'Kárahnjúkar' Tag Archive

Oct 26 2008

From One Mess to Another


Andri Snær Magnason, Fréttablaðið – In these turbulent times interested parties use the opportunity to offer us “solutions” and relief. This time around it involves “alleviating all restrictions” and putting public energy companies up as 300 – 400 milliard collateral for two to three new aluminium plants. This is what is on the drawing board when the total debt of OR and LV (the central public energy institutions) are already at a dizzying 550 milliards – mostly because of Alcoa and Norðurál (Century Aluminum). This is why the banks always preached large-scale industry policies – more debt – more joy. It’s down to the price of aluminium to repay these loans, but aluminium prices are plummeting and a level of overproduction has already been reached. The nation believes that the magic term EXPORT EARNINGS is money that will end up in the nation’s pocket. News of export earnings and foreign currency receipts have time and again been directly false and treacherous. A bar chart published in the Morgunblaðið newspaper the 11th of October depicts the aluminium industry as more important than the fishing industry and considerably larger than the tourism industry. But the presentation is exactly as the INTERESTED PARTIES would like to have it portrayed in the media. When Alcoa Fjarðaál claims to export for 70 milliards a year, most Icelanders believe that this is currency that we can use. Read More

Sep 15 2008

Sveinbjarnardóttir: Protect Icelandic Nature from Heavy Industry


Rene DescartesIn a special report on the environment, Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, minister for the environment in Iceland, says that Icelandic nature has suffered from aluminium production and needs increased protection. “It is time to correct the injustice nature and environmental protection has faced because of heavy industry,” says the report.
She says Iceland’s nature is valuable, and conserving it is a way of utilising the resource. In the past Iceland’s nature, it’s rivers and geothermal fields have been seen as ‘unutilised resources’ that are almost asking for exploitation. This view, held by many Icelandic politicians and entrepreneurs, is a modern interpretation of 17th century Cartesian thought. Read More

Aug 30 2008

Letter about Crazy Horse to Saving Iceland


From Reverend Billy

A year ago we were with you in Iceland, the land of fire and ice and spirits and charms! This year we get news and images on the computers. Congratulations on the Century Aluminum Smelter blockade. You slowed down the output from that day, July 21, 2008. You’re saving lives! Every hour that an F-16 is not yet in the air…

Wandering your website, I remember my sermon last year. I tried to conjure the memory of Crazy Horse and bring his spirit to your struggle for Iceland. Savitri remembers the recurring phrase, “The land is innocent and powerful.” I don’t remember much of the specifics of my talk that afternoon, which was itself an on-the-spot remembering. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the river valley in our windows and simultaneously my boyhood love of the stories of Crazy Horse, from when my family lived in the Dakotas.

And so if you will read this letter, and help us bring back that day in the hotel conference room in Olfus… Writing is an act of memory and by writing this letter to you today — maybe some of your year-ago campaign, and our sermon within it, will resurface in these pages. Read More

Aug 11 2008

Blowing up Mountains, Taking Drugs and Pink Toilets


Jaap Krater, Iceland Review – As someone who has been active with Saving Iceland for a number of years, I read James Weston’s column about media coverage on our campaign with much amusement. Many of his comments are not only funny but also have a ring of truth.
For me, they also illustrate something that is quite sad. People watch TV and see others chaining themselves to machines, according to polls most might even agree with them that they do not want more dams or smelters, and they get bored. Read More

Jul 15 2008

Radical Actions and Professional Protesters


By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson, originally published in Morgunblaðið

Last Sunday, an anonymous journalist from Morgunblaðið wrote about Saving Iceland under the title “Action Groups and Cells”. He talked about Saving Iceland’s upcoming action camp in Hellisheiði and brougth forward a list of actions that people could anticipate from those attending the camp this summer, i.e. “try to get the police into a fight, chain themselves to whatever is near to them, do minimum sabotage, disturb companies’ legal operations or public traffic”. According to him, this kind of behaviour has characterized Saving Iceland’s activities for the last years.

We at Saving Iceland, use direct action and civil disobedience in our actions against capitalism in the form of Iceland’s heavy industrialization – and we do not deny that. Although we do not chain ourselves to whatever is around us, but to machinery, machinery which is being used to destroy the nature. Thus we stop the destruction for some limited time. One does not lock lock on to a huge machine “just because” – one does it because of ideals and with a spirit of resistance. Read More

Jul 06 2008

Iceland Overheats


Icelandic Economy Suffers as Century Shareholders Make Record Profit
By Jaap Krater

As inflation rates in Iceland soared to 8.7% and the Icelandic krona lost a third of it’s value, US-based Century Aluminum started construction of a much disputed aluminium smelter at Helguvik, southwest of the capital Reykjavik. The Icelandic economy is suffering from overheating as billions are spent on construction of new power plants and heavy industry projects. The central bank raised the overnight interest rate to a whopping 15% to control further price increases as Icelanders see their money’s value disappearing like snow. It would seem that the last thing the tiny Icelandic economy needs is further capital injections.

But Icelandic investors are making record profits from the new projects. The value of shares sold to them by Century less than a year ago to finance the Helguvik smelter has increased by 33%, though the company has not made a profit in years. Read More

May 29 2008
1 Comment

Founder of Saving Iceland Acquitted


iceland-police-state.jpgÓlafur Páll Sigurðsson, the founder of Saving Iceland, has been acquitted. Sigurðsson had been accused of vandalizing a police car, using only his fists.
In the end of July 2006, during the 2nd protest camp of Saving Iceland against the dams at Kárahnjúkar, an unmarked 4×4 police car came driving towards the camp site and started photgraphing people having their lunch. A few of the protestors walked towards the car, including Sigurðsson. When he stepped in front of the stationary vehicle the driver of the car, Arinbjörn Snorrason, accelerated suddenly and drove into Sigurðsson, who saved his life by putting his hands on the bonnet of the car and jumping out of its way.
Armand: Brave Cops of Iceland Read More

Apr 10 2008

Last Tunnel Drilled For Kárahnjúkar Dam


The giant drill which has been used to drill afflux tunnels at Kárahnjúkar dam, in Iceland’s eastern highlands, was turned off yesterday after it broke through the last hindrance in Jökulsárgöng tunnel. Read More

Mar 28 2008

Cost of Karahnjukar Far Exceeds Estimates


I’ts official: the cost estimates of Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company, for Karahnjukar were false and the numerous economists and even the National Planning Agency, who criticized Landsvirkjun for massaging their economic data were dead right. The new cost estimate for Kárahnjúkar was presented by Minister of Industry Össur Skarphedinsson at the Althingi parliament yesterday.

According to Skarphedinsson the total cost of constructing the dams and the hydropower plant at Fljotsdalur has exceeded estimates by ISK 17.7 billion (USD 264 million, EUR 172 million) and is now expected to amount to ISK 133.3 billion (USD 2.0 billion, EUR 1.3 billion). MP for the Left-Greens Álfheidur Ingadóttir said until yesterday people had not been aware of by how much cost estimates were exceeded. Ingadóttir criticized the minister for not taking the cost of agreements with contractors into account. She argued that by including such agreements the original cost estimate is exceeded by an even higher amount, ISK 32.5 billion (USD 484 million, EUR 315 million).

Read More

Dec 20 2007
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Kárahnjúkar Reservoir Bigger than “Expected”


Tofrafoss

Töfrafoss, now ‘unexpectedly’ underwater

Saving Iceland

What a surprise! After five years of listening to news of delays, accidents, deaths and so on at the Kárahnjúkar worksite, who would ever have imagined that there was something strange about Landsvirkjun’s portrayal of the whole affair?

In Morgunblaðið on the 28th of November Völundur Jóhannesson, tourist industry pioneer in the east of Iceland, spoke about Töfrafoss (the magic waterfall) dissappearing under Hálslón. Read More

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