Archive for April, 2011

Apr 20 2011
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The Government Stands or Falls with the Þjórsá River Conflict


Iceland’s government’s majority in parliament stands and falls with one particular parliament member from the Left Green party (VG), Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir, who is strongly opposed to the planned triple damming of Lower Þjórsá river. This became clear last week, on April 13th, when a motion of no confidence, proposed by the right wing conservative party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), was discussed in parliament. Read More

Apr 14 2011
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Alcoa in Greenland: Empty Promises?


By Miriam Rose

After many years of preparations the Greenlandic government say the final decision on Alcoa’s proposed smelter will be taken at the spring 2012 of the parliament. It is more likely, as the global history of the industry and the evidence in Greenland tells us, that the decision has in fact already been made undemocratically behind closed doors, despite the decreasing support of the Greenlandic people. In fact Alcoa and the Greenland government are so keen on passing the project that they have just hired an eighth employee at their national company Greenland Development- formed to enable the industry to go ahead. Juaaka Lyberth’s explicit remit is to influence public opinion on the smelter through the media. Greenland Development paints a rosy picture of an aluminium future for Greenland, but will their promises of prosperity come true? A comparison to Alcoa’s Fjardaal project in East Iceland suggests that many will not. Read More

Apr 12 2011

Press Release on Red Mud Pollution by Vedanta PLC


South Asia Solidarity Group, London / Simon Chambers

On 5 April, in a similar but much smaller scale repeat of the Hungarian red mud pond disaster last year, the wall of the red mud pond at Lanjigarh collapsed, resulting in caustic toxins to flow into the Vansadhara river.  This was after several warnings from the Orissa State pollution control board (which were ignored by Vedanta) that the wall to the RMP was badly built.  See below for a link to a very good video made by locals. Read More

Apr 12 2011

People Can’t be Made to Bathe in Red Mud


Felix Padel/ Samarendra Das

First Published : 20 Oct 2010 on Expressbuzz.com

When news spread that the red mud pond in a Hungarian alumina refinery had broken open on October 3 [2010], spilling toxic sludge over a huge area, killing people and livestock, this confirmed our worst fears regarding new refineries going up in Orissa [India] and neighbouring states. For Hungarians a nightmare scenario has begun, as their country faces to its worst-ever environmental disaster. Apart from villagers killed or maimed by the toxic sludge, many farmers face economic ruin, as their fields are contaminated beyond repair. How much worse would a similar disaster be in India, where the population density of farmers is much higher? Read More

Apr 04 2011
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Ten Billionaires Seeking to Buy Icelandic Citizenship to Ease their Access to Cheap Energy


Recently it was revealed that ten billionaires from Canada and the US are seeking Icelandic citizenship to ease their access to invest in geothermal and hydro energy in Iceland. These two news articles were published on the Reykjavík Grapevine website (1 and 2).

Wealthy Individuals Seeking To Buy Icelandic Citizenship

Ten people promising to invest millions in Iceland’s renewable energy field have applied for citizenship directly with parliament. The reaction from within parliament has been one of both bewilderment and suspicion.

The ten individuals are apparently from outside the Schengen area. By Icelandic law, this would normally mean they would need to live here, work, not leave the country for more than six months at a time and remain a resident of Iceland for seven years before they could even qualify for citizenship. However, Iceland has made exceptions in the past for those applying directly to parliament – most notably with certain athletes and chess player Bobby Fischer. Read More