'Democracy deficit' Tag Archive

Apr 13 2005

Saving Iceland: The Buck Stops Here


CorporateWatch.org
Newsletter Issue 23 April/May 2005

falki

In March 2004, the government of Iceland held a conference in the capital Reykjavik. It was a private conference, attended by representatives of the top multinational corporations, Rio Tinto, Alcoa and Alcan among them, and the population were not told about it in advance. Iceland, a government spokesman informed its people afterwards, was now open for business. Read More

Feb 26 2005
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Environmental Impact of the Kárahnjúkar Dams


throng

 

The Kárahnjúkar Power Plant is the largest industrial development in Iceland’s history. Roughly 3% of the total area of Iceland, approx. 290,000 ha, will be impacted by the project, not including areas of secondary impacts, such as windblown dust, long-term erosion, downstream or coastal silt and soil deposits, alterations in groundwater characteristics in peripheral areas with resulting changes in vegetation and wildlife habitats. Read More

Aug 06 2004

“A Handful of Men Imposing their Destructive Dream on a Nation which Seems Half-Asleep”


Robert Jackson

So writes the poet and protester Elísabet Jökulsdóttir, and sitting in the board room of Landsvirkjun at a table long enough to hold a state banquet, it is hard to disagree with who is responsible for Kárahnjúkar. The walls of the ‘president’s floor’ have portraits of the men who in former times have managed the national power company. Read More

Aug 04 2004

Kárahnjúkar – Some Facts About the Project


Robert Jackson

It is now two years since the government gave the approvals that made way for the creation of a huge hydroelectric scheme in the Central Highlands at Kárahnjúkar. This paved the way for a subsequent deal with Alcoa for the building of an aluminium smelter in the coastal town of Reyðarfjörður.

WHAT DOES THE SCHEME INVOLVE?

The Kárahnjúkar project will consist of nine dams, three reservoirs, seven channels and sixteen tunnels. It will divert two large rivers, the Jökulsá á brú and Jökulsá í Fljótsdal, and several smaller rivers to the north of the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. The main dam will be highest rockfill dam in Europe, 190 metres high, 800 metres long and 600 metres wide at its base. This main dam will create a huge reservoir, to be called Hálslón, which will flood a wilderness area of 57 sq. km. 70 km of tunnels will carry water to an underground powerhouse, which will have a 690 megawatts capacity. Read More

Mar 21 2004
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Umbrella Protest in Tate Modern, London


This historic action marks the beginning of Saving Iceland.

DON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ICELAND!

marin 

This was the message demonstrators at Tate Modern wanted to get across as Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s hugely successful ‘Weather Project’ exhibition – featuring a giant sun – came to an end.

The 25 demonstrators staged an “umbrella protest” against the ALCOA dam currently under construction in the Icelandic highlands which will see vast swathes of Europe’s last remaining wilderness flooded in 2006.

Interviewed in the Guardian newspaper on the 27/12/03 Olafur Eliasson himself stated that his “greatest fear is that US aluminium giant ALCOA is destroying the Icelandic highlands with the support of our government.”

The Icelandic government recently announced further plans for similar projects which, protesters say, will spoil much of Iceland’s world-famous pristine nature.

“The government want to turn Iceland into a heavy industry hell,” said one protester, Icelandic environmentalist Olafur Pall Sigurdsson. “These mega projects benefit nobody except the multinational companies who instigate and build them. “

“This programme of building big dams in Iceland will drag us back into the 20th century when the rest of 21st century Europe and the US is busy dismantling environmentally unfriendly dams,” Sigurdsson went on. Read More

Nov 29 2003
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‘Power Driven’ – The Guardian


The Guardian, November 29, 2003

‘Power Driven’ appeared in The Guardian Weekend in 2003 and made a major impact in Iceland. It is still the best main stream analysis of many key issues at stake and an excellent overview of the social background.

In Iceland, work has already begun on a colossal $1bn dam which, when it opens in 2007, will cover a highland wilderness – and all to drive one US smelter. Environmentalists are furious, but the government appears determined to push through the project, whatever the cost. Susan DeMuth investigates.

North of Vatnajokull, Europe’s biggest glacier, lies Iceland’s most fascinating and varied volcanic landscape. Ice and boiling geothermal infernos meet at the edges of the glacier, and then the largest remaining pristine wilderness in western Europe begins – a vast panorama of wild rivers, waterfalls, brooding mountains and mossy highlands thick with flowers. Read More

Jun 02 2003

Iceland’s Wilderness Under Attack


Einar Þorleifsson and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
World Birdwatch vol. 25 no. 2, June 2003

 

falcon and reindr 

As reported in the previous issue of World Birdwatch (25(1):7), a huge dam is being built in a remote part of Iceland to supply hydroelectric power for an aluminium smelter. The development is vigorously opposed by Fuglaverndunarfélag Íslands (Icelandic Society for the Protection of Birds, ISPB, Birdlife in Iceland). ISPB’s Einar Ó. Thorleifsson and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson discuss the likely impacts on the unique wildlife and scenery of this pristine environment. Read More

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