'Amazon' Tag Archive

Nov 17 2009
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Development of Iceland’s Geothermal Energy Potential for Aluminium Production – A Critical Analysis


By Jaap Krater and Miriam Rose
In: Abrahamsky, K. (ed.) (2010) Sparking a World-wide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World. AK Press, Edinburgh. p. 319-333

Iceland is developing its hydro and geothermal resources in the context of an energy master plan, mainly to provide power for expansion of the aluminium industry. This paper tests perceptions of geothermal energy as low-carbon, renewable and environmentally benign, using Icelandic geothermal industry as a case study.
The application of geothermal energy for aluminium smelting is discussed as well as environmental and human rights record of the aluminium industry in general. Despite application of renewable energy technologies, emission of greenhouse gases by aluminium production is set to increase.
Our analysis further shows that carbon emissions of geothermal installations can approximate those of gas-powered plants. In intensely exploited reservoirs, life of boreholes is limited and reservoirs need extensive recovery time after exploitation, making geothermal exploitation at these sites not renewable in the short to medium term. Pollution and landscape impacts are extensive when geothermal technology is applied on a large scale.

Krater and Rose – Development of Iceland’s Geothermal Energy – Download as PDF
The full publication will be available from Jan. 15, 2010. ISBN 9781849350051.

Sep 20 2009

Plundering the Amazon


Alcoa and Cargill have bypassed laws designed to prevent destruction of the world’s largest rain forest, Brazilian prosecutors say. The damage wrought by scores of companies is robbing the earth of its best shield against global warming.

By Michael Smith and Adriana Brasileiro
Bloomberg Markets, September 2009

For four decades, Edimar Bentes and his family have survived by farming tiny clearings in the jungle near their dirt-floor shack in the state of Para in the Brazilian Amazon. On this April afternoon, Bentes, 56, squats in the driving rain and dips a glass into what just four years ago was a crystal-clear stream that provided drinking and bathing water. He frowns as the glass fills with brown silt. A thin man with short-cropped dark hair and a tanned, deeply wrinkled forehead, Bentes gazes around his land. There are no signs of the deer, armadillos and pacas he used to hunt to feed his wife and 10 children. For Bentes and thousands of others in the Juruti region of Para whose livelihood depends on wildlife and plants, everything changed in 2006.

That’s when New York-based Alcoa Inc., the world’s second-largest primary aluminum producer, started to bulldoze a 56-kilometer (35-mile) swath of the rain forest across hundreds of families’ properties to build a railway. This cleared corridor, 100 meters (109 yards) wide, will lead to a mine that will chew up 10,500 hectares (25,900 acres) of virgin jungle over three decades. More than half of the mine will lie inside a forest that by Brazilian federal law is supposed to be preserved unharmed forever for local residents. By year’s end, Alcoa says, the railway will transport 7,000 tons a day of bauxite, the dark red ore that’s used to make aluminum, from the mine to a port on the Amazon River. Read More

Mar 22 2008

Successful International Day of Action for Rivers


At least 70 actions took place in over 30 countries to celebrate the importance of protecting our rivers. Many groups opted to demonstrate and protest. In Brazil, MAB organized more than nine events. MAB’s occupation of the worksite at Estreito Dam on the Tocantins River lasted nine days until demonstrators at the Estreito Dam were finally offered an agreement which maintains that organs under the Brazilian presidency will convene meetings to discuss the ongoing social and environmental concerns that the dam project presents. A rail line in Minas Gerais was blocked by the women of Via Campesina (of which MAB is part), in support of families seeking compensation from the company for their being displaced for Aimor’s Dam. Read More

Dec 25 2007
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‘The Age of Aluminum’ by Mimi Sheller


Atilla Lerato Sheller
Activists Attilah Springer (left) and Lerato Maria
Maregele (center). SI conference July ’07.

Mimi Sheller is a visiting associate professor in the sociology and anthropology department at Swarthmore College. She attended the Saving Iceland conference in 2007.

I grew up in an aluminum-sided suburban house. I carried a colorful aluminum lunchbox to school, with a sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil. Like everyone I know, I drink from aluminum cans, travel in cars, planes, and bikes full of aluminum parts, and cook in aluminum pots and pans. This versatile, ubiquitous material is all around us, all the time, but seems almost invisible because it has become, literally, part of the furniture (even the kitchen sink). The surprising story of this mercurial metallic fabric of everyday life – in our homes, skyscrapers, cars, airplanes, utensils, fasteners, cosmetics, space ships, and bombs – encapsulates the making of global modernity, the creation of multinational corporations, the rise of the U.S. as a world power, the modernization of warfare, and the invention of suburbia, science-fiction futurism, and the American Dream.
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Oct 28 2007

Links for Brazilian Resistance Against ALCOA


Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens – Brasil or Movement of Dam Affected People – Brasil

Sep 14 2007
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Global Actions Against Heavy Industry!


Trinidad protestOn the 12th of September 2007, the Global Day of Action Against Heavy Industry, people in South Africa, Iceland, Trinidad, Denmark, New York, Holland and the UK protested against the heavy industrialisation of our planet. This marked the first coordinated event of a new and growing global movement that began at the 2007 Saving Iceland protest camp in Ölfus, Iceland. The common target of these protests against heavy industry was the aluminium industry, in particular the corporations Alcan/Rio-Tinto and Alcoa. Read More

Sep 07 2007

‘Glacial Rivers Reduce Pollution on Earth’ by Gudmundur Páll Ólafsson


Glacial rivers are not only the lifeblood of Iceland, but also of the whole planet.

River water contains sediment in suspension and various substances in solution; glacial rivers, especially, carry a large amount of sediment which increases as the atmosphere grows warmer.

River of Life

Rivers of Life

Glacial rivers carry the sediment out to sea, where it takes on a new and important role in binding the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) with calcium (Ca) and converting it into calcite and other carbonate minerals, immensely important in the ocean ecosystems of the world. Thus glacial rivers reduce pollution on Earth. This effect is greatest in recently formed volcanic territory such as Iceland, and the binding effect increases with rising atmospheric temperature.

Glacial rivers bind this gas which, along with some other gases, causes global warming and threatens the future of life of Earth.

When a glacial river is harnessed to generate electricity, this important function, and the binding of the greenhouse gas CO2, is diminished. What they generate is not GREEN ENERGY, as the advocates of hydro-power plants and heavy industry maintain, but BLACK ENERGY.

Dams and reservoirs hinder the function of glacial sediment in the oceans, and hence hydro-electric power plants that harness glacial rivers are far more harmful than has hitherto been believed. Read More

Sep 03 2007

Defending the Wild in the Land of Fire and Ice – Saving Iceland Takes Action


Jaap Krater
Earth First Journal
3 August, 2007

Summer of Resistance in Iceland – an overview

This year, Iceland saw its third Summer of direct action against heavy industry and large dams. In a much-disputed master plan, all the glacial rivers and geothermal potential of Europe’s largest wilderness would be harnessed for aluminum production (see EF!J May-June 2006). Activists from around the world have gathered to protect Europe’s largest remaining wilderness and oppose aluminum corporations.
Read More

Aug 21 2007
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International Day of Action Against Heavy Industry and Large Dams – 12th Sept


The 12th of September has been called as a day of international action against heavy industry.

In the 2007 Saving Iceland protest camp, people from five continents explored the similarities between their fights against common enemies, in particular the aluminium industry, and were empowered by the enormous strength of the global movement they were creating. From there, this global day of action was decided upon.

We call on activists from all over the world to join in with creating a locally based yet global movement for planet and people that kicks heavy industrial corporate greed off this earth! Read More

Aug 18 2007
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Hydropower Disaster for Global Warming by Jaap Krater, Trouw daily


Trouw (daily), Netherlands, 21 January 2007

Large dams have dramatic consequences. Ecosystems are destroyed and numerous people are made homeless, often without adequate resettlement. But it is yet little known that large-scale hydro-electricity is a major contributor to global warming. The reservoirs could, despite their clean image, be even more devastating for our climate than fossil fuel plants.

 

narmada mapA few years ago, I spent a month in the valley of the Narmada River, to support tribal activists who have been resisting the Sardar Sarovar dam in central India for decades. These indigenous inhabitants, or adivasis, are desperate. In their struggle, inspired by Gandhi, they attempt to drown themselves when their villages are flooded. Death seems preferable to being forced to move from their valley to tin houses on infertile, barren soil. If they’re lucky, they can live on land that nobody else wants, the only available in the densely populated India. This forced resettlement, made necessary by ´progress´, is not unsimilar to what befell American Indians or the Aborigines in Australia. The consequences of mega hydro: cultures die and alcoholism, depression and violence remains. Read More