Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Greenies' Campaign Against The Poor

Regular readers know how disgusting I think wealthy European and American environmentalists are, cushioned and comforted on all sides by their nations' advanced technology, because they routinely impose their beliefs on struggling third-world families. My most recent post on the subject was about the Greenies' cavalier killing of thousands of Africans and Asians by refusing to allow DDT to be used to control malaria.

Another disgusting example is in today's Rocky Mountain News, authored by leftist journalist turned anti-environmentalist documentary film maker Phelim McAleer, whose new film Mine Your Own Business documents an environmentalist attack on a proposed mine in Romania.

My admiration for environmentalists started to decline when I was lucky enough to be posted to Romania as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. There I covered a campaign by Western environmentalists against a proposed mine at Rosia Montana in the Transylvania region of the country.

It was the usual story. The environmentalists told how Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company, was going to pollute the environment and forcibly resettle locals before destroying a pristine wilderness.

The usual story indeed. In Mexico, Borneo and Bolivia, all over the world Greenies create trophy battles that come in handy for fund-raising and making them feel important. But the campaigns are scams.

But when I went to see the village for myself I found that almost everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false.

Rosia Montana was already a heavily polluted village because of the 2,000 years of mining in the area. The mining company actually planned to clean up the existing mess.

And the locals, rather than being forcibly resettled as the environmentalists claimed, were queuing up to sell their decrepit houses to the company which was paying well over the market rate.

In my business, I see this again and again. In one case, the Greenies continue to say our client "will grade the entire site" even though we've shown them the plans, which call for 50% of the site to remain untouched. In another, they continue to say the plan will severe the a wildlife corridor, even though we have shown them how the plan retains the corridor.

But in the Third World it's much worse:
As I spoke to the Western environmentalists it quickly emerged that they wanted to stop the mine because they felt that development and prosperity will ruin the rural "idyllic" lifestyle of these happy peasants.

This "lifestyle" includes 70 percent unemployment, two-thirds of the people having no running water and using an outhouse in winters where the temperature can plummet to 20 degrees below zero centigrade.

One environmentalist (foreign of course) tried to persuade me that villagers actually preferred riding a horse and cart to driving a car.

Of course the Rosia Montana villagers wanted a modern life - just like the rest of us. They wanted indoor bathrooms and the good schools and medical care that the large investment would bring.

Environmentalists were intent on denying others comfort, while they lived in heated apartments and ate hearty meals in comfortable bistros. The selfishness of this movement nothing short of stunning.

You can order McAleer's film here and watch a trailer here. (The link to the trailer in the op/ed does not work.)

Hat-tip: Real Clear Politics
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