11 januar, 2007

Mine your own business

En dokumentar med en forfriskende ny vinkel på miljø-mafiaen: Mine Your Own Business

Dokumentarens hjemmeside kan findes her. Fra The Telegraph:

An unemployed Romanian miner who is flown across the globe to confront environmental activists is the unlikely star of a Michael Moore-style film, aimed at debunking the militant green movement.

Gheorghe Lucian, 23, is a plain-speaking resident of an impoverished village where an opencast gold mine is planned.

He is dismayed that the project, which would bring a £400 million investment and generate 600 jobs in an area where unemployment is 70 per cent, is being blocked by environmentalists.

Among them is the actress Vanessa Redgrave, who used a film festival awards ceremony in June to denounce the mine project in the Rosia Montana region of Romania. "Our planet is dying and we have no right to destroy an ecosystem," she said.

Phelim McAleer, the director of the film which was partly funded by Gabriel Resources, the Canadian mining company behind the project, said Miss Redgrave and other wealthy protesters from the West were the real enemies of the poor. "Our answer to her is Gheorghe," he said.

For the film, Mine Your Own Business, Mr Lucian was taken to other poor countries where mining projects are being blocked by environmentalists. In Madagascar, he could barely disguise his horror as an official of the World Wide Fund for Nature, showed off his £20,000 catamaran before arguing that the poor were just as happy as the rich.

The official admitted that residents of Fort Dauphin, where environmentalists are objecting to a mine, were "economically disadvantaged" and many had no jobs. But he insisted: "I could put you with a family and you count how many times in a day that family smiles, if you could measure stress. Then I put you with a family well off, or in New York or London, and you count how many times people smile and measure stress… Then you tell me who is rich and who is poor."

Using a style reminiscent of Michael Moore, whose film Fahrenheit 9/11 lampooned the Bush administration, Mr McAleer lured environmentalists into making statements that were false or patently ridiculous.

During the hour-long film, Françoise Heidebroek, a Belgian opponent of the Rosia Montana mine, says Romanian villagers prefer to use horses rather than cars, and to rely on "traditional cattle raising, small agriculture, wood processing" to live.

Locals retort that their land is too poor for farming, that they all want cars and that they are desperate for the investment the mine would bring. The film had its first screening last week at a conference of gold-mining companies in Denver, Colorado. Alan Hill, president of Gabriel Resources, which did not control the film's content, said: "Before, the environmentalists would lob mortars at us and we would keep our heads down. Now, there is a big push back."

Back home again, Mr Lucian is living with his parents and four siblings in a dilapidated one-bedroom flat. "Rosia Montana is very interesting for everybody like Greenpeace and NGOs," he said. "But these people do not ask what we need. People here have no food, no money."

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