Monday, 9 February 2009

Environment Minister Censors Climate Change Awareness Campaign

Once again poor old Northern Ireland is the laughing stock of the rest of the UK and Ireland....

The Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has again put his head above the parapet by withdrawing a planned UK Government advertisement campaign aimed at educating people about their individual impacts on climate change and providing information on how to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Environment Minister is again under mounting pressure for his outspoken views that humans do not contribute to climate change.

This subsequent political pressure was to be expected and is completely justified.

His controversial decision is based on his belief that climate change is not a man made problem. This is the same belief system held by (thankfully) former US President George Bush and flies in the face of a growing body of scientific evidence that frimly stipulates that climate change is a man made problem.

Leading climate scientists are in consensus that there is a considerable human impact on climate change.

The International Panel on Climate Change, set up by the United Nations, is made up of climate experts from all over the planet and after the last round of UN climate talks they again reiterated the devastating impact that man is having on the planet.

Unfortunately there are many climate change sceptics and eco-deniers out there in the north and this move will resonate well with them. On the contrary to Sammy's beliefs - that 'eco-fundamentalists' are not informed- it is these people who have not read up on the issue.

Wilson is playing a dangerous game by going down this road against scientific consensus and against UK Government policy (plus EU) on this issue.

I think (hope) that sometimes deep down Sammy doesn't even believe some of the stuff he spouts and only says it to portray himself as anti-political correctness and straight talking. If this is the case then he is not the type of person who should be in an important role such as Environment Minister.

If he is actually using the climate change issue as some platform to seem radical and against fashionable thought then he is acting grossly irresponsibly.

Climate change affects us all- it is a global challenge. But it affects the global population in very varied ways and intensities. If you adhere to the 'three worlds' theory (that suggests that we need 3 planet earths to sustain our current rate of consumption) then you will be aware that climate change and environmental degradation will certainly impact negatively on the quality of lives of our children.

A wetter global climate climate has already devasted wheat crops across the world leading to global rises in the price of bread. This has lead to starvation for many thousands of people living in non-OECD countries and put many pressures on the lives of those living in poverty. This is just one impact of climate change.

It is ok for Sammy Wilson to sit in his ivory tower up at DUP HQ and talk this type of nonsense when he is ignorant to the fact that people in Africa have to live with Environmental Rascism on a daily basis. These people are the ones bearing the true brunt of climate change- with desertification and drought an all too sombre reality.

The Environment Minister may not believe in the human impact on climate change but there are many people with knowledge and experience on the issue who would beg to differ.

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