So, just who is running the country?

Date: Tuesday 7th May 2019

DOES anyone know who’s running the country? Watching awestruck Michael Gove and the BBC’s Nick Robinson receiving climate change advice from 16-year-old Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg makes you wonder.

Even more scary, excited schoolchildren out of class and on our streets, tomorrow’s Extinction Rebellion devotees, who brought near anarchy to London’s streets.

With the exception of Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt the country’s leadership is in paralysis. Instant fame from saving the planet is the new intoxication. And all because of science, irrefutable science.

But science isn’t irrefutable, shouldn’t our schoolchildren know that? Science is never a settled matter. It always has been and always will be a work in progress.

In 2013, Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the polar ocean physics group at Cambridge, confidently predicted the “ Arctic death spiral”. He believed there would be no sea ice at all in the Arctic by the summer of 2015.

As “the leading authority on Arctic sea ice”, so convinced was he that the media proclaimed it was a “fact”. The ice failed to disappear in 2013, 2014, or 2015. It’s still there.

According to Gordon Hetherington (Herald, 20th April), physics graduate from Canterbury, “when predictions of a scientific theory do not agree with observation, the theory is wrong”. The same admission was made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 when it had to retract a claim that the Himalayas had a high chance of losing their glaciers by 2035.

Extinction Rebellion feeds off such false claims, especially those that reach the headlines.

Historically, global temperatures have been much lower and much higher than they are at present. In horse and cart days, no human activity could be blamed for climatic change. In Dickensian Europe, Greenland was hotter and London cold enough for ice fairs to be held on the River Thames.

So, what shall we do? Let’s do all we can to clean up our air, sober up about certainties that are not certain, and take our protests to the real emission abusers in China and USA. Which brings me back to Jeremy Hunt, to a real global crisis, human trafficking and slavery, a scourge far more emotive than climate change.

Our erstwhile Foreign Secretary has just returned from an overseas tour where he confronted Chinese leaders, asking them why they imprison church pastors on trumped up charges and close down unregistered churches, devastating families. This is the kind of leadership our country needs.

And, dare I mention, he’s a Brexiteer.

R. HALL

Cockermouth.