NICOLA Sturgeon has “taken flight from reason” after cynically hardening her stance against fracking in a move that will damage the case for Scottish independence and be warmly welcomed by Vladimir Putin, a former Government advisor has claimed. In a blistering attack, Professor Paul Younger, who was appointed to a Scottish Government taskforce to examine unconventional oil and gas extraction, said the SNP “need not be surprised when any scientist who respects the most basic norms of professional integrity” refuses to work with its ministers in future, following comments made by the party leader in the recent election campaign. Professor Younger, who has previously been hailed by the SNP as an “energy engineering expert” and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, said he was “flabbergasted” that all but one of Scotland’s main parties were “trashing” an industry that would re-employ North Sea workers “in a far safer environment”. He added: “The Scottish offshore workforce will simply be abandoned to unemployment or, at best, to far less skilled, less lucrative jobs. The only real winner in all of this is Vladimir Putin, who cannot wait to add Scotland to the list of countries that will shortly come to depend on importing gas from Russia. Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “highly sceptical” of fracking and come under pressure from Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats to order a complete ban on the controversial gas extraction method. The First Minister elect said she would rule out fracking if there was “any suggestion” it harmed the environment – a shift Professor Younger said was an obvious “electoral tactic”.
Herald 11th May 2016 read more »
Britain generated no electricity from coal on Tuesday morning for what is believed to be the first time since the 19th century, in a major milestone in the decline of the polluting power source. National Grid confirmed that none of Britain’s coal stations were running between midnight and 4am. Experts from Argus Media and Carbon Brief said they believed this was the first time there had been no coal running since the era of central electricity generation began with the construction of the UK’s first coal plant in 1882. Coal was Britain’s biggest power source as recently as 2013 but is becoming increasingly unprofitable due to the carbon tax and low gas prices that favour burning gas, and the expansion of subsidised renewable sources like wind power. The UK Government has announced plans to phase coal out entirely by 2025.
Telegraph 10th May 2016 read more »