- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Green vs. gold
Question of the Day
A new documentary has stirred debate about a proposed mining project in Romania, one of several conflicts around the world that pit environmental activists against poor communities desperate for economic development.
several conflicts around the world that pit environmental activists against poor communities desperate for economic development.
Groups opposing the project say the proposed mine would hurt the environment and threaten buildings of cultural and historical significance near the 2,000-year-old mining village of Rosia Montana.
The mine’s proponents say the project offers the community its only hope of economic development, and that the mining company would clean up the environmental damage from thousands of years of uncontrolled mining and preserve historic buildings.
“Mine Your Own Business,” a film produced by New Bera Media in association with the New York-based Moving Picture Institute, exposes what it calls “the dark side of environmentalism.”
In impoverished villages in Romania, Madagascar and Chile, filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, both fellows of the MPI, encounter environmentalists who want to stop proposed mining projects. Many villagers who appear in the documentary say the mining projects would bring much-needed financial resources into their economically deprived regions.
Left-wing groups have called the film propaganda, noting that it received significant funding from Gabriel Resources, the company trying to begin mining operations in Rosia Montana. The filmmakers acknowledge the funding at the beginning of the film, saying they agreed to produce the film on the condition of complete editorial independence.
Rob Pfaltzgraff, executive director of the MPI, called it a “sign of transparency” that the film included information pertaining to its relationship with Gabriel Resources. “There was no editorial control whatsoever, and everyone who has met these filmmakers knows how stubbornly independent they are.”
The documentary portrays environmental organizations as opponents of economic development that want to preserve what they call a quaint way of life where people drive horses rather than cars.
Stephanie Roth, a 2005 recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize, works with the nongovernmental organization Alburnus Maior to stop the Gabriel Resources mining project. Ms. Roth, who initially came to Romania to stop an amusement park from replacing an old oak grove, represents a group of locals who are opposed to the project. The documentary and the mining company say that despite her vocal opposition, the majority of locals want the mining project.
Ms. Roth said the mining company will destroy the old churches in Rosia Montana. Kathy Sipos, director of investor relations and corporate communications for Gabriel Resources, said the company would preserve all 41 buildings designated as historically significant by Romanian government agencies. She said six churches in the Rosia Montana valley will be preserved, while two others will be either moved or replaced according to the wishes of the congregations.
“For all [Ms. Roth‘s] supposed concern about the churches, what would happen if she prevails, Gabriel leaves, and unemployment goes to 100 percent?” asked Ms. Sipos. She referenced a church in a nearby village, Geamana. “It too had a state-run mine that simply closed. The villagers left. The church is abandoned. It is being slowly flooded.”
Ms. Roth rejected the notion that Rosia Montana is monoindustrial and said small businesses and farm subsidies from the European Union were promising options for economic development. “We believe in development from bottom up and not from top down,” she said.
She said economic activity has been stagnant since 2002 because the area is reserved for mining. “If Rosia Montana today is economically deprived, it is because of Gabriel Resources,” she said.
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq