Tag Archives: Green Party

Burning up: Local environmentalists tell Norway’s government not to bring Arctic oil to a firefight

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They were forced to give ground to Mother Nature’s Arctic persona before making their objections heard. Their hope is those targeted by the protests will make similar concessions – or be forced to do so through legal action.

About 20 people gathered around a “warning fire” on the beach at Sjøområdet on Saturday as part of nationwide protest against oil drilling in Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja. The protest occurred two days before Norway’s government proposed opening a record 93 blocks in the Barents Sea to drilling, including  ten in the so-called “Svalbard zone.”

Review: Disorder infects both residents and filmmaker in documentary ‘Longyearbyen: A Bipolar City’

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Bipolar (adj): 1. Having or relating to two poles or extremities; 2. psychiatric characterized by both manic and depressive episodes, or manic ones only.
– Oxford English Dictionary

The opening minutes intermix interviews with a few Longyearbyen residents and grainy black-and-white footage from “Nanook of the North.” Which means this documentary isn’t just distancing itself from stereotypical portrayals of the town – it’s ridiculing them.

Crude arguments: Petroleum Directorate does test drilling in Svalbard, says it’s not related to oil and gas activity

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The oil industry is suffering a worse crisis than coal and it’s recent ventures in the Arctic haven’t exactly been entirely successful or popular. But the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate for the second straight year has conducted controversial exploration activities in Svalbard exposing – if nothing else – an erupting rift between Parliament members.

Rant: For those just wanting the soap opera without the policy muddle, here’s the bizarre election timeline where everyone was king for a moment

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Oct. 2
A Svalbardposten poll shows Labor winning nine of the 15 Longyearbyen Community Council seats (a gain of two from the current council) and nearly 57 percent of the vote. The Liberal Party is dead last with one seat and 9.7 percent.

Oct. 3
This fishwrapper makes the “longshot” prediction the Green Party will win five seats and Labor will retain a plurality of seven. This would be an irrelevant bit of lunacy except:

Oct. 6 (Election Day)
3:30-5 p.m:
Exit poll interviews by Icepeople with voters result in four of the first five saying they voted for the Green Party – not including a candidate on their ballot. Convinced nobody will believe us, we opt not to publish a “voters go to the polls” article before the actual count is announced.

8:40 p.m.: A Person Not To Be Named tells us the advance votes show our “longshot” prediction for the Greens and Labor is correct. We ponder if there’s any chance of making people think we were actually smart rather than stupidly lucky.

Seeding: Top candidate for first-time Green Party Leader says she’s definitely not anti-growth – but do it right

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It takes a different kind of candidate to attack opponents for giving balloons to little kids.

Helga Kristiansen, the top-ranked candidate for Svalbard’s Green Party, ripped into some of her rivals for handing lots of the helium-filled wildlife killers out to tots at campaign booths in Longyearbyen’s town square. But she said it’s a small example of how her party’s goals are both more practical and more misunderstood than many people realize.

Green Party joins political opposites in proposing sending Syrian refugees to Svalbard despite numerous legal and practical issues

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Locals seem willing to accept them. Two totally opposite political parties are suggesting sending them here (although the motives of one are questionable). But despite much of Europe increasingly slamming the door on the deluge of refugees fleeing Syria, housing them in Svalbard would be a nearly unworkable logical, legal and social challenge.

What now? Store Norske seeks short-term help, but town’s long-term future perilous as layoffs begin quickly

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To the extent there’s hope, it’s mostly that somebody somewhere will think of something.

The first round of layoffs that will ultimately leave Store Norske with about 100 of its current 270 employees is likely to occur next week, said Arild Olsen, the union steward for the workers. He estimated 40 to 50 employees may be affected, most of whom will likely get a three-month notice period.

Random weirdness for the week of Sept. 8, 2015

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A research drone that looks like a torpedo. Yeah, this is going to end well.

Mine not yours: Parliament OKs Store Norske bailout; private shareholders protest forced sale of stocks

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Store Norske is breathing a sigh of relief after getting its bailout by a nearly unanimous vote in Parliament. But the decision intended to keep the company alive at least through next year is also upsetting many people, including private shareholders being forced to give up their holdings at what some say is a shocking low price.

Icepeople PDF: April 14, 2015

icepeoplepdf041415Greenies get a “win” in Parliament in their battle to end coal mining in Svalbard, but it’s purely symbolic since lawmakers are virtually certain to approve a bailout loan for financially-starved Store Norske in the near future. Meanwhile, another more immediate crisis closer to home continues to take its toll as a kennel cough epidemic resulted in a majority of teams being struck from the annual Trappers Trail sleddog race. Plus drones visit Ny-Ålesund, Russian soldiers visit the North Pole and a geologist visits what may be Sauron’s new mountain hideout in this week’s PDF.