When Albert Einstein came forward with his theory of relativity, there were a hundred scientists who didn’t believe him. They even wrote a book titled “100 Scientists Against Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.”
When Einstein heard about the book, he said, “Why did they need 100? If I’m wrong, it would only take one scientist to disprove me.”
And with that pithy response, Albert Einstein, whose very name is synonymous with the term genius, put to rest the notion that when it comes to science, consensus is necessary or even important.
Indeed, it is worth pointing out that in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, virtually 100% of scientists embraced the idea of Eugenics.
The word Eugenics comes from the Greek roots for “good” and “origin,” and involves applying principles of genetics and heredity for the purpose of improving the human race. It is an inherently racist idea, obviously.
But how could 100% of scientists in America be wrong about Eugenics? That is consensus on steroids. I wasn’t there, but I’m sure somebody argued that the science was settled.
Well, it turns out, sometimes, even when 100% or 97% of scientists agree on something, when one cranky scientist tests that consensus theory against their own set of alternative theories and models, the theory embraced by the consensus can be and often is disproved.
I know what you’re thinking, but I’m just the messenger. Your problem is with Einstein.
Speaking of consensus, I stumbled across an interesting article while vacationing in Kauai. It was published by NASA and the title was: “Human Activity in China and India Dominates the Greening of Earth, NASA Study Shows.”
I was especially drawn to the article because if you’ve ever spent any time in Kauai — and if you haven’t, I recommend it — you can’t help but notice the incredible greenery that surrounds you at every point. It is simply beautiful.
So as I read the article, I was fascinated by what I discovered. According to the NASA article, man is causing the greening of the earth due to our activities, namely our pesky propensity to emit CO2 into the atmosphere.
It turns out that CO2 is popular with plants. Who knew? It is so popular, in fact, that when fed to plants in large quantities, it makes them grow faster and taller — in other words, healthier.
And that is why planet Earth today is experiencing a widespread greening effect. It is because of the increase in CO2 that human activity is responsible for. Over the last 30 years, areas that were once brown and dry, like Ethiopia, are now moist, green and lush.
The amount of greening on Earth, according to NASA scientists, is now equivalent to the size of the continental United States. Most of it is in China and India, but other nations experiencing greening include the EU, Canada, Russia, Australia, and the U.S. Greening above the global average is also occurring in Mexico, but not as much as here in our country.
This is great news, right? What could be better than God’s green Earth?
Well, a lot, so it turns out. Not everybody is happy about the greening. Namely, um, the Greens. You read that right; it isn’t a typo. The Greens aren’t happy about the greening. This would be like me being upset after Led Zeppelin announced a reunion tour.
But it’s true. A New York Times article by Carl Zimmer appeared with this title: “‘Global Greening’ Sounds Good. In the Long Run, It’s Terrible.”
Mr. Doom and Gloomer, I mean Mr. Zimmer, refers to several studies — you know, implying a consensus — that indicate plants that grow in extra carbon dioxide often end up containing lower concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen, copper and potassium. And that is bad, you know?
It is so bad that if we give it enough time, it will become a crisis requiring emergency government action and higher taxes. Obviously.
So, there you have it. Just when you thought you had permission to be happy about something, anything, like living on our beautiful, fruitful, habitable, blue and green planet, the kill joys in the Green movement come along and throw their wet blankets on it.
What’s next? Maybe the American Society of Clowns will warn us that too much laughing sounds good, but in the long run it’s bad.