Sammy Wilson, he’s a jovial chap isn’t he? The East Antrim MP shows the ‘human side’ of the DUP. He’s less known for bigoted outbursts or fanatical evangelism than for wisecracks and sunbathing in the nip. Indeed Wilson’s views on climate change are rather entertaining. They might raise a few chuckles accompanied by a glass or two of red and a selection of cocktail snacks, were it not for the small, significant detail that Sammy is the minister charged with protecting and managing Northern Ireland’s environment.
Sammy, you see, is something of a conspiracy theorist. He does not believe that there is a meaningful scientific consensus that man is influencing climate change. In fact he believes that the notion that CO2 emissions are damaging the environment is an almighty swizz which a handful of scientists and an army of green fanatics have employed to browbeat governments into instigating ‘anti business’ policies.
So if we accept Sammy’s analysis, almost the entire developed world and its governments, each charged primarily with advancing the prosperity of its particular country, each with a wealth of scientific opinion to draw on, have been diddled into an ‘anti-business agenda’ by green activists. The bearers of the flame of truth are a small handful of reactionaries which include Sammy himself, Sarah Palin (although not John McCain) and the presenters of Top Gear.
Sam Gardiner, the UUP’s environment spokesman, has been expressing his dismay at Wilson’s views. He rightly points out that once again these opinions place the DUP firmly outside the remit of acceptable, mainstream United Kingdom politics. Sammy Wilson succeeds, like Iris Robinson before him, in making Northern Ireland look ridiculous, backward and incorrigible. He also points out that the DUP MP supported measures to reduce CO2 emissions as recently as 2005. What on earth has caused him to reconsider?