The disdain directed at experts during the Brexit campaign — and in today’s “divorce” negotiations — might have prepared Britain’s civil service for the resignation of the permanent secretary at the British Home Office, Philip Rutnam, following an unprecedented row with his political boss, the polarising Priti Patel. Despite that, it is difficult, maybe naive, not to think a Rubicon has been crossed.
The same process worked, but in reverse, yesterday, when climate change expert Prof John Sweeney crossed the Shannon. He addressed the March meeting of Clare County Council on climate change and, specifically, on the flooding which, over the past two weeks, once again inundated Clonlara, in south-east Clare.
Clare County Council are to be commended on this, as the science behind climate change has yet to have an impact proportionate to its threat. It is all too often dismissed. In that context, it will be interesting to see if Prof Sweeney is invited to address Kerry County Council, where fairies and acts of God are, occasionally, and unwisely, given pre-eminence.