[font color=\'#000000\']Bill, you present a rather well balanced agruement for both sides of the problem.
You mentioned the environmental disaster of damming Hetch Hetchy. Maybe so. Maybe not when you consider the reservoir provides about 85% of the water for 2.4 million people in the Bay area and has for 70 years. Maybe the loss of a great and beautiful valley is worth the economic contribution it has and is making.
Iceland does not yet export electrical power as far as I know. That will depend on building a transmission line from Iceland to Europe. Electricity is difficult to store, soif you want toutilize that resource (cheap abundant geothermal and hydro power), you have to use it on the island. Iceland also has aluminium resources. The two go together. While geothermal is cheap and abundant in Iceland, geothermal power plants are noisy and smell bad, as well as require space, roads, housing, etc.
Times also change. John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, thought a road should be built where the John Muir Trail is now located. Soem in the Siera Club would like to see the trail closed to keep people out to save the wilderness.
The point I was trying to make is the hypocritical stance some people take about our environment and developing resources. For example, the Sierra Club has an office in San Francisco, and benefits from the Hetch Hetchy dam, nuclear power plants on the California coast, and on and on. They have a website to spread their message. They drive their cars and ride busses to that office, perhaps fueled by oil from the Santa Barbara channel. In short, theytake full advantage of the progress they attempt to halt. They seem to want to pull up the ladder now that they are on board. They have theirs and don't want anyone else too.
It is not an either/or situation at all, but an attempt to have the best of both. Michael pointed out, perhapds correctly, that there are other places in the world with aluminium and electrical power. Alcoa should go there, away from his yard, but into some else's.
Iceland is an island, but nly geographically. If something happens to the fishing and tourism (a great war in the Middle East with an oil shortage will make fishing and tourism too expensive), what will Iceland do with all that cheap abundant renewable geothermal power, unharnessed hydro and aluminium in the ground? Iceland will then have to work hard to become a third world country.[/font]