|I took this picture in Iceland this past July (2013).|
30. Highlands, Iceland
Natural wonders are in danger. Go see them before it's too late.
The Icelandic government has spend decades protecting its glaciers, pools, ponds, lakes, marshes and permafrost mounds in the Thjorsarver Wetlands, part of the central highlands, which constitute some 40 percent of the entire country, mostly in the interior. But last year, the government announced plans to revoke those protections, allowing for the construction of hydropower plants (instead of glaciers and free-flowing rivers, imagine man-made reservoirs, dams, paved roads and power lines). "If they get into this area, there will be no way to stop them from destroying the wetlands completely, " said Arni Finnsson, the chairman of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association. More bad news looms: A law intending to further repeal conservation efforts has been put forward, so if you ever want to Iceland in all of its famously raw natural beauty, go now.
This is breaking my heart. I feel more tender toward Iceland every day. I miss it. I don't know if I'll ever go back, but it doesn't matter - it should stay the way I got to enjoy it for generations to come.