Power and prejudice

9. December 2003

De Muth would appear to have based her piece on a visit to Iceland late this summer, during which she visited the Kárahnjúkar site and spoke to a number of individuals directly involved in the project. The material obtained from these interviews is not, however, reflected in her article, which is characterised by a series of inaccuracies and innuendo directed at both the Kárahnjúkar project and Icelandic society in general.

It is clear from the tone of the article that its author has drawn her sources from among the project’s principal opponents, and used a highly liberal interpretation of the facts peppered with a number of misquotes to support her conclusions.

In response to the article and the accusations and misrepresentations contained in it, Iceland’s ambassador to the UK, Sverrir Haukur Gunnlaugsson, sent a letter refuting the allegations to the newspaper’s editor. This was followed by another letter from National Power Company CEO Friðrik Sophusson, a detailed rebuttal from Sigurður Arnalds, head of public relations for the Kárahnjúkar Project, and a letter in similar vein from Mike Baltzell, Alcoa president, primary development.

It should be added that none of the parties concerned has as yet received a reply from The Guardian or its editor.

To view the correspondence referred to in this item and the article to which it refers, click on the following links.

Letter to The Guardian from Landsvirkjun CEO, Friðrik Sophusson, 03.12.03
Rebuttal from Sigurður Arnalds, Head of public relations, Kárahnjúkar Project, 03.12.03
Letter to The Guardian from Sverrir Haukur Gunnlaugsson, Iceland’s ambassador to the UK, 02.12.03
Letter to The Guardian from Mike Baltzell, Alcoa president, primary development, 02.12.03
Power Driven, Susan De Muth, Guardian Unilimited, 26.11.03

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