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by Scott MacNab THE SNP government’s “antagonism” to scientific advice is deterring the country’s top experts from working with ministers, leading scientists have warned. It emerged yesterday that the government has been unable to fill the role of chief scientific adviser (CSA) after a recruitment drive earlier this year. It is now to be re-advertised, with applications also being sought for roles on Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC).
Note: Article first appearing in Scottish Farmer By Dr Keith Dawson A stark contrast still between Scotland and Eastern Europe and Russia with a harvest story of over abundant moisture in one and a droughtin the other!In both arenas yields have been good, where the right inputs have been applied, as they have in Ireland too. This will sadly not help prices, although Chinese demand for grain and soya imports remains stronger than for metal commodities! The Chinese currently lease almost 10% of...
By Tony Trewavas and Keith Dawson The sweet potato, often called a yam, is a familiar vegetable on our supermarket shelves. It is a swollen root and its orange flesh is rich in the precursor of vitamin A. It provides nourishment equivalent to the potato (although unrelated) but will grow in poor as well as soil-rich circumstances. It has been available for some 20 years and freely sold. If you have eaten sweet potato in the last 20 years you have eaten your first GM meal. Some 8,000 years ago,...
There has been some correspondence back and forth in this newspaper recently about the thorny issue of GM crops. There has been some correspondence back and forth in this newspaper recently about the thorny issue of GM crops. Genetic modification became a commercial reality in the mid-1990s and, since then, few topics seem to have generated so much misinformation and mud-slinging. The scientific evidence is clear; GM crops currently approved are as safe as any other variety of the same crop....
ENVIRONMENTAL advantages of renewable energy are a myth – fusion energy is the way forward says Anthony Trewavas Renewables use sun, water, wind; energy sources that won’t run out. Non-renewables come from things like gas, coal and uranium that one day will. But unless electricity and motorised transport are abandoned altogether, all “renewables” need huge areas of land or sea and require raw materials that are drilled, transported, mined, bulldozed and these will run out. Wind turbine towers...
What is this other source to be, if not nuclear, says Jack Ponton The Holyrood parliament does not have formal responsibility for energy policy in Scotland. However, it does have control of general planning. Further, the owners of Scotland’s conventional electricity generation capacity have currently no incentive to expand it. These factors have enabled Holyrood effectively to take control of all new energy developments. This has already resulted in the construction or consent of renewable...
The claim is supported by increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil-fuel burning, a global temperature increase from 1975-1998 and future temperature projections derived from climate models. The Kyoto protocol based on model projections aims to keep future temperature elevations below 2ÚC by severe reductions (decarbonisation) in GHG emissions, and fossil-fuelled electricity generation is considered a primary emitter. But the alternatives, so-called renewables, are very expensive...
Intensive production methods have skewed agriculture’s connection with nature and that must be reversed, says Edward Baxter The Land Reform Review Group’s proposals for radical change in the ownership of land in Scotland published at the end of May this year are of no small consequence. Two years in the gestation and fraught with much politicking, their report included a proposal for the absolute right to buy for some agricultural tenants, those few thousand individuals holding secure ’91 Act...
by ANTHONY TREWAVAS Nuclear power need not be a threat, says Anthony Trewavas Use of thorium instead of uranium in reactors can allay virtually all public concern over weapons proliferation, radioactive pollution, toxic waste and fuel that is costly and complicated to process. Thorium is the most abundant, most readily available, cleanest and safest energy source on earth; yet it remains unknown by both the public and politicians. Novel reactor design, the liquid fuel thorium reactor (LFTR),...

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