Spitsbergen (Svalbard) March 5th, 2020
Spitsbergen is an island in an archipelago north of Norway above
the Arctic Circle. It is 1000 kilometers (600 miles) from the North
Pole. It gets very cold there and in the winter there is no sunlight.
No native population exists on the island. The climate is just too
tough. But Spitsbergen has high quality coal deposits and it has
been mined for coal for over a century.
Both Russians and Norwegians live on the island. Both have their
own village and their own mines and coal company. Cash is not
used on Spitsbergen. It’s all company scrip, just like the coal mines
of Appalachia back in the day.
There is an excellent RT documentary video about Spitsbergen
called “The Long Dark Night of Spitsbergen”. Check it out. The
Norwegians and Russians get along. Their towns are not close
enough for walking or anything but a helicopter ride and that only
in some months of the year.
Tourists do go to Spitsbergen as you can see in the photo there are
some cruise ships off of Longyearbyn in the harbor. What I noticed
was the difference in layout of the Norwegian town vs. the Russian/
Soviet town of Barentsburg.
Stalin would send political prisoners to Spitsbergen to mine the coal
back in the gulag days. The place reminds me of the penal/mining
colony in the movie “Alien 3”.
On Spitsbergen you can rent a rifle and ammo by the hour to go on
a hike. Polar bears outnumber humans 6-1 on the island. No matter
what the eco nazis tell you, polar bears are thriving on Spitsbergen.
But if you kill a polar bear you better be able to prove it was self
defense. Bring a camera.
The island is open to all comers from anywhere in the world, but
you have to be self sufficient.
The Russian town does not allow old men or pregnant women. I’m
sure it is the same in the Norwegian town. The island is for workers
only. Children do live there, but if they can’t adapt. They have to go
back to the mainland. Wives are allowed. But they also work.
Viruses do not survive the climate. Children coming to the island
are quarantined for 10 days as the only germs on Spitsbergen are
introduced by visitors.
The island has plenty of water and coal for energy. Fishing is so so.
There is no agriculture unless it is indoors.
I was thinking that Spitsbergen would have been the best retreat for
a germaphobe like Howard Hughes. He could have built himself a
huge bunker with a coal fired power source. He could have used UV
lighting for vitamin D and huge plasma screens of happy sunny
landscapes to line his walls.
Hughes would have had a huge greenhouse to provide him fresh
food and even a heated swimming pool (indoors of course).
Let the winter wind howl and the snow blow. Hughes would be safe
in his underground bungalow.
And for other supplies, Hughes would build a huge underground
warehouse. He’d charter a ship full of supplies and have them
trucked to his warehouse during the short summer months.
No germs. No government. No neighbors. Just the quiet of the