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Talk proper! More suspect science; Yes I’m voting Yes; tidal barrage

Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Talk proper! 
Fiona, Head Nutritionist at Burns, and I have been involved in a programme about pet health on an obscure television channel. When I saw the rushes I thought she was rather polished whereas I was more yokel-ish. It was aired on TV last night. Fiona’s father told her, “I can tell where John Burns comes from but not where you come from. Tell him to send you to Glasgow for elocution lessons!”

More suspect science
Last week I wrote about unwarranted claims by research workers. That one was about cats supposedly able to select food which reflected their diet in the wild. Yesterday it was the turn of The Independent newspaper.

Under the headline “Antibiotics that reduce gut bacteria linked to obesity” their science correspondent reported on not-yet-published research which speculated that the use of antibiotics was linked to obesity. The “evidence” was that the gene profiles of gut bacteria in lean and overweight people are different.  Isn’t it just as likely that the bacterial population of the gut is altered by overeating? You can read the whole article in the on-line Independent.

Yes I’m voting Yes
Tomorrow is the day of Yes/No vote. I’ll be voting Yes. Why? Because I think it is fairer; it will give a more accurate reflection of what the majority want. David Cameron’s argument that it “not the British way” is especially weak. To leave things as they are because that’s how they’ve always been is wholly unconvincing. Wasn’t he elected as Tory leader using the Alternative Vote (AV) system?

Tidal barrage
A group of us from Kidwelly have just returned from a twinning trip to St Jacut in Brittany. One day we went for a boat trip on the La Rance waterway which was created in 1966 when the river was damned to create a tidal hydroelectric scheme. For 50 years it’s been producing electricity more cheaply then nuclear. The tide still rises and falls and it seems to be a fine recreational area. No doubt there have been environmental changes but our son Ciaran, who knows a thing or two about it, tells me there was no prior environmental impact assessment done before for comparison. I believe there is a strong case for similar schemes in the Severn or even on smaller estuaries. Wildlife would soon adapt.

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