Danny Healy-Rae on climate change

 

Sir, – As I read of Independent TD Danny Healy Rae’s (News, May 4th) comments on heavenly hands controlling our weather, it struck me that science plays little role in our parliamentary debates.

Despite promoting a so-called knowledge-based economy, many TDs and senators seem uncomfortable with science and research.

If these are the only outcomes of science discussed in classrooms, pubs or at Cabinet table then comments from people like Mr Healy-Rae will continue. Science is a process that looks to contest what we know about our world to better describe it. While not infallible, it is reliable.

Mr Healy Rae’s opinions on the causes of weather can be tested using science.

Alas, opinions such as these have been tested and were found to be nonsense. Imagine if our politicians (indeed all of us) were more aware of how science works. Perhaps fewer might claim God controls the weather as people before us made claims about the Earth being flat. Instead findings from research might help politicians to plan and legislate.

Scientists need to speak up for what they do, to better inform the national conversations we have on issues where science has something to say.

– Yours, etc,

Dr SHANE BERGIN

School of Physics,

Trinity College Dublin.

Sir, – I shared the short video on your website featuring Danny Healy-Ray and his opinions on global warming, with Turkish office colleagues.

It’s hard to say what surprised them more – the content of the speech or the level of attendance in the Dáil.

– Yours, etc,

JOHN TONER

Antakya

Turkey.