Last Friday night my wife and I attended a screening in New York City of a new "anti-environmentalist" movie called Mine Your Own Business. The movie was produced and directed by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, both with extensive journalism backgrounds and lively Irish personalities. (Yes, the movie was funded in part by the mining industry.)
The movie explores the economic and environmental issues surrounding three proposed mining projects in Romania, Madagascar, and Chile. In each case, the filmmakers contrast the local residents' desire for better jobs and a better life with the fervent opposition of rich western environmentalists who want to preserve the "quaint" atmosphere of these communities, keeping the local residents living in desperately poor and backward conditions (which are truly heartbreaking to witness).
As McAleer and McElhinney emphasized during the Q & A session after the screening, without the kind of economic development that the western world went through during the 1900s, the people living in these parts of the world have no hope for a better life, for modern housing, transportation, education, medicine, and so forth. If that means that the local environments might get a little "despoiled," so be it.
Once you see and hear the people of these local communities, and compare them to the fatuous and dishonest environmentalists who are trying to stop these projects, it is impossible to disagree. As McAleer put it in the movie, these people are entitled to dignity through development. I urge everyone to see Mine Your Own Business.