"A voice for Scotland”
It is a sad fact that scientists reckon we are currently suffering the worst biodiversity loss that the world has ever known. They believe that between 150 and 200 species are being lost every 24 hours. Many of those losses can be attributed to climate change. We need to teach the public that biodiversity is valuable; it has an economic, social, aesthetic and practical value from which every one of us individually benefits. Biodiversity services purify the air we breathe, act as a global air conditioning system, provide us with rainfall and oxygen and fertilise plants.
As more and more EU Member States begin to realise that the race for renewables is one that they cannot win, national governments are scrambling for ways to get off the green energy juggernaut without losing face.
With Germany opening new coal-burning plants, while the UK bristles with stationary wind turbines, policymakers lament that their once laudable, voter-friendly plans for clean, 'free' energy have not only failed to achieve energy security, but continue to force more and more citizens into crippling fuel poverty.
The following article appeared in the Sunday Times on 11 August 2013.
OFGEM, the energy regulator, has warned that the UK’s current surplus generating capacity of 14% will sink to a wafer-thin 2% by 2015 as we continue to shut our old, coal-fired power stations to meet EU CO2 emission targets. A 2% surplus would place Britain on a knife-edge. Any surge in energy consumption during a severe cold snap would plunge the country into blackouts.
The following article appeared on the website ThinkScotland on 21 August 2013.
On Monday this week, I had the pleasure of presenting influential Scottish artist and pioneering art impresario Professor Richard Demarco CBE with a European Citizen’s Prize during a ceremony in Edinburgh in recognition of his decades-long efforts to bridge cultural divides between Western and Eastern Europe.
The following article appeared on UPI.com 2 August 2013
Continued bombings, repeated terrorist attacks and spiraling daily casualties in Iraq have given rise to grave concerns in the international community.
The number of victims of violence in Iraq since the beginning of July has more than 700 dead and 1,500 wounded, an average of almost 90 killed and injured every day.
The following article appeared in The Diplomat on 31 July 2013
The massacre of political prisoners by the Iranian regime, which took place in the summer of 1988 has never been acknowledged by Tehran and remains one of the darkest stains in recent history, although it is relatively unknown in the West.
The executions began in late July and continued for several months. As many as 30,000 political prisoners or more, the overwhelming majority of them activists of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) were slaughtered.
The following article appeared in Parliament Magazine on 24 June 2013.
I was delighted to see earlier this year that Glasgow had been shortlisted for the 2015 European Green Capital award. Though the other nominated cities – Bristol, Brussels and Ljubljana – are all worthy contenders for this distinction, Glasgow’s reinvention from industrial powerhouse to leader in green innovation puts it head and shoulders above the rest.
The following article appeared in the Sunday Express Scotland on 23 June 2013.
If there was ever any doubt that the Iranian regime of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was on its last legs, his government has now presented the necessary evidence. It has barred the candidacy of the two men who might have displayed anti-regime credentials. Unlike countries where fair elections are held, Iran has rules that guarantee the results. If the ruling mullahs don’t like or fear a candidate, they simply don’t allow them onto the ballot paper.