Talking up the downside

Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi

Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi

It’s a long way from Romania to Finland, but that hasn’t stopped hard-line Green MEP Satu Hassi, of Finland, from commenting on a gold-mining proposal in Romania.

There is a plan to start gold mining at Rosia Montana in Romania.  The plan represents a major opportunity for Romania, and will provide much needed employment in a rural area.  Indeed it could even be a significant contributor to the EU economy.  But of course the Greens are desperate to oppose any new industrial venture, and are talking up the supposed risks of the project.  Gold mining uses cyanide!  Shock horror!  They fail to mention that cyanide is routinely used in gold mining at other locations, including mines in Finland, with no significant problems.  There are (as usual) very comprehensive EU regulations covering the safety aspects of gold mining, and I am led to believe that these regulations are effective.

Seppu Maula is a former (for twenty years) Mayor of Kittila in Finnish Lapland, in the rural far north of the country.  There is a gold mining operation in Kittila, also using cyanide.  Mr. Maula has said that he consulted widely with the local population before the project went ahead, and that it was welcomed by local people because of the economic and employment benefits.  He said that safety was well controlled, and the environment well protected.  Most significantly, he said “The problems which do exist are purely political, in my opinion”.  He adds that the project is seen as a success, and a second mine is planned.

He has also visited Romania and the Rosia Montana site, and expresses a view that it is essentially similar to the Finnish site.  Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has also checked out the Finnish experience, and given it a very positive reference.

But this is not good enough for Satu Hassi, who insisted recently that dead fish had been seen near the Kittila site.  When this was put to Mr. Maula, he said it was the first he’s heard of it.  After a recent committee hearing in the European parliament, it was put to Ms. Hassi that her party, the Greens, provide the Environment Minister for Finland.  If there is a serious problem with dead fish and other environmental concerns at Kittila, why hasn’t the Finnish government mounted an investigation?  She declined to answer the question.

This all fits into a consistent pattern for the Greens across Europe.  They hate development, and industry, and progress, and prosperity.  Whether in Romania or in Balcombe, they will seek to block and delay any new project with over-blown scare stories.  They will exaggerate and propagate any negative stories (and in some cases invent a few negative stories of their own).  They abuse the so-called “Precautionary Principle”.  After all everything is dangerous one way or another, even getting out of bed in the morning.  (Tolkein: “You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Gloin, for you are dangerous yourself, in your fashion”).  So let’s not do it, they argue.  But given the parlous state of Europe’s economies, we can no longer tolerate this hugely damaging approach.  It is difficult to imagine that any industry or technology that we rely on today would have got established in the past with the Satu Hassis and the Caroline Lucases standing in the way.

Perhaps we should all live in cold and darkness and hunger, subsisting on one acre and a cow.

 

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12 Responses to Talking up the downside

  1. Charles Wardrop says:

    But is it ecologically safe to keep even one cow, given her flatus-producing habit, belching and f@rting out greenhouse gases?

  2. David H. Walker says:

    Oh, the greens are all for “production” so long as they’re the ones profiting from it. It’s all about defining who makes money (the established, the political class and the aligned) and who pays (the upstarts, the productive class, and the poor) by government force (corporatism/fascism/mercantilism/your favorite socialism).

    Hopefully the people are tiring of the stupid charades put on by crisis constructors and fear mongers.

  3. David says:

    Well she certainly “Looks the part”

  4. maureen gannon says:

    Isnt Green the colour for envy? as for looking the part they all look as though they drink lottsa vinegar to me.
    Let Romania become wealthy then we won’t need to build on our green belt ,

  5. Caroline Lucas was on Any Questions on Radio 4. She called UKIP “disgusting” and said that they were a racist party.
    Guess who is now the nasty party? I reckon it is the Luddites!

    • maureen gannon says:

      The more name calling the more I feel UKIP must be doing something right , they are all acting as though they are afraid of the european elections, Now if the leadership will just push forward and not react to a media that is so ready to promote divide and rule,

      • DougS says:

        Exactly the way I feel Maureen.

        Name-calling is used by those who have a very weak argument. It’s meant to intimidate but it has exactly the opposite affect on me. The more strident the name-calling the happier I am.

        Get ready for the standard stuff in the run up to the EU elections, viz:
        little Englanders, isolationists, Europhobes, Xenophobes, as well, of course, as the usual fruitcakes, loonies, clowns and racists.

        Bring it on, it’s a sign of desperation!

  6. The wasp says:

    If the greens had been around in time to stop the development of the wheel they would have done so and we would still be in the stone age!

  7. Bob says:

    Even so, shale gas and gold mining with cyanide are dangerous for the environment and if wasn’t for the Green’s, you would breath toxic air, drink poisened water and eat GMO. Cancer is the main result of this so called by you “Evolution”. You want your children children’s to die young, to have no more resources after 20-50 years, to have no trees, no mountains, no air, no forest. This is not life, what you desire is the BEGINNING OF THE END.

    Signed,
    Rosia Montana resident

    • martin brumby says:

      Everything can be dangerous if not done properly. There is vast experience of gold mining with cyanide and (now) of exploiting shale gas. Very few problems.
      Tell me, if the Rosia Montana project doesn’t go forward, how are you going to solve the problems of dereliction, unsafe old workings, major pollution problems that are there right now (a legacy of 2000 years of gold mining – but particularly of the mining from Ceausescu’s period?).
      Who will pay?
      How are you going to tackle the 80% unemployment in this part of Transylvania?
      Where are the tax receipts going to come from to match the estimated $4.5 Billion that this project would generate?
      The scientifically illiterate Greens aren’t the answer to any of these problems. They ARE the problem. Left to the Greens, we’ll all end up lining in caves again.

  8. Dana says:

    You know nothing about the Romanian economical situation. A lot of factories were closed becaused politicians failed to privatize the state companies, they privatize to they own benefits and pockets because corruption is the MAIN issue that Romanian government faces.

    So, first a all, we need less corruption!
    And second, foreign countries don’t have to get involved so much in our land, for gold mining and shale gas. We defend our rights, if they choose to support us, it’s ok, if not, they shouldn’t pressure our politicians and exercise their influence. This can be called blackmailing. A strong state puting presurre to open the gold mine so we may be accepted in Schengen it’s not fair.
    Why shale gas is forbidden in Italy or France or Germany? Romanian people have the right to decide if they want shale gas or gold mining.

    We say NO to the biggest gold mine in Europe!
    And we say NO to shale gas, like Italy, France, Germany and other european countries said.

  9. Bob says:

    Now in Romania is breaking news! Gas and oil extraction have been the main cause of the several earthquakes that have damaged over 50 houses in a small comunity. You exagerate comparing green policy with caves living. This earthquakes that the scientists are studying are very dangerous to people in the first place. The green’s only desire safe development of society, not catastrofic development. We don’t want shale gas in Romania because of water pollution, soil pollution and also, because it could produce several dangerous earthquakes, Romania is the main european active seismic zone, where the most powerful earthquakes have produced over time.

    It’s not logic tha comparrison between green and caves living, it’s childish :)) Only makes me laugh. Safe development both to human and nature is the most important path that we should follow.

    No shale gase and no mining!

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