed, they've looked at them very thoroughly. Because that's what scientists do and how they operate. It's simply that the the data on other possible causes (like changers in solar irradiance) simply do not show they can create as much warming as we're seeing, by a long shot.
And no scientist accepts AGW because there is a "consensus" about it. Again, that's not how the scientists in the field operate (though, knowing what consensus is and isn't, scientists in other fields, knowing how science operates, tend to accept as the consensus as what scientists in the field say it is).
The funny thing is, the absolute best way for any scientist today to get noticed, get tenure, and certainly become famous, would be to prove AGW is wrong. There's a good reason that doesn't happen -- AGW isn't wrong.
Meanwhile, the theory and data on the enhancing the greenhouse effect do show the warming expected from aGHGs, within uncertainties.
Whoever these Brumberg fellows are, they have a poor understanding of science, including the science of anthropogenic global warming. And their excuse is not just laughable, but desperate.
The warmer it gets, the more nuts are falling out of the trees.
--So why even mention the consensus?
There's only one reason it's talked about with regard to climate science, and that's because the issue is of such importance and too complicated for most of the public to fully understand.
Warming is proceeding so rapidly that societies need to make decisions about it now (and should have 20 years ago). These decisions are and will require changes in public policies, but how is the public supposed to know if the decisions are warranted? Since they're not going to learn quantum mechanics and radiative physics and the particulars of the carbon cycle, they need some other standard on which to base their reactions, and the only other thing that is available is the degree of agreement of scientists on the underlying cause(s) of global warming. And there is a consensus on that -- man's emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.
String theory need not involve the public, besides funding it. Or the search for the Higgs boson, or most of what the world's chemists, geologists, biologists, physicists and others are working on. But there are a few scientific topics that stand out as having important consequences at this point and time -- such as tobacco's health effects, ozone depletion, genetically modified organisms, CRISPR/Cas9, artificial intelligence -- and there "consensus" is about all nonspecialists have to go on if they are to form a judgement and what steps should be taken.
So attempts to gauge the degree of consensus are important (though personally I find them boring) and meaningful, and hence the recent Cook et al metastudy on it. But I don't see any more studies, such as metanstudies where n>1, are going to convince people who don't want to acknowledge the consensus in the first place for reasons that have nothing to do with science.