Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has dismissed climate change concerns as “complete and utter rubbish”. Speaking on an Irish radio programme, he said he believes that people’s fears about global warming are unfounded. He said: “This kind of nonsense that we all need to cut back on beef production or that we all need to eat vegetables or go vegan and all start cycling bicycles is not the way forward. … In the 19th century in London, [people] thought they were all going to die from smog. There is always some lunatic out there who points to a load of rubbish science; science changes.” He said: “I don’t accept that climate change is real. I don’t accept the link between carbon consumption and climate change” … and the cooling and warming had been “going on for years.” It is hardly a surprise that a businessman whose private fortunes depend on encouraging ever more burning of fossil fuels thinks this. Otherwise how could he cope with the cognitive dissonance? But it is worth noting that the aviation industry does no more than pay lip service to any prospect of reducing its carbon emissions, merely holding out a few very minor carbon savings – while massively growing (doubling or tripling) the size of the industry – and getting other sectors to offset its CO2.
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