Sweden: The Ultimate First-World Country

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We’ve reached Malmo for the second half of our Swedish journey. Here there were only frosty hills, lots of green actually, and it’s a bit warmer than Stockholm. No snow to be found.

As we glided to the airport on the Arlanda Airport 20-minute shuttle, I thought about how advanced the Scandinavians are. They have figured out transportation so that it’s precise and easy. Each bus stop shows a clock that ticks down to the second when the bus will show up. The driver easily handles your credit card to pay for the tickets, none of what we get in the US, ‘no bills, change only, or get off.’

They just make it easy and that makes people enthusiastic about using public transportation. Many of the buses here in Malmo run on compressed natural gas, and they’re colored appropriately green. In Stockholm there were these plus electric buses.

I am still amazed at the story I heard about how all of the houses hot water pipes are connected to the central city furnaces. That means there are not thousands of burners cranking out energy, but just a few big ones for all to use, and the pipes that go back to the plant underneath the sidewalks eliminate snow shoveling. I wonder if such a system has ever been done in the US? That seems to be so against our nature, we all have to have our own power plants, we don’t trust our government to be in charge of heating the water to make our houses warm. Do we?