Prostituting nature for Alcoa

Michael Hoover hooverm at scc-fl.edu
Tue Jul 16 13:14:07 MDT 2002


>>> lnp3 at panix.com 07/16/02 12:25 PM >>>
NY Times, July 16, 2002
An Icelandic Battle of Wildlife Versus Voltage
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
NORTH OF VATNAJOKULL GLACIER, Iceland ― This is Europe's second-largest
wilderness, a high plateau of lakes and virgin rivers, jagged canyons and
snowy former volcanoes linked by swards of treeless tundra inhabited by
thousands of reindeer and geese. 
It is also the alpine spillway for billions of gallons of glacial melt that
Iceland's national power company plans to use in the $3 billion Karahnjukar
Hydropower Project, an undertaking so big it equals nearly a third of the
country's gross domestic product. 
The wildlife-versus-voltage battle has been fought on the banks of many of
the world's rivers. But it is being played out here on epic scale across an
extraordinary landscape. 
The power plant to be built will have one customer: an aluminum smelter
owned by Alcoa, the world's largest aluminum company, 
>>> lnp3 at panix.com 07/16/02 12:25 PM >>>

alcoa, alcoa, where have i heard that name
before?

mellon family controls aluminum company  
of america, was forced to "breakup"
monopoly operations by courts about 50 
years ago, company was first to use 
niagra river to "produce" energy, 
untreated sludge and soil from company's 
ny smelter destroyed streams & 
wetlands...    

alcoa operates more than 150 facilities 
in about 25 countries, subsidiaries in
australia, brazil, netherlands,
suriname, joint ventures in japan &
korea... mining operations are not
very labor-intensive so company
employees less 50,000 workers 
worldwide...

alcoa management used to (may still 
have) have policy of issuing 
workers 3 toilet tissue squares when 
going to washroom...

alcoa's operations are notorious (even by
disgusting transnational corp "standards") 
polluters, company history indicates no 
concern for communities/peoples/human 
needs...

tax statements disclose company pays 
little if any taxes on its third world
operations, meanwhile, returns to 
investment in such countries helped 
then-ceo/now us treasury secretary 
paul o'neill "earn" almost $40 million 
dollars a few years ago... 

pinochet protected alcoa (along
with anaconda, kennecott, itt, etc)
"property" in chile where, today,
wages are still lower than at time
of 1973 coup, wealthiest 100 people
earn more than political state 
spends on social services, & one
of most unequal distributions of
income exists... 

alcoa smelter & refinery in brazil
was financed by tax breaks from
brazil government, latter absorbed
costs of infrastructure development
as well while forcing peasants off 
land...
 
alcoa (along with kaiser, reynolds, etc)
worked to destabilize jamaican economy
in 1970s to prevent partial 
nationalization of island's bauxite 
industry...   michael hoover 



~~~~~~~
PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.



More information about the Marxism mailing list