The theory of anthropogenic, or man-made, global warming has become an unchallengeable fact, a piece of black letter law almost unique in the world of science.
Proponents of the theory say the time for scientific debate is over. It would irresponsible to fund any further research into counter views on the relationship between elevated levels of carbon dioxide and a rise in temperatures since the mid-1970s.
It's regarded as career suicide for scientists to advocate any counter view of the causes of global warming, let alone deny the orthodox consensus view as adopted by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
However, there is a school of thought that our knowledge of climate systems is as yet insufficient to be so conclusive on the causes of global warming.
Today Sunday examines the political consensus building that has portrayed global warming as the most urgent crisis humankind has ever faced.
Skeptics point to the gaps in the knowledge base and the flaws in the measurement of vital climate and weather data upon which the consensus is based.
Social researchers also highlight the dangers of conducting science as a form of religion, divided into believers and deniers.
They warn that as governments prepare to make expensive policy decisions, such as carbon emissions trading schemes, this consensus may not reflect the best science.