“The industrial world takes it for granted; our most powerful manmade resource can be created completely by renewable resources and the titans don’t care. The glory is in new money, selling the iPhone 18 or a reversible tablet, not old school power. Now break that down into reality... none of that technology runs, the world does not run, without power. Electricity is the ultimate fuel, even oil is a means of producing it, albeit an inefficient one.”
Jim Dunsmuir, a successful American entrepreneur, swirled his Canadian whiskey over the ice in his glass while he replayed his speech in his mind. He was oblivious to the slivers of colourful light glinting across his desk from the warm evening sun as it filtered through the deep etching in the crystal of his tumbler. His calico eyes glowed as he recalled the skeptical, yet intrigued, facial expressions of the world’s most influential leaders, who had been sitting in a semicircle round him in the small amphitheatre at the G8 summit meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia less than a week ago. Although he had been extremely successful in the real estate market, before the housing crash, and then in the oil industry after that, Jim Dunsmuir had gotten his start in the financial industry. The Wall Street Journal heralded him as an “investment savant” thanks to his unrelenting and consistent success as an investor.
Jim took a sip of the smooth amber liquid and shifted his gaze out the window. He watched the descending sun burn the horizon, in torrid mix of bright yellows, oranges and purple. The flaming ball was doing all it could to leave its mark before being enveloped by the night. Even after five years, the sight of the setting sun in the evenings and the brilliance of the aurora borealis late at night dancing over the Blue Lagoon reminded Jim that setting up shop in Iceland was the best decision of his life. The potential fallout of the speech he was reflecting on had the potential to destroy his reputation, shatter his board’s trust in him, and scare his stockholders into selling their shares in his company. Jim was a risk-taker and when he believed in what he was doing, he was unstoppable. Due to political unrest during a recent trip to meet with Georgian investors in Tbilisi, Jim had narrowly escaped with his life. He owed thanks to the well-built Range Rover and his quick-thinking security team for getting him away unscathed.
Since then he had dealt with the embarrassing incident in Las Vegas, the threatening note prior to his speech in Riyadh followed by the Molotov cocktail attack after it, and then the worst threat of all to the life of his business partner and girlfriend. These series of personal attacks had made Jim realize that he needed to start taking more precautions in life. He also felt that he must really be on to something that made someone so desperately want to put a stop to his plans.
Jim gave a low chuckle and let himself sag back into the comfort of the easy chair in his office. As he was settling in he drew the glass to his lips again. While there were days when the sheer scale and enormity of the project he was about to undertake was sometimes difficult to even comprehend, Jim would compare himself to the pioneering railroad men of the American West. When he considered what these men went through to build a rail line across an uncharted, lawless country with the primitive technology they had, he felt ashamed for his selfish thoughts. Instead of tunneling through mountains like the railroad men did above the earth’s surface, Jim was going to overcome the rock within the earth. He and his team had worked exceptionally hard to maintain maximum secrecy on this project to prevent governments and industrial competitors alike from stealing the technology or sabotaging his work.