In this exhaustive text, Felix Padel and Samarendra Das give a thorough analysis of the situation of the aluminium industry in India, its history as a global force of destruction intrinsically linked to the arms industry and its links to genocide. This is required reading for anyone with an interest in the aluminium industry, peace, and the desperate situation of the people of Orissa, India. Read More
'Pollution' Tag Archive
Aug 18 2007
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.
Aug 17 2007
By Felix Padel and Samarendra Das, Economic and Political Weekly, December 2005
“The evidence we present goes against the conventional history of aluminium, which tends to portray the industry as central to various countries’ economic power and prosperity, without understanding the financial manipulation and exploitation between and within countries, and the true costs.”
Few people understand aluminium’s true form or see its industry as a whole. Hidden from general awareness are its close link with big dams, complex forms of exploitation in the industry’s financial structure, and a destructive impact on indigenous society that amounts to a form of genocide. At the other end of the production line, aluminium’s highest-price forms consist of complex alloys essential to various ’aerospace’/'defence’ applications.1 The metal’s high ’strategic importance’ is due to its status as a key material supplying the arms industry. In these four dimensions ’ environmental, economic, social and military ’ it has some very destructive effects on human life.
Aug 17 2007
The local council in the westfjords yesterday gave their permission to build an oil refinery in the area, to “save the community from disintegrating since people are moving away.” They hope that a factory like this would interest young people in moving back to the area.
The likeliest place for the refinery would be Arnarfjordur, a place of tremendous beauty as most places in the westfjords are.
Scientists have pointed out that oceanic iceblocks may make the sailing route to the area unsafe for bigger ships. Also, a refinery of this size would pump one million tons of C02 into the atmosphere per year, which more than exhausts Iceland´s quota according to the Kyoto agreement.
The first issue of Saving Iceland’s magazine Voice of the Wilderness (download pdf) introduces all the key issues and speakers at the Saving Iceland 2007 Conference.
Aug 10 2007
“The hurt many of us feel towards the developments in eastern Iceland is so great that we will never accept another aluminum smelter to be built in Iceland. We would not be surprised if the environmental NGO’s and grass root organizations would consider the proposed developments in Northern Iceland to be a serious provocation on the behalf of Alcoa.”
The Sidney Morning Herald
August 6, 2007
US environmental campaigner Erin Brockovich has joined West Australian residents to examine the merits of a court case against mining giant Alcoa.
About 160 Yarloop residents have complained of respiratory problems, skin irritation, sore throats and eyes, extreme fatigue, mental dysfunction, stomach upset, blood noses, cancers and organ failure in the last 11 years.
They claim emissions from Alcoa’s Wagerup refinery are causing the ill effects. Read More
Attilah Springer is a journalist and an activist. She is a part of the Rights Action Group in Trinidad and Tobago, which has fought a long battle against Alcoa over aluminium smelters in Trinidad and Tobago. She recently spoke at a conference for Saving Iceland where she documented the progress of the struggle against the aluminium industry in her country. She is currently staying at the International Summer of Dissent protest camp, organised by Saving Iceland. A Grapevine journalist sat down to speak with Atillah at their beautiful campsite in Mosfellsdalur, joined by Lerato Maria Maregele, an activist from South Africa who has been organising protests against Alcan in her own country. Read More
Jul 22 2007
The Icelandic media reports today that Icelandic Alloys (Elkem) “accidentally” released a huge cloud of pollution from their plant at Grundartangi in Hvalfjordur. Apparently the accident was due to human error. The media quote Thordur Magnusson, an Elkem spokesman, saying that this human error “…recurs several times a week.”
Sigurbjorn Hjaltason, Chairman of the local Kjosarhreppur parish, confirms that Elkem usually produce the emissions during nights, when suitable, throughout the year. This is so that people will be less likely to become aware of the pollution they have to breath.
Similar nocturnal habits of ALCAN – Rio Tinto and Century – Rusal have been reported for years by the people of Hafnarfjordur and Hvalfjordur.
ALCAN – Rio Tinto, Century and Elkem seem to share the same conveniently systematic “human errors.”
Are we perhaps to expect that soon the PR departments of these three companies will be offering the population of South-West Iceland free sleeping pills to help them through their dark nights of heavy industry?
REYKJAVIK – Saving Iceland’s clown army has this afternoon entered the head office of Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (OR, Reykjavik Energy) on Baejarhals 1. Simultaneously, protestors climbed onto the roof of the building unfolding a banner stating ‘Vopnaveita Reykjavíkur’ (Reykjavik arms-dealers). Saving Iceland demands that O.R. stop selling energy to the aluminium corporations Century and ALCAN-RioTinto. 30% of aluminium produced goes to the military and arms-industry (1).
Currently, O.R. are expanding the Hellisheidi geothermal plant at Hengill. “The goal of enlarging Hellisheidarvrikjun is to meet industries demands of energy,” states the Environmental Impact Assessment, particularly the Century expansion at Grundartangi and possible new ALCAN and Century plants at Straumsvik and Helguvik (2, 3).