I. Culture of Iceland -
II. History of Geothermal Technology
Culture of Iceland
Iceland, the northernmost country in Europe, is a Nordic island in the Atlantic Ocean that borders the Arctic Circle. It is one of the most geologically active places in the world, and is home to numerous volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs. Iceland has a total land area of 39,770 square miles with Reykjavik as their capital, and 2,796 square miles of water area. Their total population consists of about 317,593 people. (Aronson, 2010)
Iceland is a constitutional republic; a state where the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over all of its citizens. Iceland became a republic on June 17, 1944, when it declared total independence from Denmark. The constitution provides municipalities with the right to manage their own affairs. The constitution also guarantees equality under the law regardless of sex, race, and religion. The central Icelandic government has an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. The executive branch consists of the president, who does not have much executive power; the head of government, or prime minister, who, along with the cabinet has the most executive power; and the cabinet, a body selected from the parliament either by the president or political party leaders within the parliament. The president and the parliament are elected by the people. Universal suffrage permits all residents 18 years old and over to vote for the president and the Althingi. The president and Althingi members serve four-year terms. (Aronson, 2010)
Iceland's economy is based mainly on the service industry, tourism, and the export of marine products. The economy of Iceland was seriously damaged by the worldwide financial crisis of 2008-09 and had to arrange to receive emergency funding from International Monetary Fund to avoid total bankruptcy. This worst case scenario was avoided, and the economy continues to recover. Fishing and agriculture have traditionally been the cornerstones of the Icelandic economy. Since the early 1990s, Iceland has moved towards the technology, manufacturing, tourism, and service industries. Sectors in the technology industry include biotechnology and information technology, while sectors in the service industry include health care, education, public administration, communication, finance, and real estate. Manufacturing produces equipment used in fishing and fish processing, aluminum goods, and mineral wool. In 2007, Iceland earned approximately $4.7 billion in exports. Marine products account for 70 percent of all exports; aluminum, ferrosilicon, diatomite, and woolen goods mostly account for the rest. Iceland is considering exporting hydroelectric power in the future. Iceland's imports include oil, food, textiles, and machinery. Since Iceland has a small area suitable...