'Pollution' Tag Archive

Sep 02 2007
1 Comment

‘Aluminium Tyrants’ – The Ecologist


IcelandFTcartoonsml.jpgBy Jaap Krater, Miriam Rose and Mark Anslow, The Ecologist, October 2007.

The gates of a geothermal power station are not where you would expect to find environmental activists. But the morning of 26th July 2007 saw the access road to Hellisheidi power station in Hengill, South-West Iceland, blockaded by a group of protestors from the campaign group ‘Saving Iceland’. After a brief demonstration, nine activists were arrested and several now face legal action.

Geothermal power in Iceland is big business. Just five plants generate 3 TWh a year – more than the annual output from all the UK’s wind turbines combined (Orkustofnun 2005; BERR 2006). Geothermal power also provides at least 85 per cent of Iceland’s homes with heat and hot water. This abundance of cheap, largely CO2-free energy has attracted energy-hungry industries to the country like sharks to a carcass. Of these, by far the most energy intensive is the aluminium industry (Krater 2007; Saving Iceland 2007).
Read More

Aug 26 2007

Australian Anti-Alcoa Contacts:


Western Austalian Forest Alliance – Alcoa Clearing Jarrah Forest for bauxite mining

Community Alliance for Positive Solutions Inc. – A group representing communities whose health has been seriously affected by ALCOA’s pollution.

Aug 19 2007
1 Comment

The Myth of an Aluminium Plant at Húsavík


Hrafnabjargafoss

Is the Energy on the Doorstep?

By Dr. Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttur

Many things have been said and written about plans for ALCOA´s aluminium plant at Bakki near Húsavík. One after another, important men have praised the idea and by now the only political parties not supporting it are the Iceland Movement and the Left Green party.
The propaganda of the supporters follows these lines: “utilise the national energy potential,” “the people of Húsavík have a right to an aluminium plant,” “the plant will only use energy drawn from the land nearby Húsavík, “damming of Skjálfandafljót and Jökulsá á Fjöllum is nothing but environmental propaganda”, “Geothermal energy has a low environmental impact”, “preparation work has been exceptionally well done.”
But how much truth do those slogans contain? Is there something more that needs to be looked into? Are the people of Húsavík, politicians included pushing the issues forward without really having looked at all the facts? Read More

Aug 18 2007

Agya, What do You Mean by Development?


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

Aug 18 2007
4 Comments

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

Aug 17 2007
1 Comment

Double Death – Aluminium’s Links with Genocide


By Felix Padel and Samarendra Das, Economic and Political Weekly, December 2005
Cost of resistance

“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.
Read More

Aug 17 2007
2 Comments

Plans for oil refinery in Westfjords


ArnarfjörðurThe 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.
Read More

Aug 13 2007

Voice of the Wilderness – The Saving Iceland Magazine


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
1 Comment

A letter to ALCOA from Dr. Ragnhildur Sigurdardóttir and Gudmundur Páll Ólafsson


“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.”
Read More

Aug 06 2007

Beseiged by Illness Jarloop Residents Sue 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