Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mine Your Own Business !

I just finished watching this interesting 2006 documentary that exposes the environmental movement's horrific anti-development and anti-growth attitude, and their complete hypocrisy.

Mine Your Own Business begins in the village of Rosia Montana, Romania, where a Canadian mining company is facing huge opposition from the environmental NGOs about their plans to develop a gold mine. The environmental movement issue statements that the villagers will suffer under this plan, the pristine environment will be devastated and that 700 villagers have been forcefully removed from their homes, and that it is deeply unpopular and unwelcome by the locals.

The documentary exposes all these claims as bald lies. The villagers were extremely eager to sell their homes voluntarily. The local environment was not quite so pristine and untouched, with polluted rivers from the era of a state run mine. And most interestingly, the villagers were very keen on having a mining industry in their local area for employment and income.

The same scenario was showed as the documentary makers travelled to 2 other mines that were opposed by environmental NGOs. One mine in Madagascar, and another in the mountains of Chile, were both welcomed by the impoverished locals, and fiercely criticised by the environmental activists.

On a technical note, the documentary is produced in a bit of a Michael Moore style, although obviously the political statement doesn't resemble anything Michael Moore has ever produced. A poor Romanian drill operator, eager to work, is taken to visit the other mines and is interviewed at length about his willingness to work and how his entire village depend on trade and commerce to survive and to be happy.

Key leaders of environmental NGOs are interviewed, and they are easily shown to be dishonest or deluded. They either claim that they "really know whats best" for the local villagers, and they even stretched the truth by claiming that that they have visited and lived in these rural villages where mining operations are being proposed, when they have never set foot in the area. They are exposed as wealthy and comfortable people who possess the delusion that they know what actually makes poor villagers happy, and one even spelled out his twisted opinion (I paraphrase here)

"We cannot measure happiness for these people the way we do for ourselves. Health, living standards, income - these aren't valid. We need to look at culture, environmental factors and their way of life"

After watching the entire documentary, this ridiculous claim is destroyed. Some terrific interviews with Deepak Lal and Frank Furedi give an insight into what drives the environmental movement, and I'd have to agree with them in viewing it as nothing more than a secular religion.