Musician Björk and writer Andri Snær Magnason held a press conference yesterday to raise awareness about the destruction of Icelandic wilderness for the sake of energy consumption. The press conference was purposely held during the Iceland Airwaves music festival to garner more publicity from an international audience.
Björk and Andri Snær pitted themselves against the Icelandic government, stating that now is a crucial time for Icelanders, and the world, to oppose proposals to expand development of energy-producing technologies that threaten to irreparably damage Icelandic nature. The highly contested region in this debate is the Central Highlands, a huge area in the middle of Iceland, home to many waterfalls, volcanoes, mountains, and plains, as well as wildlife.
A major concern is a governmental proposal to build a high-voltage cable that would stretch 1200 kilometers underwater to Britain, supplying electricity to that nation by harnessing power from Iceland’s volcanoes. Björk and Andri Snær pointed out that attempting to utilize Iceland’s natural elements is unrealistic and would require the implementation of endless destructive practices such as paving roads, damming rivers, and erecting power lines. In effect, it’s the beginning of the deterioration of a precious and living landscape.
To counteract the government’s plans, Björk and Andri Snær called for the public to sign a petition backed by the environmental organization Gætum Garðsins (Protect the Park). The petition will stand for ten more days and protests the destruction of the Central Highlands. Furthermore, it presents the idea of turning the region into a nature preserve to protect it for many generations to come. According to Björk, the majority of Icelanders are behind such a goal; it is simply a matter of gaining enough support to overturn the powers that be. To learn more about the initiative and to sign the petition, visit heartoficeland.org