Global warming ‘bullshit’, says Ryanair boss O’Leary

Sep 10, 2010
Tim Edwards

‘Fucking ecowarriors and the media’ only say ‘climate change’ because ‘global warming’ has been disproved, O'Leary claims

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has waded into the debate on climate change, saying he believes global warming is "bullshit". While his position is unsurprising coming from the boss of a budget airline company facing green taxes such as a huge increase in air passenger duty in November, his pronouncements on the subject make for entertaining reading.

Speaking to the Independent, O'Leary doesn't deny that the earth's climate has changed, but he does suggest (wrongly) that global temperatures haven't risen in the past 12 years and that "fucking ecowarriors and the media" have therefore changed the language they use from 'global warming' to 'climate change'.

But it is when he talks about the history of science that O'Leary really finds his stride:

"The scientific community has nearly always been wrong in history anyway. In the Middle Ages, they were going to excommunicate Galileo because the entire scientific community said the Earth was flat. I mean, it is absolutely bizarre that the people who can't tell us what the fucking weather is next Tuesday can predict with absolute precision what the fucking global temperatures will be in 100 years' time. It's horseshit."

He does have a point about computer modelling, but in fairness, scientists are making considerable strides in perfecting their collection of climate data. A team of Dutch and American scientists announced only this week that the Greenland ice cap was melting at half the rate previously thought. The new estimate was made possible by more accurate satellite data. Another team, meanwhile, has for the first time accurately measured the amount of carbon stored in Amazonian rainforests (it was less than previously thought).

These advances have come thanks to a surge in funding for climate science, a trend that it seems O'Leary is against: "Scientists argue there is global warming because they wouldn't get half of the funding they get now if it turns out to be completely bogus," he says.

Realising O'Leary is a serial publicity-seeker, Greenpeace would only dignify his intervention with a jokey riposte. Spokesman Joss Garman said: "Personally, I wouldn't trust 'O'Really' to tell me the price of a seat on his own airline, but to be fair his position does have the support of such intellectual heavyweights as Nick Griffin, Sarah Palin and George W Bush."       

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