5.29.2007

The Hard Way


Thanks to the kindness of an old client (and the timely pregnancy of his wife), I had the good fortune to spend the last week in and around Reykyavik, Iceland.

It's an incredible place, surrounded by an unrelenting and spectacular landscape that might only be described as an ice-age Wyoming.

As harsh as that might sound , the single emotion that came back in my luggage from Iceland with me was none other than jealousy.

This small little country, a place where sheep outnumber people 4 to 1, can only be admired and emulated. Icelanders produce 75% of their own energy thanks to the massive geothermal boiler that they sit on, yet at the same time they are remarkably thrifty with the resources they have. Without a doubt, this reluctance to piss away an energy boom is the effect that Iceland's brutal environment has had on generation after generation.

Somebody once said that the key to energy independence is understanding the difference between "wants versus needs." In my mind, there's no doubt that Icelanders understand this philosophical balance better than anyone.

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