Healy-Rae: 'I do know what I'm talking about on climate change'
Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30
Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae insists he knew what he was talking when he told the Dáil that "God above" was responsible for climate change.
The Kerry TD hit back after coming under fire for rejecting widespread scientific evidence that proves burning fossil fuels are the root cause of global warming.
"What you are saying is that I made these statements [in the Dáil] without being informed. I have been informed," he said on Newstalk radio.
The TD was speaking following his revelation on Wednesday that he believed mankind had "no hand, act or part" in climate change.
"We had been drowned out of it in the 1740s, back through the ages, before industrialisation and before combustible engines," he said.
Mr Healy-Rae added that he "had been listening to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan for years" on the issue but was still not convinced that "mankind was to blame".
He also criticised the carbon tax on cars, which was introduced by Mr Ryan's party when it was in power during the 2007-11 government.
"If you have an 06 car you pay more than someone who has an 07 or 08 car.
"That hurts the young fella going to work, or the haulier or the industrial worker."
But Mr Ryan told the Irish Independent: "Pretending human activity was not the cause won't help us at all."
The Dublin Bay South TD added: "There is the same scientific understanding about climate change as there is about gravity existing."
"If only it was true [that God was responsible for climate change].
"But all the science for the past 150 years shows this has been happening."
"One thing I will say is the minor incidences and fluctuations in the weather Danny was talking about only show you how vulnerable we all are," he said.
Mr Ryan believes that Mr Healy-Rae's comments had helped raise an "important issue" and welcomed the attention climate change has got as a result.
Outgoing Environment Minister Alan Kelly said: "The causes of climate change are man-made and that fact is no longer disputed by virtually every credible scientist."
He hit out at Fine Gael's deal with Fianna Fáil for omitting climate change, which he called "the cause of our generation".
Mr Healy-Rae's brother Michael, who was in government talks all day yesterday, refused to comment, but said he hoped "for some divine inspiration" for the next government.
The eco warrior
Who: Eamon Ryan
What: Green Party leader and TD for Dublin Bay South
Believes: We are causing climate change.
Most likely to say: The future is bleak unless we change our ways.
Least likely to say: Every family should have at least one high-powered car.
Climate change sceptic
Who: Danny Healy-Rae
What: TD for Kerry
Believes: God controls the weather
Most likely to say: We can’t believe everything scientists tell us.
Least likely to say: On balance, Dublin is probably better than Kerry .