Iceland's Civilization Collapse

By: Allary Landeck and Kimberly Genuario

Thesis Statement

Iceland's civilization collapsed from social, economic, and environmental changes.
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Economic Changes

One of the reasons that the Icelandic civilization collapsed was and still is the economy. For instance, BBC News claims that the economy in Iceland is going to shrink by 10% this year. If the economy shrinks, Iceland can't feed their people, and can't offer jobs, leading to unemployment, resulting in starvation. In addition, the coalition has been under strain in the recent months, meaning that the alliances that Iceland has are weakening; they are losing their resources, and injuring their economy. The economy's strength is rapidly decreasing. For example, Iceland has gotten money from around the world because the interest has exceeded 10%. Meaning that they can't keep paying the Icelandic people interest due to the decreases in money. For these reasons, the economy is plummeting.

Social Changes

Another reason the Icelandic civilization collapsed was the social changes. For example, thousands have joined daily protests over soaring unemployment and rising prices. These protests aren't acceptable because the are noisy and they are blocking the streets. They are destroying houses, burning down everything to get their word out, though they are obnoxious and loud. Also, Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Gisladottir is expected to start talks with opposition parties about attempting to start a new government, though he rejected the offer. This means that he didn't want to start a new government. He doesn't want to talk to the opposing parties about a new government. Lastly, there has been protest against the government for the violation of the conservation law and the project of constructing a brand new highway over a protected lava field. This protected lava field is 8,000 years old and citizens are concerned for the health and care of the people and nature. Citizens, well-known journalists, professors, and public figures have been arrested for speaking their minds, despite their peaceful protests, while some are facing prosecution for demanding the government to obey the law. This issue needs to be fixed or else Iceland will continue to keep collapsing as it has in the past.

Environmental Changes

The third reason for Iceland's collapse is the environmental issues and changes. The Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources and the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture (Progressive Party MP Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson) refused to sign a a proposal on increasing the environmental protection. This results in a problem since more and more tourists come each year. As a fact, over one million tourists visit Iceland each year; however, only 380,000 people lived there. And over the next few years, the new government is hoping to have three million tourists. The problem with more people and tourists is that they become a concern to the welfare of the surviving nature because there is no regulation or infrastructure in place to prevent long-term negative effects on tourism, since they are fascinated by the buildings more than nature. In addition to the tourist problem, the minister is putting the economy before the environment. He claims that it is ok to sacrifice several waterfalls for the purpose of economic profit which will come out of developing the area, even though the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association has strongly objected the plan due to the amount of damage to waterfalls and surrounding land it would cause. Lastly, the whaling of Fin Whales has been renewed and the new administration has revoked the decision to limit whaling grounds. These whales would be hunted for random reasons and due to the low demand for these endangered animals, they will end up costing their lives to become dog food in Japan or marketing nonsense such as "Whale Beer." The government is putting money before the environment but this idea will only cause more disaster as it persists.

Works Cited

Diamond, Jared M. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.


"Iceland's Prime Minster Says Government Collapsed." Fox News. FOX News Network, 26 Jan. 2009. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. This article is current because it was published in 2009.


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None. "Crisis Claims Icelandic Cabinet." BBC News. BBC, 26 Jan. 2009. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.


Orange, Richard. "Iceland Blames Financial Collapse on UK's 'unreasonable Demands'" The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 04 Aug. 0050. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.


Vol, Julia. "The Wheels of Greed Are Spinning in Iceland." World Watch Institute Europe. N.p., 25 Jan. 2014. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.