Strokkur Geyser in Iceland, where 100% of electricity is generated renewably

Iceland stands alone in having repaid all of its debts following the financial crisis of 2008. Their ability to do this was not based on their belief in elves or their relatively small population, but instead based on the dedication their population to demand and enforce change.

Icelanders held their banks responsible for their losses and inserted citizens back into the political process. The story is, as all history is, far more complicated than that. There is thankfully a great documentary on the subject, which you can watch in its full form here.

Iceland has now repaid its full $1.8 billion dollar debt, gets about 85% of primary energy use and 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, and effectively integrates local and national committees made of actual citizens (not politicians) into the political decision-making process.

Iceland’s president (Olaf Ragnar Grimmson) has no party affiliation and declined to sign a law “controlling free speech,” and suggesting instead that it be put to a public referendum… at which point the law was withdrawn. There is a sense of responsibility within Iceland society that empowers the individuals to be the change they desire from the world.

How much debt does your country or county have? How much of your energy comes from local renewable sources? Did the bankers from where you come from get “bailed out,” or were the banks held responsible for their actions? If the answers you give disappoint you, then there is a lot of work to be done where you live.