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London 2012 – The Great Olympic Greenwash

London will soon play host to the 2012 Olympics, which organisers boast will be the most environmentally friendly Games ever. But with the metal for all competitor medals coming from one huge polluting hole in the ground in Utah, could London’s 2012 legacy be more greenwash than green?

In April of this year, while the 2012 Olympics test events were continuing apace in the pools and stadiums of London, I was with a documentary film crew in Salt Lake City, Utah – driving up, and into, one of the largest open-pit mines in the world. With the mercury rising to record levels in this arid corner of the western US, a trip to the Kennecott Copper Mine was less a visitor’s tour than it was a fact-finding mission.

This year’s medals, the largest and heaviest in Olympic history, will be made almost entirely from the raw materials extracted and smelted at the Kennecott Copper Mine, owned by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. But now this mine is also at the centre of a federal lawsuit in the Utah courts, where Rio Tinto Kennecott stands accused of violating the US Clean Air Act for over five years.

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Duration: 24:53
Country: United Kingdom
City: London
Language: EN
Resolution max: 720p
Video Source: YouTube
Provided by: Al Jazeera English
Published on: 2012-07-16
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