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Professor calls Danny Healy-Rae's view on climate change 'nonsense' and 'dangerous'

The Kerry TD went head-to-head with Professor John Sodeau of University College Cork to debate climate change.


A PROFESSOR FROM University College Cork (UCC) has criticised Danny Healy Rae’s view on climate change, calling it “nonsense” and “the utter depth of rubbish a politician could speak”.

In an interview on The Opinion Line on Cork’s 96FM, UCC Professor of Chemistry John Sodeau said that Danny Healy-Rae is “entitled to his opinion, but not a dangerous one”.

This comes after Danny Healy-Rae, the independent TD for Kerry, refuted claims that humans were contributing to climate change.

“Changes in the climate go back over the years and it’s on facts and on history that I’m basing my arguments. That’s the truth and I’m telling no lies. As many people agree with me as disagree with me.”

Earlier in the year, Danny Healy-Rae said in a Dáil debate that he doesn’t “agree with all this story about climate change at all”:

God above is in charge of the weather and that we here can’t do anything about it.

The Kerry TD went on to say “I’m entitled to air my views on behalf of the many people who agree with me”.

Professor John Sodeau replied to this by questioning Healy-Rae’s science background and knowledge:

I’m not talking about opinions, I’m talking about science. What science background does Danny Healy-Rae have? Yes, he’s entitled to an opinion, but not a dangerous opinion.

He went on to say that the information and debate around climate control had reached such a point that he felt he had to speak out.

“I’ve seen these things with Trump [at the Republican National Convention], and heard these things on YouTube, and read them on the Irish Examiner and people need to know the truth. Opinions are not enough.”

Healy-Rae’s views on climate change

When asked to give his credentials and back up his opinions, Healy-Rae said that his “story is based on the truth and facts”.

There was a lot of talk about the ozone layer, and now we’re told it’s repairing itself. We were told it was cattle and cows and airsprays, and now that it [was the result of] nuclear airborne testing that was carried out 50 years ago that damaged the ozone layer.

He went on to defend cattle and farms as being the cause of floods, saying that it was “totally incorrect” to say they were to blame.

Professor Sodeau said that it was a “classic misunderstanding” from someone with no science knowledge, and went on to explain Healy-Rae’s comments.

The stratospheric ozone hole with the issues associated with climate change and warming. The ozone hole is repairing itself because in the 1980s it was said that chlorofluorocarbons were a problem, and they were banned, but that was because there was action, and because they were banned.

Healy-Rae replied by saying “He’s trying to downgrade my argument by saying I’m not a scientist”, and said his opinions were based on stories, facts and history.

Back 50 years ago people told me that the Shannon river would get so frozen over that people would be able to walk across it. That doesn’t happen anymore, but used to happen before that.

“This is the warmest year ever recorded in Ireland, but in 1913 there was some place in Arizona where the warmest date ever was recorded, and this was before machinery and industrial activity, so we couldn’t have caused that.”

Again, John Sodeau explained the reasons for this, to which Healy-Rae said that he was entitled to his opinion:

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“What we’re talking about is weather. I’m in Crosshaven at the moment, the weather is totally different here than it is where you are. That’s climate, which is longterm, and totally different.

“And if he wants to find out about which scientists believe this, he should read the Environmental Research Letters where 97% of scientists who have expertise in climate change have asserted that we are contributing to climate change, and what Danny Healy-Rae is saying is nonsense.”

Allegations of bribery

Healy-Rae then questioned these scientists’ motivation for claiming to agree with climate change, and asked where the €419 million that was collected last year by the Carbon Tax has been allocated.

“I’m half-suspicious that it’s going towards paying the professors that are working out your argument, that’s where it’s going.”

Sodeau replied to Healy-Rae: “I actually thought last week that I had heard the utter depth of rubbish that a politician could speak, until today.”

Read: Danny Healy-Rae: ‘God above is in charge of the weather and we can’t do anything about it’

Read: ‘Danny Healy-Rae can say what he likes … he has to open his eyes’

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