Sunday, February 25, 2007


Film makers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney write opinion piece for Mine Your Own Business in the Irish Daily Mail
For full article click here

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Over 100,000 eyes view the trailer on youtube.

Following a recent article on Fox by Stephen Milloy, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have received a spike of 400 emails and communications congratulating them and asking them for more information on Mine Your Own Business.

The trailer for the documentary has now been looked at by over 100,000 eyes as the number of people who have viewed the trailer on youtube has reached 54,000

For the full article on Fox News click here

Steven Milloy publishes one of our favourite websites.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sunday Times not convinced

An interesting review of Mine Your Own Business by Mick Heaney of the UK Sunday Times, a former colleague of co-director Phelim McAleer.

Mr Heaney finds Mine Your Own Business unconvincing.

Everyone is allowed their opinions but we would take issue with his comments that we "sideline facts that threaten our thesis".

In particular Mr Heaney claims we gloss over the fact that opposition to the Rosia Montana project was started by Eugene David, a local farmer.

However the facts tell the true story. The Goldman Prize, the Nobel Prize for environmentalists, was not given to Mr David but rather was awarded to Stephanie Roth, the Swiss environmentalist.

In their citation the Goldman Prize stated:

"Since 2002, Roth has been the driving force behind an international campaign to stop construction of Europe's largest open cast gold mine in Romania."

They also later describe the opposition as "Roth's campaign".

Ms Roth is a former journalist for The Ecologist. In a profile they state that:
"Thanks in part to the organizing efforts of Stephanie Roth, a French and Swiss citizen and former environmental journalist, Romanians have staged large public protests and organized an effective coalition of mine opponents."

The Goldman Foundation and the Ecologist believe a foreign environmentalist is the driving force behind the campaign. Who are we to argue?

You can read the full Sunday Times article below.
page 1
page 2

You can see the documentary in full at the Dublin International Film Festival on Feb 18 at 12 noon in the IFI Temple Bar Dublin. The film makers will attend and there will be a panel discussion afterwards.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Thursday, February 8, 2007


It was the film Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth didn't want you to see but thankfully people seem to have ignored their attempts to censor and ban the new documentary which takes a hard look at the environmental movement.

Today the trailer of Mine Your Own Business which is posted on youtube has been viewed by over 50,000 people. There are 50,000 people out there who have decided to ignore the elites in Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who have tried to tell them what they can and cannot see or watch.

To the 50,000 who have watched our trailer and the thousands who have emailed their support we say thank you and we pledge to continue promoting Mine Your Own Business and bringing its message to as many people as possible.

It is an important film which is creating a new debate about the role of Big Environment in the modern world. It is also important because it gives a voice to the people of Rosia Montana, Fort Dauphin and Pascua Lama. their hopes for a better life for themselves and their children have so often been ignored by environmentalists and much of the world's media who prefer to talk to foreign environmentalists about these people's lives.

Once again we thank the 50,000.

Phelim McAleer
Producer and Director
Ann McElhinney
Producer and Director

National Review Online reviews MYOB

February 08, 2007, 0:00 a.m.

A Mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Mine Your Own Business exposes green hypocrisy.

By Peter Suderman

It's not often you find environmentalists staging a protest outside of
National Geographic. But in mid-January, a handful of them gathered
outside the magazine's Washington, D.C. headquarters to rally against
the organization's decision to rent out a theater for the Washington
premiere of the documentary Mine Your Own Business, a movie that
tracks the efforts of environmentalists to stop the development of
mines that promise to invigorate flagging economies in destitute
regions across the world.

With stacks of photocopied handouts and hand-scrawled poster board
signs bearing slogans like "Full Disclosure," the motley crew of
activists stalked the streets pushing papers at passers by and
engaging in heated debate with free-market counter-protesters and even
the filmmakers themselves. Nor were they the only ones going after the
film. Earlier, Greenpeace released a statement urging National
Geographic not go forth with the showing and comparing the movie to
pornography and Nazi propaganda. This was despite the fact that
National Geographic was not endorsing the showing, but merely renting
out their theater space.

The rhetorical overkill of the response was telling: The environmental
movement is clearly afraid of this film, and they should be. Mine Your
Own Business, Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer's clear-eyed look at the
true impacts of mining and the nefarious tactics of its opponents,
exposes the self-satisfied delusions of the environmental Left,
putting lie to a host of deadly, anti-growth canards and revealing the
smug elitism of many green advocates.

This is, perhaps, not all that surprising. The ideas espoused by many
greens are farcical enough to begin with. But even for someone used to
their whoppers, it's almost shocking the lies, misrepresentations, and
condescending behavior that McAleeny manages to catch on film. With
great care and thoroughness, the movie deconstructs the Left's
anti-growth narrative of pastoral tranquility and replaces it with
something truly shocking: actual local sentiment.

Mine Your Own Business looks primarily at ongoing efforts to stop
Canadian company Gabriel Resources from building a gold mine in Rosia
Montana, Romania. The region is poor, with many people still residing
in tiny, Communist-era block apartments and forced to use outhouses in
a place in which freezing temperatures are common. Most anti-mine
activists, of course, live far away, surrounded by modern comforts.
But despite this, they claim to know what the locals want.

McAleer, on the other hand, figured the locals might be in a better
position to explain their needs. In the film, he walks the streets of
Rosia Montana and two other potential mine locations conducting
interviews with area residents. Every one of them repeats a variant on
one idea: What they really want is to work, and the mines would
provide them that opportunity. By talking directly to locals, and by
airing their ideas rather than claiming to speak for them, McAleer
beats supposedly pro-local environmentalists at their own game.

Environmentalists, of course, talk endlessly about preserving
traditional ways of life, but locals don't want to preserve poverty
and hardship. They want a chance to provide a more comfortable
existence for themselves and their families. McAleer catches Francoise
Heidebroek, who works with an anti-mining NGO, claiming that Rosia
Montana residents would "prefer to ride a horse than drive a car."
When McAleer asks locals if they'd prefer to clop about in freezing
temperatures on a horse, they just laugh at him. Heidebroek, it's
useful to note, sequesters herself away in the modernized capitol city
of Bucharest. If she wants to saddle up every morning, well, I say
good luck. But there's no reason that her equestrian whimsy should
force actual Rosia Montana residents to do the same.

But Heidobroek's wistful fantasies about poverty are nothing compared
to those of the World Wildlife Fund's Mark Fenn. Fenn opposes a
proposed mine in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar on the grounds that it would
destroy "the quaintness, the small-town feeling" that he so admires.

Of course, while Fenn, who boasts on camera of his $35,000 boat and
the foundation of his new beachfront home, luxuriates in first world
comfort, most of the town's residents live in dire poverty. When asked
why locals should be denied the economic opportunity that would come
with the mine, he calmly explains that, although they might not have
terribly good healthcare, or shelter, or nutrition, they have a
stress-free life that can be valued by — I kid you not — the number of
times they smile per day. Even if they did get money, he explains,
they wouldn't know how to spend it. As he tells it, they tend to blow
their cash on parties, booze, and stereo systems. Not everyone, it
appears, can have his taste in beach houses and catamarans.

Fenn's attitude isn't just witless, it's sickening, and it's
indicative of the general level of smug, out-of-touch elitism that
haunts the environmental movement. "Regional character," "simple
life," "quaintness," "small-town feeling," "local history" — these are
just warm, fuzzy phrases trotted out by anti-growth environmentalists
to deny wealth and opportunities to residents of poor regions. And, as
in Fenn's case, they're often markers of ugly condescension toward
third-world residents.

McAleer, on the other hand, treats the locals in the areas he visits
with respect. He asks one Fort Dauphin resident what she'd do with the
money she'd get for a job, and she says she'd buy an item at a low
price and sell it for a higher price — a line that drew much applause
from the audience at the premiere.

Before venturing into the world of documentary film, McAleer worked as
a journalist for the Financial Times and the U.K. Sunday Times. The
experience shows. Mine Your Own Business works in no small part
because of its smart, thoughtful storytelling, its expertly edited
juxtapositions of activist claims and local realities, and its strong
characterizations. Nor is it burdened by any of the lazy boosterism
that infects so much documentary filmmaking. Instead, it's a
compellingly rendered journalistic narrative that casts a skeptical
eye on many of the dubious claims of the environmental Left.

McAleer, of course, has his biases. The film begins by explaining that
much of its funding came from Gabriel Resources, the company that
wants to put in the mine. But McAleer also makes clear that he took
the money on the condition that the company would have no editorial
control. In a question and answer session after the film, he claimed
to come from a liberal background and said that, on his first trip to
Rosia Montana, he had intended to tell a typical story about big bad
corporations. The facts of the story, however, were too obvious to

Before the film began, Thor Halvorssen, founder of the Motion Picture
Institute, an organization devoted to aiding in the creation of films
that promote a free society (and one of the groups responsible for the
film's production), introduced it by noting the protesters outside and
the virulent reaction from Greenpeace. "To people who are intolerantly
devoted to their own views," he said, "this is pornography — political
pornography." The comparison is strong, but apt. As Mine Your Own
Business makes clear, the left's environmentalist fringe sees nothing
as more revolting than the truth.

Full disclosure: The Washington, D.C. premiere I attended was
partially sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
which, at the time of showing, was my employer. Neither I nor CEI had
any input or involvement whatsoever into the film's production.

— Peter Suderman is managing editor of NRO.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007



Mine Your Own Business has become the first film to be sold out at the prestigious Dublin International Film Festival.

Just three days after the film festival started taking bookings Mine Your Own Business screening on Feb 18th has been sold out.
The festival is screening 109 features from 33 countries, making it the biggest film event in Ireland and one of the biggest in Europe.

Following the demand the organisers have now moved the screening to IFI 1, a larger venue, in the Irish Film Institute.

Tickets for the new venue can be bought through the festival web site

Existing tickets are still valid.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


Wednesday night saw us present Mine Your Own Business at UCLA. It was the biggest campus crowd we have had so far. It was also a (reasonably) friendly crowd.

In the Q&A after the documentary some of the audience who said they were environmentalists objected to being lumped in with the environmentalists featured in the film.

This then raised the question as to what is the definition of an environmentalist. It also raises a question about if environmentalists think their beliefs are not properly represented by their colleagues interviewed in the documentary have they publicly disassociated themselves from the comments.

To look at the first question first. What is the definition of an environmentalist?

Producer and director of Mine Your Own Business Ann McElhinney said that as there was no public and widely accepted definition of what constitutes an environmentalist one should, as a start, look at what its leaders say and what they say they believe.

This, very quickly, brings one to Mark Fenn, the country representative for Madagascar of the World Wildlife Fund. Mr Fenn is opposed to the proposed mine because he believes it will destroy the "quaintness" of the decrepit town of Fort Dauphin.

He also believes that the people of Madagascar do not want prosperity because he believes their current lifestyle means they have no stress and they really are rich because they smile a lot. He also states that the people of Madagascar do not value nutrition, housing or education.

Interviews with local people contradicted these strange beliefs.

Mine Your Own Business also exposes how prominent environmentalists mislead their supporters. Stephanie Roth, the Goldman Prize winner, when accepting the prize in Washington talks with much emotion and great length about forced resettlement of people in Rosia Montana. Her website states on its front page "the illegal process of forced resettlement has already begun".

This is not true. There have been no forced resettlements. People have sold their houses for the large sums of money that the company has offered. They are delighted that someone is offering decent prices for their mostly run down properties. Two thirds of the house have no running water and still use outhouses.

So that is what senior and respected environmentalists are saying. These are some of the most respected and most quoted environmentalists in the world today. Their opinions have been aired in the Guardian, the BBC and the New York Times. One has won the Goldman Prize.

Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth protested when the documentary was shown. They called for National Geographic to cancel our booking but they did not call for Mark Fenn to explain and withdraw his comments. They did not ask and Stephanie Roth to correct the record and remove the untruth about the house buying programme from their website.

So we have to take it that these views and behaviour are what the mainstream environmental movement supports and believes. If environmentalists who watch Mine Your Own Business believe they are being misrepresented by the four environmentalists featured - then they should disassociate themselves from them and ask the people and the organisations they represent to explain their actions and statements.

We, and the people of Rosia Montana, Madagascar and Chile are waiting.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Mine Your Own Business on FOX News's Brit Hume

You can see below the reportage on FOX NEWS about the documentary

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Last night we showed Mine Your Own Business to students at the University of Southern California.

The event was organised by the Objectivist Club – who promote the writings and philosophy of Ayn Rand. We had to admit having not read any of her books and Jason the President of the club seemed to not take too badly.

After the screening there was an “at times heated” debate between us and some of the audience.

At one stage we were criticised for answering one of the questions too aggressively.

However it is hard to remain quiet when self styled “good environmentalists” brush over the racist comments of WWF country manager Mark Fenn and accuse us of picking extreme voices to discredit all environmentalists.

It is hard to remain quiet when a young woman from one of the most affluent and healthy parts of the United States, asserts that development should be stopped in places such as Madagascar because we have “messed up so much here’ and they must be stopped from making the same mistakes.

Strangely we have noticed it is always the healthiest looking (and perhaps wealthiest?) looking people who state this.

This was also followed up with a few comments from those who say that given our mistakes the people of the developing world for their own good must follow sustainable development.

Sustainable development is one of those ideas which all right thinking people truly believe that its time has come. We have messed up we have made the mistakes and we must stop others from following suit. But it is difficult to hear this from the mouths of the healthiest generation ever to live on the planet. We are living longer and healthier because of our unsustainable development. Our unsustainable development also means that we now have the money to make our rivers and air cleaner than it has ever been.

And we want to deny that to a woman in Madagascar who has watched her children die of a disease such as diarrhea that would be eradicated with development.

As we said last night anyone who tries to talk about sustainable development for the developing world should only speak about it if they give back all the wealth they have accumulated through our own unsustainable development.

It has to be that way – before we can impose sustainable development on others all the ill gotten gains we have accumulated have to be given up. This will never happen but if it does then we can speak from the moral high ground.

But to be honest the moral high ground is a bit too high and a bit too far removed from where we want to be. We either respect the rights of people to make their own decisions about their own development ( and maybe help them with technology and investment) but telling the people of the developing world where they can work and how they should live is not moral.