Archive for 2004

Nov 27 2004

Icelandic Embassy in London Invaded


Saving Iceland, London, 26 November 2004

Eleven courageous British activists visited the Icelandic embassy to voice their outrage at the building of the Kárahnjúkar dams.

One activist persuaded the secretary to open the “security” door, and while 4 others charged in, another locked herself by the neck to the main door with a D-lock. Three of the four inside the embassy were almost immediately arrested, and the fire brigade used bolt croppers to release the woman on the front door (she too was arrested). Police and staff thought they had cleared the building of intruders, until post-it notes started to appear on a window spelling out ‘NO DAM’. Investigating, they found that an activist had locked and barricaded himself inside an office. The fire brigade were asked to break in, at which point the activist came out willingly and was arrested, as were the others, for “trespassing on diplomatic premises”. The 5 were held overnight. Read More

Sep 23 2004
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Self-Sustaining Destruction!


ultimatethe ultimate fraud 

Facts of interest circulated by members of NatureWatch to participants at the meeting of The International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy in Reykjavik 23rd September 2004

The Government of Iceland is presently damming muddy glacial rivers and building the gigantic power plant Kárahnjúkar (690 MW). The enormous main reservoir of 57 km2 will destroy an area of pristine wilderness and beauty. For months each summer, when the water-level is low, it will leave a huge area covered with a thick layer of powdery dust that will spread over a vast area. The dam will be filled with sediment in approximately 50-100 years, leaving irreversibly damaged land. Such dams are not eco-friendly. Read More

Sep 08 2004

Australian Greens Challenge ALCOA


7th September 2004

Senator Bob Brown will bring his Franklin River experience to help stop a huge dam being built in eastern Iceland.

Announcing in Sydney today Greens backing for the global campaign to stop the Iceland Energy Authority’s huge Karahnjukar Dam and the Alcoa smelter it will feed, Senator Brown said the scenario is very similar to Tasmania’s Franklin River experience.

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Sep 08 2004

Australian Greens join Iceland’s dam-busters


7 September 2004

Alcoa challenged to back Kyoto ratification.

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Aug 06 2004

“A Handful of Men Imposing their Destructive Dream on a Nation which Seems Half-Asleep”


Robert Jackson

So writes the poet and protester Elísabet Jökulsdóttir, and sitting in the board room of Landsvirkjun at a table long enough to hold a state banquet, it is hard to disagree with who is responsible for Kárahnjúkar. The walls of the ‘president’s floor’ have portraits of the men who in former times have managed the national power company. Read More

Aug 04 2004

Kárahnjúkar – Some Facts About the Project


Robert Jackson

It is now two years since the government gave the approvals that made way for the creation of a huge hydroelectric scheme in the Central Highlands at Kárahnjúkar. This paved the way for a subsequent deal with Alcoa for the building of an aluminium smelter in the coastal town of Reyðarfjörður.

WHAT DOES THE SCHEME INVOLVE?

The Kárahnjúkar project will consist of nine dams, three reservoirs, seven channels and sixteen tunnels. It will divert two large rivers, the Jökulsá á brú and Jökulsá í Fljótsdal, and several smaller rivers to the north of the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. The main dam will be highest rockfill dam in Europe, 190 metres high, 800 metres long and 600 metres wide at its base. This main dam will create a huge reservoir, to be called Hálslón, which will flood a wilderness area of 57 sq. km. 70 km of tunnels will carry water to an underground powerhouse, which will have a 690 megawatts capacity. Read More

Jul 21 2004
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The Bad Neighbor – Alcoa’s Dirty Dealing in Central Texas by Esther Cervantes


0704cover“…some Alcoa Rockdale employees… were offered a choice between early retirement or transfer to Iceland.” So much for job creation for the people of Eastern Iceland!

Dollars and Sence
The Magazine for Economic Justice

Issue #254, July/August 2004

Earlier this year, the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) broke ground on the $83 million Three Oaks lignite mine outside Austin. The mine will provide coal to Alcoa’s massive facility near the town of Rockdale: an aluminum smelter plus the three power plants that fire it. In addition to the lignite, Alcoa intends to remove groundwater from the new mine (as well as from its existing mine at Sandow, near Rockdale) and ship it to the city of San Antonio, more than 100 miles away. In a company report celebrating the Rockdale smelter’s first 50 years, manager Geoff Cromer thanks the facility’s neighbors for “the strong support we have received from the community”—but that’s less than half the story. The “several hundred people” who “took time from their jobs” to attend numerous public hearings and “provide comment in support of Alcoa and this project” were far outnumbered by those who struggled against it for four years. Read More

Apr 28 2004

The Spin Doctor Is In: Examining Corporate PR at Bechtel by A.C. Thompson


CorpWatch
April 28, 2004

In the face of criticism over its controversial construction projects (including the illegal ALCOA smelter in Reydarfjordur), Bechtel has taken media manipulation to the next level, employing a three-pronged approach to weaving a rosy story for the public and investors.

bechtelcartoon 

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Mar 27 2004

The Icelandic Rift Industry Versus Natural Splendor in a “Progressive” Nation by Jon Swan


Dimmugljúfur - Dark Canyon at Kárahnjúkar

Orion Magazine
March / April 2004

An important article which provides useful historical background.

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Mar 21 2004
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Umbrella Protest in Tate Modern, London


This historic action marks the beginning of Saving Iceland.

DON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ICELAND!

marin 

This was the message demonstrators at Tate Modern wanted to get across as Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s hugely successful ‘Weather Project’ exhibition – featuring a giant sun – came to an end.

The 25 demonstrators staged an “umbrella protest” against the ALCOA dam currently under construction in the Icelandic highlands which will see vast swathes of Europe’s last remaining wilderness flooded in 2006.

Interviewed in the Guardian newspaper on the 27/12/03 Olafur Eliasson himself stated that his “greatest fear is that US aluminium giant ALCOA is destroying the Icelandic highlands with the support of our government.”

The Icelandic government recently announced further plans for similar projects which, protesters say, will spoil much of Iceland’s world-famous pristine nature.

“The government want to turn Iceland into a heavy industry hell,” said one protester, Icelandic environmentalist Olafur Pall Sigurdsson. “These mega projects benefit nobody except the multinational companies who instigate and build them. “

“This programme of building big dams in Iceland will drag us back into the 20th century when the rest of 21st century Europe and the US is busy dismantling environmentally unfriendly dams,” Sigurdsson went on. Read More