Not Evil Just Wrong (Mining Documenatry – 2009)

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Not Evil Just Wrong (2009) is a documentary film by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer that challenges Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth by suggesting that the evidence of global warming is inconclusive and that the impact global-warming legislation will have on industry is much more harmful to humans than beneficial.[1] The movie was filmed in 2008 and was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam[2] and at the Right Online conference in 2009.[3]

Despite earlier screenings at conservative political conferences, filmmakers promoted a “premiere” on October 18, 2009.[4] The film attempted to break a World Record for largest simultaneous premiere, which is currently held by the documentary The Age of Stupid, another global warming documentary.[5] The film’s website claims that there were 6,500 U.S. screenings and 1,500 foreign screenings and reached 400,000 people.[6]


The film argues that the science behind climate change science is not settled. Not Evil Just Wrong focuses on the British High Court ruling which found nine errors in Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The film also highlights information about the Medieval Warm Period and Stephen McIntyre’s claimed debunking of the hockey stick graph.[7][8]

The film also focuses on the impact of climate legislation in developing counties and average families in America. The film states that one of environmentalists’ first restrictions on industry was when DDT was banned, led by Rachel Carson.[9] According to the film, the ban on DDT “…has needlessly resulted in the deaths of more than 40 million children and adults in the developing world”.[10]

The film then continues to on a similar tack, arguing that climate legislation like cap and trade would negatively impact the life for middle and low-income families in America, particularly those working for energy-related jobs. The directors follow Tiffany McElhany and her family in rural Indiana, to see how fossil fuels have given them better opportunities.[11]

Production and reception


In 2008, McElhinney and McAleer raised almost $1 million (€799,000) from real estate investors,[12] but said they needed a total of $4.5 million for a cinema release.[1] After the film was turned down for funding by the Irish Film Board, the filmmakers then began taking donations online.[1] The film failed to find a commercial distributor.[13]


The documentary has been noted for being a very similar style to Michael Moore’s documentaries by using file footage of old movies, cartoons and class-based arguments. McAleer has been quoted saying, “I would not be making documentaries if it wasn’t for Michael Moore,” he says. “He aroused my interest and people’s interest in documentaries. He’s also made it acceptable for people to go to the movie theatre and watch documentaries. I hate to say it but we’re all children of Michael Moore.”[14]

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