Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Ignorant Sammy in DUP's Alliance against Science

If any further evidence were needed to demonstrate why it is necessary to maintain a strong alternative unionist voice to the DUP, the party itself has been providing it over the last week or so. In addition to Iris Robinson’s remarks about homosexuality, we learn that Mervyn Storey, an inveterate proponent of young-Earth creationism will replace Sammy Wilson as chair of the Assembly Education Committee. And as noted below, Sammy himself has found a suitable role in the DUP’s Alliance against Science, becoming Environment Minister.

Sammy is a clown, with the red nose to prove it, but it is not funny having a clown in charge of Northern Ireland’s environment. He has wasted no time outlining his understanding (or lack of it) of the issue of green house gases contributing to climate change.

"I am not convinced and I don't think that there is any firm evidence to show that all of that climate change is due to CO2 emissions."

Which as a literal statement may be true, but in the very terms in which it is framed, exposes the Environment Minister’s ignorance. Pete Baker on Slugger points out that there are no serious claims that Carbon Dioxide is responsible for ‘all’ climate change. Of course what Wilson is implying is that gases created by human activity, the so-called ‘green-house gases’ are not, in the main, the cause of climate change.

Pete quotes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which bases its opinion on a synthesis of peer reviewed and published scientific literature,

“Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations.”


Sammy Wilson is assuming responsibility for a brief, bringing with him a set of pre-conceived, ill considered, cranky views set in opposition to the overwhelming scientific consensus, which are directly relevant to the job at hand. It both beggars belief and typifies the philistine obduracy of the party which he represents.

Will Wilson prepare his own body of credible scientific research, in order to support his theories on climate change? No he will not. And nor will he need to, because he is in a position whereby he can immediately begin to impact our environment, without having to in any way establish his credentials or propound any alternative theories. Ignorance is bliss.

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