Plugged In

Plugged In

More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives

Iceland wants to know: “who needs coal when you have FIRE?”


A quick check-in from the road. Occasionally I see ads in different countries that give perspective on how that country views energy and I try to snag pictures if I can. These two ads offer a juxtaposition of resources and current energy issues.

Here's a wall display in Keflavík airport (about 50 km southwest of the capital Reykjavík): "who needs coal when you have fire?"

I have learned that Icelanders are proud of their country and geothermal energy is something they are indeed proud of, making the cold land more hospitable, but also enabling a tourism industry with the likes of hot springs like the Blue Lagoon (which is actually supplied by the produce water from a nearby geothermal plant).

For an island nation like Iceland, it is fortunate to have abundant natural resources.

Next up is an ad at a bus stop in downtown Washington, DC: "America and Canada: friends, neighbors, allies". The subtext gets right into it: "America's choice: import oil from Canada [...] or choose less stable offshore sources with weaker environmental standards".

You can make a compelling argument for or against importing Canadian fossil fuels, and this ad hopes to sway you (or the regulator) on the commute to work.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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