'Pollution' Tag Archive

Apr 20 2007

Does the Black Dog haunt ALCAN after referendum defeat?

Black Dog

17 April, 2007

A strange seal was spotted on the shore by Straumur near the ALCAN aluminium smelter. Its front flippers were deformed, so they looked more like dog feet.

“I have turned sixty and I thought I knew a thing or two about animals, but I never knew seals could have feet,” eyewitness Gunnar Örn Gudmundsson told Fréttabladid.

“I could hardly believe it when I took its picture. They looked like feet on a Labrador dog” Gudmundsson said, adding he believed the seal had been very tired and was resting on the shore.

“I was only about one meter away when it started hissing at me, it was probably completely exhausted,” Gudmundsson explained.

Is it surprising that the poor animal would be feeling a lot less than well and normal after having to swim in the polluted waters of a 240.000 tonnes aluminium smelter?

Read More

Apr 20 2007

Will Your Party Support the Continued Build-up of Heavy-Industry in Iceland?

In the build up to the 2007 parliamentary elections, The Reykjavík Grapevine asked representitives from each of the political parties to answer questions regarding the most pressing issue; Heavy Industry.

Issue 4, 13 April, 2007
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Apr 10 2007

Glaciers in Iceland Melting “Faster than Ever”

See also: Alaska rattled by melting ice

Melting ice cap triggering earthquakes http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/sep/08/climatechange

Iceland Review

Oddur Sigurdsson, an Icelandic geologist who has undertaken studies of Iceland’s glaciers, said the nation’s glaciers are melting at record speed and may disappear completely after 200 years due to global warming.

“It is obvious judging by the data that we have that it is first and foremost caused by the heat in summer, which has increased considerably, especially in the last ten years,” Sigurdsson told RÚV.

Sigurdsson said he believed global warming is the gravest problem the human race has ever faced.

French geologist Jean-Marc Bouvier, who has undertaken studies of the Greenland ice cap, explained to RÚV that once the Arctic glaciers have disappeared the ocean surface will be nine meters higher than today and flood an area which is currently inhabited by one billion people.

Bouvier described this situation as a “meteorological time bomb” and said “the wick has already been lit.”

Apr 07 2007

Forests of Factory Chimneys to be Disguised with PR Trees?

How was it that the saying goes… “Can’t see the forest for the trees”?
And exactly what sort of tree species would we be looking at… the manicured, sterile, non-indigenous corporate greenwash type? Maybe the time has come for a new botanical category? Perhaps a little research into ALCOA’s track record in forestry would be the place to start: http://www.wafa.org.au/articles/alcoa/index.html
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Mar 30 2007

Countdown to the Hafnarfjordur Referendum…

Iceland’s path as either a wild green masterpiece or a mid-Atlantic industrially polluted backwater is to reach a significant junction tomorow, Saturday the 31st of March. Residents of Hafnarfjordur, SW of Reykjavik, will vote on whether they want their Alcan (Canadian Aluminium) smelter expanded into by far the biggest aluminium smelter seen in Iceland to date.

The smelter, which lies in the vicinity of Hafnarfjordur, in Straumsvik, currently has a capacity of being able to produce 180,000 metric tonnes of aluminium per year (mtpy.) Alcan wishes to turn this into an unbelievably massive 460,000 mtpy smelter.

Iceland’s current largest smelter asside from this, being built in Reydarfjordur, can produce a gigantic 322,000 mtpy of aluminium and is to be powered by damming the Central-Eastern of Icelands: the infamous Karahnjukar project.

If the smelter in Hafnarfjordur is to be enlarged then we will be facing the destruction of Iceland’s Central Southern Highlands – Langisjor, Kerlingarfjoll, Thjorsarver, the nether region of Thjorsa not to mention the geothermal fields in Reykjanes and so much more.

To anyone who has the opportunity to vote in this referendum, please vote to keep Iceland a wild and green masterpiece.

Mar 21 2007
1 Comment

Environmentalists in Uproar as Iceland Pays the Price for ‘Green’ Energy Push

The Independent
21 March 2007
Richard Hollingham

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Mar 13 2007

Alcan taking heat over proposed Iceland smelter

Canada News
Tuesday March 13 2007

Margaret Munro
CanWest News Service

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – The Earth’s inner heat is so close to the surface on this windswept island that tourists bask in outdoor thermal pools even as the snow flies in late winter.

The heat attracts multinational companies, too, including Canadian-based Alcan. But they’re getting an increasingly chilly reception from the locals as they try to expand their business operations to take advantage of the abundant stores of inexpensive energy here.

“We don’t want to be the town with the biggest aluminum plant in all of Europe,” says Throstur Sverrisson, a longtime resident of the seaside community of Hafnarfjordur, where Alcan has run up against serious opposition.

The company plans to more that double the size of its existing smelter just outside Hafnarfjordur, one of four huge and controversial aluminum smelter projects. But a growing coalition of Icelanders is trying to halt the smelters, saying the government is sacrificing the island’s pristine environment to foreign companies.

They’re gearing up to make the smelters a major issue in the national election in May. And they’re taking aim at Alcan in a referendum March 31. Read More

Mar 08 2007

Pro-ALCAN group ‘Hagur Hafnarfjarðar’ accused of fear propaganda

27 February 2007
by Steinunn Jakobsdóttir

Sól í Straumi, an interest group in Hafnarfjörður opposing the plans to enlarge the Straumsvík aluminium plant, harshly criticize the organisation Hagur Hafnarfjarðar, a group of people and companies that have vested interests in the smelter, for being biased and using fear propaganda to influence the people of Hafnarfjörður to vote in favour of the enlargement.

The smelter (it’s the one you pass when driving to or from the Keflavík Airport) is owned by the industrial giant Alcan Iceland Ltd., which is now planning to increase the smelter’s annual capacity from 170.000 tons to 460.000 tons. The inhabitants of Hafnarfjörður will get the chance to vote on the subject on March 31st.

The newly established organisation Hagur Hafnarfjarðar has one main goal, to support a bigger smelter so as to maintain a flourishing economy in Hafnarfjörður, as they put it. In reaching that goal, their spokesmen have been encouraging Hafnarfjörður inhabitants to vote in favour of the enlargement, arguing that if they reject these plans the smelter will close down in the near future. That will have dramatic affects on the smelter’s employees as well as all the companies doing business with Alcan, which are, according to Hagur Hafnarfjarðar, approximately 1.500 people and more than one hundred companies.

Sól í Straumi, refuse these predictions altogether. In a statement issued yesterday they accuse Hagur Hafnarfjarðar of using misleading information and fear propaganda to influence the townspeople. According to the statement, Sól í Straumi challenge Hagur Hafnarfjarðar to be more responsible in the debate and stop trying to persuade Hafnarfjörður inhabitants by arguing that their jobs are in danger. They also reject the statement made by Hagur Hafnarfjarðar that 5-7% of the municipality’s income can be traced to the smelter. The number is closer to 1-2% of the town’s total income, they argue.

Feb 24 2007

Majority of Icelanders are Against the Expansion of the ALCAN Smelter and Favour More Environmental Protection

According to a survey made by the newspaper Frettabladid over 63% of Icelanders are against the expansion of the ALCAN smelter in Hafnarfjördur. Under 36% support the expansion. The people of Hafnarfjördur will vote on the expansion in a referendum 31 March. ALCAN have gone into overdrive campaigning with threats, bribes and lies. The outcome may very well be indicative of how the nation will vote in the coming general election on 12 May. If the people of Hafnarfjördur vote against ALCAN it will likely be the first death blow to the heavy industry policy of the Icelandic power mafia.

According to a new Gallup Capacent poll, conducted for the Iceland Nature Conservation Association (INCA), 72.8% of Icelanders believe that political parties should place more focus on environmental protection.

When asked if political parties should give more attention to environmental protection, 37,2% answered that the parties should give a lot more attention to environmental protection, while 35,6% answered that the parties should give more attention to the topic.

22,6% Answered that they believed that environmental protection was receiving adequate attention, while 4,6% believed that environmental protection was receiving too much attention.

There was a noticeable difference in opinion between the sexes, with around 78% of women in favour of more environmental protection, with 67% of men answering the same way. Of 1350 people polled, 800 answered.

Feb 19 2007

Mad as Hell – Interview with Andri Snær Magnason

Iceland Review

andri snaer 

Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason was recently awarded for his book Draumalandid (“Dreamland”), which harshly criticizes the government’s policy on heavy industry. Read IR’s Ed Weinman’s interview with Magnason on why he is so angry about this policy and why he decided to write a book about it. Read More