Archive for July, 2009

Jul 30 2009

A Number of Small Actions in Reykjavík


During the last days, a number of small actions have taken place in Reykavík; banner drop in the center of Reykjavík, graffiti and stinky liquid at Jarðboranir and a nighttime shut-down of Útlendingastofnun.

This morning, July 30th, a huge banner was dropped in the center of Reykjavík, bringing attention to the connection and co-operation between the aluminium industry and the weapon industry. The banner said: “30% of all aluminium goes to the weapon industry – Stop the aluminium industry!” From the beginning of our campaign we have not only focused on the destructive environmental impact of aluminium production and big dams, but also the social and humane impacts. Alcoa in Iceland has steadily refused the connection, but with only a little look at the website of n.b. Alcoa Defense, one sees with own eyes that Alcoa does not only produce aluminium for weapon manufacturing, but proudly takes a huge part in the design of military equipment of all types. Read More

Jul 29 2009

Why Does Saving Iceland Not Discuss With the Minister of Industry?


Shortly after the news about how Saving Iceland closed the offices of institutions and companies involved in the heavy industrialization of Iceland, Katrín Júlíusdóttir, the Minister of Industry said that she had not been able to study the message of Saving Iceland. She said that she had not received a written report from the group and not decided to contact it, but said that she takes a look at all factual comments that she receives. (1)

This is a typical answer for a politician or a corporation’s worker when his/her job is criticized. It is impossible to keep track of how many times Saving Iceland has been offered to sit down and chat with the spokespersons of companies like Landsvirkjun (Iceland’s national energy company) and political parties’ representatives. The purpose with these invitations to meetings is of course only to create a positive image of the corporation or the institution and give the idea that conversation and information are necessary parts of the business. When Saving Iceland has refused these offers, the movement has been stamped as non-factual and with a lack of knowledge, e.g. last summer when Landsvirkjun’s director, Friðrik Sophusson said the Saving Iceland was only asking for attention by acting like clowns. (2)

Katrín Júlíusdóttir knows just as well as Friðrik Sophusson what Saving Iceland’s message and aims are, and thus does not have to ask herself why the group did not wish to meet up with her. Environmentalists in Iceland – including Saving Iceland – have for years explained their resistance towards the heavy industrialization of Iceland with powerful information campaigns, publishing magazines and pamphlets, keeping up websites etc. etc. Most of Saving Iceland’s actions have been followed up with comprehensive press releases, including inconvenient facts about the companies that have to do with the heavy industrialization and information about the serious effects of aluminium production. These press releases have e.g. lead to the fact that the media coverage about the issue has widened. An example of that is the media coverage on the effects of bauxite mining and the aluminium companies’ connection and co-operation with arms producers and war institutions. (3) Read More

Jul 28 2009

Saving Iceland Closes Nature Killer’s Offices


Last night Saving Iceland closed the offices of companies and institutions that are heavily responsible for extreme destruction of nature. Super-glue was put in to the locks and signs put up saying: “Closed because of destruction of nature!” Locksmiths had to be called to open the doors when workers showed up in the morning.

The companies and institutions that were targeted have all shown their determined criminal will against Icelandic nature and don’t stop at anything in their search for an easy financial growth and favourable contracts, even with companies who have scandalous history. These companies should have been closed long time ago to prevent more destruction to take place. Read More

Jul 21 2009

Join us at Vedanta Sterlite AGM, 27th July, London


Dongia Khond

Please join us and show your solidarity for the Dongria Khond tribe of Orissa, India, whose ancient way of life, and biodiverse and beautiful mountain home is threatened by Bauxite mining and Aluminium refineries: On Monday 27th July at 2pm,  outside and inside the  Annual General Meeting of VEDANTA RESOURCES PLC, Lincoln Centre, 18, Lincoln Inn’s Fields, LONDON WC2. This is an important opportunity to influence shareholders who have a chance in stopping the imminent decision to start bulldozing this comunity. Please come show solidarity and support to the tribal people who have fought Vedanta for over 20 years, and lost many brothers and sisters to company and government violence in the process. Their way of life has existed in harmony with the mountains for hundreds of years. Vedanta want the whole mountain top, and hence the fertility of the whole mountain area for 25 years worth of quick profit. Help us protect this mountain and its incredible community.  See the leaflet below for more info:

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Jul 08 2009

Impregilo Gets Permission to Bury 800 Tons of Rubber


The Italian construction company Impregilo plans to bury machinery, which was used to get stones and gravel up from the inflowing tunnel of the Kárahnjúkar Dam. The conveyer belt, which is about half meter wide, has been rolled in to 200 roles that each weights four tons. In total 800 tons of rubber – about fifty truckloads – will be dug in to the ground in Tjarnalands, Fljótsdalshérað.

After receiving an advice concerning the landfill, the Environment Administration Umhverfisstofnun) decided to stop it for a limited time, while it was researched if this amount of rubber could be buried. The conclusion was that Impregilo is allowed to bury the machinery. Read More

Jul 08 2009

Landsvirkjun’s Credit Rating in the ‘Trash’ – The Company Owes 250 Million Dollars


The company Standards and Poors, which evaluates company’s credit rating, has lowered Landsvirkjun (Iceland’s national energy company) down to a category usually known as “the Trash”, due to Landsvirkjun’s constantly worsening financial situation. This means e.g. that the company will face serious problems when trying to get loans for new and upcoming projects. In announcement from Landsvirkjun, Stefán Pétursson, the company’s financial director, says that the lowered position will not have any impacts on the company’s already existing loans.

This is for the first time when Landsvirkjun’s credit rate is lower then the Icelandic state’s rate. According to Bloomberg, Landsvirkjun has to pay 250 million dollars (32 billion ISK) this year and the next one, as payments of loans and bonds, as well as paying interests.

The 19th of June this year, Landsvirkjun and the Icelandic state signed a contract, which states that if Landsvirkjun is in a lack of finance to pay their costs because of loans, the Central Bank will give the company money in exchange of Icelandic Krónur or bonds. The contract is valid for two years and with it, Landsvirkjun has access to 300 million dollars.

Jul 08 2009

Not Enough Energy for Helguvík


On Tuesday June 16th, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Iceland’s new minister of environment, said in parliament that the needed 625 MW of energy needed for Century’s (Norðurál) aluminium smelter in Helguvík, does not exist.

“I could hold long speeches about it, that 625 MW for 365 thousand ton aluminium smelter, does not exist in this area. At the same time we are trying to discuss with people who knock on our doors, people who want green jobs and green build-up and we cannot promise them energy because the energy is mostly narrowed to aluminium production. Unfortunately. It is very serious case”, said Svandís. Read More