At one incident in the 1920s, internationalistic companies considered necessary to buy territory close by Gullfoss, in the south fourth part of Iceland, and raise a hydroelectric manufacturing works there. Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the girl of a local farmer, helped front the ill feeling to the works. As a nitpick she walked all the way to Reykjavík and even threatened to heave herself all over the water if the dutch auction went done. Although the polity did not intervene, she and her lad opponents prevailed, and the parkland was fixed completed to a make-up safeguard.

Iceland's topography has been formed by blaze and ice: it is a unthawed topography that is always letting off steam. More than 200 volcanoes, U-shaped valleys, jagged lava fields, hot springs and geysers and the largest ice cap in Europe - large than all the land European glaciers put mutually - go to construct a rugged, weird scenery unlike anything other on Earth. About 80% of Iceland's park is volcanic rock desert, glaciers or lakes; the one and only cultivatable areas are on the shoreline. Of the 300,000 or so Icelanders who sparsely domiciliate this island, quite a lot of common fraction in concert in the capital, Reykjavik.

Until recently, the Tómasdóttir parable was a one-off. Icelanders have been so utilized to having cleanly air, unsullied water, cleansed everything that they just noticed when these superb assets were vulnerable.

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Things Are Changing - For Worse

The stupendous $3 cardinal Kárahnjúkar dam, due to be accomplished this year, will go under beneath 150 metres of wet a thus far untasted 57 squared km of wilderness, self-praise pouring rivers, thundering waterfalls, multi-coloured mountains and moss-grown upland enthusiastic near flowers. The project, planned only to drive an aluminium plant added thrown the dale at Reydalfjordur, has parliament crutch and will be remunerated for by Landsvirkjun, the national ascendancy company. The electricity it generates is narrowed for marketing for 50 eld to the American aluminium large Alcoa, which is terminative two smelters in the US and relocating to Iceland as a cost-cutting manoeuvre.

After what it claims were blanket free input signal and biological studies, Alcoa is swiftly completing construction of the Fjarðaál ("aluminum of the fjords") smelter, which is looked-for to make hundreds of jobs in Iceland, both in the artifact and in opinionated industries. Late in March this year, the primary ship carrying goods for the smeltery arrived in Reydarfjordur. The Pine Arrow was bringing most 40,000 tonnes of aluminium oxide from Western Australia, after a water travel of 44 years. It takes almost two tonnes of corundum to green groceries one t of aluminium.

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So far so good, it may give the impression of being. Four c jobs, an integration to the economy and the harnessing of automatic energy.

Karahnjukar Dam

But a activity titled Saving Iceland, a organization of groups dissimilar more development, is up in collection. The field of the dam is one of the prime reproduction area for greenland caribou. It is a protected nesting ground for thousands of pink-footed geese and a liking country of the snowy owl, grouse and the olympian gyrfalcon. The pummel formations - red, black and all colours of the bow - are a alone transcript of 10,000 old age of geological and climatic change, providing clues to scientists worldwide, studying, among other things, international warm. All this is to vanish under hose. The environmental impinging of the hang over spreads some wider than this highland inhospitable surroundings and the fjord down the stairs. Other rivers will be disturbed, the surround of animals specified as seals will be desolate and an properly fortified area, Kringilsarrani, will be ramshackle. Many geologists distress catastrophic flooding may event from repetitive antarctic surges and eruptions in Kárahnjúkar's construction country. They too inquiry the desirability of construction a immense dam on a structure weakened by geothermic fissures.

"It is a hugely bloody temper that we are the guardians of," says Olafur Pall Sigurdsson, one of the organisers of Saving Iceland, "and we are waste it."

Last September, Omar Ragnarsson, one of the country's furthermost revered broadcasting reporters, declared that he could no longer coat the Kárahnjúkar overhang next to tendency and would drum up support opposed to it. Answering his call, more than than 8,000 society accompanied an anti-dam gather together in Reykjavik. In 2006 Andri Snaer Magnason, a poet, writer and novelist, published Dreamland, an overpoweringly plausible copy that puts Iceland's biological issues into a worldwide perspective.

Alcoa acknowledges that any quality initiation origination changes within the situation. It claims to have a team of 60 people, all experts in their field, method to design the task in conformation near Alcoa's long goals for sustainable progress.

Iceland's Goals

What roughly Iceland's long-term goals? It is tall to accommodate Alcoa's speech communication next to the veracity of this monster, which dominates the panorama - the foremost dam 190m high, 730m cavernous and 53 km of tunnels, the largest construction of its style in Europe. Nor is it such comfort that Alcoa has launched its "Ten Million Trees" programme, protrusive next to the location of seedlings in the Reydarfjordur spread. True, Iceland's is a unconditional landscape, so deforested that the polity nearly new to (and maybe static does) provide woody plant seeds to residents and ask them to separate the seeds from their cars wherever they went.

Can Alcoa Forest mayhap brand name up for Alcoa's forced infraction of the land?

Sensitive eco-tourists can change to Iceland's economy and well-being, minus doing damage, by roaming lightly, attractive single photographs and going away just footprints. AwimAway's Iceland Gold pleasure trip ( takes in all the magical wonders of Iceland in a green and environmentally amiable way.

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