Danny Healy Rae: "We can't believe all what the scientists are saying"

The Kerry TD told Newstalk that others have "a lot of work to do if my mind is going to be changed on this"

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Danny Healy Rae. Image: RollingNews.ie

Danny Healy Rae has said he is basing his arguments on climate change on facts, suggesting "we can't believe all what the scientists are saying". 

The Kerry TD made a series of controversial remarks in the Dáil yesterday - leading one deputy to compare him to Sarah Palin.

Professor John Sweeney, a Climatologist from NUI Maynooth, says the TD's views run against the current scientific reality, arguing that "opinions are fine, but they are only opinions - they are very different from actual scientific observations".

Speaking to Newstalk Lunchtime, Deputy Healy Rae said it was not his first time outlining his views on climate change and his views are widely known around Kerry.

"What I was saying is clearly that back over the ages there have been patterns of climate change," he told Jonathan. "Ever before countries became industrialised or ever before we had combustible engines there were serious patterns of climate change going back over the ages".

The Independent TD says Ireland has been affected by radical climate change over the centuries, "culminating in a serious famine caused by two years of wet weather in the 1740s".

Danny admitted "perhaps I don't know as much as you do on what's happening abroad, but I certainly base my knowledge that I have here in front of me on what happened in Ireland back over the years".

On the subject of contemporary climate change and humans' possible influence, he argued, "you can't take away from the fact that nature still evolves and that nature is playing a role in climate and weather even as we're talking here today".

He also defended his suggestion that 'God above is in charge of the weather', telling Jonathan "those who believe in God would say that God is in charge of the weather, and in charge of all things taken with nature. We have to realise that nature is begetting what is happening right around the world".

He argued that his constituents in Kerry and people around Ireland are paying carbon taxes on their cars, and he believes "we have no real account where it is being spent or how it is being spent".

He also suggested that anyone blaming farming and agriculture and emissions and their impact on the environment is not taking into account the fact that "farming was not as intensive" in previous eras that experienced climate phenomena.

Deputy Healy Rae concluded that others will have a "lot of work to do if my mind is going to be changed on this, because I believe honestly and earnestly that climate change has been happening back in the ages before we were ever industrialised".