Note — Dec 15, 2019

The Dark Side of the Nordic Model

Seen in → No.107

Source → aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/dark-side-nor...

Nobody and certainly no country is perfect, Jason Hickel reminds us that as much as “the Nordics” are a model for many of their social policies, they are still a group of western countries eating up wayyyy too much resources.

The Nordic model stands as a clear and compelling contrast to the neoliberal ideology that has strafed the rest of the industrialised world with inequality, ill health and needless poverty. As an antidote to the most destructive aspects of free-market capitalism, the egalitarian social democracies of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland inspire progressive movements around the world. […]

It is time to update the Nordic model for the Anthropocene. Nordic countries have it right when it comes to public healthcare, education and progressive social democracy, but they need to dramatically reduce their consumption if they are to stand as a beacon for the rest of the world in the 21st century. […]

A recent study by a team of environmental scientists lays out a detailed plan for how Nordic countries could cut their material footprint by nearly 70 percent: scaling down fossil fuels, shifting to plant-based diets, retrofitting old buildings instead of constructing new ones, requiring consumer products to be longer-lasting and repairable, and improving public transportation. In Finland, scientists have rallied around similar measures as part of a call for “ecological reconstruction.”