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Sunday 4 December 2016

'The hole in the ozone layer was caused by nuclear testing' - Danny Healy Rae

Published 27/10/2016 | 11:54

New TD Danny Healy-Rae Picture: Tom Burke
New TD Danny Healy-Rae Picture: Tom Burke

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae claimed in the Dáil that the hole in the Ozone layer was caused by nuclear testing.

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Mr Healy-Rae was contributing to a debate on Ireland ratifying the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

He previously made remarks denying that climate change is man-made saying: “God above is in charge of the weather”.

Now he has claimed that the hole in the Ozone layer - which isn't related to climate change - was caused by the testing of nuclear weapons.

He said: "They told us about the Ozone layer and greeenhouse gases and the cans of hairspray or whatever but they never told us it was nuclear testing".

"They never told us that nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago actually caused the serious damage to the Ozone layer," He told the Dáil.

"Thankfully now it’s mending and it’s curing and it’s not it’s not anything to do with policies in any country in recent times. But the damage was caused by nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean."

Returning to the subject of the Paris Agreement Mr Healy-Rae said: "I’m very worried about this agreement because it will have a severe negative impact on farmers."

Herds of cattle are a major contributor to Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Healy-Rae said: "Farmers must be protected because if the farming industry goes down and it’s in a serious crisis at the present time. If it has impacted negatively any further it will hurt the whole country because when farming is going bad the whole country isn’t going well.

"It is rumoured that the national herd will have to be reduced and I will not support any policy that will impinge negatively on our agriculture production," he added.

He again again raised his doubts about climate change being man-made citing the famine of 1740 which he said was caused by excess rain and natural phenomenon like El Nino and the Gulf Stream.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan addressed Mr Healy Rae and told that scientists are "absolutely clear" that climate change is being caused by human activity.

"He [Mr Healy-Rae] keeps saying all the time there's always been changes in nature and I remember the flood in 1752 or whatever."

Mr Ryan said it's true that there have been natural weather-related events, but that they are small in scale compared to what will be caused by man-made climate change.

He warned that the world is moving into a geological era "where we are responsible for changes that are bigger in scale, of a greater magnitude than anything we have seen in our historical record or lifetime".

"That is something scientists are absolutely clear and certain about," Mr Ryan said.

He called the Paris Agreement "historic", noting that it is being ratified quickly and that 190 countries have signed up to it.

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