The recent events in Japan have triggered a lot of thoughts on energy issues. Iceland may be a long way from Japan, yet we live on the same planet and we have shared interests.
Japan is currently fighting to contain the heat of core rods inside 3 nuclear reactors. A nuclear disaster like this might go out of control and create fallout that can travel long distances with jet streams high in the atmosphere in addition to the possibility that large areas of land can be contaminated for years.
Japan is a wealthy country and is known for its massive manufacturing. Japan has a need for a lot of energy. As a country Japan is not rich in energy resources and they have to buy a lot of oil and rely on technologies like nuclear power instead of fossil fuel.
Iceland is the energy opposite of Japan. Iceland is rich in energy resources, but does not manufacture things at anywhere near the same scale Japan does. As a result Iceland will not have to use alternative energy resources such as oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy to create electricity in the foreseeable future.
Japan is one of the world's largest economies and is by many measures considered a very rich country. Japan has the financial strength to pump hundreds of billions of US dollars into its economy in an effort to stabilize the markets in the aftermath of the earthquake that shook Japan on Friday March 11th.
Considering Japan's economic power we wonder if Japan has been doing all they can to develop sustainable energy technologies that will one day replace the nuclear energy that clearly is a huge danger to humans and life on earth. If there is one thing the disaster in Japan shows us then it is the fact that nuclear energy is not guaranteed to be safe.
Iceland is also the opposite of Japan in financial terms. The banking crisis in 2008 left the country with a big pile of debt. Icelanders did not have the capacity to inject billions of dollars into our financial markets because we just did not have it. Despite our financial situation we look ahead and continue to research and develop energy technologies that will help us generate sustainable energy in the foreseeable future.
However, there are things that are common denominators for Japan and Iceland. Both countries are islands. Both the Japanese people and Icelanders have survived throughout the ages despite being frequently stricken by earthquakes. Both islands are also known for volcanic activity.
We hope now is the time the world says no to nuclear energy and starts to direct its power and wealth towards saving energy and discovering new sources of sustainable and environmentally friendly energy.
Posted on: Mar 14 2011 in The Environment