A former Scottish government adviser has accused the SNP administration of ignoring scientists and seeking to stifle expert views. Chris Masters, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a former co-chairman of the Scottish Science Advisory Council, accused the government of placing “undue weight” on popular opinion and ignoring inconvenient facts. Dr Masters, who chaired an expert group on unconventional oil and gas extraction, or fracking, set up by SNP ministers, said that he would be reluctant to take part in future research commissioned by the government because of a policy approach he described as “sad for Scotland”. He cited the permanent ban on fracking and a decision to outlaw genetically modified crops as examples of policies that defied the majority view of the scientific community.
Times 13th Oct 2017 read more »
The UK has committed to a programme that will phase coal out of all electricity generation by 2025. Canada has also said it will close its coal power stations by 2030, and both countries are urging others to put a stop to coal-powered energy generation. The commitment follows an earlier pledge by Amber Rudd to phase out coal by 2025. It was “perverse” and “simply not sustainable” for Britain to be so dependent on the “dirtiest fossil fuel”, she said in a speech in November last year. The government’s new vow comes five months after it was discovered ministers were considering allowing coal-fired power stations to continue to operate if they could reduce their emissions by a certain amount using carbon capture and storage technology. Coal provided the UK with 9 per cent of all power generation in 2016, down from 22 per cent in 2015. On 21 April 2017, Britain went a full day without using coal power for the first time since the industrial revolution. The number of coal power stations in Britain has dwindled in recent years with the closure of three power stations last year at Rugeley, Ferrybridge and Longannet.
Independent 12th Oct 2017 read more »