With the World Economic Forum issuing recommendations to G8 leaders, including the UK, on global warming on the basis of “the scientific rationale for urgent action presented in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report” [full statement here PDF file], it might help any local conversation if the new Environment Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson, would provide some detail of the evidence on which he bases his beliefs – rather than general, and pejorative, comments about the environmental lobby’s “industry”, problems being created in order to seek funding, that the IPCC is “very very political”, that they “suppressed a lot of evidence”, ostracised objectors, etc. There are criticisms of the IPCC out there, but they include the point that it is “remarkably conservative”. Of course, the Environment Minister is at pains to point out that the various programmes concerning energy diversification, conservation, and security, and by extension climate change, will continue – just not for the reasons which he claims are unfounded. Taken with the scheduled re-review of environmental governance in 2011 and, along with his support for nuclear energy, his suspicion that there wouldn’t be very many locations here with suitable geological conditions for storing nuclear waste – although he admits his ignorance about those conditions – it would appear that as far as the Environment Minister is concerned, whilst he’s grabbing headlines with his
cynicism scepticism, these things are Somebody Else’s Problem.
From the wikipedia entry
“An SEP is something we can’t see, or don’t see, or our brain doesn’t let us see, because we think that it’s somebody else’s problem…. The brain just edits it out, it’s like a blind spot. If you look at it directly you won’t see it unless you know precisely what it is. Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye.”
Btw that’s a Douglas Adams quote. As is this on why Somebody Else’s Problem Fields require very little energy.
“This is because it relies on people’s natural predisposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain.”