SAMMY Wilson, the DUP Unenvironment Minister, has barred a central government advert on climate change and energy conservation from Northern Irish TVs. Having seen one of the “insidious” ads on Stormont Live (you can see ’em all here), it does seem like a fairly harmless ad urging people to turn off unnecessary appliances (it reminded me a bit of the classic 1979 ‘Bedtime Routine’ fire prevention ad). Fair enough, and if you also want to save money in these hard times, not bad advice – especially as the father in the ad used the environment as a secondary reason behind saving money to convince his daughter to switch off. But it’s the underlying message, that man-made climate change can be influenced by such small actions, that clearly bugs Sammy enough to nitpick and ban the ad. Never mind the muesli-munching guardianistas, now Sammy could be easily accused of putting his pet ideology ahead of basic practical advice, presumably paid for by central government, that might save punters a few quid. It also appears to put him at odds with another DUP minister, Arlene Foster, who chaired the first meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group a few days ago. For those who missed her press release Foster recognises the potential for ‘green jobs’, the Enterprise Minister stated:
Sustainable energy has never been more important than it is today in maximising economic opportunities and ensuring security of our energy supply … Anyone affected by recent power cuts will have had a timely reminder of how fundamental energy is to all we do: for lighting, heating and powering our productivity.