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RECENT THINKING

Paul Spare
Without coal how do we keep the lights on?

Without coal how do we keep the lights on?

THERE HAVE BEEN several announcements in the last two years on the BBC and in press releases by Renewables UK noting that the proportion of electricity generated by renewables has reached record levels.  They deduce ...

Jonathan Stanley
Advocating change in the NHS is tricky surgery

Advocating change in the NHS is tricky surgery

THREE THINGS are sure in life: death, taxes – and fury at taxes that delay death. No one likes paying tax and no one likes the idea of paying for their healthcare. Such is Britain. ...

Christopher Anderson
Of tormented genius

Of tormented genius

THIS IS THE scenario, friends. I am alone in a room with an attractive, bubbly woman, young – in her early twenties, I guess. I am the centre of her attention. She comes close to me, ...

Tony Trewavas
Improving quality of life should be our guiding policy principle

Improving quality of life should be our guiding policy principle

THE PRIORITY of government climate policy is simply emissions reduction; it should instead be improving the quality of human life.

There is enormous momentum  behind  present climate policy because of the political ...

Jonathan Stanley
Scotland's place in Europe - so long as it has no place in the UK

Scotland's place in Europe - so long as it has no place in the UK

I'VE READ THROUGH the Scottish Government report on Brexit. The latest one that is, imaginatively titled Scotland’s Place in Europe: People, jobs and investment.

The first thing that jumps out is how ...

Stuart Crawford
SNP fail: When a surcharge turns out to be a subsidy

SNP fail: When a surcharge turns out to be a subsidy

SOME SNP politicians have been kicking off lately about a so-called surcharge that electricity consumers face in the North of Scotland. As is so often the case with claims about energy costs, ...

Charles Harris
Leonardo and the value of real art

Leonardo and the value of real art

DEAR READERS, a Happy New Year to all, and I would like to begin this year with a complaint I received whilst I was away during the festive period. Namely a sense of outrage regarding the cost ...

Martin Livermore
How and why our environmental priorities are shifting

How and why our environmental priorities are shifting

EARLY CIVILIZATIONS evolved after the development of arable farming about 10,000 years ago. This enabled settled communities to grow and some people to specialise in skills other than hunting and foraging. Life was still unbelievably ...

Stuart Crawford
The time is overdue for cyclists to face their responsibilities

The time is overdue for cyclists to face their responsibilities

I HAVE TO BE totally honest from the very start; I’m not a great fan of cyclists. Not that I haven’t cycled myself in the past, mind, but I found it much easier to give ...

Miles Saltiel
Book Review: Fire and Fury reveals how three tribes go to war

Book Review: Fire and Fury reveals how three tribes go to war

MICHAEL WOLFF’S Fire and Fury supercharges conventional views of the forty-fifth President with excited goss from a fractured White House. Wolff’s sourcing is broad, but close reading reveals its imperfections – the closer you get to ...

Stuart Crawford
Christmas in uniform

Christmas in uniform

WHILST MOST OF US cosied up with family and friends this Christmas time, exchanging presents and sharing the Christmas dinner in, as we can normally expect, relaxed and pleasant company, we should take a moment ...

Martin Livermore
The perils of pessimism – and optimism

The perils of pessimism – and optimism

BEING of a naturally optimistic disposition, I’ve often thought that the environmentalist movement has a deep streak of pessimism running through it. At the extreme, the world view is one of our species – and ...