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New Plymouth leader says "don't worry" about climate change

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 5:01pm

By Philip Churm, local democracy reporter

Cllr Richard Bingley says we should get used to "living in barren, sandy landscapes"

And "there's too much cycling going on"

A video has emerged of Plymouth City Council leader Councillor Richard Bingley saying the world should not worry about climate change and suggesting people should adapt to “living in barren, sandy landscapes.”

The comments, recorded in June 2020, were made on the YouTube channel of right-wing think tank New Culture Forum (NCF) and posted on the website of the climate science denial group, Net Zero Watch (NZW).

Also taking part in the debate was James Delingpole, London editor of the far-right Breitbart website, along with outspoken climate change denier Dr Benny Peiser.

Net Zero Watch was previously known as the ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation’ of which Dr Peiser is as a director.  

The prominent climate change denial organisation was rebranded as NZW last year.  

Plymouth City Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and pledged to make the city carbon neutral by 2030.

But in the video, Cllr Richard Bingley says: “I’m not really feeling that we should worry too much about climate change in itself.”

He dismisses concerns about the extent of climate change and suggests countries should simply adapt to harsher environments.

“You get to sort of 30 or 40 years time where the world may be liveable; it may not be,” he says.

“I mean, for example, some countries, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia have adjusted for many years to living in barren, sandy landscapes.”

Recorded less than a year before being elected Conservative councillor for Plymouth’s Southway ward, Cllr Bingley describes himself as “a Londoner” and hits out at the increase in cyclists, many of whom are choosing to ditch cars in favour of greener transport. 

Speaking about his East London home, he says: “Now you try and walk the dogs by a canal path or something, you end up almost losing your legs or the dogs do. And it’s actually not very pleasant.

“You know, there’s too much cycling going on. So I think that needs addressing.” 

Green Party candidate for Plympton Chaddlewood, Ian Poyser, said: “There’s a clear scientific consensus on the facts about the climate crisis and ecological decline, which is happening right now in this country.

“The government’s own 2021 State of Nature report has shown that since the 1970s 41 per cent of all UK species surveyed have declined, while 15 per cent  of species within the UK are said to be threatened with extinction. 

“The population of the UK’s priority species, have declined by a shocking 60 per cent.

“Given the overwhelming scientific evidence and public support for climate action from across society, it’s irresponsible to politicise the issue and sow division, at a time we need to pull together as a nation.

“I’m tired of politicians that paint a simplistic view of the world.”

Later in the video discussion Cllr Bingley dismisses covid s as “a mildly severe flu pandemic” and says the reaction is “a social media mass crisis response.”

By late June 2020, the time of these comments, nearly nine million cases of the virus had been recoreded worldwide, leaving almost 490,000 dead. 

Cllr Bingley was approached about his comments on the Net Zero Watch site but has not responded. 

A link to the video is on this page of Net Zero Watch. Radio Exe is not responsible for the content of external websites: https://bit.ly/3KD5HPE

 

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