'Ecology' Tag Archive

Apr 07 2007
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Volcano Park to Open in Iceland?


Gunnuhver

Iceland Review
04/07/2007

Geologists suggested on March 24 that a volcano park should be established on Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland, which has the potential to become a major tourist attraction.

According to geologist Ásta Thorleifsdóttir, a volcano park on Reykjanes could be larger and have more variety than a similar volcano park in Hawaii, which attracts 3.3 million tourists every year, making USD billions in profits.

“We have much better access on Reykjanes. […] We have the international airport beside it and all these villages that can offer accommodation, entertainment, information, guidance, scientific knowledge and everything else that comes with it,” Thorleifsdóttir told RÚV.

Thorleifsdóttir has researched the volcano park in Hawaii, which is the largest of its kind and is considered the most noteworthy volcano park in the world.

Thorleifsdóttir said the geology of Reykjanes peninsula is unique. There is a lot of volcanic activity with numerous shield volcanoes, volcanic fissures, craters and hot springs.

“There are few places on earth like it. Only us who live close by don’t realize that if we want to show foreign tourists something unique we don’t have to go further than to Kleifarvatn and Krísuvík,” Thorleifsdóttir said.

Brennisteinsfjoll

Mar 30 2007

Countdown to the Hafnarfjordur Referendum…


Iceland’s path as either a wild green masterpiece or a mid-Atlantic industrially polluted backwater is to reach a significant junction tomorow, Saturday the 31st of March. Residents of Hafnarfjordur, SW of Reykjavik, will vote on whether they want their Alcan (Canadian Aluminium) smelter expanded into by far the biggest aluminium smelter seen in Iceland to date.

The smelter, which lies in the vicinity of Hafnarfjordur, in Straumsvik, currently has a capacity of being able to produce 180,000 metric tonnes of aluminium per year (mtpy.) Alcan wishes to turn this into an unbelievably massive 460,000 mtpy smelter.

Iceland’s current largest smelter asside from this, being built in Reydarfjordur, can produce a gigantic 322,000 mtpy of aluminium and is to be powered by damming the Central-Eastern of Icelands: the infamous Karahnjukar project.

If the smelter in Hafnarfjordur is to be enlarged then we will be facing the destruction of Iceland’s Central Southern Highlands – Langisjor, Kerlingarfjoll, Thjorsarver, the nether region of Thjorsa not to mention the geothermal fields in Reykjanes and so much more.

To anyone who has the opportunity to vote in this referendum, please vote to keep Iceland a wild and green masterpiece.

Mar 21 2007
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Environmentalists in Uproar as Iceland Pays the Price for ‘Green’ Energy Push


The Independent
21 March 2007
Richard Hollingham

Read More

Mar 17 2007

Alcoa and Brazil’s latest dam project – They’re doing it again!


Brazilian environmental activists are charging that Brazilian environmental authorities and an Alcoa lead consortium planning construction of Barra Grande dam conspired to commit fraud in the awarding of an environmental license for the project. Members of Brazil’s Movement of Dam-Affected People (MAB) and environmentalists blockaded the access road to a stand of virgin forest slated for clearing before the filling of the reservoir. In all, 6,000 hectares of primary forests, including araucaria pines, in one of the richest remaining expanses of the threatened Atlantic Coast rainforest, would be flooded by the dam on the Pelotas river in Southern Brazil. A 2,000 hectare stand of virgin araucaria forests was somehow “omitted” in the project’s environmental studies. Local groups have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to annul the license awarded to Barra Grande, to require the consortium to carry out new studies evaluating the possibility of operating the reservoir at a lower level to avoid drowning the araucaria forests, and if this is deemed impossible, to order the demolition of the dam structure. Heavily-armed riot police have reportedly been sent to the area to disperse protestors. The consortium building Barra Grande includes the Pittsburgh-based Alcoa aluminum company (which contains Kathy Fuller, President of WWF-USA as a Board Member), MAB leader Soli da Silva says the mobilization will continue indefinitely. “We cannot permit that fraud and a ‘done deal’ become the rule on environmental licensing for hydroelectric projects in our country.” Please support these brave environmentalists at http://forests.org/action/brazil/ .
Read More

Mar 13 2007

Alcan taking heat over proposed Iceland smelter


Canada News
Tuesday March 13 2007

Margaret Munro
CanWest News Service

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – The Earth’s inner heat is so close to the surface on this windswept island that tourists bask in outdoor thermal pools even as the snow flies in late winter.

The heat attracts multinational companies, too, including Canadian-based Alcan. But they’re getting an increasingly chilly reception from the locals as they try to expand their business operations to take advantage of the abundant stores of inexpensive energy here.

“We don’t want to be the town with the biggest aluminum plant in all of Europe,” says Throstur Sverrisson, a longtime resident of the seaside community of Hafnarfjordur, where Alcan has run up against serious opposition.

The company plans to more that double the size of its existing smelter just outside Hafnarfjordur, one of four huge and controversial aluminum smelter projects. But a growing coalition of Icelanders is trying to halt the smelters, saying the government is sacrificing the island’s pristine environment to foreign companies.

They’re gearing up to make the smelters a major issue in the national election in May. And they’re taking aim at Alcan in a referendum March 31. Read More

Feb 24 2007

Majority of Icelanders are Against the Expansion of the ALCAN Smelter and Favour More Environmental Protection


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According to a survey made by the newspaper Frettabladid over 63% of Icelanders are against the expansion of the ALCAN smelter in Hafnarfjördur. Under 36% support the expansion. The people of Hafnarfjördur will vote on the expansion in a referendum 31 March. ALCAN have gone into overdrive campaigning with threats, bribes and lies. The outcome may very well be indicative of how the nation will vote in the coming general election on 12 May. If the people of Hafnarfjördur vote against ALCAN it will likely be the first death blow to the heavy industry policy of the Icelandic power mafia.

According to a new Gallup Capacent poll, conducted for the Iceland Nature Conservation Association (INCA), 72.8% of Icelanders believe that political parties should place more focus on environmental protection.

When asked if political parties should give more attention to environmental protection, 37,2% answered that the parties should give a lot more attention to environmental protection, while 35,6% answered that the parties should give more attention to the topic.

22,6% Answered that they believed that environmental protection was receiving adequate attention, while 4,6% believed that environmental protection was receiving too much attention.

There was a noticeable difference in opinion between the sexes, with around 78% of women in favour of more environmental protection, with 67% of men answering the same way. Of 1350 people polled, 800 answered.

Feb 04 2007

Smokestacks in a White Wilderness Divide Iceland – New York Times


NY Times puts the spotlight on Kárahnjúkar
Alcoa is building an aluminum smelter in eastern Iceland, part of a project that is reshaping the wilderness. But a coalition of groups says Iceland is sacrificing its most precious asset — its pristine land — to foreign industry.

 

The New York Times

By SARAH LYALL

NORTH OF VATNAJOKULL GLACIER, Iceland — In the depths of winter there is almost nothing to see here but snow and rock: snow across the uneven, unearthly landscape, snow on the mist-shrouded mountains, snow stretching to what looks like the edge of the world.

But tucked into Iceland’s central highlands, where the Karahnjukar mountain meets two powerful rivers flowing north from Europe’s largest glacier, a nearly completed jigsaw of dams, tunnels and reservoirs has begun to reshape the wilderness.

This is the $3 billion Karahnjukar Hydropower Project, a sprawling enterprise to harness the rivers for electricity that will be used for a single purpose: to fuel a new aluminum smelter owned by Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum company. It has been the focus of the angriest and most divisive battle in recent Icelandic history. Read More

Jan 31 2007

Greenland to get Norsk Hydro smelter?


1/1/2007

Already beset by the devastating effects of a global warming caused by the heavy industrialisation of the planet, the glacial island of Greenland is now under an even more immediate industrial threat: this time by the aluminium industry. Norsk Hydro recently announced that it is considering plans to build a 300,000 tonne and 500 Megawatt primary aluminium smelter in Greenland, powered by the damming of a yet undisclosed part of the island. Read More

Jan 06 2007

2007 Saving Iceland Protest Camp and International Conference


A summer of International dissent and action against Heavy Industry – swarming around Iceland from the 6th of July 2007

2007 Protest Camp 

The Camp and Conference:

The camp will start 6 July. The conference on the Global Consequences of Heavy Industry takes place at the camp 7-8 July. Academics, activists and other people affected by the aluminium industry, dams and environmental destruction will come together to discuss their experiences and think about how to build up stronger local and global resistance.

Immediately following from this the protest camp will be set up. It will be a space in which creative and direct opposition to heavy industry can be mounted. There will be workshops, discussions and concerts (by emerging Icelandic groups as well as world famous bands) during this period. There will be a strong focus around direct action, as in previous camps. For example, at the past two camps there were a number of actions whereby protestors got into dam and smelter construction sites, sometimes chaining themselves to machinery, sometimes not. People of all experiences of this kind of protest are extreemely welcome. Read More

Dec 29 2006

“Smelter will kill fishing industry”


Trinidad Express
29/12/2006

Errol McLeod yesterday bought fresh fish where he usually does-from a vendor at Otaheite Bay. But he feared it may not be long before he would not be able to do so. Read More

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