Days 200-210: the briny deep

Modern Iceland is a small but reasonably prosperous nation, with strong trade in tourism and energy-intensive industries.  It hasn’t always been so fortunate. Through much of its history Iceland was one of the poorest countries in Europe.  The climate isn’t conducive to basic agriculture, although modern greenhouses have been successful here; there are few easily-accessible mineral resources;… Read More Days 200-210: the briny deep

Days 157-177: not the rains down in Africa

In December, the University offered a three-week intensive course on assessing the environmental impact of an industrial project.  Most countries have an environmental assessment process: the U.S. was one of the early adopters, creating a system of environmental impact statements in 1969.  The specifics – what projects require an assessment and what the assessment must… Read More Days 157-177: not the rains down in Africa

Day 40: getting into hot water, part two

Icelanders have made effective use of their geothermal resources, extracting groundwater heated by molten rock in the earth below and using that hot water to heat the places they live and work.  Otherwise, they’d have to choose between freezing in the winter or importing foreign fuels.  Neither option is very attractive. The groundwater used for heating homes isn’t… Read More Day 40: getting into hot water, part two