Monday, 28 February 2011

fáil whale or pot-of-gold

Ireland's incumbent government was brutally routed as retribution for gross dereliction when it came to the custody of the country's wealth. Mismanagement and buying into flimsy schemes excited the ousting of the outgoing Fianna Fáil coalition, and though, no doubt, the people should be held to account whose conduct has lead Ireland's betrothal to years of indebtedness, the elections seem one on hand symbolic and moot. Saddled with this financial crisis, the incoming government has very little latitude in determining any significant changes to welfare or austerity, since all future funding has already been allocated--spent--to pay off IMF loans with money tight and choices narrowed. Many other places facing similar situations fear population and talent drains as people move with the fleeing job opportunities and spiraling revenues. Huge swaths of land stood nearly deserted already on our visits, with little going expect for the holidaymakers, but what may not have been visible or appreciable to us was I am sure a lot of individuals getting creative and inventive. Governments may never be luminaries at stretching the household budget, and some ministers, fearing saturation and stagnation, can only hope to repackage, refinance, or hope that extra-terrestrials will infuse the market with fresh buying-power.
One nation in the same predicament as Ireland, having already dumped its lax leadership and dealing summarily with withering investment and hardships to come, is Iceland.
The bit of genius they are testing, albeit ambitious and grandiose, is a proposal to channel geothermal energy from volcanic fonts in Iceland via cable to Scotland or Ireland and onto Europe. Considering how Iceland's exposure only shifted from news of the country's financial melt-down to how Eyjafjallajökull (Kajagoogoo) grounded air travel, that is a good stroke that people may soon be associating the country with plentiful, clean and cheap energy. There's a bit of wildness in laying a two thousand kilometer power line under the Atlantic, but the project's scale and goal is little different from the Suez or Panama Canals.