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Scientific Alliance Newsletter

- Alternative fuels - Thoughtful comment on climate change - Seeing the wood for the trees - No more wires? Alternative fuels With the present focus on climate change policy, alternative energy sources of various sorts have also been much in the news. Nuclear fusion, for one, is the subject of an article in the BBC’s Green Room series (Nuclear fusion: a necessary investment). The author is Kaname Ikeda, nominated as director general of the Iter project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) to be constructed near Marseille. This represents the next step on the road...
- Chaotic world of climate truth - European power blackout/IEA report - Air travel of the future Chaotic world of climate truth This was the headline for last week’s piece in the Green Room series from the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6115644.stm). It presents an interesting viewpoint from Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Despite being very much in the mainstream of climate change research and believing that the evidence points to continued warming and negative consequences, Professor Hulme criticises those activists who have...
- Encouragement of UK science - Over-fishing versus fish farming - The Stern review - The New Scientist Encouragement of UK science It is widely reported today that Tony Blair has made a speech encouraging the country to “stand up for science”. This is good. It is important that our political leaders recognise that scientific knowledge underpins the very fabric of modern societies. However, we have a paradoxical situation where science continues to be overlooked or undervalued – even distrusted –  by many.   The good news is that the present government...
- Personal searching or scientific censorship? - Wood-burning stoves in the developing world - The Stern review - Correction Personal searching or scientific censorship? The ever-inventive Google is now offering the Google Custom Search Engine. Users can set up a bespoke service which only looks at certain websites, for example, or customises and presents the results in particular ways. Since we all know that there is an awful lot of dross on the Internet, at first sight this looks eminently sensible. After all, most of us look only at the first few results of a search, or fine-tune our...
- Environmental issues - Benefits of fish "outweigh risks" - Environmental impact of the hydrogen economy - Carbon offsetting Environmental issues Readers of the last few editions of this newsletter could be forgiven for thinking that the Scientific Alliance was a single issue organisation, dealing only with climate change science and policy. This is actually far from the truth, but this has been the issue hitting the headlines, and we feel we have a legitimate contribution to make to the debate. So, no apologies for focussing on this recently, but we should set the record...
- Science Education - Ecological debt or ecological exuberance? - Business opportunities in climate change mitigation   First, an apology to our readers for the lack of a newsletter last week. However, we hope to continue to publish weekly, with a few exceptions.   Science Education The new CCSE science curriculum – in common with many other subjects, seemingly in a continual state of flux – is now under attack from several quarters. The BBC gives a good roundup: Critics attack new science GCSE. Sir Richard Sykes, Baroness Warnock and others have weighed in to...

Current Issues


Future costs of UK energy supply

The Scientific Alliance recently published part 1 of an examination of National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios, dealing with security of supply. We are now pleased to publish part 2 - cost of supply. The authors - Dr Capell Aris and Colin Gibson - conclude that building more gas and nuclear stations would be considerably less expensive than any of the NG scenarios, as well as offering better energy security.

What's New

14 October 2016: Read the new report by Dr Capell Aris, published jointly with the Adam Smith Institute - Solar power in Britain: the Impossible Dream