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The Plight of Rang-tan: The Silencing of Palm Oil Devastation

  “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.” – Former U.S. president, Barack Obama at the Climate Change Summit New York (2014).   A desperate, famished mother polar bear clutching its cub, stranded on a small floating island of ice amidst ... Read More »

Seaweed Energy: Food or Fuel?

  A recent small-scale study in Norway, Scotland and Ireland revealed that seaweed could start playing a major role in our energy production. Dutch scientists got all excited and even started calling the Netherlands the “new Saudi Arabia of the Seaweed!”. Within only 5 years, seaweed could compete with the total amount of energy that windmills produce, it cleans harmful ... Read More »

Britain and the EU: An Unavoidable Referendum

David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union before holding a referendum on the country’s membership by the end of 2017. This in/out referendum on Britain’s membership has for years been craved, derided, and resolutely ignored in more or less equal measure by the various elements of Britain’s political establishment. For some in Britain, a referendum on ... Read More »

Cameron Dubbed Winner of First General Election Debate – but Did He Really Win?

“Hell yes, I’m tough enough. I stood up against the Leader of the Free World!”, Labour leader Ed Milliband responded firmly against the allegations that he might not be tough enough to run the UK, referring to his outright disapproval of British involvement in the bombing of Syria. Struggling to properly answer the hosts questions about his economic policy plans ... Read More »

Dire Detention: Private Security Firms and EU Immigration

For years, the detention of immigrants in the European Union has been delegated to private security contractors by some member states. Usually governments choose this option because it brings instant expertise to the detention centers at a lower cost. However, delegating practicalities in a sensitive field such as immigration to the business agenda can lead to a poignant situation where ... Read More »

Study Abroad: Scotland

Checks&Balances is writing a series of blogs from IRIO students studying abroad. Sander des Tombe is currently studying in Aberdeen, Scotland. In a stroll through the city, I noticed the absence of sale signs and I came to understand that Aberdeen’s house prices have actually doubled over the last ten years. Along with London, Aberdeen is unique in the U.K. ... Read More »