President Clinton fights poverty with the Mining Industry?

In a surprise move, President Clinton recently announced a strategic partnership with the Mining Industry to fight poverty all around the world. The cause is called “The Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative”. So far, the initiative has been bank-rolled by two very big hitters, the Canadian investment mogul Frank Giustra and Carlos Slim Helu, a Mexican telecommunications billionaire.

The initiative is extremely interesting because the mining industry has historically been suspect in its treatment of indigenous workers and the local environments around mining sites. However, in a press statement, Clinton refers to “bad mining and good mining”, thereby letting everyone know that the initiative is planning on endorsing the aforementioned “good mining” companies. Clinton goes on to say that “We will also focus hard on sustainable development…”; “We believe there is money to be made for these people with a responsible environmental policy.”

In light of this initiative by Bill Clinton, the humanitarian works of Jimmy Carter and certainly Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, as well as many other examples; Ex-Presidents seem capable of doing more good for the environmental movement than a sitting president. Perhaps being the leader of the free world means your hands are tied when it comes to dealing with huge, macroscopic issues like the environment?

Bill Clinton hopes to rally the entire industry of mining or at least the majority of it so that people can see that with a little effort, an initiative like this can maintain a strong business in natural resources but can also empower the poor people who work in those industries. Mr. Clinton is already thinking about the next industry as can be seen in this quote: “Once we demonstrate that an entire industry can rally behind an initiative like this, we hope to engage other sectors and other businesses in development initiatives.”