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Hardanger fjord power-project update

Posted on October 6, 2010 at 7:31 AM

Just a quick update here.


Since I - and others - have questioned the government's plans to construct high power stations stringing lines across the Hardanger fjord, several developments have occurred:


1. The government had a showdown behind closed doors, resulting in Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg arriving camera ready: angry as heck with pursed lips, and ready to simply bite off the head of anyone who suggested they had not done their research duties on this.


2.. The ‘government’ agreed to re-study the situation (ie. eat crow).


3. The political cartoonists had a field day, illustrating Jens as being tethered to Norway’s energy big-boy, the energy giant Statnett’s boss (which answered my earlier question of who they were ‘in bed with’ on this project).


4. The area affected started losing Arbeidsparti memberships, scaring the party leaders.


5. Other parts of Norway now scheduled for giant electric power line projects suggested that they, too, might like some other alternative (so much for communal living and equality).


6. The Aftenposten newspaper ran a special weekend magazine article on the history of the tight relationship between the Worker’s party – Jens Stoltenberg’s party – now losing prestige and support generally in Norway, and the Norwegian state’s efforts to bring, um, real ‘Power’ to the People. This was an interesting article in which we could literally see the advertising posters campaigning for the ‘Arbeidspartiet’ – the Worker’s Party – as it prepared to engage in bringing the hydro-power from the mountains of Norway to the city of Oslo, where most Norwegians still live. Obviously, when labor was strong and power was nowhere near being distributed in Norway (during the last mid-century),(ie. back when Norway was poor), labor and energy could sleep together quite well. From an art perspective, it was superb art-deco style stuff, very nifty. The power tower even got to resemble the giant A, A for Arbeidspartiet. How cool was that? Now, for the hard bargains:


7. Statnett reports that the ‘sub-sea cable’ solution is “not a possibility.”


8. Some have suggested simply re-drawing the map so the huge power lines do not cross the fjord in the publicly visible way they were planned to do. And,


(9) of course, it’s hardly worth mentioning that the use of the famous painting by Tidemand, showing a bridal party crossing the Hardanger fjord, one of Norway’s most famous paintings, was a perfect foil for raising the profile of this important environmental issue, even if the power lines did not go precisely where the re-drawn painting showed them to go - and what trouble some folks went to to make a point of this, (which only went to show that they were more interested in putting their feet in their mouths when there was nothing left to say than to agree they disagreed).


‘Nuff said for now! This story will be continued in English here – over time – to its hopefully environmentally positive conclusion.

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