Mine Your Own Business, er… Interest

miniung.jpgThere has been a spate of strange anti-environmentalist propaganda hitting the internet and cinema lately, see the CEI ads and Al Gore’s Penguin Army for examples. But it seems these strange, highly funded attacks keep coming. Here’s one called “Mine your own business“. It’s a film that roughly claims that environmentalism is an evil force that wants to keep people in poverty, as “happy peasants”. It actually looks pretty funny.
I asked some Presidio students to come up with a response to this and Orion Fulton hit back with a nice piece of satire….

A documentary about George, a poor fellow from Romania who is having his dreams of working in a mine dashed by the likes of Greenpeace and other environmental groups. The film’s premise, “foreign environmentalists” wish to keep poor people down and force them to continue their “quaint,” albeit economically depressed, way of life in the name of protecting the earth, is a compelling drama that follows the protagonist while he travels the globe to find common ground with other poor people being robbed of the same opportunity to make a decent wage and support their family.
The film never veers far from its central question, which grips the viewer from open scene through the final credits: “What will George do if the mine doesn’t open?” Tactfully, this question is left largely up to the viewer who, given the evidence presented, eventually feels obliged to root for George’s cause. We often hear about environmentalists saving whales, cleaning up polluted waters, or planting trees, but we rarely hear about the dark side of environmentalism: when the rights of inanimate objects are taken more seriously than the human right to make a buck.
In the age of complacency, this movie couldn’t be more timely because it strikes at the fundamental question of choice. Laypersons will walk away from this movie disgusted with the perverse and insidious nature of mining companies, whereas the savvier individual will pick up on the deeper connection between raw resource extraction and choice. Building on sound historical evidence, the film demonstrates that economic and social opportunity is fostered when the oppressed are given the choice between working and starving, which, as the movie alludes to, is why activities like mining are a basic, fundamental part of delivering a democratic, free market society to the world.
In short, if you are an armchair environmentalist you need to see this film. While you may feel you have done your part to save the earth through email petitions to congress and buying fair trade chocolate online, you may not know the full extent of the impact of your donations. George’s life is depending on you.

I’ve no idea if the filmmakers behind this were paid by mining interests or if they just figured they could make a buck off the controversy, but some people will indeed take this kind of thing seriously. Would you shrug this off? Or is it worthy of concern?

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.