Well, EPI and I went and marched on Saturday, and then cast our votes. Sadly, however, the Left-Greens are not likely to be part of the new Reykjavík City Council.* The majority – albeit not a clear majority – went to the right-wing Independence Party, which now takes possession of the city after a 12-year period in which it was goverened by a socialist coalition. Prior to that, the Independence Party was in power for decades. They built a lot of nice buildings, but did less for schools, infrastructure and families. They are also extremely in favour of heavy industry [read: aluminium smelters]. So – We Shall See.
Around 3,000 people took part in the march, according to the organizers, or 1 percent of the population. Which I suppose isn’t too bad, considering that on a relative basis this would mean that 3 million people rallied in the US, or 600,000 in France – the world’s most diligent nation when it comes to protests. Nonetheless, I would have liked to have seen more, if for no other reason than this: Alcoa has declared that if 80% of the Icelandic nation were opposed to its presence in this country, it would get its sorry ass out of here. At the rally the organizers were collecting signatures – around 150,000 are needed for Alcoa to keep its promise. Alas, I fear they received somewhat less than that.
In the meantime, ponder this little factoid: 800,000 tons of aluminium are disposed of annually in the US – enough to replace their entire aircraft fleet four times. Recycling uses a mere 5 percent of the power needed to produce new aluminium. Also, check out this site. Have a look at the banner – the photo on the far right shows the rock formation Bergrisinn [Rock Giant] that has now been destroyed in the making of a giant dam for the power plant that is to supply energy to the Alcoa smelter they’re currently building in the east. And that’s just the beginning.
Apologies this post isn’t more upbeat but I must say I’m feeling rather distraught. I promise to deliver more trivial fare tomorrow.
THE WEATHER IS ALWAYS A GOOD TOPIC…
Particularly when you don’t feel like talking about heavy stuff, and at this very moment it is absolutely gorgeous [imagine what my mood would be like if it were overcast and gloomy]. It was like this yesterday, too – we went to a garden party at EPI’s niece’s place and sat in the sun and ate fish chowder followed by chocolate-covered strawberries for lunch. Perfect. Temps at the moment are 7°C and sunrise this morning was at 03.31 and sunset is due for 23.22.
* The City of Reykjavík owns a large share in power companies that supply power for the aluminium industry.