Ann McElhinney is one of the gutsiest critics of anti-industrialists–self-proclaimed “environmentalists”–around.
She is spearheading the upcoming documentary, FrackNation, which aims to educate the public about the incredible technology that is hydraulic fracturing (see our recent piece, “Fracing Amazing,” for more).
The Objective Standard blog recently conducted an interview with McElhinney, which is well worth reading. Here’s one of my favorite parts of the interview, where McElhinney explains very concretely what a life and death difference development (i.e., industrial progress) makes in people’s lives. Beginning with the improved quality of life in newly-explored areas of New York and Pennsylvania, she explains,
We have a petri dish, we can see this in upstate New York and across Pennsylvania in the towns that, up until a couple of years ago, were boarded up, towns in which the residents had no prospect of work. The environmentalists like to talk about “environmental wastelands”; well, we have been out and about and we haven’t seen them. But we have seen the devastation that occurs when development is halted.
That’s just in America. The story around the world is even more acute. In Poland, some people live on $200 a month from a pension, and spend half of that on energy. Fracking would be an amazing opportunity for them to divorce themselves from their dependence on Russia and use their own resources to heat their water and create more affordable electricity.
And you can make it more acute than Poland. The people in Karoo, South Africa, have a wonderful opportunity to exploit natural gas, but the environmental elites of Johannesburg and Cape Town are trying to stop them from doing this. There’s one folk star there campaigning hard against this, and I would say that this man has never known unreliable electricity in his life, yet he’s trying to stop the energy that brings prosperity and nice lights that the rest of us enjoy to the people of Karoo.
Environmentalists think living in a cave, living in a mud hut—living in a backward way—is acceptable. Well, I don’t think poverty is acceptable. And I think it’s very sad to see this environmental gang romanticize poverty.