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Bjork issues typically whimsical call to save the Icelandic highlands

(Photo: Timothée Lambrecq)

Because where else is she going to get the field recordings of icebergs melting and volcanos bubbling that she’ll use to compose her next album, Bjork is teaming up with prominent environmentalists to call for the creation of an Icelandic national park. Specifically, they want to turn the country’s highlands, the largest area of untouched wilderness in Europe, into a national park.

Considering that—according to the press release announcing the campaign—tourism is Iceland’s No. 1 source of revenue, and that 80 percent of foreign tourists visit the highlands while in Iceland, it’s surprising that the area isn’t already a national park. But there’s only one thing that can trump tourism money, and that’s energy money. Thus, the Icelandic government is planning to build roads and erect power lines in the wilderness area, along with power plants that would harness geothermal energy from the same volcanoes and glaciers that tourists come to gawk at every year. On the one hand, the plan brings Iceland closer to its goal of 100 percent renewable energy. On the other, it spoils a natural landmark.


Polls suggest that the majority of Icelandic citizens oppose the government’s development plans, and Bjork is one of them. She says as much in the YouTube video below, which was released along with a written statement that refers to elves as “myths,” an assertion seriously challenged by Bjork’s headgear in the video.

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