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Everything posted by Malachy

  1. Malachy

    Trout Fishing

    There's a new website for Shetland Anglers Association just been published. It's at http://www.shetlandtrout.co.uk Any thoughts on the site just let me know. Cheers.
  2. 'From the Thorn' is album of the week on Radio Scotland's Iain Anderson Show this week! I'm mighty pleased, as you can tell by my uncharacteristic use of exclamation marks!!
  3. Yes, there is obviously a deliberate attempt to create an appearance of public support at this late stage. There was a letter in the paper last week by someone with a very close connection to a VE director. There's no issue with people like that publicly showing support, but it would lend more credibility to their opinions if they were open about their connection and the fact that they have a financial interest in the outcome.
  4. It might well increase their running costs, but on the other hand it is almost certainly cheaper than the fine they'd get if they didn't meet their ROs.
  5. My internet went off this morning, but it's back now, my landline is fine and so is my Vodaphone mobile. Seems a bit odd.
  6. Surely that's to do with SSE's renewable obligations isn't it, rather than the amount of diesel they're saving? They have a legal obligation to support an ever-increasing number of renewable projects. And those projects can be third party if SSE is financially supporting them. I presume that is what the payments are for.
  7. What? Pigs started plotting against you and then took over your commune? That's incredible.
  8. The first time I heard this "lie" was months ago, maybe more than a year. Nothing like it had been said by any of those involved in the project, it was simply a claim made by, one of the "sustainable" Shetland representatives in a letter to the Times or Shetland News. They definitely repeated this when I was talking to them at the VE roadshow thingy in Islesburgh. Before this it had never been mentioned by anyone. They just made it up. That pretty well fits my definition of a lie. Well, they made it up in the sense that they looked at the facts and surmised that it was a possibility. Bill Manson has since confirmed that it is, indeed, a possibility. So, not a lie then. Rather, an accusation, now admitted.
  9. You're rather stretching the definition of the word 'lie' here AT. All Sustainable Shetland have said, or at least all I've hear them say, is that the Charitable Trust might have to sell their share in the windfarm because of the colossal investment required. And, quite understandably, Bill Manson and co have confirmed that they can't rule that out, for the same reason. So I'm not entirely sure what this lie might be.
  10. Thanks to everyone who came along on Friday - never expected to sell out the Legion, but we were all absolutely delighted. Cheers for your support. Malachy
  11. My favourite part of Question Time last week was watching the leader of UKIP squirming when David Dimbleby asked him why the BNP had considered UKIP to be potential partners in their campaign. He gave a bizarre answer that made no sense at all, then spent the next ten minutes in a sulk. He also squirmed when it was mentioned that he'd taken £2 million in expenses in four years! That certainly puts any Wesminster MP in the shadows. He got booed louder than even the labour candidate. It was great.
  12. I'd be very surprised if the level of co2 produced was directly proportionate to the energy being used from it. You might find that even when Burradale is taking a good chunk of the energy load, the power station is still chugging away, producing as much co2 as usual. That's certainly the problem with an ordinary, small electricity generator - it doesn't matter if you're using maximum energy output or none at all: if it's switched on it's pumping out the same amount of co2.
  13. Thanks for that Michael. That song is one of my favourites on the new album I think.
  14. http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/letters_05_2009/Anyone%20seen%20an%20old%20bus.htm
  15. I have a new album coming out at the end of next week, called 'from the thorn'. http://www.malachytallack.com/uploads/2/2/6/9/2269756/829069.jpg You can find out more about it, and hear two songs from the album, on my website: www.malachytallack.com You can also hear a sampler of tracks here: http://www.malachytallack.com/sampler.html The launch gig, with my full band, will be held on Friday 5th June in the Legion, Lerwick. The Donald Anderson Band is supporting. Tickets are £5 from High Level Music, or from my website, and I hope some Shetlinkers can make it along. Please let me know what you think of the songs. Malachy http://www.malachytallack.com/uploads/2/2/6/9/2269756/1388424.jpg
  16. Conveniently the new Yellow Pages just arrived, so that is a splendid idea.
  17. I suggest anyone who gets a BNP leaflet slips it in an envelope and posts it back to the BNP, without a stamp. Then they get fined and have to pay the postage. If enough people do it, they won't like it much at all.
  18. I'm not wishing to fight hard on this one, but I'm not sure about your statistics. The 4000 deaths is not a current prediction, it was the original prediction 23 years ago, which has now been dramatically reduced. This is a quote from the United Nations Scientific Committee of the Effects of Atomic Radiation in their most recent summary on Chernobyl, which you can find here (http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html#Health): "there is no clearly demonstrated increase in the incidence of solid cancers or leukaemia due to radiation in the most affected populations. Neither is there any proof of other non-malignant disorders that are related to ionizing radiation. However, there were widespread psychological reactions to the accident, which were due to fear of the radiation, not to the actual radiation doses." There has, as you say, been an increase in thyroid cancer among those who were children at the time - about 4000 possible cases. But these are not 4000 deaths, as thyroid cancer is only fatal in about 5-10% of cases. As for the wider area, there is no doubt that the radiation spread, but it's only in the immediate area that it is traceable in much more than background levels. And again, this is the issue with nuclear - we assume that raised radiation levels, such as were caused by the Chernobyl cloud over Europe and the USSR, will automatically cause problems. But there isn't strong evidence that it has. It may be that our assumption is simply false. I know that a Greenpeace study into the same populations came up with a vastly higher level of cancers and deaths, but their scientific methods have been strongly criticised. The USCEAR have noted widespread health problems among the populations of Chernobyl refugees, and more widely in Belarus and Ukraine. But they have clearly attributed these problems not to radiation but to poverty.
  19. No doubt I will get clobbered for saying this, but it's worth thinking again about nuclear power, and looking more carefully at some of our established beliefs about its dangers. Until recently I was very anti-nuclear, mostly just instinctively. If you'd asked me, for instance, how many people were killed in the Chernobyl incident, I would probably have said in the region of 50,000 to 100,000, including those affected by cancer from radiation poisoning since the event. So it came as something of a surprise to learn that the actual confirmed figure is around 50. (Indeed, in a report into deaths caused by the various energy industries, nuclear sits at the very bottom, with 31 deaths between 1970 and 1992, compared to 6400 from the coal industry, 1200 from natural gas, and 4000 caused by that clean, green, renewable source: hydro.) The United Nations Scientific Committee of the Effects of Atomic Radiation compile periodical reviews into the effects of Chernobyl on the people who were exposed, and their most recent report says this: "There is no scientific evidence of increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality rates or in rates of non-malignant disorders that could be related to radiation exposure. The risk of leukaemia in the general population, one of the main concerns owing to its short latency time, does not appear to be elevated. Although those most highly exposed individuals are at an increased risk of radiation-associated effects, the great majority of the population is not likely to experience serious health consequences as a result of radiation from the Chernobyl accident." The main fear with nuclear I guess is the unknown element - we know that if a hydro dam bursts then people below it will either survive or they will drown. But with nuclear it's that invisible uncertainty that is so frightening. We are far more frightened of cancer than of anything else these days. The waste issue too is a funny one, because, again, when there have been problems with waste disposal, the effects have been far less worrying than you might imagine. The scientist James Lovelock has famously offered to house a nuclear waste dump in his garden, because he feels so strongly that the dangers are exaggerated. And, crucially, they are exaggerated to the detriment of the environment. And that is the most significant issue here I think. In an ideal world we wouldn't have to use nuclear because it's not perfect. It has risks with it. But the real, present and terrible danger that we're facing is global warming, and in order to tackle that we have to stop using fossil fuels. Right now. Nuclear is the only current technology that can even come close to filling the energy hole that would be created by shutting coal and gas power stations. Others will hopefully come along (and fusion, rather than fission would be infinitely better) but we have to act now, not in 25 years time.
  20. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for sensible responses from GHM, Shetlandpeat. He turns up every so often with some new idea, making wild, unsubstantiated claims, refusing to answer difficult questions, posting ridiculous, meaningless graphs, and getting angry at anyone who fails to unquestionably accept his theories. Hence the reason most folk are simply ignoring him this time round. It's hardly surprising that none of his ideas have ever got anywhere. Even if they were scientifically workable, we would never find out because, rather than attempting to put them into practice, he just writes about them on internet forums, trying to convince people of his unappreciated genius.
  21. Are we all going to fit in your cupboard?
  22. I hate to sound like a child about it but wasn't the factory there first?
  23. Well, that's not true. We are not spending anything like that. Most of the money is coming from elsewhere. But yes, it is incredible that councillors show such disregard for such an important industry.
  24. I don't think it could be considered a conflict of interest, any more than those who voted for the Tesco expansion having a conflict of interest because they shop there, or voting for a road improvement and then driving on it. If they were on the board of SACL then of course it would be, but they will merely be potential service users.
  25. What!? What on earth was their reasoning?
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