Human survival depends on plants. Professor Ian Toth, director of the new Plant Health Centre of Expertise, explains how science is playing an essential role in the battle to protect plants from pests and diseases.
Gaps between rhetoric and delivery reveal urgent need for joined up thinking in Scotland’s plans for tackling climate change: ‘Scotland must cut emissions to zero by 2050. Increase the 2030 target to 77% and, crucially, commit to actions on integrated policies to make that happen.’
Edinburgh’s grassroots community activism could be the best hope for the city. Preparing for the Power of Food Festival, Fay Young finds hope for the future in the revival of an ancient walled garden in the brownfield landscape on the shores of the Forth.
In Part 3 of his essay the author urges an end to utopian thinking: ‘Should we condone people like my father who yearn for Utopia and who believe we should give planned perfection one more try? No, these people are endlessly sailing their boats towards a non-existent goal and are making themselves and the rest of us unhappy.’
‘Two years after the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s book, I see a resurgence in Utopian thinking in many countries and fear we could be on verge of taking a collective voyage to nowhere once again.’ Part One (of three) of an essay on utopia, millennialism, freedom, society, human nature – and Scotland.
It is time that decommissioning policy be hastily re-examined in the UK. The government needs to commission a full evidence-based report into the environmental, social and economic benefits, comparing them to other options such as building more green energy stations and even spending the money on things like health or education.
The smell of onions frying is in the air. In the evening there is a light in every window. There are people living in the glen again. Donald McPhillimy sees the future and it is a hut built of wood.
‘Despite significant uncertainty for renewables in recent years, the sector continues to outperform expectations and go from strength-to-strength….it is clearly one part of the Scottish economy where success should be recognised.’
“Currently, we expend about 10 calories of fossil fuel to generate one calorie of food. This is unsustainable not just in a small way but to quite an alarming extent.” Scientist Ian Boyd sees hope in vertical farming but can Scotland retain its lead in this pioneering technology by scaling it up to “an industrial reality”?
‘It is no longer possible for any individual nation to collapse in isolation. Our closely integrated global systems will simply disintegrate.’ Sceptical Scot publishes an extract from Jim Whyte’s prophetic Letter to My Grandchildren confronting the legacy the older generation is bequeathing to a no longer distant future.