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Rob Edwards
Edinburgh, Scotland
I'm a freelance environmental journalist.
Recent Activity
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25 August 2015 The multi-millionaire oil tycoon, Algy Cluff, is delaying a planning application to gasify coal under the Firth of Forth in the face of mounting political opposition. In a statement to shareholders, he discloses that “work on a planning application will likely be postponed until after such time as the political situation is more certain.” The application to pilot underground coal gasification (UCG) by test drilling off Kincardine in Fife was originally due... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 23 August 2015 Diageo, the £11 billion drinks giant and world-leading whisky producer, has admitted breaching seven out of eight of its environmental targets to cut pollution and waste. The British multinational, responsible for at least 24 Scottish whisky brands including Johnny Walker, Bells, J&B, Talisker and Langavulin, failed to cut waste water contamination, climate emissions and landfill waste as it promised. The company, which made over £3 billion profit in 2014,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 17 August 2015 The Scottish government’s green watchdog has been accused of supporting a tax break that will lead to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated soil being dumped at landfill sites. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has backed new guidance proposed by the tax agency, Revenue Scotland, which could make it much cheaper to dispose of soil that has been polluted by industry in the past. Under the guidance,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 13 August 2015 The Edinburgh International Festival is to be targeted this weekend by a theatrical protest against sponsorship by the oil giant BP, blamed for climate pollution. Environmentalists, fringe performers and arts sponsorship campaigners accuse the festival of “greenwashing” a company contributing to “catastrophic climate change” by accepting it as one of the festival’s headline partners. They say they are planning a “pop-up performance protest” at an as yet undisclosed location... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 11 August 2015 Experts from industry and universities are urging the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to reject UK government moves to abandon plans for zero carbon homes aimed at cutting waste and pollution. Last month, the UK Chancellor George Osborne slipped out a surprise announcement that he was dropping a previous commitment that all new homes built from 2016 would meet zero carbon targets. His aim was to “reduce regulation” for builders,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 9 August 2015 Scotland is planning to toughen its ban on growing genetically modified (GM) crops by formally opting out of the European Union’s pro-GM farming regime. The Scottish Government will be applying to Brussels to be excluded from approvals for GM crops across Europe. Allowing GM would threaten the nation’s “clean and green brand” and be “gambling” with its £14 billion food industry, according to Environment Minister, Richard Lochhead. His stance... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 9 August 2015 My fridge is a biohazard, my bathwater has turned lurid green and I don’t know how to dispose of my false teeth. And am I allowed to burn down my house? The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has revealed some of the more bizarre requests for help received recently by staff at its 24-hour emergency call centre at Holytown in North Lanarkshire. The centre, which usually deals with floods,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 02 August 2015 The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park authority has been accused of a “cover-up” over the resignation of one of its leading members for failing to declare shares in a £200 million gold mining company for more than two years. Internal documents seen by the Sunday Herald reveal that Owen McKee resigned as vice-convener and chair of the planning committee in December. This followed his admission that he had... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2015 at Rob Edwards
from The Ferret, 28 July 2015 Scottish ministers were privately warned by a multi-millionaire oil tycoon that Scotland would lose £250 million worth of investment if they blocked plans to extract coal gas from under the Firth of Forth, reports The Ferret. In a letter to the planning minister, Alex Neil, and the energy minister, Fergus Ewing veteran entrepreneur Algy Cluff said that including his plans for underground coal gasification (UCG) in the fracking moratorium... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 26 July 2015 Scottish Water has come under attack from a government safety watchdog because the number of contamination problems and incidents doubled across the drinking water network in a year. There had been a “deterioration throughout the water supply system” on bacterial quality, according to the regulator, Sue Petch. She has also launched legal enforcement action because of an “unacceptable” level of faecal parasites and a “very disappointing” number of incidents... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 26 July 2015 Wildlife experts have discovered a rare and unique bee in an ancient Cairngorm woodland destined to be turned into a housing estate. A pinewood mason bee has been recorded and photographed on the site of a planned development at Rothiemurchus near Aviemore in the Cairngorm National Park. Known as An Camas Mòr and envisaging a 1,500-house new town, the scheme has long been opposed by conservationists. The ginger and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 19 July 2015 The petrochemical giant, Ineos, is being accused of planning to flout the Scottish Government’s fracking moratorium by test drilling for shale gas in central Scotland. The company has revealed that it is going to apply for planning permission to sink four or five wells to find out how much gas is trapped in underground rocks. This will not involve hydraulic fracturing, it says, and will be consistent with the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 19 July 2015 The anti-litter charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), has been accused of being a “creature” of the corporate packaging industry after it came out against a Scottish government plan to cut litter by charging deposits on drinks containers. Most environmental groups support the introduction of a deposit scheme because they think it would cut waste by encouraging bottles, cans and cartons to be returned and recycled. But KSB says it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 12 July 2015 The Duke of Buccleuch has been accused of breaking Scotland’s ‘right to roam’ law by trying to make people pay to take walks on his 1,000-acre estate near Edinburgh. The UK’s largest private landowner is charging dog walkers £20 for an “annual pass” and demanding £1 from ramblers and cyclists when they visit Dalkeith Country Park. He is also installing CCTV, electric controls on the main gate, and local... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 8 July 2015 The Scottish Government has lost a long-running battle to keep the names of fish farms that shoot seals secret. In two rulings yesterday, the Scottish Information Commissioner, Rosemary Agnew, ordered ministers to identify the individual farms responsible for killing 185 seals in 2013 and 2014. She dismissed the government’s argument that this could put staff and their families at risk from protestors. Her decision was welcomed as a “landmark... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 6 July 2015 Whales, wildlife and farm animals across a large swath of northern Scotland could all suffer if a veterinary health laboratory funded by the Scottish Government is forced to close, campaigners have warned. Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is planning to save £400,000 a year by closing the animal disease surveillance centre in Inverness. Across the Highlands, the centre looks after the health of agricultural livestock, helps investigate wildlife crime like... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 5 July 2015 Disarmament campaigners have launched a legal challenge to Israel’s secretive nuclear agency, demanding that it be given democratic authorisation. The Israeli Disarmament Movement has written to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu requesting that he legislate for the existence of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission. Set up behind the scenes in 1952 to manage Israel’s nuclear activities, the commission has never been affirmed in law, campaigners say. The commission runs two... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Hesamag, July 2015 On a hot and hectic street in the Indian city of Bhopal, the flames licked up the two giant corporate logos. The blue of Union Carbide and the red of Dow Chemical Company, with added skulls, were incinerated to nothingness within seconds. Just a few metres away, across a high security wall, was the cause of the angry effigy-burning: the derelict and overgrown pesticide factory that leaked toxic gas 30 years... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 28 June 2015 Both sides in Scotland’s escalating seal-shooting wars could face charges after a series of dramatic confrontations between salmon fishermen and animal rights activists on cliffs and beaches along the north and east coasts. Police have revealed that they have sent reports to the procurator fiscal about three recent incidents involving members of Montrose-based Usan Salmon Fisheries and the international environmental group, Sea Shepherd. The company has been shooting seals... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 28 June 2015 A former Royal Navy commander has backed the Trident whistleblower, William McNeilly, and accused the navy of being “out of its depth” on nuclear weapons. Rob Green, who flew nuclear-armed planes and helicopters for the navy in the 1960s and 1970s, praised McNeilly for being “courageous” and “patriotic” in helping to expose a “dangerous situation” which will get worse if Trident is replaced. Green is famous for being the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The Guardian, 24 June 2015 Four large bombs exploded underwater by the Royal Navy were to blame for a mass stranding which killed 19 pilot whales on the north coast of Scotland in 2011, government scientists have concluded. A long-delayed report released online today by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs says that the noise from the explosions could have damaged the hearing and navigational abilities of the whales, causing them to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 21 June 2015 The Trident whistleblower, William McNeilly, has accused the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of “brainwashing” the public into believing that nuclear weapons are safe. In a new public message, he says that people are being deceived about the security of Trident nuclear warheads carried by submarines based at Faslane and Coulport on the Clyde. A terrorist attack is highly likely, he claims. McNeilly disclosed last week that he had been... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 21 June 2015 Three leading board members of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park authority have been reported to the ethical standards watchdog for allegedly failing to declare an interest in a fiercely disputed camping ban. They all have homes in a proposed “management zone” to control camping but, according to observers, didn’t make that clear at a board meeting that approved the plan. The minutes of the meeting in April... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 18 June 2016 The Royal Navy was yesterday accused of “acting dishonourably” by sacking William McNeilly, the Trident whistleblower who alleged that nuclear submarines were plagued by safety and security flaws. McNeilly has posted a new report online revealing that he has been given a “dishonourable discharge” by the navy. He lost his job in order to protect the navy’s public image, he claims. He attacks “military deceivers” and “spin doctors” for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The Guardian, 17 June 2016 The Trident safety whistlerblower, William McNeilly, says he has been dishonourably discharged from the Royal Navy to protect its public image. In a new 9-page report posted online, the former nuclear submariner attacks “military deceivers” and naval “spin doctors” for downplaying his allegations about multiple safety and security lapses. “It is shocking that some people in a military force can be more concerned about public image than public safety,”... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at Rob Edwards