Drought boosted environmental groups

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As Norwegians sweltered through their hottest summer on record, many of them seem to have been inspired to join climate- and environmental advocacy groups. The country’s drought also clearly alarmed many, with membership numbers also rising at the Norwegian Greens Party (MDG).

“It’s easy to think that our quite high membership growth during the summer is connected to what an extreme summer it was,” Hans Joar Høiby-Hansen, membership secretary at MDG, told newspaper Dagsavisen. The Socialist Left party, which also champions the environment and wants to curb oil production, reported “an unusually good summer” as well.

The environmental group Fremtiden i våre hender (The Future in Our Hands) registered a total of 3,560 new members between early June and early August, up 60 percent from the number of new members last summer. Another 413 new members signed up by the end of August.

Among them was 30-year-old Nicolay Hvidsten. “It was a wake-up call when it was so hot,” he told . “I have read about the climate and a warmer earth, but when I felt it myself, if became more important to do something.”

Norway’s chapter of Friends of the Earth (Naturvernforbund) reported a 10 percent increase in new members this summer, even with no telephone solicitation or other active recruitment effots.

newsinenglish.no staff