Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Climate change must be on political agenda

In his article (DebateNI, April 2) on the latest IPCC report, John Barry pitches scientific evidence against ideology, thus raising the debate on climate change to a level of rationality that is severely lacking in some quarters.

As a Green Party councillor and professor in green political economy, Barry holds two major advantages over Right-wing climate change sceptics in the political institutions: firstly, he belongs to the only political party in the Assembly that publishes donations of £500 and above (which confirms that the Greens are not in the pockets of corporate donors) and, secondly, by virtue of his training and peer-reviewed research, he is disposed to placing the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence ahead of profit and political fundamentalism.

Neither of these rings true with regard to climate change deniers in the DUP, who, as Barry quite rightly notes, have stood in the way of progress on a range of issues. Indeed, the DUP's support for the Welfare Reform Bill betrays a disregard for the most vulnerable in society and a commitment to Tory economics.

This toxic combination of climate change denial and neo-liberalism ought to create clear lines of demarcation between what Barry calls the "reactionary and progressive visions of the future".

It is vital voices are raised in support of the latter and that, as the IPCC report demands, action on climate change is placed at the centre of a progressive agenda.

DR SEAN BYERS

Portaferry, Co Down

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