Irish (UK) Environmental minister on AGW: ‘hysterical psuedo-religion’

From the BBC:

Wilson row over green ‘alarmists’

The Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has angered green campaigners by describing their view on climate change as a “hysterical psuedo-religion”.

In an article in the News Letter, Mr Wilson said he believed it occurred naturally and was not man-made.

“Resources should be used to adapt to the consequences of climate change, rather than King Canute-style vainly trying to stop it,” said the minister.

Peter Doran of the Green Party said it was a “deeply irresponsible message.”

Mr Wilson said he refused to “blindly accept” the need to make significant changes to the economy to stop climate change.

“The tactic used by the “green gang” is to label anyone who dares disagree with their view of climate change as some kind of nutcase who denies scientific fact,” he said.

Hmmm where have we heard that before? read the entire story here

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51 thoughts on “Irish (UK) Environmental minister on AGW: ‘hysterical psuedo-religion’

  1. Let’s hope he a) is not alone in politcal circles, b) isn’t sacked or, moved sideways out of the environment arena, c) subjected to ad hominem attacks by greens & the bbc until he resigns under pressure! Only time will tell.

  2. If that had been the UK Environment Minister (for a population of 60m) then this would be a big story! But it isn’t – it’s the Northern Ireland Environment Minister (for population < 2m). The BBC didn’t spell it out, but you might like to change the name of your story…

  3. It is refreshing to see people with a “more balanced” view back in public office, the years from 2001-2008 were defined politically by a shift towards environmentalist sentiments in the western Governments. Germany, Austrailia, Japan,UK,Canada and the USA. All turning a different shade of green.

    This fall here in Canada the Federal Government will be chosen by simply answering the Climate Change question. If you believe in AGW and want Carbon Taxes and a green hue on all policies you can vote for it, well you actually have 2 options on the green side as the Green Party plan is almost identical to the Liberals plan.

    BTW the Liberal plan’s actual name is being challenged by another green group, apparently there is a copyright on the term “Green Shift” (they could just drop a letter) or as quoted in Parliment “Shift Happens”.

  4. A bit picky but he’s environment minister in the Northern Irish assembly which sits at Stormont in Belfast. I don’t think he’d last very too long as the environment minister in the Westminister Parliament. The Labour, Conservative and Liberal party see global warming (climate change) as a fact, not to mention an excuse to raise taxes.

  5. Incidental to this news story. The U.S. is being blamed for the rising cost of food in Indonesia. (soy beans) That is the answer from the businessmen in Indonesia and subsequently the Government. There are several reasons for this. One is that a decade or more ago the cost of production in the U.S. was less than now and there were no mandates to produce bio-fuels. Now that the U.S. has changed over about 30% of the soy crop to corn for fuel production and about 20% of the remaining soy crop for bio diesel and our own cost for fuel, In addition the cost for transport of the soy to the far east has more than doubled. Therefore the cost of imported soy in Indonesia has more than doubled in the past few years. then to compound the problem while the import cost were low the agriculture industries in Indonesia changed over from production of soy to other crops cutting their own soy production by 50%.

    Associated Press writers Irwan Firdaus in Jakarta and Jim Suhr in St. Louis contributed to this report

    This story came out this morning at 10:45 EDT This is more of the results of the Green Religion. I fear that before long we shall reap what the warmist/greenist sow. I hate to say it but this is what happens when you try go make wholesale changes in a short time frame to support the “cure” for a problem that may not be a problem. As the good minister said

    Mr Wilson said he refused to “blindly accept” the need to make significant changes to the economy to stop climate change.

    “The tactic used by the “green gang” is to label anyone who dares disagree with their view of climate change as some kind of nutcase who denies scientific fact,” he said.

    The minister said he accepted climate change can occur, but does not believe the cause has been identified.

    “Reasoned debate must replace the scaremongering of the green climate alarmists.”

    I could not agree with Mr. Wilson more.

    Bill Derryberry

  6. The UK Environment Minister position is a breath of fresh air, but I believe that what is needed is for Governmental entities to charter independent scientific commissions to study/interpret the issue. There is some risk, but it is not at all hard to justify.

    In the U.S. I hope that with McCain/Palin, they will be open to revealing the facts to the public. A presidential scientific commission appointed right after his election, and perhaps announced during his campaign is perhaps the only way ahead. There is a huge risk of McCain changing his position, although he would probably be very reasonable to hedge his position, and then rely on the science. I can’t imagine any circumstance where Obama (who is highly influenced by Gore) would ever do such a thing.

    I understand that Palin trusts the science (and is therefore a skeptic), but they have to be careful on how she discusses this. I believe she is in a good position because she appointed some sort of Alaskan Climate commission. If they were chartered to openly consider the science and not pre-disposed to be searching for CO2 driven climate change like the IPCC, then maybe there is hope. If they come back soon with an objective assessment, then the interesting political question is how the McCain/Palin political campaign will ‘reveal” the results. One way is for them to let the report come out routinely and let the media go with it and then address it. The other way is to have a big news conference, but my sense is that that it is too loaded with risk (although I personally would massively respect them for it)

    It seems to me that in the U.S. presidential election (and in other countries), the catastrophe of massively distorted legislative action against man made CO2 makes this a single issue election. The U.S. may be the most critical because the apparent Global Cooling is not of long enough duration yet to be slapping the politicians in the face yet.

  7. Small correction: Wilson is Environment Minister for Northern Ireland under their devolved government, not for the whole of the UK. Secretary of State for the Environment for the UK as a whole is Hilary Benn.

    REPLY: I made a notation in the title that will help delineate that, thanks – Anthony

  8. He’s in the Northern Ireland government rather than the UK government, so he’s less closely monitored by the Beeb and the Guardian. Warning: this may result in blurting out truth sometimes.

  9. Although Wilson’s comments are right on, it will be too difficult for Labour to stomach and he’ll be sacked

  10. Yesterday I read the original article on the newsletter.co.uk site. Beaut. Immediate reaction in the forum was tobacco centric just like he said it would be.

    See if you can find it now……

    ….Nothing to see here citizen. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

  11. Also did you notice the photograph the BBC published along with the story? Deliberately chosen to make him look like a crack-pot.

  12. Maybe a tad off-topic, but can anyone see a U.S. Racketeering and Influenced Corruption (RICO) lawsuit against some portion of the A-CO2-GW “advocates”? My gut says that this is almost idiotic to consider (guess what that makes me?) unless some smoking gun could be found, but if massive “stop the CO2” legislation was passed, might it have to be put on the table?

  13. And then there is this from Barak Obama a few days ago “Global warming is a serious problem. Uh, i-it’s not just some tree hugger, you know, uhhh, sprout eatin’ liberal thing.

  14. “Ironically, if we listen to him Northern Ireland will suffer economically as we are left behind by smarter regions who are embracing the low carbon economy of the future.”

    I was under the impression that a low-carbon future was only meant to help save the planet, not advance us economically or technologically. Yet that seems to be the assertion that this man makes. I am prone to be skeptical of this attitude because surely the only job losses that will occur would be in Green-dependant industries and the economic damage will go only so far as regions and nations invest in them and how deeply they have absorbed them into their economic infrastructure. Otherwise, they are quite negligible.

    So once again AGW can be anything you want it to be – even a way to advance economically and technologically. But only if you believe. Once again we see that if you deny the faith, you are “deeply irresponsible” and a threat to the economic well-being of the nation.

    At least they have a minister who has his eyes open. That is hopeful. What is up ahead will take a pair of those, and probably more.

  15. Bill in Vigo,

    Our Soybean Exports were “Way Up,” This Year.

    So was Worldwide Demand. Brazil’s crop, on the other hand, was Down. They export about as much as we do.

    Why don’t we blame higher demand, and weak exports from brazil?

  16. Nice to see this, but to clear up a few misconceptions posted here – Northern Ireland is not Ireland, Ireland is not part of the UK, and being a minister of Northern Ireland is not the same as being a minister of the UK.

    Hopefully Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will all get their independence soon, so that they can defend their cultures. I was in London a few weeks ago, and it was almost impossible to find anyone who speaks English. Red Ken and decades of Labour government left their mark.

  17. Thanks for changing the title, Anthony, but “Irish (UK)” still isn’t right! You could try “Northern Irish (UK)” instead…

    REPLY: It’s close enough for government work.

  18. “Maybe a tad off-topic, but can anyone see a U.S. Racketeering and Influenced Corruption (RICO) lawsuit against some portion of the A-CO2-GW “advocates”?”

    I doubt it. I would guess that between the First Amendment and the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, the warmists have free reign to lie their asses off to the public and to the legislatures.

    However, when you think about it, this is a preferable situation. Otherwise, guess who would jump at the opportunity to use RICO suits to silence their opposition?

  19. Some reasons why the ministers views might resonate with UK residents:

    * The vast majority of UK homes, (and busineses) use Natural gas for heating and cooking.

    * A significant amount of UK elecricity generation uses gas fired power stations

    * Because the price of gas is closely tied to the price of oil, consumers in the UK have just received notification of >20% increases in the price of gas and electricity.

    * Partly because of this, the popularity of the Labour government has plummeted in the opinion polls.

    * Although many consumers, (voters), are not fully aware of this, our reserves of North Sea gas are running out and we are increasingly importing gas from place like Russia and Azerbaijan and, since our Kyoto commitments will soon be coming on line, we will have to buy carbon credits to burn this gas. Since Russia has lots of carbon credits for sale, we will soon be in the situation of buying gas from Russia and then paying them to let us burn it.

    As these facts begin to dawn on the UK voting public, the Greens are working harder and harder with ever more lurid apocalyptic prophesies to try and convince us to change our ways. The recent dismal summer has not helped their cause.

    While Mr Wilson is ahead of the curve, expect to see more of this type of sentiment in the future.

    (As an aside, despite my admiration for the stance of Mr Wilson on this issue, I really wonder if we need to be paying for quite as many Environment Ministers, and all their bureaucratic departments, as we do.)

  20. “Ironically, if we listen to him Northern Ireland will suffer economically as we are left behind by smarter regions who are embracing the low carbon economy of the future.”

    To a politician building any modern energy source is good for the economy whether it makes economic sense or not.

  21. Am I correct that 60% of Americans want to drill for oil here? If they want to drill, they cannot be too worried about CO2. It seems to me if Palin and McCain can make the case that the science does not support the CO2 supposition, the White House is theirs. That would probably be too simple though.

  22. Kum Dollison 10:22:10

    I was only sending on the information in the AP news story. although I wonder about the increase in soy production in the US as here in my region the change over to corn was great and soy was planted as a second crop after the harvest of winter wheat. also the second crop is running late and there has been some what of a drought in the south east region. Possibly we don’t effect the national total but the harvest hasn’t happened yet here for soy. Large areas that in the past were planted in cotton and soy were changed over this year to corn.

    I just wonder as I haven’t seen the reports as of yet. Perhaps the AP reporters didn’t read the crop early reports.

    Bill Derryberry

  23. Bill, I remember reading that our Soybean exports for the 07’/08′ year were up about 15+%. I kind of assume that they will be up again this year, in as much as More beans, and Less corn was planted this spring.

  24. Climate Heretic: “BTW the Liberal plan’s actual name is being challenged by another green group, apparently there is a copyright on the term “Green Shift” (they could just drop a letter) ”

    Better yet is to replace the “i” with an “a”. This indicates the true nature of this idiot plan!

  25. Anthony. Will the information from the AIRS Team concerning their CO2 measurements be out before your federal election date?

    REPLY: I’ll find out

  26. Let’s hope he is not … .subjected to ad hominem attacks by greens & the bbc….

    It pains me to say it, but this would be a quite reasonable and acceptable feature of the political world, so we will have to assume he can take care of himself. I suspect it is too early for a politician to say this, however. Were I a politician, I would certainly not stick my head above the parapet on this one. Certainly I would not defend myself by referring to the science!

    Anthony, the earlier reports about Northern Ireland have a point. There are particular sensibilities about nationality in Ireland (and Wales and Scotland, but let’s not go there!). If you use the word ‘Irish’ without the prefix ‘Northern’ that applies to the independent southern part of Ireland, and they will not take kindly to a (UK) tacked onto the name of their country. The correct name would be ‘Northern Ireland Environment Minister’, or ‘NI Environment Minister’.

  27. If I were McCain I’d hammer the Democrats with their lunatic policy of not allowing drilling or processing coal into gasoline. Americans are fed up with the Enviros grip on the Democrat party. It will be their (Dems) down fall if McCain plays his card correctly.

  28. One of the most salient points being missed in the debate about increased drilling is that by normalizing worldwide oil supplies one of the greatest contributors to the global soot, deforestation, deglaciation and watershed problems can be ameliorated: The use of dung and forest stocks for cook fuels. By stabilizing the price of kerosene and gasoline for cook fuel usage all those problem trends can be mitigated and even reversed.

  29. Anthony. Will the information from the AIRS Team concerning their CO2 measurements be out before your federal election date?
    my gut feeling says after Nov 4th

  30. One of the reasons many of us in the US are keen on drilling here and
    burning our own oil is because the US is a net CO2 sink! Yes, the big
    bad USA sucks up CO2 from the rest of the NH.

    Peter Huber, the MIT professor, occasional Forbes columnist and author
    of several books has covered this issue in detail a few times. The huge
    reforestation that has happened in the eastern US, plus the large amount
    of agricultural production, pulls a tremendous amount of CO2 out of the
    air.

  31. Mike Bryant (11:56:55) :

    “If they want to drill, they cannot be too worried about CO2.”

    It occurs to me that saying you want to drill is, to some extent, a way of saying we don’t need to worry about CO2 without actually saying it since saying it is perhaps too risky for either Joe citizen or Suzie politician, especially if they are really not that confident in the science one way or the other.

    If you initiate the statement that we don’t need to worry about CO2, you have to then respond to the endless, “but what about the _______’s”. (Insert, glaciers, polar bears, Arctic Ice, hurricanes, droughts, etc)

  32. From the BBC report:

    This simile is often made by the so called greens and, I believe, has an effect.

    ” Lung cancer was uncommon before the advent of cigarette smoking; it was not even recognized as a distinct disease until 1761. Different aspects of lung cancer were described further in 1810. Malignant lung tumors made up only 1% of all cancers seen at autopsy in 1878, but had risen to 10–15% by the early 1900s. Case reports in the medical literature numbered only 374 worldwide in 1912…” Wiki.

    The simile drawn between tobacco smoking and climate change (in the strictly literal sense) is utterly malapropos and is logical sleight of hand. To assert that tobacco smoking causes lung cancer, therefore anthropogenic CO2 etc. causes ‘climate change’ is, of course, absurd — but they get away with it.

    In fact, this familiar graph ….

    ……would more accurately represent the relationship between the incidence of tobacco smoking and lung cancer.

  33. Oops
    From the BBC report:
    …. John Woods of Friends of the Earth said Mr Wilson was “like a cigarette salesman denying that smoking causes cancer”….
    This simile is……………etc.

  34. Kind of off-topic, but maybe not:

    I sometimes listen to the radio on Sunday mornings, and this morning there was a program which included the Norwegian Environmental Minister, Erik Solheim, who announced the website http://www.klimaklubben.no/ (“klimaklubben” = The climate club) which says about itself that “As a member, you can review your personal CO2 emissions, compare your CO2 emissions friends, colleagues and celebreties, receive follow up on the areas where you want to improve, receive tips, share your knowledge with other interested persons”. And so on.

    Of course there is a “Climate test”, which deals with things like how much fish/meat you eat, how many vegetarian dinners you eat, how often you buy clothes, etc.”

    The minister explained that the earth will warm up to 4-5 degrees this century, it is “happening right now” and “no-one knows what the consequences will be”. He also claimed that opponents of the global warming hypothesis in Norway are politically motivated (there is a large right wing party which doubts the hypothesis. For the record I have never voted for and will never vote for that party). The minister also explained that such opposition to the CO2 theory is special to Norway and virtually non-existent in the rest of the world (!).

    The program ended at the top of the hour, and was replaced by the news. One of the top stories was that domestic electricity consumption had increased by something like 6.5% the last year, where approximately half was due to colder weather.

  35. You can read the orignial article in the Newsletter here:

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/3425/Wilson-voices-doubts-over-climate.4462041.jp

    It is worth clicking on the WHAT DO YOU THINK? link for the 40+ comments, which are not all local! (lots of NI expats read local papers on line).

    By the way:
    “Ironically, if we listen to him Northern Ireland will suffer economically as we are left behind by smarter regions who are embracing the low carbon economy of the future.” from statePoet1775

    Thankfully there is plenty of renewable energy development work going on in NI with governmental support – the issue is one of having sustainable local sources of energy as we import all other sources and are at the end of the supply chains. We aim to be a leading region in the future – we are starting with a blank canvass and are therefore in a position to put in new technologies, which we can then help continue to develop.

  36. For the opposite point of view – we should kill all the cows and save the planet http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7600005.stm
    Dr Pachauri has just been re-appointed for a second six-year term as chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC, the body that collates and evaluates climate data for the world’s governments.
    “The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” he told BBC News.

  37. Earlier we had this exchange:
    Rob Findlay (11:07:41) :
    Thanks for changing the title, Anthony, but “Irish (UK)” still isn’t right! You could try “Northern Irish (UK)” instead…
    REPLY: It’s close enough for government work.

    Anthony, saying that this fellow is “Irish (UK)” is like saying that Bush is “Mexican (US)”, or that Palin is “Canadian (US)”. When you are making a name for yourself by carefully exposing the imperfections in climate change orthodoxy, you will only diminish your standing if you refuse to correct mistakes of your own, even when they are unrelated to climate change. Also it would be shame to reinforce the stereotype that Americans are wilfully ignorant of the world outside.

  38. It occurs to me that saying you want to drill is, to some extent, a way of saying we don’t need to worry about CO2 without actually saying it….
    Pete

    China is certainly saying the same thing by constructing an average of one new coal-fired electricity generating plant every five days – to a total of around 700[?] as it now stands. So where the rubber meets the road in the matter of making real-life decisions, China apparently believes [at the least] that not using massive amounts of fossil fuel-producing C02 would bring about a greater disaster to itself than the alleged AGW “disaster” resulting from China’s own increased and already massive C02 input into the atmosphere.

    Actually, the ipcc is also saying it by specifically allowing countries – such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Africa, etc. – containing 5 billion of the Earth’s 6.5 billion people to not be constrained by the Kyoto Protocols. [I added up the total pop. figures a while back.] Essentially, the ipcc does not even believe its own AGW hypotheses/disease and disease mechanism, because its “cure” – largely none – cannot possibly work, and the ipcc obviously knows it.

    In addition, the ipcc specifically did not study the “costs”/side-effects of the provenly impotent Kyoto Protocols themselves, lending further credence to the idea that the ipcc is not really serious about the very existence of its alleged “disease” to begin with: to wit, in treating any disease it’s usually considered best scientific form to determine as well as possible that the alleged cure will not be worse than the disease itself, or to at least determine the extent of the “risks” of the cure going forward. The ipcc has had ample time already to do this assessment, but it has not and in practice actually refuses to do it – just as it does not seriously study or report the benefits of Global Warming, specifically choosing instead to simply disasterize its possible drawbacks with a vigor more characteristic of a massive propaganda op..

    So the ipcc, enc., is simply not proceeding scientifically, and perhaps many people and countries recognize it and are, in effect, dismissing what the ipcc says as uncredible, in action, where the rubber meets the road.

  39. oops, my apologies to the “world outside” of America: Africa is not a country, as I so ignorantly implied above. Mea culpa!

  40. “If they want to drill, they cannot be too worried about CO2.” I would like to think that were true. But, I think there is a huge disconnect in many people concerning the issues of AGW/Climate change and energy independence. The former is all about emotion, wanting to save the planet, etc., while the latter is about the reality that we need oil. And that being dependent on foreign countries, many of whom wish us ill, if not worse, is not a good position to be in, and tends to cause huge price spikes like the current one.
    To some extent, though, I think that energy independence as an issue has temporarily become more important than “climate change”. The Democrats ignore that to their peril in the next election.

  41. Whether or not you believe Global Warming is man-made – OIL IS DEAD and so is the CARBON ECONOMY and the longer it takes us to start shifting away from it the more painful and harder it will be.

    Why do I say this? Briefly, the fact that we live on a very finite planet. I have a post at Forget ANWR Forget Global Warming Forget the Environment that goes into greater depth in a non-partisan way.

    The greed for carbon based fuel needs to stop. I don’t know how much you folks across the pond are up on what this greed is doing here in the U.S. It could happen over there as well unless we shift away from carbon. Check out this article on Mountain Top Removal – yes, we are removing the tops of our mountains to feed the beast that is our carbon based economy. What is worse is that we are then using the mountain tops to fill in valleys. And beyond that we are poisoning our groundwater as well and killing our streams.

    So which would you prefer? Clean water or gasoline?

  42. @CJS

    Actually, there is plenty of oil and coal. More than enough to carry the world over to better sources of energy (IMHO, nuclear is our best choice at this point, the energy can easily be transformed to hydrogen for mobile consumption and supplied across the power grid for fixed consumption) without the pain you speak of in your post.

  43. CJS (03:41:02) :

    Whether or not you believe Global Warming is man-made – OIL IS DEAD and so is the CARBON ECONOMY and the longer it takes us to start shifting away from it the more painful and harder it will be.

    Translated: Nuclear Energy, now! Agreed, CJS – and thanks.

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