What is "Saving Iceland"?

Saving Iceland is a network of people of different nationalities, who do not intend to stand by passively and watch the Icelandic government in league with foreign corporations slowly kill the natural beauty of Iceland. Iceland is being sold to heavy multinational industry for no gain to Iceland, involving numerous risks. Heavy industry is queuing up for cheap energy by using old polluting methods and free from paying Kyoto tax in this environmental paradise. The Icelandic government has already accepted plans to build aluminum-producing factories, which is terrible not only for nature but has tremendously horrifying affects on humans as well. If the existing plans are to be carried out, 25\% of Iceland will be a dam affected area and this region will be one of the most polluted places in Europe by 2020! The really sad thing about it, is that right now, Iceland is one of the most natural places in the entire world, using geothermal and hydroelectrically energy, instead of burning fossil fuels, and are one of the least polluting countries in the entire world. This new plan will change all of that, possibly making Iceland one of the most polluting countries in the world, killing animals and humans alike.

Why is it so bad to build dams?

By 2020, one fourth of the entire country of Iceland will be badly-affected by dams. Thats exactly like one whole time zone in America. Dams are thought to provide clean energy and thus a weapon in the battle against climate change. But more and more evidence is emerging that suggests something completely different. When a reservoir fills and land is drowned, the original vegetation starts to rot. The methane that is formed, escapes when the water bursts forth from turbines under pressure. The changing water level due to seasonal variation ensures a continual supply of rotting organic matter. A dam reservoir is like a big engine converting atmospheric carbon into methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. The emission of this gas from dam heads has not been modeled until recently. The National Institute for Research in the Amazon has surveyed major dams in Brazil and reports that, thanks to this methane engine, mega hydro emits 3 to 54 times more carbon dioxide-equivalent in greenhouse gases per megawatt than modern gas power stations. Also, by building these dams they will interfere with animal and aquatic life, leaving thousands of animals homeless, without food and their habitats completely ruined.

Why is the production of aluminum so bad? Why is it so bad for people?

Aluminum is found primarily in bauxite ore, a natural resource of Iceland. Bauxite is refined into alumina (aluminum oxide trihydrate) and then electrically reduced into metallic aluminum. Bauxite contains only 30-54\% alumina, the rest being a mixture of silica, various iron oxides, and titanium dioxide. (Recovery of the metal via recycling uses only five percent of the energy needed to produce aluminum from ore.) The whole process of aluminum production is environmentally disastrous from the start. Strip mining the 5 tons of bauxite needed per ton of aluminum is a major cause of water pollution, which pollutes drinking water, kills fish and other aquatic life, as well as other animals that drink from the water. Across the process a greater tonnage of pollutants is produced than aluminum. Red mud is the highly caustic mixture left over when alumina is extracted from bauxite. It contains silica, barium, boron, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, gallium, vanadium, scandium, and lead, as well as radionuclides. Dumped by the industry as a fine dust, these fine particles can get into peoples lungs, causing silicosis (a deathly lung disease, which kills more than 40,000 people per year), cancer, and other diseases linked to radiation, which more than likely will kill Icelandic residents. Other bad effects from aluminum production are Spent Pot Lining which is designated a hazardous material by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the UK's Department for the Environment, the aluminum industry produces hundreds of thousands of tons of SPL every year. Inorganic fluorides, produced by the aluminum industry, affect basic physiological and biochemical processes of fish, plants and other aquatic organisms, slowing growth and causing abnormal behavior. This exact type of fluoride was used by the German Nazis to make people 'stupid and docile'. Greenhouse Gasses, which include perfluorocarbons (compounds of carbon and fluorine) are extremely potent greenhouse gasses. Several thousand tons are produced each year by the aluminum industry. All of these harmful, and deathly toxic chemicals will be released into the water and air, which will profoundly impact the citizens, both human and animal, of Iceland.

How can YOU help?

You can help easily by signing this petition, which will be sent the Icelandic government pleading that they stop this horrible destruction of the beautiful island. You can also help by going to Saving Icelands official website - www.saveiceland.org and making a donation, or voicing your opinion to the Icelandic government (there are many more options as well). Another easy thing to do is add the Saving Icelands official Myspace - www.myspace.com/savingiceland - as a friend. Also, tell as many people as you possibly can about this organization and get them to sign the petition. But, the best and easiest thing to do as of now is just signing the petition, which will let the Icelandic government know that there needs to be change.

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