Witness newly elected Irish parliamentarian, one Danny Healy Rae, and his speech to the house on climate change. My guess is that climate change is not a major concern of his constituents.
Non-Irish readers may wish to note that the Irish parliament consists of 158 members, so basically this guy is 158th of all there is. Secondly, in the recent parliamentary elections, he was one of the most voted for politicians in the country.
Thirdly, the Irish election led to a hung parliament. The two biggest parties have struggled to form a government, so there is much attention on the role of independent (non-party) members, who may be pork-bellied into propping up a minority administration.
Folks like this guy.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the acting Environment Minister made a speech today too, also on the subject of climate change. Naturally his was a little more scientifically informed that Danny Healy Rae’s. But bizarrely, nobody turned up. Literally nobody. Even though the parliament has 158 members – each elected to represent constituent citizens of the republic – not a single one of them turned up to hear the Environment Minister’s climate change speech. Dutifully he delivered it anyway, reading his prepared script into the record in an empty chamber.
Danny Healy Rae, meanwhile, has been trending on Twitter.
So who says scientific literacy is on the rise?
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.