The Wallace Street Journal
'Mining's Michael Moore', Phelim McAleer, To Address Silver Summit Banquet
September 30, 2010
Wallace, Idaho - Phelim McAleer, writer, co-director and narrator of the tragi-comical documentary "Mine Your Own Business" pillorying the environmentalist movement's march against mining, will keynote the Silver Baron's Banquet dinner Thursday, Oct. 21 at the eighth annual Silver Summit Oct. 21-22 at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington.
"Mine Your Own Business" exposes how environmentalist NGOs (non-governmental organizations) use their power and influence to impose third-world "quaintness" on regions whose residents would prefer to see the promise of prosperity of first-world mining jobs. McAleer's work prompted the Wall Street Journal Online to comment: "Move over, Michael Moore. You have competition in the art of political film-making...[but] instead of advancing the cause of smug liberal hypocrisy, he's debunking it."
The centerpiece of "Mine Your Own Business" is a proposal by a Canadian firm to rehabilitate and return to production the Rosia Montana gold mine in Transylvania, Romania. Rosia Montana had produced gold since Roman times, but under Soviet rule, was turned into one of Eastern Europe's biggest polluters. Since the mine's post-Soviet closure, unemployment in the area rose to 80 per cent. Gabriel Resources says it can return the mine to productivity while at the same time cleaning up the Soviet-era mess and eliminating pollution from future operations.
In the film, McAleer interviews villagers who want the mine and the jobs it will bring, who say they'd prefer driving their own automobiles to riding on donkeys, juxtaposing their views with those of non-resident environmentalists who don't want the villagers' lifestyle changed for the better. One NGO chief who admires the Third World's quaintness is interviewed in front of his sailing yacht. The documentary reveals the exaggeration and misrepresentations that are behind many NGO campaigns. It also reveals how many environmentalists mistake poverty for an idyllic way of life that they believe needs to be preserved.
Some environmentalists have compared "Mine Your Own Business" to pornography and Nazi propaganda and McAleer and his wife and co-producer, Ann McElhinney have received two death threats from environmentalists because of the content of the documentary.
Some 80 environmentalist NGOs have sought to have Mine Your Own Business banned when it was due to be screened in Washington and McAleer was physically assaulted by environmentalists during the recent Copenhagen climate talks. The left-wing UK Guardian newspaper described "Mine Your Own Business" as a "a Michael Moore-style documentary…cast(ing) the green movement as the influential villain of a worldwide campaign to block development and deny people the chance of jobs and a decent life." Newsweek says that the film has produced "quotes, observations and footage that cast environmental groups in a decidedly unflattering light."
Most recently McAleer was the Producer/Director of "Not Evil, Just Wrong," a documentary that challenges global warming alarmism and highlights the effect such alarmism will have on jobs and those who need industry in the developing world. In response McAleer's microphone was cut off during a press conference when he asked Al Gore "an inconvenient question."
Before "Mine Your Own Business," McAleer was a second unit director, Associate Producer and researcher on the documentary "Return to Sender" which aired on Canada's CBC in February 2005. From 2000 to 2003 he was the Romania/Bulgaria Correspondent for the Financial Times. McAleer has also written for The Economist from the region. Previously from 1998 to 2000, he worked for the UK Sunday Times in their Dublin office.
McAleer started his career as a journalist working for the Crossmaglen Examiner, a local Northern Ireland newspaper in Co. Armagh. The newspaper covered stories in the area, which was known as "Bandit Country" because of the ferocity of the IRA campaign in the area. McAleer then moved to the Irish News in Belfast, Northern Ireland's largest selling daily newspaper, where he covered the Northern Ireland troubles and peace process.
Sponsors of McAleer's appearance include Mr. Robert Hopper, president, Bunker Hill Mining Co., and Mr. Tom Parker, president, U.S. Silver Corporation.
"As the Coeur d'Alene Mining District of northern Idaho hunkers down against the U.S. EPA's 90-year campaign to preclude future mining activities in our region and keep us in quaint poverty, it's appropriate that Mr. McAleer and his films become known to our audience of 1,200 silver and gold investors - most of whom are invested in districts around the world that the environmentalist NGOs have targeted," said Silver Summit Director Shauna Hillman.
Registration for Silver Summit 2010 may be accomplished at silversummit.com, or by telephoning the Silver Summit office during business hours Pacific time, +1.208.556.1621. Those wishing to reserve tickets to the Silver Baron's Banquet should arrange for same by calling the Silver Summit office.