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By On January 27, 2018

Ickler: A move to Norway is tempting

At the end of his rebarbative racist rant that riled people all around the world, the Chief Tweeter said, “We should have more people from Norway.”

The reaction from Norway has not only been a chorus of “no thanks,” but also includes an offer in the reverse direction. In a website named EMIGRATEME.COM, a Norwegian city is urging Americans to take advantage of what it calls the Ringerike Recovery Program.

“In light of the results of the U.S. presidential election, the Ringerike Recovery Program has been developed by the regional development company of Ringerike, Norway,” says the introduction. “We are offering acute aid to descendants of emigrated Norwegians, and other Americans, considering a new start abroad.”

Wow! If my wife, a descendant of emigrated Norwegians, was still alive, we might be packing our bags. She always wanted to see Norway and this would be a great time to go.

Under the heading “Growth, innovation and prosperity,” the website invitation says that Ringerike offers “free healthcare and schools, reasonable priced housing, wide cultural scene, high tolerance for religious beliefs and sexual orientation, stunning nature, clean air and fresh water.” Quite a contrast to the current scene in the United States, where the Republicans are repealing Obamacare a piece at a time without replacing it, refugees and transsexuals are under presidential attack, and nature, clean air and fresh water are all being threatened with extinction by the Chief Tweeter’s administration.

The next paragraph boasts that Norwegian society is transparent and well organized, and that the United Nations’ Human Development Index has ranked Norway as the “world’s best country to live in â€" 12 years in a row.” Maybe the Chief Tweeter could take a lesson from Norway as he promises to make America great again.

The folks in Ringerike also display a sense of humor in offering American immigrants three familiar sounding programs: the Larshall (rhymes with Marshall) Plan, Kjellp (pronounced kyelp) and Per Care.

Under the Larshall Plan, Mayor Lars organizes volunteers for civic projects, such as Knit for America, “where eager knitters from our region come together to knit headbands for our cousins overseas.”

Under Kjellp, Mayor Kjell and his colleagues help newcomers find homes and jobs and inform them of available free services.

Per Care is named for Mayor Per, who heads the renowned Ringerike sykehus (hospital). “Per Care is of course free of charge,” says Mayor Per.

Not hard to understand why we don’t have many Norwegians seeking refuge in America, is it?

It was not always this way. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries thousands of Norwegians came to the United States looking for a better life. The flow peaked in 1882, when 29,000, most of them poor, made the journey. If the Chief T weeter had been in charge at that time, Norwegian immigrants probably would have been included in his manure pile even though they were light-skinned, fair-haired and blue-eyed.

Now, even prior to the Ringerike Recovery Program, the movement has been reversed. In 2016, 1,114 Norwegians emigrated to the U.S., while 1,603 Americans moved to Norway. I wonder how many of them were inspired to flee by that year’s miserable presidential campaign.

Modern Norway is rich with oil money, ranks fourth in the world in gross national product (the U.S. ranks eighth), has universal health care and ranks 15th in the world in life expectancy at 81.8 years (the U.S. is 31st at 79.3 years and dropping at last report).

A recent poll in Norway showed that a majority of Norwegians consider the Chief Tweeter to be “a real threat to world peace” and rank him as more dangerous than Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Not that Norway is perfect. Winters are long and sunlight is short in places like Ringerike, which is only about 500 miles below the Arctic Circle. That’s discouraging even to a native Minnesotan like me.

This year I’ve decided to pass on the opportunity to recover in Ringerike and stick it out here. But I might change my mind if the Chief Tweeter is reelected in 2020.

Email Ickler at

Source: Google News Norway | Netizen 24 Norway


By On January 26, 2018

Norway's prime minister on Americans moving to her country

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When Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg met with President Donald Trump in early January, little did she know that he would soon be invoking her country as one he would welcome more immigrants from.

It may not have been his intention, but the president's comments, which came shortly after he and Solberg convened, sparked a firestorm in the U.S. and globally, especially given the vulgarities he uttered in making clear his disdain for allowing more immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.

Solberg, prime minister of the non-European Union member Norway since 2013, put a diplomatic spin on a controversial topic in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch, saying it's "good for Norwegians to hear they are liked."

Still, she threw some good-natured cold water on Mr. Trump's perhaps fleeting desire for more Norwegians to come live in the U.S., saying that trend peaked in the late 1880s. "There are in fact more Americans coming to live in Norway than there are Norwegians going to the U.S., so maybe we are getting some back."

Immigration from the Scandinavian country has slowed to a drip: Just 404 Norwegians became legal U.S. residents in 2016, according to the Department of Homeland Security. By comparison, Norway had about 10,000 immigrants from North America the same year, according to its statistics.

The issue is also one that Solberg has a background in, having served as Norway's minister of immigration policies 15 years ago. In crafting a policy, government officials decided on a stated goal that "children of immigrants should have the same possibilities as the children of people born in Norway," she said.

Norway's efforts along those lines are proving successful. "The rates of participation and follow through in secondary schools now equal" between both groups, she said. "The possibilities for the second generation are good."

Climate change is another topic on which Norway has diverging views from th at of the Trump administration. Solberg said she made the argument to the president that there are job-creation and business opportunities in green energy.

"There is a lot of technology development now because some of us, like Norway, are doing strict policies on CO2 emissions," she said. She noted that more than 40 percent of all new car sales in Norway are hybrids or electric vehicles.

Tesla (TSLA) is among the manufacturers, she said, "selling quite a lot of cars to Norway now."

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Source: Google News Norway | Netizen 24 Norway

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By On January 26, 2018

Norway's Melting Glaciers Release Over 2000 Artifacts

There’s a reason history museums are packed with stone statues, pottery and arrow headsâ€"these things resist decay while exposed to hundreds (or even thousands) of years in the sun, wind and rain. It's rare to find organic materials, like a woven shawl or a leather shoe, but there's at least one circumstance when these types of artifacts survive: when they're frozen in ice.

Glaciers and permafrost hold many of these treasures, but as climate changes they're releasing their haul to the elements. And as Kastalia Medrano at Newsweek reports, this is exactly what's happening in Norway. A group of glacial archaeologists have recovered over 2,000 artifacts from the edges of Norway's glaciers, and the find promi ses to help researchers better understand the history of mountain populations.

Archaeologists from the United Kingdom and Norway have surveyed the edges of glaciers in Norway’s highest mountains in Oppland since 2011 as part of the Glacier Archaeology Program and its Secrets of the Ice Project. They've uncovered thousands of objects that date as far back as 4,000 B.C., including wooden skis, near complete bronze-age arrows and wooden shafts, Viking swords, clothing and the skulls of pack horses.

"[In] the glaciated mountain passes, you can find basically anything," Lars Pilø, co-director of the Glacier Archaeology Program tells Medrano. “Obviously because of the fantastic artifacts there’s a lot of focus on the individual finds. But I think what is more important, perhaps, is the bigger picture."

Researchers have begun drawing conclusions from their extraordinary finds in a new article published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. Researchers were able to get ages for 153 of those thousands of objects, discovering that the recovered artifacts were not spread out evenly over time. Some eras saw a clustering of artifacts while others saw relatively few.

Upon closer examination, says senior author James H. Barrett of the University of Cambridge, some peaks in artifact numbers stood out immediately. “One such pattern which really surprised us was the possible increase in activity in the period known as the Late Antique Little Ice Age (c. 536 - 660 AD). This was a time of cooling; harvests may have failed and populations may have dropped,” he says. “Remarkably, though, the finds from the ice may have continued through this period, perhaps suggesting that the importance of mountain hunting (mainly for reindeer) increased to supplement failing agricultural harvests in times of low temperatures. A lternatively, any decline in high-elevation activity during the Late Antique Little Ice Age was so brief that we cannot observe it from the available evidence.”

Barrett says another spike in artifacts comes between the 8th and 10th centuries. That’s a period when the population of the area increased as did trade and mobility, eventually leading to the Viking Age when the peoples of Norway began expanding outward. The desire in rising urban centers for more mountain goods could have driven more hunters onto the ice.

As Pilø tells Elaina Zachos at National Geographic, the way reindeer were hunted also changed at this time. Instead of going after single animals with bow and arrow, hunters developed new techniques to herd and trap the animals. "We think that this type of intensive hunting … was unsustainable," Pilø says. "They were eradicating the reindeer."

After the 11th century, the number of artifacts drops off, perhaps caused by reduction in reindeer numbers. Brit Solli, of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo says in a press release that the advent of bubonic plague in the 14th century could have later contributed to population declines as well as reduced the demand for mountain goods.

The team hopes to collect more artifacts and data points to further illuminate this poorly understood time in Scandinavian history. Glacier archaeology, Pilø tells Zachos, is quite different from traditional archaeology in which researchers spend months or years digging in one spot with trowels and brushes. Instead, they hike the glacier edge from mid-August to mid-September when the snow pack is at its lowest, walking the ice edge and marking artifacts with bamboo poles for later recovery. Getting the objects off the mountain quickly is key since they can begin to degrade.

Norway is n ot the only place where artifacts are emerging from the ice due to climate change. As Marissa Fessenden wrote for in 2015, bodies of soldiers lost during World War I have emerged from the Alps and Incan mummies have emerged from glaciers in the Andes. Melting permafrost in southwest Alaska has also released 2,500 artifacts, including woven baskets and wooden masks. Researchers even think Ötzi the iceman, the most famous glacier mummy, likely emerged due to the warming climate.

There are countless negative impacts of the changing climate, but the recovery of these artifacts could be an unexpected positive. Our uncertain climate future may inadvertently help researchers learn more about our past.

Source: Google News Norway | Netizen 24 Norway


By On January 14, 2018

Norway Announces Total Ban on Fur Farming

The Norwegian Animal Rights Organization (NOAH), who have long fought for the rights of animals, announced today that Norway will unroll a total ban on fur farming. According to a rough translation of their post, they’ve been at this fight for over 30 years and have much to celebrate now â€" though, they’re hardly interested in resting now.

The ban, they say, will be finalized in 2025, when all farms in the country will be shut down. It’s unclear, at the moment, how this will affect the sale of fur (whether Norway intends simply to stop producing it).

Camilla Björkbom, chairman of the Animal Society Right, explained the importance of this decision, especially when comparing to their neighboring countries.

“We welcome the Swedish Government’s proposal to investigate the welfare of minkers on Sweden’s fur farms, but today we see that Norway shows that a ban on fur farming is possible. This is a great news, not least for all the animals that are now not born and killed for their fur in Norway, but also because it sets a good example for Sweden and the upcoming Swedish investigation.”

Norway is a large fur producer with over 300 fur farms, with farms breeding and killing over 700,000 minks and 110,000 foxes every year â€" simply for their fur. They’re far from the largest manufacturer (that’d be China) but they aren’t the smallest either.

“Norway is talking about today’s message to the growing number of countries in Europe who discontinue fur farming. By 2017, the Czech Republic and Germany have also decided to shut down fur farms,” said Björkbom. Both of the aforementioned countries banned fur farming in the beginning of 2017, setting a much needed precedent.

A 2025 end date may seem far off and, in many ways, can feel like less than the victory people would have hoped for. However, an end date in the distance is better a non-existent one, especially when just yesterday one did not exist and when so many other countries have yet to address this problem.

Life on fur farms is absolute hell. Thankfully, Norway has seen the light and will become one among many other countries that have stood up for animals. This information has been, largely, confirmed by activist websites, and because this is a developing story we will keep you updated when and if there is further confirmation.

Source: Google News Norway | Netizen 24 Norway