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From the first example titled “Tropical Dreams”: It was extremely hot, and it was humid, almost moist. The pages of my book stuck together and practically seemed to be dissolving. Matavai Resort lay on the edge of the atoll, right on the Pacific Ocean. Huge waves rolled onto the rocks creating a sound that was a constant, thundering reminder of the power of the sea.

We were on Niue, an exotic tropical island in the Pacific. A so-called high atoll out there on its own in the middle of the vastness. The island is actually the peak of a mountain, and so it is not surrounded by a shallow lagoon but by deep water: extremely deep water, where the great whales pass every year as they wander in search of food.

Later that day, Thomas Lynge Jensen and I were due to visit the spot where the wind turbines were to be erected. It wasn’t far from the hotel but Speedo Hetutu insisted on giving us a lift.

Thomas and I had met Speedo a year earlier. Thomas was working for an NGO and in September 1999 we attended the Global Conference on Renewable Energy Islands on the Danish island of Ærø. It covered the myriad independent island states. The United Nations Development Programme was represented, and the opening address was delivered by Denmark’s energy minister at the time. The conference should have been held on the island of Samsø, which had been declared a renewable energy island, but unfortunately the island wasn’t large enough to host the conference crowd.

The 45 independent island states went to Ærø instead. They were met in Copenhagen and taken by bus to Svendborg. From there, they were taken by old Danish schooners to the port of Marstal. After all, proper Islanders travel by boat!

The representatives had arrived in Copenhagen from all over the world in the space of a couple of days: from islands in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The sight of all these exotically clad people disembarking from their coaches before clambering aboard the vessels waiting in Svendborg harbour was like something out of Robinson Crusoe. Setting out into Svendborg Sound under all that white canvas and with people from so many nations on board was a real sight to see. Thomas was responsible for the voyage and the conference, and he had made all the contacts on the island. I knew Thomas via the Forum for Energy and Development.

The conference was magic and we were full of dreams of sandy silver beaches and Hawaiian girls in their raffia skirts. Our determination to create energy islands remained strong! We were determined to save the last remaining coral reefs out in the oceans where the coastal populations were threatened by rising sea levels and climate change. It would be in the nick of time!


Read the rest of the story in the e-book “Commonities” by Soeren Hermansen and Tor Noerretranders. Buy it on Amazon or Saxo and support Samsoe’s next steps.

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