Oct 12, 2006

They may be poor, but they're happy

That's the justification wealthy environmentalists are using to keep mines from opening in Third World countries. And thanks to an unemployed miner and a film company, their sanctimony has been captured for posterity.
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.


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."

What a humanitarian.

Via Tim Blair.

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