Dreamland (2010) - full transcript

Icelandic politicians and businesses try to lure aluminum production to the island country.

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DREAMLAND

My grandfather was born in 1919,
at Oddsstaðir in Melrakkaslétta.

He may have belonged to
the last generation in Iceland

Living in full harmony with reality.
People of his generation ...

(ANDRI SNÆR MAGNASON Writer)
Considered themselves rich
because they were not hungry.

Thirty people lived on the farm,
knowing exactly their source of survival.

The salmon became his sister ...

Driftwood produced the warmth
inside the house and the house itself.

The eiderdown produced
the warmth under the covers.

They knew what they lived on
and what they had to do to survive.

Then his brother took over.
Tractors had arrived and suddenly ...



You could produce 10-100 times
more food than ever before.

And everybody just left ...

Reality had increased by 100%
but all the people had moved away.

(DR. HULDA ÞÓRISDÓTTIR Professor of Psychology)
Fear is a very powerful emotion.

It is perhaps the only one that
the brain senses unconsciously

It travels shorter distances
in the brain than other emotions.

Sometimes, we are not really
aware of being afraid.

Fear is marked by a great sense
of uncertainty and lack of control.

It is extremely unpleasant and
we long "to make things better".

We want clear-cut solutions,
not something that "might work"

We don't want something that
has never been tried before.

People who are afraid tend to
be less tolerant towards others.

In large groups, they dislike
people with different opinions.

Sir, I repeat: This action will
provide 2000-2500 new jobs!



Unless people realize that
they are being manipulated ...

Fear is a highly effective
way of controlling them.

It is unjustifiable to repeat
time and time again:

"We can do something else".
If the MP has different solutions,

I urge him to step up and tell us
which solutions he has in mind.

In Iceland, it is perhaps fear
of unemployment, bad economy ...

Something that might threaten
our independence as a nation.

There is a need for continued
economic growth in Iceland

It's clear that if we don't use
the country's energy resources

There will be a considerable
downturn in economic growth

With an attendant rise
in unemployment.

... We need economic growth ...
... What if the cod disappears ...?

... What if the banks go bankrupt?
... The people need work ...

... You can't be opposed
to everything ...

(KATRÍN ÓLAFSDÓTTIR Economist Economic)
growth isn't necessarily a good thing.

If economic growth
rises too high,

We start producing beyond
our national product,

inflation rates start to rise,
current-account deficits grow

Unemployment rates go down
but what we are left with ...

ls an imbalance that we'll have
to deal with sooner or later.

To measure economic growth
is a bit like measuring feelings.

Imagine the Union of Psychologists
issuing the following statement:

"More feelings detected
in October than in July"

Without distinguishing between
different feelings like love and hate.

They'd simply say: "We have more
feelings" or "We need more feelings".

If world peace would suddenly
spread out, like a virus ...

The headlines around
the world would be:

"Denmark declares to
foreign nations that

it recognizes Iceland
as a sovereign state".

"Iceland affirms its permanent neutrality
and that it will have no flag of war".

"The treaty takes effect
on Dec 1 st, 1918".

(VALUR INGIMUNDARSON Historian)
When the USA put forward a request for military bases in Iceland

The US ambassador, Dreyfuss,
was very determined:

He wanted four US bases in Iceland
for the next 99 years, situated in ...

(MATTHÍAS JÓHANNESSEN Poet and former editor of Morgunblaðið)
They didn't stand a chance against the Prime Minister.

As a political leader, he'd
fought for Iceland's independence

He didn't want to turn Iceland
into an American colony.

Business trade with the Base
became so big between 1951 -55 ...

It almost became an
export trade on its own.

18-20 % of our foreign exchange
derived from this business trade.

The following years, the economy
was sustained with funds and loans.

Iceland was considered so small ...

That when Iceland started doing
big business with the USSR in 1953,

-In the middle of the Cold War -

Eisenhower proposed at a meeting
of the National Security:

"Why don't we just buy up all
of Iceland's fishing production ..."

"To solve this problem
once and for all?"

if the army leaves, everything
goes straight to hell!

Prime Minister Davíð Oddsson
met with George Bush

In the White House today
to discussed Iceland's defense.

The meeting went well but it has
taken a long time to establish it.

What does this really mean?
-The Base will cut down on staff

But it will continue to operate,
I am pretty sure about that.

It's absurd to think you can
make friends with a superpower.

There is no such thing as
friendship with a superpower.

Only interests.

To maintain anything else
is simply absurd.

We don't want Iceland in NATO!
We want the army to go home!

Iceland has become a nation
without armed forces.

Icelandic authorities have taken
over the US army base.

The police saluted the head of
the US base outside his office.

A short farewell ceremony
took place at the airport.

Americans and Icelanders
said goodbye for the last time.

They disappeared into
the sunset on a DC-9 jet.

We have an international
university campus ...

Where there used to be a
military base for NATO!

In my mind, that's not a bad way
to end the military occupation.

A new aluminum plant will
soon be built here in Helguvík.

While signing the contracts today,
it was stressed how important a role

This plant would play in increasing
jobs in the Suðurnes area.

There seems to be enough energy
in the Hengill area for this project.

Research will continue,
drilling will continue.

There was an over-production
of electricity in Iceland in 1995.

A mountain of excessive butter,
meat and ... Electricity.

To put this electricity into use,
"Lowest Energy Prices" was written.

-75 MW ... 150 MW ...
80-100 MW ...

A total of 150 MW ... 255 MW
...70 and up to 200 MW ...

A 90 MW power plant ...
A 750 MW hydroelectric plant ...

A total of 760 gigawatts a year!

All the homes, plus companies and
small industry = less than 3 TWh/y.

The pamphlet, however, promises
30 TWh/y for the big corporations.

In the pamphlet and in all official
records, this is what they call:

"Profitable hydro power that
doesn't harm the environment"

At first, there were ongoing
negotiations with Union Carbide

From Union Carbide's chemical accident in 1984 in Bhopal, India. A
very big American company that later got into big trouble in India.

(GARÐAR INGVARSSON former director of MÍL Market Bureau)
Rio Tinto Zinc was ready for a silicon smelter plant in Iceland

They hadn't built one before and
negotiations were well underway.

There's hardly an aluminum company
that hasn't visited Iceland at some point.

Iceland had all these opportunities,
it had built up a solid infrastructure

When they decide to make Iceland the
world's biggest aluminum manufacturer.

Alcan, Arctus and Norsk Hydro
are currently trying to find a place

For their aluminum plants on
the South-West coast of Iceland.

... Trying to establish power-
intensive industry in Þorlákshöfn ...

... People of Vogar are voting about
a future Alcan power plant in Keilisnes ...

... There are currently new ideas
of a more extensive landfill ...

... The plan is to start building
three aluminum plants next year ...

In Þorlákshöfn, Helguvík and Bakki.

Alcoa announces that it will go ahead
with a new power plant in Iceland ...

... And speaking of aluminum plants ...
-One in Brimnes, Skagafjörður ...

Another one in Dysnes, Eyjafjörður ...
... And one in Bakki, Húsavík.

If all ideas of aluminum plants
will be realized, annual production ...

Will increase almost four times and
become more than 2,5 million tons.

That's what I call development
policy for the countryside!

(JOHN PERKINS, author of
"Confessions of An Economic Hit-Man")

Research and drillings for a
future hydro power project ...

Have started near Skaftá river.
-Today, Landsvirkjun published ...

An environmental assessment
for a dam in Norðlingaalda.

In Villinganes, all permits are ready
for a power-intensive industry ...

Except for a development permit,
says Minister of industry.

The resources will be used to drive
power-intensive industry in the North.

The Kárahnjúkar Dam and
the harnessing of Jökulsá ...

Will have the most drastic
impact on the environment ...

At the same time, they are
the most profitable options.

If all the power-intensive industry
in the South-East will be realized ...

There will be enough power for two
server farms, two silicon plants ...

The first installation of
an aluminum plant in Helguvík ...

And a production increase of
the aluminum plant in Straumsvík.

(REYNIR HARÐARSON, founder and artistic director of CCP)
A company like Landsvirkjun specializes in making plants and ...

It's quite understandable that their
engineers want to continue to do so

Because this is their life's work.
It's like a self-feeding machine.

It won't stop
unless we make it stop.

First and foremost, I look where
I can get energy for a good price

(FRIÐRIK SOPHUSSON Managing director of Landsvirkjun)
And how it is possible to sell it at an even better price.

And if it is to Suðurnes, I'm happy.
But I can't rule out other places.

Our sales territory, if I may say so,
is all of Iceland.

(JAKOB BJÖRNSSON, former director general of the National Energy Authority)
For ages, or let's say as late as the 16th century

Icelanders have had pretty strange
ideas about the highlands, as we know.

In their minds, it became the home
of ghosts, trolls, outlaws, elf-queens -

All kinds of supernatural and
hostile creatures. There are accounts ...

Of farmers who went to the highlands
armed with weapons, just in case.

Such a thing must be unheard of
in our history of collecting sheep.

Me and many people of my generation
realized that this was all hogwash.

The highlands were not a ghost world,
just plain landscape like anywhere else.

You can find volcanoes and lava
in Kamchatka as well as in Iceland;

You can also find high plateaus
in Altiplano, S-America, or Mongolia;

Water springs in relatively unspoilt
environment exist in Yellow Stone;

Glacier tongues and glaciofluvial
drift exists in Alaska and Svalbard;

(ÞÓRA ELLEN ÞÓRHALLSDÓTTIR Biologist) But nowhere on earth,
except in Iceland, can you see all these things ...

In a three-day trip.

Some say Iceland is the most
beautiful country in the world.

Every country could say
the same thing, of course.

All countries can't be the most
beautiful country in the world.

Exaggerations are perhaps more
common in Iceland than elsewhere.

Halldór Laxness Nobel prize author Naturalists
from all over the world have begged ...

The government, the parliament
and finally the people of Iceland

To spare Þjórsárver from destruction.

At an international gathering
of conservationists in London

Only one person spoke as an
adversary of Iceland

He was sent there by the National
Energy Authority in Reykjavík.

In his speech, he stressed that
Icelanders were most certainly

Not prepared to abandon their
operations at Þjórsárver.

Þjórsárver is a vegetation oasis
in more than one sense, I think.

An oasis in the desert.

The area is bounded by Hofsjökull
glacier in the North and ...

Surrounded by wastelands from
the East, the West and the South.

This oasis exists because of all
the water that flows through the area

Both below and above the surface.

In this isolated oasis, almost
at the center of Iceland,

There is a staggering amount
of animal and plant species,

Probably the largest selection
in the entire Icelandic highlands.

If you look at the wildlife, this is
indeed a unique place in the world.

It is on a list of wetlands of
international importance.

The expansion of the power plant
in Grundartangi has not been secured.

An energy resource is needed to
fulfill the needs of a bigger plant.

Pre-research shows that an
expansion would prove cost-effective.

... This would mean a go-ahead with
the expansion of the plant ...

... The expansion of the Norðurál
plant could start this summer ...

Demonstrations against bauxite-
production in Orissa, India.

When a company like Alcoa
moves its power plants

From the Third World to Iceland,
-where salaries are way higher -

Starts shipping bauxite from Jamaica
to Iceland ... There must be catch.

Otherwise, they wouldn't make
this kind of decisions.

... We must realize that we're
talking about a global influence ...!

It's fair to say that lodging
power-intensive industry means ...

That we have certain moral
obligations towards the world.

I have also said many times
that I think it is simply ridiculous

That aluminum industry in Iceland
is included in the Kyoto Protocol.

If we would exploit each and every
important natural resource in Iceland

We could make nearly as much
aluminum as America dumps

Into the garbage each year,
without recycling.

The exercise follows a scenario
in which ultra-environmentalists

Come to Iceland and threaten
national security.

The exercise takes place in Helguvík,
among other places.

This week, dozens of soldiers have
either been in hiding or ...

Fighting an imaginary attack
against the environmentalists.

Is it possible to put
a price on everything?

Let's say we could process
the gold in the Mount Esja.

How much money would we
accept for selling Mount Esja?

Would that be 2 billion kronas? 20?

When traveling around the country
or seeing pictures of the landscape

One thinks: "Even if I have nothing,
I'd still have this". This is ours ...

But now, the message is:
"No, this is not yours".

The route from Landmannalaugar
to Þórsmörk ... Is it a national park?

I don't even think it is protected.
Otherwise, these plans wouldn't exist

Of making it the subject
of massive energy utilization.

Currently, the emphasis is on
exploiting the geothermal areas.

In many ways, they march
into these areas like gold diggers

Even though a proper study of
the ecosystem hasn't been done.

(JÓN ÓLAFSSON Geologist) There aren't many
geothermal areas in Iceland, around twenty.

Many of these geothermal areas
have already been disturbed

Most of the remaining ones will
probably be disturbed in the next years.

Research drilling causes great damage.
Afterwards, many people think:

"Further disturbance in the area is
all right -the damage is already done"

This is how they have their way.

My name is Sæþór Gunnsteinsson,
from Presthvammur in Aðaldalur.

I've lived here all my life.

Of course this place
means a lot to me.

Sheep have grazed these pastures
since ... People started living here.

I've been looking after sheep
in this area since I was a kid.

I've been the leader of
the round-ups for 10 years.

I've been going to
the round-ups for 25 years.

I care deeply for this land.
The landscape is magnificent ...

You can see all kinds of
different landscape over here:

Huge walls of rocks like in Þingvellir
that runs for miles in this area.

It's something special to be
here when it's bright all night long

Especially in calm weather,
with the sun setting in the west

And steams of water rising up
from every pore in the ground.

(SÆÞÓR GUNNSTEINSSON Farmer at Presthvammur) I'll keep this
picture in my mind, even though I may never see it again.

People come from all over ...

To see the geothermal area and
this magnificent landscape.

People can make a living here
without destroying the nature.

Who knows what the wilderness
will be worth in years to come?

Oddly enough, there's no discussion.

As soon as the research permit is in,
the ball starts rolling.

Everybody just sits and waits for
the aluminum money to cash in.

Although geothermal areas are
relatively common in Iceland

It is quite a rare phenomenon
compared to the world at large.

Iceland has a moral duty to take
care of these natural resources.

We must protect them, not only
for the benefit of ourselves,

But for the benefit of
every nation on this planet.

A fair discussion about ...

A high-tech aluminum plant and
urban life living side by side

ls not a matter of air pollution
but rather a question of outlook

Towards residents and bypassers.
This is the matter in a nutshell.

Choose a bigger and a better plant.
-Alcan in Straumsvík.

The Ministry of industry has
commissioned Finnur Ingólfsson

-the head of the Central Bank
and a former Minister of industry -

To lead a committee to get more
aluminum companies to Reyðarfjörður.

Guests keep coming to Fljótsdalur,
where prosperous people live.

(ALAIN BELDA, CEO of Alcoa arrives in Egilsstaðir Airport on March 15th, 2003.)
They show their hospitality to these wanderers who come in crowds.

A crowd of wanderers, loads of women
-these people are up to no good.

And here comes Grýla,
greedy like an eagle;

And here comes Grýla,
she only has appetite for children.

You're wearing an Alcoa cap,
T-shirt and the whole gamut!

Does this day call for a celebration?
-Sure does, as somebody said ...

This could be the national day
of Reyðarfjörður.

(GUÐBERGUR BERGSSON Writer.) Well, Iceland
has been a colony almost from the start.

First it was a Norwegian colony,
then a Danish one and later ...

An American colony. Now, it's
a colony for ... American industry.

Senior citizens raise the flags of
Alcoa, Eskifjörður and Fjarðarbyggð.

One of Alcoa's executives visited
us last fall with an interpreter.

I seized a long-awaited
opportunity and asked for a flag.

Since we, the senior citizens,
can't afford to buy much.

He took favorably to my request
and the flag arrived a month later.

The package was from Australia,
so it must have been from there.

The signing of the contract to build an aluminum plant in Reyðarfjörður March
15th, 2003 Without further ado, I'd like to introduce the people on the stage,

Valgerður Sverrisdóttir,
Minister of industry and Finance!

Alain Belda, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Alcoa!

Geir Haarde
Former Prime Minister

Is it the sea or the mountains
that draws me to this place?

Or is it the aluminum plant
that soon will be built over here?

We receive positive news
about products ...

Connected with these companies,
ads in the papers of how they work.

This information is carefully
picked for us. We are not told that ...

Alcoa is a leading participant of
manufacturing weapons in the States.

Preparation for Kárahnjúkar dam
continues despite the fact that ...

The Director of the National Planning
Agency has already rejected the dam

Due to the unacceptable impact that
it will cause on the environment.

The plant will produce 240.000,
360.000 and then 480.000 tons.

They bigger they get,
the more profit they make!

As members of government,
we will guarantee ...

... That those institutions
evaluating environmental effects

Will turn in their results on time.

Before the eyes of Our Lord
on this beautiful day of summer

We present the biggest construction
project in the history of Iceland

In the name of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Ghost we all say amen.

Minister for the Environment reversed a
decree by the Planning Agency

The Agency had previously
rejected the Kárahnjúkar Dam

The Planning Agency could have
done a better job, in our opinion.

Also, there was a lot of pressure
coming from Landsvirkjun.

They wanted the report published
to continue with the project.

Politicians have hopes and dreams but
it's a privilege to see them come true.

A mighty power has been unleashed,
and it's all happening right here.

Isn't it like a dream coming true?

A meeting was held today, what did
you discuss? -We found out that ...

Four individuals were very outspoken
and tried to influence the others.

So we have decided to send these
four individuals home tonight.

My name is Örn Þorleifsson
and I live here in Húsey.

This island is created by
the load from Jökla river.

(ÖRN ÞORLEIFSSON Farmer in Húsey) A special wildlife
had developed here with 175 types of plants

And 30 different bird species
have laid their eggs here.

The building of the Kárahnjúkar
dam changed a lot around here.

The birds, for example the loon,
didn't lay eggs here this spring.

The river carried a lot of moraine
that stuck to the sandbanks.

This has created problems for men and
animals since the construction began.

It blocks the view so you can't
really see the farmsteads nearby.

This spring we had trouble
breathing because of this.

Even the airplanes flying over
Egilsstaðir complain about this.

The landscape changes constantly,
regardless of human beings.

This is a different country from
the one the Vikings discovered.

The land has changed,
the natural forces have changed it.

I don't see why man can't
change it as well, if he wants to.

I can't see anything wrong with that.

(HEIÐAR MÁR GUÐJÓNSSON Economist) These big
constructions had a huge impact on the economy.

The National Bank predicted
that both the dam and the plant

Would cause such money-flow in
the system between 2003-2007

That they would have to
increase the interest rates

To make room for these construction.
In other words ...

Companies are "cooled"
or "tied down" a bit ...

So that the State can take a bigger
slice of the domestic product.

Is that a positive thing?
No, that's very negative.

Residents of Yarloop, south of Perth
in West Australia, have started ...

A campaign against the pollution
coming from an Alcoa plant.

They complain over itching,
respiratory irritation, nosebleeds

Chronic fatigue syndrome,
mental illness and cancer.

Alcoa, the biggest manufacturer
of alumina, is also accused ...

Of charging excessively
for alumina. Alcoa ...

Parent company of Alcoa-Fjarðarál
in Reyðarfjörður, has been accused ...

Of bribing employers in Barein
to make negotiations go smoother.

James I. Gadsden
The American ambassador

US authorities investigate Alcoa
after Aluminum Barein filed a suit

Against Alcoa for bribing
anonymous employers in Barein.

The President of Alcoa, Alain Belda,
is also under a lot of pressure.

He received $25 million last
year in salaries and benefits

Which is twice the amount he
received the year before.

Alcoa, parent company of
Alcoa-Fjarðarál in Reyðarfjörður,

Has considered building a new
aluminum plant in Bakki, Húsavík.

Two aluminum plants in your
constituency? -Yes.

(VALGERÐUR SVERRISDÓTTIR Former Minister of industry) Is that
your goal? -Yes, I also want an aluminum plant in Húsavík.

A multi-functional sports hall
may be built in Reyðarfjörður.

Alcoa and Bechtel plan
to take part in this project.

These enormous constructions
will surely benefit our economy

Bring us great prosperity
in the near future.

Here is Guðmundur Bjarnason,
Mayor of Fjarðarbyggð!

I was Mayor when negotiations
about an aluminum plant started.

(GUÐMUNDUR BJARNASON Former Mayor of Fjarðarbyggð)
First we talked with Norsk Hydro, then Alcoa.

There is a turning point in
the life of Mr. Bjarnason.

He retires after 15 years in office.
Helga Jónsdóttir is the new Mayor.

I am a project manager for Alcoa.

My job mainly concerns cooperation
with the public administration,

Local authorities and larger companies.
-It's a golden opportunity for us ...

(TRYGGVI FINNSSON Regional business agent in Húsavík) To be
able to ask people with everything still in fresh memory:

What did you do right?
What could you have done better?

Bjarnason is our main contact man,
he's given us valuable comments.

For example, how to go about ...
While negotiating with Alcoa!

(ÓMAR RAGNARSSON Reporter) It becomes easy
to convince people, for example in Húsavík,

It isn't because they're not equal
to us as human beings in any way

The town simply doesn't stand
a chance against this kind of power.

If even the president of the USA
has to show his respect to Alcoa ...

How do you think a small town
in Iceland can stand a chance?

No, no, no. The district
communities have nothing to fear.

There was a lot of good will during
the negotiations, you could feel it.

The district communities
are so small, after all.

And I have got news for you ...

What is the response
from Húsavík ...?

An aluminum plant is really the
greatest gift we could have received.

This is probably the greatest moment
in the history of our community since ...

Viking Garðar Svavarsson set foot
in Húsavík and settlement began.

Héðinshöfði is the first farmstead
in Tjörnes, north of Húsavík.

It's always been a large estate
and a very good estate

Poet Einar Benediktsson lived here.
I grew up in his house ... -

In his room, in fact. I slept there
until I reached adolescence.

I am of the third generation,
the fourth generation exists.

It might take over, someday.

(JÓNAS JÓNASSON Farmer at Héðinshöfði) I first heard
of the plant when we were summoned to a meeting

We were told that if an aluminum
plant would be built,

The location of the future Alcoa plant It would
be impossible to continue farming on this land.

It was also implied that all
the inhabited areas would perish.

All the good cropland
becomes ... A dilution zone.

If they put a plant here, the estate
is ruined and they'll drive us away.

When my old man heard about this,
he said he'd take the old Land Rover ...

And drive it over the hill,
rather than live to see this.

Near the deserted farm of Bakki,
just north of Húsavík,

Specialists are researching the
strata for a future power plant.

Supporters of the plant are
also here to show their support.

People have gathered to prove to
themselves and the nation as well

that they support this project and
that the entire nation isn't against it.

But are the locals just pawns
in the game of big corporations?

Suddenly, people are fighting over
real estates in Húsavík

the young people are coming back
and this is our way to show them

that we support them and that
we want to create a future for them.

When the supporters of the plant
intended to put a bouquet of flowers

on Einar Benediktsson's memorial,
three young men protested.

Surely, Benediktsson was
ahead of his times and wanted ...

To harness the natural resources
and sell the energy to foreigners.

If he were alive today ...

I think he'd still be ahead of his
times and be an environmentalist.

That's my belief.

The aluminum plant in Húsavík
is supposed to be generated ...

Purely with geothermal energy.
It is possible to do that ...

With the first installment
which produces ca. 200.000 tons.

After that, this resource
will be all used up.

All these plants have to expand
-that's just how it works -

So for the expansion, they'll
have to exploit Skjálfandi river.

Aldreyjarfoss Waterfalls
in Skjálfandi River

if we take the first step ...

We'll soon be on a roller-coaster
and we won't be able to stop.

If we don't stop this now, nobody
will stop ten years from now.

There will be no progress
in this country

if politicians continue
to discourage people.

To tell people that things
are out of control,

To tell entrepreneurs
to be on their guard.

Progress doesn't happen automatically.
To stop means to take a step

backwards ...

To stop means delaying progress.
Fear of change will get us nowhere.

Since an agreement was reached ...

To built the Kárahnjúkar dam
and a power plant in Reyðarfjörður

the Middle East part of Iceland has
blossomed like a flower in summer.

We're building nearly 200 houses,

Real estates in Fjarðarbyggð have
increased by 50-60% in one year.

Great opportunities lie ahead.

The biggest enterprise in Icelandic
history made all this possible.

Every time the state comes up
with a project on such a huge scale

They are brushing other
opportunities aside.

As a result, it is more difficult
to build up new companies.

The economy might take a dive
once these big projects are completed.

If another big project is needed
to save the economy, well ...

That's a bit like staying drunk
to avoid the hangovers.

The consequences of prolonging
such a mentality will be horrible.

When a politician has decided
that the future of the nation,

-the future of its education,
of the health care system etc. -

Depends on one single project, -
What happens when a biologist ...

Voices some uncomfortable ideas?
-The National Energy Authority ...

Has allowed one of its geophysicist
to speak out about Kárahnjúkar.

Because of the serious nature of
his comments a question arises:

Why wasn't it reported to Parliament
and the industrial Committee?

The Director of NEA had the
memo labelled confidential.

Obviously, somebody wanted to
keep these information secret

because ...

It threatened national interests.
I just find it very strange ...

To build such a big dam over an
active fault zone and earth fractures.

What happens when a photographer
shows beautiful pictures of the area?

This needs to be hushed down too ...

"The Land that Will Disappear"
Photos by RAX

(RAGNAR AXELSSON (RAX) Photographer) It was a surprise ...
Showing these pictures in this small community ...

The atmosphere was really strange ...
It was so ruthless ...

People threatened me, assaulted me ...
People called me up and asked:

Why are you showing people
these bloody pictures?

Yesterday, they weren't aware
that this landscape existed!

Then they just turn up
the volume on all the other stuff ...

Today, Bechtel received an award
from the Ministry for the Environment

For outstanding contributions
to the environment last year.

Today, the króna rose by 1,2% ...

Experts at the Icelandic Bank say
the cause of this is probably due to ...

High expectations of a future
Alcoa power plant in North.

In the end, the overall picture
must be off balance.

If it all adds up, it would
be a stroke of pure luck.

Series of waterfalls in Jökulsá River Perished on Sept. 11th, 2008
Most likely, however, a crack runs down the entire process ...

Through the preliminary researches
and down to the heart of the matter.

I don't think it is really fair ...

When people who have never
been here and seen the area ...

Start to care about this area.
-This argument makes no sense.

Few people have been face-to-face
with the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

It doesn't mean that we
don't care if someone ruins it.

It's enough for us to know
that these things exists.

Whether or not you've been
there or not doesn't count.

Did you go to Töfrafoss Falls?
-I went all over the place and ...

I don't really regret that this land
is going under water, to be frank.

This area is not something you'd
think of as a particularly beautiful.

Surely a large area is going under
water but it's not that beautiful ...

At least not when it is compared
to other places in Iceland.

It is repeatedly stated that if you
are against these constructions ...

You are only supporting the
protection of a deserted wasteland.

Let's look at the facts: 40 km
of vegetated area will be drowned.

The jewel in the crown is Háls.
It consists of 15 km of soil,

A fertile soil that is 2-3m thick
and lies 600m above sea level.

This is what they're sinking,
they're always sinking vegetation!

Never in our history has a construction
brought equal destruction of vegetation.

The last man-made reservoir,
Blöndulón, holds second place!

Time and time again, we're
sinking areas rich in vegetation!

Mountains are the home of gods.

(ERLA STEFÁNSDÓTTIR Piano teacher) I think they'll
rise up to defend themselves, if they are attacked.

People know this, it's just not
cool to speak about it these days.

You're not supposed to have feelings,
just stay cool, act like you don't care.

What kind of person are you ...

if you have no feelings for your
country? The mountains? The rivers?

Last Tuesday, around 12.000 people
joined Ragnarsson in a protest walk.

Ragnarsson proposes that the dam
will stand ready but unused

As a monument to the courage of
a nation that sought reconciliation

With future generations
and its own conscience.

The filling of Hálslón reservoir
started this morning.

It is estimated that it will
take a year to fill the reservoir.

According to the leading
engineer of Kárahnjúkar dam ...

They've done everything
in their power to secure the dam.

June 9th, 2007
At the site of Hálslón reservoir

The surface of Hálslón reservoir
has risen rapidly during the last 24-h.

The water spreads steadily over
the area around Kárahnjúkar dam.

June 9th, 2007. Alcoa's opening
ceremony in Reyðarfjörður.

Honored guests, dear friends,

I congratulate you on this day

Alcoa-Fjarðarál Power Plant
and the people that work here

Receive our blessings,
in Jesus' name: Amen.

What do we want to do?
What does the future hold?

What does the future hold
for our children?

The way I see it, Iceland is
at a crossroads right now.

We have a chance of a lifetime
to create our own future

A chance few other nations have
to do something really great.

What are we going to do?
Walk away from it?