Just returned from a research trip in Denmark for a fellowship from Tufts/SMFA. I was on Samsø, a gorgeous island at the crossroads of the Baltic and North seas. Samsø is powered fully by renewable energy (mostly wind) and is teeming with innovative people and projects.
Highlights: The landscapes I explored, the people I met, and a climb to the top of a wind turbine. Most importantly, it felt incredible knowing that all the electricity and heat I was using was generated by clean, renewable sources.
I spent a few days in Copenhagen, which pretty much blew my mind. So many bikes, so few cars. A harbor right in the city with water so clean it's swimmable. Smart waste management, clean air, plenty of green space, bike lanes, walking lanes, streets free of car noise, insanely low crime, fresh local food...Why are we not taking steps in every city to make life more livable for its citizens?
On the pedestrian/bike bridge, everyone has their place. So civilized, so functional.
Denmark proved to me that there are many different ways of living in this world, and they are much more humane and sustainable to long-term health/happiness than those we know in most other parts of the world. No wonder they are considered amongst the happiest people on earth (at least according to the polls), even though they humbly talk about how they have much work still left to do. There is always room for improvement, but relying on dirty fossil fuels not only deep fries our planet, it also poisons our souls (pardon the cheese factor, but there it is).
I am so thankful for this experience, and eager to see what work emerges from it all. Grateful to all my friends, new and old, who hosted me, assisted me, endured the camera and interrogation sessions, toured me around, wine and dined me, and gave their time and energy to help shine this beacon of light into the darkness.
A special thank you to the #SamsøEnergiAkademi and Søren Hermansen, Birgit Holmboe, Sigurd Holmboe, Christodoulos Chambi, Ithaca Advisory Group, and especially to the #Tufts #TravelingFellows fund for this rare opportunity. Can't wait to return.