Scotland continues to lead the way in renewable energy conversion and plans to meet, rather exceed, their 2011 goals. That's only 3 years from now, by the way, for anyone who thinks it would take too long to convert away from oil in the US. This article, reporting the announcement of construction of Europe's largest windfarm, notes that energy from Scottish renewables already exceeds that from nuclear. Today, not ten years from now, Scots are getting their energy from wind, water, etc. Is there anything the Scots can do that we, Americans, can't?
For more articles reporting the dynamic conversion in which the Scots are engaged, check the links in my right-hand column, Scottish Links.
The article I linked above mentions Alec Salmond, and it's improbable that American readers know who that is--here's his brief from Wiki. There's an interesting situation brewing between the Scots and the English. When I first started seeing this idea in the news, I thought it was just references to antiquated ideals of Scottish independence, but as I kept reading, I began to realize there's a real sentiment in Scotland, some in England, for the Scots to go it alone. (This article gives a brief review of events leading to today's position.) Naturally, not every Scot is in favor of independence, but the party headed by Alec Salmond continues to spearhead the effort.
The Brits and Scots have an interesting parliamentary arrangement (devolution) in which the Scots convene a kind of Scottish sub-parliament under the umbrella of the greater British parliament. The Scots hold seats on both, and Scots vote on both, but only Scots can vote in the Scottish parliament, although they receive general monies.
The Brits complain that they don't have a say over what happens to that money, because only Scots get to vote on Scottish-only affairs. Scots, though, also get to vote on English-only affairs. In effect, the Scots (if they had enough power) could block funding to an English program, yet approve it for a similar Scottish one. See the problem?
The parliamentary organization of Great Britain is wa-aa-aay over my head, so I'm in no position to judge, but it's fascinating to watch this ancient, historical dispute continue into modern times, played out in national politics.
Even if Scotland remains tied to the government of Great Britain, they will soon be energy-independent, relying on their native, renewable resources, and that is a far greater independence in this energy-crazed world.