'Climate Change' Tag Archive

Nov 27 2007

Will Iceland Get Another Exemption Under the Kyoto?


Iceland Review
11/27/2007

Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir says that every nation needs to be responsible after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 and that special needs will not be relevant.

According to her, Iceland should not apply for further exemptions.

Post-Kyoto negotiations will take place at the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, between December 3 and 14.

When the Kyoto Protocol was agreed upon, Iceland was given a special exemption to increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by ten percent while most other nations were obligated to reduce their average emissions by 5.2 percent, Morgunbladid reports. Read More

Nov 19 2007

Climate Change-Iceland: Emissions Quota Debate Heats Up


By Lowana Veal, Inter Press Service, 19 November 2007

“I am of the opinion that Iceland should not ask for a repeat of the Iceland Provision in the upcoming climate change negotiations,” says Iceland’s environment minister Thorunn Sveinbjarnardottir.
The Iceland Provision was the exemption given to Iceland when the Kyoto Protocol went into effect in 2005. Because Iceland derives 72 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy and had little heavy industry at the time the Protocol was agreed, the country was allowed to increase its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent from their 1990 level, rather than decrease emissions by at least 5 percent like most of the other signatories are required to do.
During the first commitment period, 2008-2112, the Iceland Provision allows for emissions averaging 1.6 million tonnes annually of carbon dioxide from energy-intensive industries that had not existed prior to 1990.
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Oct 22 2007
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Imminent Man-Made Volcanic Eruption Courtesy of ALCOA and Icelandic Government


Upptyppingar

Upptyppingar

Today at the annual general meeting of the Icelandic Glaciological Society the geophysicist Páll Einarsson confirmed that a volcanic eruption is imminent in one or two years time in Upptyppingar near Askja. He said this was a direct result of the inundation of Kárahnjúkar. He also claimed that the earthquakes that had started in February, ceased temporarily when the inundation was halted, but as soon as it was continued the tremors began again. The water in Halslon weighs two billion tons now and over 4000 earthquakes have been recorded since February.
Einarsson added that it was a mystery why the effects of the inundation were felt 20 kilometers away from Karahnjukar, instead of in the immediate vicinity of the dams.

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Oct 17 2007

CO2 output from shipping twice as much as airlines


Saturday March 3, 2007
The Guardian Unlimited
John Vidal, environment editor

Carbon dioxide emissions from ships do not come under the Kyoto agreement or any proposed European legislation and few studies have been made of them, even though they are set to increase.
Aviation carbon dioxide emissions, estimated to be about 2% of the global total, have been at the forefront of the climate change debate because of the sharp increase in cheap flights, whereas shipping emissions have risen nearly as fast in the past 20 years but have been ignored by governments and environmental groups. Shipping is responsible for transporting 90% of world trade which has doubled in 25 years. Read More

Oct 08 2007

Behind the Shining: Aluminum’s Dark Side


An IPS/SEEN/TNI report, 2001

This important and lengthy report from the Washington based Sustainable Energy and Economy Network is highly informative about the operational structure of the aluminum industry and the resulting impacts on human rights and the environment.

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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 02 2007
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‘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).
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Aug 19 2007
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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
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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