Put Up Your Dukes: It's Björk vs. a Slew of Burly Icelandic Aluminum Exporters


Photo by Mable2006

They're big, they're burly, and they may have deep pockets, but the popular singer Björk plans to limit their destruction to her home country, Iceland, by supporting a current project in the works called, Náttúra.Náttúra and GeoChem
Náttúra is a first step to building and supporting new sustainable and green companies in the Iceland region, where their current resources (geothermic energy) can be put to good use for both its wilderness, wildlife, and citizens. One such possibility is GeoChem, which is basically the harnessing of the sulfur, which comes from geothermal power stations, which could then be used to grow algae for such products as cosmetics, coloring agents, pharmaceuticals, and possibly most importantly, fuel.

Is Iceland is Being Taken Advantage of by the Aluminum Industry?
It wasn't all that long ago that one of Iceland's biggest careers was fishing. Fishing is a way of life that has been around since time was time. It was an honest living, and a family business that was passed from generation to generation.

Today however, fishing does not pay the bills, so Icelanders have had to turn to industry to survive, of which two such aluminum exporters have stepped in, Alcoa and Rio Tinto, and made themselves quite at home. They currently are running three aluminum smelters of which they are enjoying Iceland's cheap geothermic energy and lax terms of the Kyoto Climate Treaty.

Due to Iceland using an amazing 72 percent of its energy through renewable geothermic resources, they have actually been allowed to increase their greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 percent from previous 1990 levels according to the Kyoto ruling. This translates to the legal expelling of some 17 tons of greenhouse gases per capita. To really put this in perspective, you have to consider that the European average is only 11 tons.

Björk Sides with the Small Sustainable Business
Björk is working to limit these numbers, and hopefully push the aluminum exporters out of Iceland. She plans on doing this by favoring the small sustainable business, rather than big industry. The aluminum industry which is currently stationed in Iceland is planning to build more dams, expand on their current smelters, and build at least two more smelters. This may not only cause harm to their environment, but could cool their geothermal fields to the degree of losing some of its usefulness, due to the amount of energy that will be required to run these five smelters.

The Iceland Government is Trying to Boost their Economy, but to What Cost?
The Iceland government has a tough decision to make in consideration of all the facts. We can understand that they may be trying to save their economy, but they may be hurting their chances of a bright future if they mistreat their one golden resource they have available to them. Big business can be great for the economy, but it can also be like a parasite on the land if not regulated and controlled.

More information on geothermic energy
Going Geothermal: Electric Geysers?
12,100 Megawatts of Geothermal Power by 2025: Department of Interior Opens Up Lands For Leasing
Shoshone Nation Drills Down on Geothermal Power, 100 MW Plant Planned
530 Gigawatts of Geothermal Power Waits to be Tapped: US Geological Survey
Naked Bathers Protest Geothermal Plants in Japan

Tags: Algae | Iceland | Renewable Energy