Archive for 2009

Jan 19 2009

Blockade Stops Vedanta from Entering Tribe’s Land in Orissa


Dongria Kondh On January 6th, more than 50 protesters stopped Vedanta, a British mining company from entering the land of the Dongria Kondh and other Kondh tribes in the state of Orissa in India. Vedanta plans to mine bauxite in the Dongria Kondh’s sacred mountains, destroying the forests – the tribe’s livelihood.

Survival International says:

Last night’s action follows high level meetings at the weekend between Vedanta’s billionaire chairman Anil Agarwal and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who backs the mine. After the meeting, Agarwal told journalists that mining would start ‘within a month or two’. Read More

Jan 15 2009

Arne Næss dies at age 96


Arne Næss IHT – Arne Næss, a Norwegian philosopher whose ideas about promoting an intimate and all-embracing relationship between the earth and the human species inspired environmentalists and Green political activists around the world, died Monday. He was 96. His editor, Erling Kagge, confirmed his death to Agence France-Presse.

In the early 1970s, after three decades teaching philosophy at the University of Oslo, Næss (pronounced Ness), an enthusiastic mountain climber and an admirer of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” threw himself into environmental work and developed a theory that he called deep ecology. Its central tenet is the belief that all living beings have their own value and therefore, as Naess once put it, “need protection against the destruction of billions of humans.” Read More

Jan 13 2009

Eight Power Plants Needed for Helguvík Smelter


The directors of Reykjavík Energy (OR) and Hitaveita Suðurnesja (HS) have both said that the companies are not able to supply all the necessary energy that Century Aluminium needs fo it’s planned aluminium smelter in Helguvík, in the next 7 years, even though 6 new power plants would be built. At least 200 MW would be needed, which is the amount of energy that could be produced by building power plants in Bitra (geothermal field) and in Urriðafoss waterfall (in Þjórsá river).

Össur Skarphéðinsson, minister of industry has on behalf of the Icelandic government, given Norðurál (Century Aluminium) the permission to build up to 360 thousand ton aluminium smelter in Helguvík, which would produce double the amount Rio Tinto Alcan’s smelter in Hafnarfjörður produces. But where does all the necessary energy – 625 MW – come from?

Read More

Jan 13 2009

Alcoa Loses 929 Million US Dollars


Alcoa recently reported its fourth quarter 2008 results which e.g. stated that the company lost 929 million US dollars during this period. Aluminium’s global price sank 35% during the fourth quarter and 56% since only July 2008. The demand for aluminium has dropped heavily.

“We are taking wide-ranging measures to address the economic downturn,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO of Alcoa. “We have streamlined our portfolio to focus on businesses where Alcoa is the recognized leader, curtailed production to adjust to weakened demand, reduced global headcount, and achieved significant savings in key raw materials.”

According to Aloca’s press release aluminium production will be cut down by 750 thousand tons per year, which is c.a. 18% of the global production. 13,500 workers will lose their jobs (13% of the company’s workforce), salary will be frozen and no new employees will be hired for a limited time. Four company’s owned by Alcoa, that do not work inside aluminium production will be sold and investment costs will be lowered. The press release also states that Alcoa will use new ways to get raw materials.

Alcoa’s directors in Iceland say that these measures will not affect the production and work here in Iceland.

Jan 08 2009

Party Political Live TV Show to be Sponsored by Rio Tinto-Alcan Stormed by Angry Protestors


Police Peppersprays Protesters From Aftaka.org – On December 31st, we witnessed a unique action here in Iceland. Obviously it was not the all time climax in the history of Icelandic resistance compared e.g. to the 1949 riot, when Iceland joined NATO and people put up heavy resistance in Reykjavík. But first and all, it was a symbol for the waking up which is taking place in the Icelandic society – society that before was completely apathetic. And the action worked out perfectly in that we managed to do what we wanted, to disrupt and stop the TV transmission.

Hundreds of people had gathered by the government’s office, where flares were lit and people marched to Austurvöllur, the square in front of the parliament. The group then gathered by a statue of Jón Sigurðsson, Iceland’s so called independence hero. In few minutes a live TV program called Kryddsílsd, would take place. The program is an annual show where the ministers of the government and the heads of the political parties come together to drink themselves tipsy and talk about the political year that is about to end. Read More