Scotland’s green future? Renewables versus oil and gas

Scotland is famed for many things which include golf, castles, grouse moors, salmon, whisky, clans, haggis, tartan, bagpipes, green energy and, yes, oil and gas. All of these contribute to the national economy in a variety of ways, but with the Climate Emergency, the last two mentioned, oil and gas, are coming under the spotlight more critically. From the 1800’s Scotland’s coal industry was eRead More…

My Carbon Footprint

Working in Transition University of St Andrews, our job is to try and persuade folk to get out of cars and walk and cycle more, to improve their health and well-being using recycled bikes (eg. Bike Pool), to eat locally produced food instead of consuming imported food with high carbon miles (eg. Edible Campus), and despite Landfill Tax, to try and prevent items being trashed like tools (eg. Tool Read More…

Climate Change and Water

Climate change has manifest itself in many ways around the world, from record summer extreme temperatures, to the melting of the polar icecaps and glaciers, leading to sea level rises, which in turn threatens coastal cities and is leading to the disappearance of islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans like Kiribita (Gabbatiss, 2018) and the Maldives (Union of Concerned Scientists). With the meltRead More…

Has the World enough resources to sustain the current population growth?

Can World agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry sustain burgeoning populations without habitat destruction, deforestation or species/biodiversity loss? In the late 18th century Thomas Malthus wrote ‘The power of the population is so superior to the power of the Earth to produce substance for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.’ (Wolchover,Read More…

The importance of Biodiversity. Mankind (single species) versus nature (biomes, ecosystems, biodiversity, communities and populations of multiple species); is it a winner-takes-all contest or can we live in sustainable harmony?

Background The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio led to three Conventions a year later on Climate Change, Biological Diversity and Desertification Prevention (UN). Biodiversity can be defined as the variety of life on Earth, from the genes, species, communities, to ecosystems and processes that enable life to persist over time (SANBI). The main objectives of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) were tRead More…

Nuclear Energy; the pros and cons

Background We are surrounded by matter, made up of atoms, each of which contains enormous amounts of energy in the bonds that hold the atom together. This energy can be released through controlled nuclear fission to produce heat, steam and ultimately electricity, or through uncontrolled fission to produce atomic bombs, like Little Boy and Fat Boy, which were dropped on Hiroshima and NagasakiRead More…

The Hydrogen Economy

With increasing evidence and media coverage on Climate Change and Global Warming brought on by anthropogenically produced CO2 in our atmosphere, we are well aware of the problems associated with the carbon economy, which is based on coal, oil and gas. But with what do we replace it? Electric power is great, but it is mostly still generated by burning hydrocarbons. If we could duplicate and harnesRead More…

Tax on Aviation fuel and Carbon offsets

In the 1940’s international transport was still dominated by coal-burning steam trains and oil-burning ocean liners. Air travel was still in its infancy, so to promote it, tax on aviation fuel was deemed exempt through the International Convention on Civil Aviation (ICAO, Chicago, 1944, Article 24). Now, over 70 years later, when air travel is the dominant form of international and domestic travelRead More…

Who are the Energy winners?

As the first of May is clearly warm enough for hundreds of students to go swimming in the North Sea, it’s the obvious time to round off the Interhall Energy Competition. Since October, all the halls have been competing against each other to see which one can reduce their carbon emissions from gas and electricity the most. The competition is a joint initiative run by Transition, the Students AssRead More…

Green Week is Here….

An action packed week of all types of activities: films, debate and discussion, tree planting, craft making, competition, good food – all aimed at inspiring and celebrating sustainable living in St Andrews. Find out more at http://standrewsgreenweek.com/whatson/ and follow us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StAndrewsGreenWeek Friday 7th March 2014 Second hand Bike Sale Local charity Read More…

Get help with Student Energy

Transition UStA has launched a new, free service aimed at helping Students in Private accommodation to save money and stay warm this winter. We all know how complex home energy can be especially in a shared house. Our team of energy ambassadors have been trained to provide good, basic advice on how to keep your house comfortable whilst trying to cut down on those bills and reduce our carbon footprRead More…