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Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Path To Poverty in Scottish Independence

Scotland's people vote on Thursday to determine whether they will secede from Great Britain. Although in the larger scheme of things, Scotland should have taken this action about a century ago, a Yes vote now is likely to leave the new country on a downhill slide into poverty.

The reason? Scotland gets more money from London than it sends to Great Britain. Betting on fossil fuel revenue to make up the difference is simply a fool's agenda. Fossil fuels will not provide the kind of revenue Scotland needs in the future. It's hard medicine to swallow. But, it's simply a fact that the burning of fossil fuels will inevitably be phased out due to their deleterious effects on climate. Even if vast new fields of oil and gas were to be found in the North Sea around Scotland, something that's unknowable at this point in time, governments around the world will be banning the burning of fossil fuels in the future. This will force the price of oil down, not up.

In the cold light of day, Scottish independence seems to be a certain path to poverty for Scotland.