The President of Iceland Wants to Be Your Friend
Written by Bwog Staff
Earlier today, as part of the World Leaders Forum, President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson of Iceland addressed students in an almost-full Low Rotunda. As was appropriate for the President of Iceland, he spoke enthusiastically about how small countries can battle worldwide problems. He stressed that even though much of the world is still locked in a mindset that small countries have little power, they still have enormous potential to affect policy changes.
Because, as the friendly Grímsson said, small countries can pose no military threat, there is no reason not to be friends with them. (Really — go Friend him!) He also said that world leaders need to stop being afraid of proposing initiatives that may fail. “The world needs leaders who can afford to lose face.”
But the primary focus of the President’s talk was renewable energy. In this respect, Iceland has become a laboratory for the world — almost all of the country’s electricity is generated from hydroelectric and geothermal sources. Plus, electric cars are already in the process of being deployed. Though he admitted he is an optimist, he still believes there is no reason why the Iceland’s ecological successes cannot occur in larger countries too.
When asked which American presidential candidate would help America become greener, he tactfully refused to endorse a candidate, and said that either would improve America’s stand on climate change.
He concluded by thanking the University and telling the moderator, John Allegrante, that he hoped he was less trouble than our last guest, He Who Must Not Be Named.
— Sean Zimmermann