Is Iceland a green land?


Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson built up Iceland’s green credentials last week in Paris in front of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He sees Iceland developing clean energy as a new economic model. He also touted the renewable nature of Iceland’s electricity & heating via hydro or geothermal production.

That’s politician talk, but what’s the reality? For one Iceland has the highest consumption of electricity per capita owing to its aluminium industry. Iceland has high carbon dioxide emissions but certainly not the highest for a Nordic country. The country does rely on net imports in pretty much everything & especially oil. Owing to the sparse population, transportation over long distances plays a big role in pollution in general. However, there is a parliamentary resolution, adopter in 2010, to strengthen the green economy. The final report should be due soon.


LEGO to get its first public museum in Denmark


Believe it or not, but LEGO doesn’t have a public museum, or as they will call it a “brand house”. Bjarke Ingels & BIG will be designing a public museum & experience centre for the world’s most famous brick in Billund, Denmark.  Look for it in the next few years.

Horsemeat scare


Seems like horsemeat has found its way as far as the Nordic countries, which had been until then untouched by the scandal. Finland might pursue criminal proceedings, but the mislabelled meat will go to charity. Meanwhile, Sweden is investigating the disappearance of almost 10 000 horses each year; the animals are suspected of being illegally sold as beef all over Europe. Ikea has removed from its shelves meatballs made in Sweden & distributed all over Europe, as well as Sweden & Denmark. In Denmark, horsemeat was found in pizzas labelled meat. On the other hand, the scandal kindled an interest in horsemeat all over Norway & especially Oslo.

2012 Icelandic music awards highlights


Amongst the slew of prizes handed out this year at the Icelandic music awards some of the winners were: 

  • Ásgeir Trausti for Album of the Year (Pop/Rock) for Dýrð í dauðaþögn, Brightest Hope (Rock/Pop), Most Popular Performer in online voting on and the award for generating online sales.
  • Retro Stefson for Performer of the Year, Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year.
  • Moses Hightower won Songwriter of the Year and Best Lyricist.
  • Composer of the Year went to Daníel Bjarnason.
  • Reykjavík Midsummer Music won Event of the Year

More info @ Íslensku Tónlistarverðlaunin

Greenland elections & mining


As noted before in our sister blog Arctic PowerOur, Greenland is using its natural resources to assert its independence from Denmark. This is made clear by the importance of mining projects in the current elections. As noted in Nunatsiaq Online, the ruling party favours large mining projects & imported labour. New plans would also make it easier to import cheap labour during development phases of large projects, at this points the talks are about Chinese projects. The EU is worried that China might be using Greenland as an Arctic proxy, we talked about that before.

Denmark seems to be willing to go along with Greenland on Chinese projects & labour as well as on uranium extraction. That’s definitely in contradiction with decades of Danish attitudes. That might be owing to colonial guilt, but in any case extraction seems to be more important than all out independence. The whole process won’t come about as easily as some speculate; none of these projects are on the rails yet.

Slow burning telly in Norway


When I was a kid , there was this channel that showed a fireplace at the end of the program day – yes, I’m that old. I was intrigued when a read about a whole 12 hour show on firewood. That’s a 4 hour show followed by eight hour of a live fireplace. Just to show how interested Norwegians are in fireplace, the Daily Mail reports that the channel received over 60 sms complaining that the bark was the wrong way! I guess this interest underlines not only a yearning in Norwegians for simpler times, but also a closeness to nature that other people don’t feel.