“No one expected quail eggs!”
If the United States can displace the inefficiencies in its locally-produced work and energy, by being more efficient on a local level, we can survive internally as a democratically-governed people of every ethnic and cultural background until a broader alternative is reached.
Other nations – or at least business elements within nations, are offering something more. Icelandic corporations and administrations in the west of the country are asking us to use their geothermal and hydropower energy onsite in the east where hot and cold thermal baths exists side-by-side (“Iceland. One half on land; one half on Sea”).
Allowing us to drive their Th => Tc [see the previous BLOG POST for details on this relationship] or in words, to use their hot thermal baths for our work and drive them cold and unusable is rather novel for a nation in the middle of the North Atlantic and near the Arctic. Yet, our actions are already felt. The east of the country is or is nearly geo-thermally cold, according to my agrarian hosts.
ALCOA, the aluminum producer, has a large factory on the coast of eastern Iceland. My hosts in that region said they utilized hydro-power, as well as, geothermal power from the North. While Iceland has no appreciable bauxite, it does have huge amounts of geothermal and hydro-power energy. Renewable energy resources include hydro-power and solar energy (remembering Reykjavík has summer days lasting upto ~ 20 hours at 64N).
As a whole, Iceland is warming up uniformly despite a freak snowfall this summer. It is because of freak weather events like that, an outline of global warming in Iceland is becoming clearer. It is becoming a luke-warm thermal bath – like the Arctic itself.
Prime Minister Katrín Jacobsdóttir is leader of the Left-Greens Party and in coalition with the Progressives, a centre-right more agrarian-based party. Her duties are cut out for her. She was ask to form a government in 2017 by the President of Iceland following elections called by the the Prime Minister and his majority party – though still the most popular political party by number of delegates and votes. He was discounted from leading the nation by the people of Iceland.
Prime Minister Katrín, Icelandic Left-Greens. Her tasks include those that the vast majority of Icelanders believe devolve to their government: roads, transportation, parks and wilderness, medical care, tax collection, administration of the airports, utilities, and oversight of the finances. She and her government must also define the path that Iceland is to hew-out in minimizing inefficiencies in industry and use of renewable and geo-thermal energy so that use of Iceland’s natural wealth does not occur as rapidly as some in Russia and the US would hope. One thing Icelanders covets: The Republic; Their Independence.*
A new Icelandic Coast Guard cutter, HARPA, cranes, and casters fishing in Reykjavík in late August, 2018. The defense of the country’s coastline rests with the Coast Guard, as Iceland has no standing Navy.
If you ask any random tourist who is visiting Iceland, “Why Iceland?” They say “Nature.” The underlying meaning is, “more useable, natural energy.” Unlike in their own countries where restrictions apply; filled with non-working old people, Iceland is quite literally a breath of fresh air. There are few restrictions on energy and land use in Iceland. Icelanders are 338,000 people strong, with ~97% in the cities of the West. A unique situation in a country so close to the Arctic.
There are more people, of course, than 338,000. Besides tourists, immigrants have arrived to work in construction and in services. English is the most spoken language in the Capital. In the past two years, Polish immigrants have arrived trying to eek out an existence, and build families as Polish immigrants did in Ireland during the “Celtic Tigre” phase. Many Polish feel there options are limited in Iceland, however.
For Independence Day, June 17, 1944 the new Republic of Iceland sent out new Republican flags to every home in Iceland – like this one pictured above in a Norðurdalur farmhouse – to be raised and flown simultaneously. It had a darker blue field and no centered Crest of Royalty. Nazi occupation of Denmark meant that the revision of the so-called “Act of Union” with Denmark making Iceland a Sovereign Kingdom could not take place in 1943, as set forth. But the referendum on abolishing the monarchy in Iceland and The Kingdom of Iceland that went with it, went ahead in 1944 and was overwhelmingly approved. At the time, Iceland invited the USA to take over it defense after being under the military occupation of Britain since 1940.
*[Ed. Truth in Advertising: I am a Green/Democrat personally and voted such in a past US Presidential Election. My very good friend in Norway is a representative of Oslo Østmark Miljøpartiet De Grønne.]