'Climate Change' Tag Archive
Aug 04 2007
Global Consequences of Heavy Industry and Large Dams
Saturday & Sunday July 7 – 8th, 2007, Hótel Hlíð, Ölfus
Updated July 5th
After three years of struggling against large dams and heavy industry, the Saving Iceland campaign will connect with struggles around the globe. The Saving Iceland Conference will be featuring speakers from South and North America, Africa, India and Europe, activists and scientists. Saving Iceland’s magazine Voice of the Wilderness (download pdf) introduces all the key issues and speakers, including for example Dr. Eric Duchemin (University of Montreal, consultant for the IPCC), Gudbergur Bergsson (writer), Cirineu da Rocha (Dam-Affected People’s Movement, Brazil) and many others, and the conference program.
Ólafur Páll Jónsson
Issue 7, 31 May 2007
Democracy is hailed as the best form of government, but yet the countries that have been ruled by this best form of government are responsible for the worst consequences in the history of humanity: climate change and other environmental crises threaten the very living conditions of millions of people around the globe and no part of the world will be unaffected. Some people believe that democracy itself is responsible for this severe situation ï¿½ that democracy as such undermines environmental rationality and plays into superficial and unreasonable preferences while ignoring long term consequences by making environmental decisions subject to procedural standards. In other words, since democracy is primarily about procedures while environmental rationality requires certain outcomes, democracy has no way of guaranteeing environmental rationality.
Sigurdur R. Gislason, Eric H. Oelkers, and Árni Snorrason
Geological Society of America
Volume 34, Issue 1 (January 2006)
Article: pp. 49–52
Volume 34, Issue 1 (January 2006)
Article: pp. 49–52
1. Institute of Earth Science, University of Iceland, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, 2. Géochimie et Biogéochimie Experimentale—LMTG/Université Paul Sabatier, 14 rue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France, 3. National Energy Authority, Grensásvegi 9, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland
The reaction of Ca derived from silicate weathering with CO2 in the world’s oceans to form carbonate minerals is a critical step in long-term climate moderation. Ca is delivered to the oceans primarily via rivers, where it is transported either as dissolved species or within suspended material. The relative importance for climate moderation of riverine dissolved Ca vs. suspended Ca transport stems from the total Ca flux and its climate dependence. Data in the literature suggest that, within uncertainty, global riverine dissolved Ca flux is equal to suspended material Ca flux. To determine how these fluxes depend on temperature and rainfall, a 40 yr field study was performed on 4 catchments in northeastern Iceland: Jökulsá á Fjöllum at Grímsstadir, Jökulsá á Dal at Brú, Jökulsá á Dal at Hjardarhagi, and Jökulsá í Fljótsdal at Hóll. Suspended material Ca flux depends more on seasonal and annual temperatures and rainfall variation than does dissolved Ca flux in all four catchments. For example, the average difference between the annual maximum and minimum daily suspended Ca flux for the Jökulsá á Dal at Brú is four orders of magnitude, whereas the difference for dissolved Ca flux is only approximately one order of magnitude. Similarly, the annual dissolved Ca flux for this river varies by a factor of 2.6, whereas its annual suspended Ca flux varies by a factor of 7.1. Because suspended material Ca flux is more dependent on climate, it provides a stronger negative feedback for stabilizing Earth’s temperature through the greenhouse effect. Read More
As if the situation in Iceland was not ‘heavy’ enough these days, a profiteering ambassador (Olafur Egilsson) has come forth with plans to endanger the environment of the Icelandic Westfjords with a giant oil refinery. Not only is this incongruous in view of the recent announcement by the local authorities in the Westfjords that the area is to stay clean of all heavy industry but also because the perpetrators of this project are trying to sell it as “green” “high tech” industry, cunningly trying to avoid the ugly name heavy industry has with the majority of Icelanders.
There is nothing new about this sort of attempts of greenwash by the enemies of Icelandic nature, but this time INCA has exposed their lies.
In a statement released by INCA (Icelandic Nature Conservation Association) they have pointed out the inaccuracies in Egilsson’s and the Mayor of Isafjordur Halldorsson’s arguments in favor of the oil refinery. Egilsson, trying to sell his personally lucrative heavy liquid idea to the nation on a TV show, said that the pollution from oil refineries was only 1/100 compared with that from aluminium smelting and Halldorsson said that it was only 1/10 of the pollution from smelters.
20 March 2007
Campaign group Framtídarlandid (‘Future Land’) have pulled off a herculean stunt by finally managing to rally the Icelandic bourgeoisie to the defence of Icelandic nature.
Representatives of the group presented the pact ‘Gray or Green’ at a press conference last Sunday and asked Icelanders to sign it to put a stop to further heavy industry projects.
The pact, which can be read and signed on Future Land’s website, encourages the government to:
“Secure a varied and vibrant society in Iceland, where ingenuity and creativity of individuals is celebrated for the benefit of themselves and others.
To respect future generations by creating law to protect nature before further projects to harness energy for industry are undertaken.
To take responsibility in times of climate change by following international agreements on the reduction of CO2 emissions.”
The pact says Iceland should make decisions which coincide with its identity and image rather than become the biggest aluminium manufacturers in the world.
If the smelters in Straumsvík and Hvalfjördur are enlarged, new smelters in Helguvík and Húsavík constructed and aluminium production in Reydarfjördur is begun, energy comparable to three Kárahnjúkar power plants will be required, the pact states.
Finally all Icelandic MP’s are invited to make a clear statment in favour of environmental protection by commiting themselves to the pact.
Andri Snaer Magnason and actress María Ellingsen presented the pact yesterday.
The press conference was also attended by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the former president of Iceland, who is the pact’s official patron.
Supporters of the ‘Gray or Green’ pact include such prominent luminaries as Bishop Sigurbjörn Einarsson, writer and vice-director of Time Warner Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson, former Prime Minister Steingrímur Hermansson, professor in philosophy Vilhjálmur Árnason and film producer Sigurjón Sighvatsson.
Saving Iceland welcomes this initiative because, as they say; better late than never.
Mar 16 2007
18 March 2006
Last week saw a number of actions in solidarity with the Icelandic movement in Belgium and the Netherlands. Friday morning, Saving Iceland and the Dutch/Belgian environmentalist network GroenFront! built a dam blockading the entrance of the Icelandic Embassy in Brussels (photo-report). Earlier in the week, a picketline was held at the Icelandic Consulate in Rotterdam and the folk singer Armand, the “Dutch Bob Dylan”, performed songs of praise to Icelandic nature. Finally, EarthFirst! closed down both ALCOA’s Dutch head office in Drunen and an ALCOA factory in Kerkrade, the Netherlands in opposition to heavy industry. The actions express growing international concern about the plans for expansion of the aluminium industry and megahydro in Iceland and other countries such as Trinidad and Brazil. Read More
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
A historical amount of Icelanders today marched in four different cities against the damming of Kárahnjúkar. Following a call from retiring television reporter and nature enthusiast Ómar Ragnarsson to march on the day before the dam is scheduled to be flooded, up to 15,000 people in total walked the streets in the Reykjavik, Akureyri, Egilsstaðir and Ísafjörður. “
Mar 17 2006
The Icelandic government is planning to destroy the largest remaining intact wilderness in Europe by building the Kárahnjúkar dam. It will be the largest dam of its kind in Europe, creating a reservoir of around 60 sq km. It’s not just that the submerged land will be obliterated, but the land beyond the dam will be deprived of water.
The area is land of huge ecological significance, designated an environmentally protected area, the oldest surviving areas of Iceland’s original vegetation. Around 380 square miles will be directly affected, with adjacent rivers, land and sea secondarily impacted.
To give you some context, it’s a reservoir roughly the size of Oxford with devastating direct impact on a surrounding delicate unspoilt ecosystem the size of Greater London. Read More