My country, Iceland, likes to market itself as a place with an endless stream of pure, clean air and pristine natural landscapes – all hyped up for the tourist brochures.
Reykjavík’s dirty little secret is its air pollution. In fact, on calm winter days, when the ubiquitous wind isn’t blowing our smog away to the big smog storage area in the sky, a thick, yellow cloud of pollution hangs over the capital area like a translucent veil.
So far this year, air pollution in Reykjavík has exceeded public health limits 12 times. According to Icelandic law, air pollution must not go over those limits more than 12 times per year [just how they arrived at that precise figure is beyond me]. So clearly we’ve filled our quota – and we will, no question, exceed it before the year is out.
IT WAS A CALM AND MILD DAY
With a few scattered showers, enough to keep the smog at bay. Alas, I hardly went outside at all, although I would have liked to – was working at home, and then got in my car and drove [gasp!] to the gym. It’s 5°C [41F] right now. The sun came up at 8.34 and set at 5.38.