Monday 22 May 2017

'Nuclear tests in Pacific caused hole in ozone layer' - Healy-Rae

Danny Healy-Rae has blamed nuclearweapons testing in the Pacific Ocean for the hole in the ozone layer. Stock: PA
Danny Healy-Rae has blamed nuclearweapons testing in the Pacific Ocean for the hole in the ozone layer. Stock: PA
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae has blamed nuclearweapons testing in the Pacific Ocean for the hole in the ozone layer.

The remarks came in a Dáil debate on the ratification on the UN Paris agreement on Climate Change.

Danny Healy-Rae. Photo: Tom Burke
Danny Healy-Rae. Photo: Tom Burke

He previously denied that climate change is man-made, saying: "God above is in charge of the weather."

Now Mr Healy-Rae has made claims about what caused the hole in the ozone layer.

The damage to the ozone layer is widely agreed to have been caused by chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) chemicals, such as those found in aerosol sprays.

However, Mr Healy-Rae argued in the Dáil that "untruths have been bandied about for many years".

"They told us about the ozone layer and greenhouse gases and the cans of hairspray . . . but they never told us it was nuclear testing," he said.

"Thankfully, now it's mending," he added.

Mr Healy-Rae said he was "worried" about how the Paris Agreement would affect farmers and he raised doubts about climate change being man-made. He cited the famine of the 1740s as an example of climate change before the industrial age.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said that scientists were "absolutely clear" that climate change was being caused by human activity.

Environment Minister Denis Naughten noted Mr Healy-Rae raised incidents from the 1700s and 1800s and said they were remembered because they were so infrequent.

He said: "We have seen devastation in communities that I represent.

"Instead of these being 100-year events, they are now becoming five-year events."

Irish Independent

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