Earthquake shakes southern Sweden

Several papers reported that an earthquake centred in Lithuania early on Tuesday morning was felt in many parts of southern Sweden.

Reynir Bödvarsson at the Institute of Seismology in Uppsala told Svenska Dagbladet that the tremor touched 5.0 on the Richter scale.

“It was the biggest earthquake in this area in a hundred years,” he said. “You’ve got to go back to a tremour in the Oslo fjord in 1904 to find something comparable.”

The effects were worst in the area south of Kaliningrad in Lithuania where the quake originated. The “shock wave” worked its way across the entire coastline of Latvia and Poland with an unexpected force.

Göteborgsposten got onto its sources Kaliningrad and reported that “high rise buildings had started to shake” and that “some buildings had been mildly damaged in the area”. Apparently nobody was injured in the incident and no buildings on Swedish soil were damaged.

Despite this, the effects of the quake scared quite a number of people – including Landskrona’s councillors. The entire town hall was evacuated when the first tremors were noticed around 2pm on Tuesday.

One major issue in connection with the quake, according to Swedish papers, was the effects and possible damage it may have had on nuclear power plants in the Baltic region. But Anders Jörle, at the Swedish Nuclear Inspection Authority, reassured a concerned Göteborgs Posten.

“If there had been any cause of concern or any reason to worry we would know”, he said.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Göteborgs Posten


Sweden Democrat slammed for denying climate crisis in parliament

The new Sweden Democrat MP Elsa Widding has been attacked as "shameful" and "deplorable", for denying the climate crisis in her maiden speech in the country's parliament.

Sweden Democrat slammed for denying climate crisis in parliament

In her speech, Widding, a civil engineer educated at Chalmers University of Technology, said that a warming planet would have advantages as well as disadvantages, and that there was no clear scientific backing for the climate crisis. 

“I believe that there is a lack of scientific evidence for saying that we find ourselves in a climate crisis,” she said. “The last time that was the case was in the 1960s when summers either stopped or became so short that we couldn’t produce a harvest.” 

She claimed that every piece of action Sweden is taking to combat climate change is simply “gesture politics”, and that even if Sweden cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero, it would only shave 0.0027˚C from global temperatures. She called for an end to the “religion” of climate policy and campaigning. 

Markus Selin, an MP for the Social Democrats called Widding’s statement “deplorable” and said he was “ashamed” to hear it. 

“Just 24 hours ago we stood and listened to Ulf Kristersson here in the parliament’s chamber talk far and wide about climate efforts and the Paris Agreement, and now we are hear 24 hours later listening to the biggest party backing his government chirping up and saying we should drop all the work to get our planet out of the dirt.” 

Annie Lööf, leader of the Centre Party, called Widding’s statement “embarrassing”. 

“That the Sweden Democrats are climate change deniers is nothing new,” she said, saying that it was the Moderates, Christian Democrats, and Liberals who were really to blame for giving the party real political power. 

“Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals – how could you let the party of climate deniers get all the way into the government offices?”