If Scotland Leaves, England Will Lose the Brexit Game

by Alastair Sloan – Should Scotland and N Ireland leave the UK after Brexit, the term ‘Little England’ will really come into its own. The union that binds together the four countries within the United Kingdom has never been more at risk. What nobody in the English political and media class seems to have realised is how badly England will fare if Scotland, which is more than likely, and Northern Ireland, which is plausible though by no means certain, split off. It will be the end of England – the dominant power of the UK, when the term “Little England” will really come into its own. Almost exactly two and a half years ago, the Scottish electorate decided against leaving the UK. They were told by pro-union campaigners that if they did vote to leave Britain, they would lose their membership of the European Union. At the time this was probably...

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The Trump Campaign is Likely Regretting Asking this Fierce Scottish MP for an Illegal Donation

by Jen Hayden –   Dear Donald J. Trump Jr. Quite why you think it appropriate to write emails to UK parliamentarians with a begging bowl for your father’s repugnant campaign is completely beyond me. Given his rhetoric on migrants, refugees and immigration, it seems quite extraordinary that he would be asking foreign nationals for money; especially people who view his dangerous divisiveness with horror. The U.S. elections are a matter for the American people, but I do send my hope that they reject your father fundamentally at the ballot box, not just to protect and improve the cohesion in society, to stop his corrosive othering of immigrants and for the protection of hard fought women’s rights in the U.S. but also, selfishly, for world security, and international relations. The thought of his reactionary type of politics and apparent ignorance of world affairs having access to a seat at the world table is...

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Scotland Just Closed Its Last Coal Plant

by ALEJANDRO DAVILA FRAGOSO – After some 115 years, Scotland has burned its last lump of coal for electricity. The Longannet power station, the last and largest coal-fired power plant in Scotland, ceased operations Thursday. What once was the largest coal plant in Europe shut down after 46 years before the eyes of workers and journalists, who gathered in the main control room. “Ok, here we go,” said one worker moments before pressing a bright red button that stopped the coal-fired turbines that generated electricity for a quarter of Scottish homes. ScottishPower ‎@ScottishPower Here’s the moment #Longannet power station was shut down today marking the end of coal-fired generation in Scotland 10:47 AM – 24 Mar 2016 Longannet’s closure comes as Scotland, a country of some 5 million people, aims to have enough renewable energy to power 100 percent of its electricity demand by 2020. And while Europe has lowered its...

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Scotland Bans the Growing of Genetically Modified Crops

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch – In an effort to protect its “clean, green status,” Scotland will prohibit the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops. Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead (the country’s minister for the environment, food and rural affairs) said in a statement on Sunday that Scotland is taking advantage of new European Union rules that allow its member countries to opt out of growing EU-authorized GM crops, including GM-maize (corn) and six other GM crops that are awaiting authorization. “Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment — and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status,” Lochhead said. “There is no evidence of significant demand for GM products by Scottish consumers and I am concerned that allowing GM crops to be grown in Scotland would damage our clean and green brand, thereby gambling with the future of our £14...

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5 Countries That Prove the World Doesn’t Need Fossil Fuels

by True Activist – A decade ago, the renewable energy movement faced an uphill battle. Today, environmentally-minded nations of the world increasingly embrace alternative energy sources. These countries now lead the way toward a future free of petroleum and dirty energy. In the process, they save significant amounts of money on national energy costs while preserving and protecting the world’s natural resources. Despite powerful corporate disinformation campaigns meant to convince populations that renewable energy is not a viable way to satisfy the needs of global industry, the following five nations aren’t just subsisting on renewable energy—they are thriving on it. Costa Rica Since the start of 2015, Costa Rica has gone 100% green. This move away from fossil fuels will help ensure that lush jungles and pristine beaches remain intact. The comprehensive shift will help Costa Ricans not only save their natural resources, but ensure that the country continues to benefit from its very profitable...

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Scotland Got Half Its Electricity From Renewables In 2014

By ARI PHILLIPS, ThinkProgress – New data from the Scottish government shows that the country generated 49.8 percent of its electricity from renewables in 2014, effectively meeting its target of generating half of electricity demand from clean sources by the end of this year. The milestone means the 50 percent target was met a year early, with overall total renewable generation up 5.4 percent from 2013. The next benchmark in the government’s plan is to generate enough renewable energy to power 100 percent of the country’s demand by 2020. Results from the first quarter of 2015 show that growth is continuing at a rapid rate. Scottish wind farms produced a record amount of power in the first three months of this year, up 4.3 percent from the first quarter of 2014. The wind farms produced a total of 4,452 gigawatt hours (GWh), enough to power some one million U.K. homes...

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Why Western Women Are Joining ISIS

by BEENISH AHMED – In Nov. 2013, Aqsa Mahmood asked her sisters to share one big bed with her. She gave her father an extra long hug, and bid a lengthy goodbye to her grandmother. In a matter of days, the 19-year-old had passed through Turkey and into Syria. She has lived alongside ISIS fighters there ever since. “We used to tell her…this is not Islam, some of these groups are not Islam,” her father, Muzaffar told CNN. “They are doing wrong things which we don’t approve of. Obviously, no Muslim approves this.” According to her family, Aqsa listened to Coldplay and read Harrry Potter books. She enjoyed a pleasant life in an affluent neighborhood and attended some of the best schools in Glasgow, but something drew the teenager to ISIS – despite the horrifying acts the militant group committed and publicized. Her decision to join such a...

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Paving Path Towards Climate Goal, Denmark Sets World Record for Wind Power

By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams – Marking what the country said was a global record, in 2014, nearly 40 percent of electricity in Denmark was generated by wind. At 39.1 percent, last year’s amount of wind-generated electricity was more than double what it was a decade ago. “We will definitely hit our 2020 goals,” Climate Minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen told broadcaster DR. Projections for that year, according to a statement released Wednesday from the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, include halving coal consumption and increasing to 71 percent the amount of renewable-generated electricity. Fossil fuels generated 84% of electricity needs in 2000, a proportion projected to drop to 29% in 2020. The Nordic country’s target is to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in 2020 compared to 1990 levels, helped by a goal of having half of its electric consumption met by wind. “We still plan to put up more wind...

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