Foto: Wikimedia Commons

Deciding the future

People of Tromsø and experts of the oil industry gathered to discuss some important issues about the main industry of the country.

Text: Alena Antipina

In the cozy evening of October, the 19th, citizens of Tromsø came to the “folkemøtet” (“People’s meeting”), where they were about to answer the reasonably important question: Do we need oil and gas? Personally, I would evaluate this event as a sign of a progressive society- Let me explain why.

First of all, I will provide you with some background information. This People’s meeting was the ninth in the row of the seventeen across the whole country. In occasion of the fiftieth years anniversary of the oil and gas industry in Norway, experts in this sphere and environmental experts, representatives of different NGO’s agreed that it was no longer available to decide the destiny of the national property without the participation of the nation itself.

People gather to listen to experts’ discussions and reach a compromise. This is the concept of such events. And organizers themselves think of it as a proper way of solving occurring problems in modern Norwegian society. However, throughout the meetings, which already took place, it was noticed that this opinion is varying from region to region and audience to audience.

Besides, there were not only experts who gave speeches that evening. One young woman held a presentation about her offshore job. And the audience seemed to be very interested in her story.

One thing that I really want to mention is the content of discussions, which took place during these meetings. I had a chance to interview the representative of Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, who revealed me some of the points. The citizens of Norway, as citizens of any other country, tend to become more concerned about the environmental issues. This particular suspense had been one of the main reasons to conduct this kind of meetings. People discuss who should be held responsible for the current climate change and who must care about environmental security. The debate is whether it should be consumers or producers. As a background: everyone realizes, that it is impossible to make any radical changes. Thus, we cannot cut on producing, because it may lead to unexpected consequences. However, what we need to rethink is consumer’s habits, which can and must be reorganized in order to sustain the environment and not make the matters worse.

This is not the only topic of discussion; the future of oil and gas reserves, which are decreasing day by day, are of interest too. People of Norway, from youngsters to pensioners, are worried about their destinies and the fate of the whole humanity. It is common sense that there is involvement and willingness to help. Nonetheless,  there is the other side of the coin.

Despite the fact that discussing the issues connected to national property is crucial nowadays (for Norway especially), I’d like to express my thoughts in the end, as a non-Norwegian citizen. I have a feeling that people from several towns gathered to decide not only the destiny of their property, but also the money of the whole industry and all the countries involved in its functioning, respectively, which is not as inappropriate as some may claim.