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This week, a well-respected academic has come in for criticism for writing an article at the behest of a large multinational company (Harvard professor failed to disclose connection). The main problem was that the company was Monsanto, regularly vilified by activists for what they consider to be a range of sins, including farmer exploitation and attempted dominance of the agricultural supply chain. The academic is Calestous Juma, director of the Science, Technology and Globalization Project and...
It’s clear from Chernobyl, which has turned into an unlikely wildlife refuge, that low doses of radiation do no harm Sir, Your report (Oct 6) on how wildlife is thriving in the Chernobyl exclusion zone illustrates that we have an excessively cautious approach to the hazards of nuclear radiation. Not only is wildlife flourishing when not having to compete with humans for land, but older residents who refused to move out after the 1986 disaster are dying now of old age rather than from the...
The scandal engulfing the Volkswagen group - and very probably other major car manufacturers - is a serious one, but essentially about ethics and customer trust. To deliberately falsify the outcome of emissions tests is fraudulent and will have long-running consequences but it is not necessarily, as some commentators have suggested, the beginning of the end for diesel as a mainstream fuel. Diesel engines have long been the motive power of choice for buses, commercial vehicles and (non-electric...
EWING is being disingenuous when he blames Westminster for the closure of Longannet, writes Jack Ponton While it is standard practice for politicians to blame their opponents for all embarrassing events, it is disingenuous of the Scottish Government energy minister Fergus Ewing to attribute all responsibility for the impending closure of Longannet to the present Westminster government, and particularly so to imply some responsibility for the early closure of the Renewables Obligation...
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...

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