Watch the final moments before Scotland's last coal plant shut down.

Hats off to the workers at Longannet power station.

"For the first time in more than a century, no power produced in Scotland will come from burning coal."

That's according to Hugh Finlay, the generation director for energy firm ScottishPower. The company's last coal-burning plant in the country, Longannet power station, closed on March 24, 2016, making Scotland one of the first nations in the world to officially end its reliance on the dirty energy source.


Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

“It was uneconomic to continue," a ScottishPower spokesperson told The Guardian, noting increased carbon taxes on the aging facility — once the largest in Europe — made operations increasingly costly.

This is a big deal for Scotland, which has its eyes set on a 100% clean energy future.

Scotland has big green goals, and it's not just talking the talk.

By 2020, Scotland wants all of its electricity demand to come from renewable sources, as CNBC reported. The funny thing is, they just might pull it off.

Europe's largest onshore wind farm (seen above) is located in Eaglesham, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

Data released last June showed half of Scotland's energy came from renewables in 2014 — up significantly from 2010, when that figure stood at just about 24%. The upward trend will only continue.

"Renewable energy is a central element of our strategy for a successful Scotland," Fergus Ewing, the country's minister for energy, enterprise, and tourism, wrote in a 2013 report. The country's efforts won't just be better for the planet, he noted — they'll boost job creation and investment opportunities as well.

But for the folks at Longannet power station, the closing was a bittersweet affair.

While prioritizing green energy creates jobs for the future, other roles are lost to a changing economy. And no one knows that better than the workers at Longannet.

“It’s been a great place to work — a great bunch of guys to work with,” one worker said in a video, seen below, that captured the moment the plant shut down. “I’ll miss the vibrancy of Longannet when I leave."

“Longannet has contributed more electricity for the national grid than any other power station in Scotland’s history," Finlay said in a statement. "It is a sad day for everyone at ScottishPower."

More than 230 jobs will be lost due to the closure, and roughly 1,000 indirect jobs outside the plant could be affected, The Guardian reported.

Still, moving away from coal is something to celebrate because it's in all our best interests.

Our addiction to coal is a big contributor to our collective carbon footprint, which is the driving force behind climate change. Luckily, we're curbing our addiction.

Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

New data revealed at the UN's climate talks in Paris found 2015 could be the very first year global carbon emissions stalled — or even declined — during a period of economic growth. China — one of the world's biggest coal users — is moving away from its dirty energy habit, which is a big reason behind the benchmark.

"[China is] restructuring its economy," said Professor Corinne Le Quere of the University of East Anglia in the U.K., who led the study. "But there is also a contribution from the very fast growth in renewable energy worldwide."

As the team at Longannet knows well, going green can be tough. But Scotland is showing the world how it's done...

...one coal plant at a time.

Cheers* to a clean energy 2020.

*with Scotch, of course. GIF via "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

Heroes

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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