It seems that the main political parties are determined to push their green agenda as they prepare for a General Election. That the science supporting the new eco-religion has been politicised is confirmed by the oft-repeated statements, “The science is settled” and “97 per cent of scientists agree”. This is a red flag to any real scientist since, by its nature, science is never settled and real scientists rarely agree.

Sceptical thinking goes back to the inventor of the ‘scientific method’, third century BC Greek philosopher Aristotle. In essence, a scientist puts forward a hypothesis within defined parameters and attempts to validate his idea by trying to disprove it. If his hypothesis stands, others attempt to disprove it using identical parameters. Some phenomena are not testable by this method because the parameters cannot be defined. Terrestrial climate is an example of such a phenomenon. However by the 1990s, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change had mandated that the International Panel on Climate Change find evidence that human produced CO2 causes global warming. Everything was done to prove the hypothesis rather than try to disprove it. When it became obvious that an increase in the level of CO2 doesn’t precede warming but follows it, the phrase ‘global warming’ became ‘climate change’ - which no one can disprove!

During the medieval Dark Ages, questions of an intellectual nature tended to invoke the dead-end response, “It’s God’s will”. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Renaissance, the rebirth of classical civilisation, precipitated the age of reason known as the Enlightenment. In 1543, the Polish astronomer Copernicus dangerously challenged the literal reading of the Bible by denying that the earth is the centre of the universe. By the 1600s, Italian astronomer, Galileo was a lone earth-centric-denier fighting an establishment consensus determined to preserve its biblical authority. The Church forced a retraction from Galileo and censored all books supporting his scientific findings for over 200 years.

When prospective parliamentary candidates embrace apocalyptic thinking, hail “the green new deal” and vow to “tackle climate change”, they are emulating their masters in Brussels who demand “a global solution to a global problem”. This is hypocrisy of a high order; in a few more weeks, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be completed. It will supply Germany with fossil-fuel-generated gas from Russia’s state-owned Gasprom. Germany has discovered that wind-farms and solar panels are incapable of powering its advanced economy. To sacrifice our sovereignty and our economy “to save the planet” is both opportunistic and dangerous. To indoctrinate innocent children to support such a political agenda - and then claim that children are leading the charge - is a stunning abrogation of responsibility.

Prof. Christine Wheeler McNulty