Saturday, September 23, 2006

They Know What's Best

Writer Phelim Mcaleer realizes what most of us have known for years. Environmentalism is becoming a major hurdle to overcoming poverty. Mcaleer recalls how environmentalists lied (gasp!) about local conditions, a company's intentions, and the level of pollution, in order to keep a mine from being built in an area of Romania.

But that wasn't even the worst part:

As I spoke to the Western environmentalists it quickly emerged that they wanted to stop the mine because they felt that development and prosperity will ruin the rural "idyllic" lifestyle of these happy peasants.

This "lifestyle" includes 70 percent unemployment, two-thirds of the people having no running water and using an outhouse in winters where the temperature can plummet to 20 degrees below zero centigrade.

One environmentalist (foreign of course) tried to persuade me that villagers actually preferred riding a horse and cart to driving a car.

Of course the Rosia Montana villagers wanted a modern life - just like the rest of us. They wanted indoor bathrooms and the good schools and medical care that the large investment would bring.

If the villagers only understood what these modern luxuries would bring in the long run, like enslavement to eeeevvvviiilll capitalism, they might think twice about giving up crapping in a hole.

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