The word, “Consensus” implies a general or widespread agreement among all the members of a particular group. The group may be a religious group, political group, or even a scientific group.
I once received an unexpected conference call and suddenly found myself on the line with the CEO of the internet company I sometimes write for and an administrator with the EPA in
Evidently my disagreement with the trendy
belief that man is the cause of “climate change” didn’t sit well with this
bureaucrat and her agency. But she
controlled a federal grant that our CEO and the company depended upon. Washington,
She knew by my writing on the company website that I didn’t agree with her on man-made global warming. There are many reasons for my skepticism, including the fact that scientists have now discovered that our planet has actually cooled by 0.7 degree over the past 100 years. She stated emphatically, albeit inaccurately, that there is a general “consensus” among scientist that global warming is a fact. There’s that word, “consensus.”
|Imagine the indignity suffered by this cow with a plastic tank|
on its back and a hose stuck in its rear end. Scientists were
measuring methane gas and its impact on the environment.
Australian scientists claim that back in 1991
Pinatubo in the Philippines
spewed more CO2 into the atmosphere than the entire human race has produced
since we entered the scene. That’s only
one eruption. There are more than 200
active volcanoes belching gases into the atmosphere as I write this. But I have this weird and subversive idea
that the sun and other forces of nature have more to do with our climate than
outdoor barbeques and bovine flatulence.
Plants live on carbon dioxide and without CO2 there would be no life on earth. It turns out that CO2 is actually being purchased and injected into greenhouses to maximize plant growth. They need more CO2. It’s a nutrient. Remember the process of photosynthesis? Consider the amount of CO2 that must have been in the environment to support the tremendous amount of foliage necessary to feed that old Brontosaurus dude. He is the archetype for vegetarians everywhere and he loved vegetables.
The same geniuses who want to save the planet by reducing CO2 are the ones who decided it’s a great idea to burn food for fuel, i.e. corn. So Brazilians are cutting down rain forests, which are irreplaceable, to plant corn. Aside from the fact that these forests provide needed oxygen, the soil can’t support corn crops and is washed away by the rains. So now we’ve lost rain forests that benefit our environment and produce many of the components necessary for medicine.
But there was a “consensus” among enlightened bureaucrats that burning food was a great idea. Having burned food myself, even I know better than that.
You notice that “global warming” has now been replaced with “climate change.” Changing language is a good way to change culture. (Always keep that in mind.) The world’s climate has fluctuated since the creation of the earth. But by defining it as “climate change” there is more latitude for the “consensus-builders.”
Science is not as objective as we may think. It has always been driven by philosophy, but when there is “consensus” among scientists, we tend to think they’ve hit on absolute truth.
The ancient Greek culture had “consensus” that Atlas, a primordial Titan, held our celestial sphere on his shoulders.
Christopher Columbus was born in the same Italian town as my grandfather,
. As a child, I remember helping Uncle Chris
pick raviolis and cannelloni in his orchard.
Genoa, Italy Columbus
was expected to fall off the edge of the world, because the “consensus” was
that the earth was flat.
Prior to Galileo, the scientific “consensus” was that the earth was the center of the universe. This geocentric view had its basis in philosophy and Galileo was rewarded for his blasphemy with prison. No good deed goes unpunished.
The Theory of Evolution had a “consensus,” which, again, was based on a philosophy. We had to get rid of a Creator. If Darwin and his minions had our modern technology and were able to witness the complexity of the genome and DNA, the childish idea that the complexity of life happened by chance or luck or magic or was “just there,” as the atheist Bertrand Russell said, Darwinism would have been dead in the water. But a “consensus” developed and remains stuck to our conventional wisdom like a barnacle.
The moral of the story is that sometimes it’s a mistake to confuse “consensus” with truth.