|Born||Beragh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland|
|Occupation||Speaker, filmmaker, journalist|
|Known for||global warming, journalism and film-making|
|Notable work(s)||Not Evil Just Wrong, Mine Your Own Business, and The Search for Tristan's Mum|
Phelim McAleer (4 April 1967) is an Irish journalist and documentary filmmaker. He has written and produced FrackNation, Not Evil Just Wrong and Mine Your Own Business, as well as The Search for Tristan's Mom and Return to Sender. McAleer grew up in Northern Ireland and is married to fellow documentary-maker and journalist Ann McElhinney.
FrackNation is a feature documentary which premiered in 2013 and aimed to address alleged misinformation about the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking. FrackNation was inspired by a confrontation between Josh Fox, the director of the 2010 documentary Gasland, and McAleer. While Fox was promoting his film project McAleer confronted him about the historical records of people being able to ignite natural gas in water at "Burning Springs" long before fracking started. McAleer told the Los Angeles Times that Fox did not include that information in his film because he did not think it was relevant towards the current drilling impacts of certain areas.
McAleer told Politico he was motivated to make the film by what he saw as the "one-sided approach taken by the media, 'outsiders' and 'urban elites'" on the fracking process. McAleer said there has been no real debate on the issue, with the environmental lobby relying on emotion and scare tactics to condemn fracking.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette McAleer stressed the film is trying to show both sides of the fracking discussion. "We're definitely covering the contamination" in the film, McAleer said. "We feature both sides."
Not Evil Just Wrong
Not Evil Just Wrong (2009) is a documentary film McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney directed and produced to challenge Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. It suggests that the evidence for global warming is inconclusive, and that the impact global warming legislation will have on industry is much more harmful to humans than beneficial. The movie was filmed in 2008, and was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam[dead link] and at the Right Online conference in 2009.
Mine Your Own Business
Mine Your Own Business (2006) is a documentary that looked at campaigns by foreign environmentalists against a large-scale mining project in Romania. McAleer agreed to film the documentary, funded by the Canadian Mining Company featured in the movie, after the company guaranteed that he and wife would retain creative control over its content. McAleer said of his findings during the shoot:
It was surprising that environmentalists would lie, but the most shocking part was yet to come. 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.
The Search for Tristan's Mum
McAleer wrote and produced "The Search for Tristan's Mum" (2005), which highlighted the case of a toddler Tristan Dowse, who was adopted by an Irish couple at birth and then abandoned in an Indonesian orphanage two years later. It broadcast on RTÉ One, the Irish state television station, in 2005.
This film was later selected to be screened at Input 2006, a showcase for programs from national public broadcasters, world-wide. It was selected by industry professionals and screened at Input 2006 in Taiwan in May 2006.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (February 2012)|
McAleer, a former student of the NCTJ course at the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education, began his journalism career by accepting a position at the Crossmaglen Examiner a local Northern Ireland newspaper in Co. Armagh, an area where the IRA operated. McAleer then moved to Northern Ireland's largest-selling daily, the Irish News, in Belfast. There he covered the Northern Ireland troubles and peace process, before becoming night editor.
McAleer has also written for The Economist. Previously, from 1998 to 2000, he worked for the UK Sunday Times in its Dublin office. From 2000 to 2003 he was the Romania/Bulgaria Correspondent for the Financial Times. It was this position that ultimately led him to filming documentaries.
Climate change coverage
In 2013, a sequel to Gasland titled Gasland Part II premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 21, 2013. A group of farmers, who were featured in FrackNation, along with McAleer and McElhinney, were barred from attending the premier.
In June McAleer was not allowed to be on a panel for the Hamptons International Film Festival, largely due to objections from Alec Baldwin, who sits on the board for the festival. Balwin has challenged McAleer to a debate on fracking and accused him of being a corporate shill. McAleer responded to Baldwin saying that he is willing to debate the actor at any time.
In October 2010, film director James Cameron donated $1 million to oppose California's Prop 23, which would have overturned AB 32—California's climate change mitigation proposition. In response to this donation, McAleer and McElhinney made a short film alleging that passage of AB 32 would increase energy costs, and that Cameron, who'd been quoted as saying "we are going to have to live with less," in fact lived with more than do most Americans. The Independent declared that:
|“||In the current economic climate, knocking the lifestyles of the rich and famous is likely to strike a chord. And given the brouhaha that greeted revelations about Al Gore's carbon footprint, the makers of "James Cameron – Hypocrite", who in 2009 produced a contentious documentary disputing climate change called Not Evil Just Wrong, may be tapping a rich rhetorical vein...[but ] conveniently ignores the fact that Cameron pays to off-set his personal carbon emissions||”|
McAleer participated in two debates hosted by Lexus, called the "Darker Side of Green." The first took place in New York City, and was hosted by Sarah Silverman; the second debate was in Hollywood, where Andy Samberg hosted.
In May, Al Gore became the third person in history to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Tennessee. McAleer attended a protest of the ceremony. Around 100 people attended the protest, including people from CFACT, the Knoxville Tea Party, and the Tennessee Liberty Alliance. During the protest, McAleer dressed up as a polar bear, asking Gore to debate him; he also hired a plane to fly around the ceremony with a banner that read, "Mr. Gore, why are you sending jobs to China?"
McAleer attended the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009. While there he attended a press conference for Stanford Professor Stephen Schneider regarding the leaked emails from Climatic Research Unit (CRU) center.
The other film was called Phil and me, and starred McAleer—dressed up as a polar bear and attempting to get an interview with Phil Jones, the director of the CRU. While McAleer was interviewing Neil Cavuto about the project, an attendee at Copenhagen threw vegetables at him—and hit him on the head.
McAleer attended a press conference held by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) to interview Al Gore, once of his first in four years. He asked Gore about the 9 errors found in An Inconvenient Truth and if he had any plans to correct them, since the film is still shown in schools. Gore replied:
Well, I'm not going to go through all of those. The ruling was in favor of the movie by the way and the ruling was in favor of showing the movie in schools. And that's really the bottom line on that. There's been such a long discussion of each one of those specific things. One of them, for example, was that polar bears if I remember correctly, it's been a long time ago, that polar bears really aren't endangered. Well, polar bears didn't get that word.
McAleer countered that polar bear numbers had actually increased. Shortly afterward, his microphone was turned off by members of the SEJ. The SEJ has maintained that McAleer's mic was cut off due to him exceeding his time limit. McAleer has publicly disagreed, saying it was censorship.[dead link] Of the 19 recognized polar bear subpopulations, eight are declining, three are stable, one is increasing, and seven have insufficient data, as of 2009. 
- LA Times, Pro-fracking movie gets $22K in two days on Kickstarter, Feb. 8, 2012[dead link]
- Politico, New film in defense of fracking, Feb. 2, 2012
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Industry gets cast in 'FrackNation,' the latest documentary on the drilling debate, March 4, 2012
- McGee, Harry (15 November 2008). "Film-makers taking on our 'global warming hysteria'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
- van Slooten, Johan (1 December 2008). "The truths and myths of global warming". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- Weigel, David (18 August 2009). "RightOnline Attendees Soak Up Success". The Washington Independent. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- UK Telegraph, Gold industry recruits jobless Romanian miner to battle environmentalists, 1 October 2006
- Guardian Unlimited, Rory Carroll on Mind Your Own Business, 1 November 2006
- Rocky Mountain News, Speakout: Environmentalists are new foes of some of the world's poorest, 23 September 2006
- RTE.ie, The Search for Tristan's Mum
- "Esras Films". Retrieved 15 January 2010.
- Jeff Goodell. "New Anti-Fracking Film by Gasland's Josh Fox Targets Cuomo: 'Governor, What Color Will the Sky Be Over New York?' | Jeff Goodell | Politics News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- Posted: 05/15/2012 3:56 pm (2012-05-15). "Josh Fox, 'Gasland' Filmmaker And Activist, Working On Documentary Sequel". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Josh Fox Arrested on Capitol Hill While Filming 'Gasland' Sequel | Filmmakers, Film Industry, Film Festivals, Awards & Movie Reviews". Indiewire. 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Gasland Part II". Tribeca Enterprises LLC. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- Fox News, 'FrackNation' filmmaker claims group of farmers was barred from 'Gasland Part II' screening at Tribeca, April 23, 2013
- "Tribeca Film Festival lies about shutting out farmers". FrackNation. April 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- "Tribeca Film Festival Turns Away Protesters Who Had Tickets to ‘Gasland’ Sequel". New York Times. April 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- "Inside the Beltway: Alec Baldwin’s fracas". Washington Times. June 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
- Roosevelt, Margot (2010-10-15). "Prop. 23: Avatar's James Cameron kicks in $1 million". LA Times.
- McElhinney, Ann (2010-10-20). "New film reveals the hypocrisy of celebrity director/environmentalist James Cameron". Not Evil Just Wrong.
- Adams, Guy (2010-10-24). "James Cameron labeled climate change 'hypocrite'". The Independent.
- New York Times, Lexus Takes Its Comedy-Fueled Debate Series on the Road, 7 July 2010
- Variety, Hollywood Eco-Activists Face "The Darker Side of Green", 27 July 2010
- "Protestors not happy with Al Gore honorary degree". WBIR News. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Knoxnews, 100 attend rally to protest UT's plans to award Gore honorary degree , 14 May 2010
- WATE news, Knoxville Tea Party upset about Al Gore being awarded an honorary degree, 13 May 2010
- Fox News, Activists Protest Gore's Honorary Degree at University of Tennessee, 14 May 2010
- New American, Cheers and Jeers from Copenhagen, 1 January 2010
- Fox News, Polar Bear Goes Hunting for Climate-Gate Scientist at Copenhagen Summit, 15 December 2009
- Fox News, Transcript: 'Fox News Watch,' 19 December 2009
- Youtube, Lou Dobbs: Al Gore, "Not Evil Just Wrong" Global Warming Debate Part 2 10/12/09
- "Daring to Question Al Gore". MacIver Institute. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009.[dead link][self-published source?]
- "Al Gore And Phelim McAleer Spar Over Global Warming: Climate Change Denier Challenges Gore (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- Fox News, Filmmakers Who Confronted Al Gore Release New Anti-Global Warming Documentary, 23 November 2009
- Wheeler, Tim (12 October 2009). "Of polar bears and 'censorship'". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- Opinion Times, Al Gore challenged by Phelim McAleer, 12 October 2009
- BBC, What the papers say, 5 October 2009