Sustainability is:
a balance in environmental, social, and economic consideration of all components of the world's living and non-living systems. To fit into this balance, humanity must achieve resilience, continued learning, and consciousness of our relationship with the Earth.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Iceland In A Poem

3 months in the arctic we signed up to brave, to the land of volcanoes and magical staves.

Past mountains and steam vents and rivers we went, to a beautiful place where 3 months we spent.

We saw horses and sheep though not many trees, the landscape held beauty no one could have foreseen.

We travelled to farms and forests and mountains, across rivers and waterfalls and natural fountains.

But what really made these 3 months all worthwhile, was living and learning and teaching in style.

We built a turf house and toured power plants, and greeted each day with an Icelandic chant:

Lof sé guði ljómar dagur, lífgar sólargeislinn fagur

Renewable energy, Iceland's fame and glory, turned out to be not such an optimistic story.

We learned all the drawbacks and what they can harm, and all the things hidden by Iceland's charm.

Aluminum smelters that hoard electricity, cleverly disguised from outside publicity,

Release all kinds of greenhouse gases that warm the earth as we learned in our classes.

Cheap energy attracts all kinds of industry, centered around wealth and prosperity.

Blocked rivers have fish populations in peril, trapped upstream by dams so sterile.

We knew this place couldn’t go on being abused, and talked to some writers to find out their views.

Turns out Icelanders have gotten the picture, to work towards a future that they can ensure.

Their collaborative effort is on the right track, protesting and fighting to keep nature in tact.

So off we go with wool in our pockets, our imaginations soaring like rockets.

We made action plans to take back home, to guide us in the future, where ever we may roam.

To Iceland, I can say you will be missed, your rainbows and sunsets are hard to resist.

But maybe someday we’ll come back and visit, to bathe in your hot springs and learn how to knit.

Until then we’ll remember your mossy hills and wear your sweaters when we get the chills.

This country has been so very sublime to make this an experience beyond a lifetime. 

-Lily Alverson

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