Wednesday, 30 January 2013

FrackNation

Sorry, been a bit lax in terms of regular posting this month. I've been a busy boy. Just quick one for now to keep you interested, which is to mention 'FrackNation', a new film that has come out recently in the US.

The aim of the film is to show the other side of the argument to Josh Fox's Gasland, which was the real start for the anti-fracking movement. Even now, when anti-fracking groups are set up, Gasland is often the first port-of-call for resources about why fracking is bad.

The film has been funded by Kickstarter, which is a crowd-sourced funding project, so it's not paid for directly by oil companies (although it wouldn't surprise me if many of the funders were people who have benefited from shale gas through leases, royalties etc).

The film has been released on US cable, but unfortunately I suspect that, short of buying the DVD, it might be a while before it is available in the UK. So in the meantime, here are a few trailers:





You can see that the film follows a similar 'intentionally-low-budget-looking' format, candid camera style popularised by the likes of Michael Moore.

Subject matter apart (and I look forward to seeing the full version, by all accounts Josh Fox and Gasland appear to have been blown out of the water), I find this style of documentary-making interesting: rushing up to people and asking them awkward questions, and no doubt employing some selective editing. I'm sure that a good journalist, combined with selective editing, could make anyone look pretty bad about pretty much anything. Usually, it's the Josh Fox's and Michael Moore's, who are from the left of the political spectrum, doing this. Now it seems those of the right (and the producer, Phelim McAleer, does appear to be fairly Conservative) are picking up on this tactic.

Anyway, enjoy the trailers, I will try to watch the full version and let you know my thoughts as soon as I can.



3 comments:

  1. Have you seen this documentary http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episode/shattered-ground.html The emphasis is on the water needed for fracking & the amount this is withdrawing or polluting from drinking sources. There is also the H2S pollution which occurs during flare-offs. Your understanding of these problems would be much appreciated.

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    1. Hi again ruralgrubby,
      Again, I'm not able to watch the program you link to, because it's only available in Canada.

      The water use issue is really a red herring with respect to shale gas. I know a million gallons per well sounds like a lot, but it's all about the context: more water is lost through leaks in our municipal water systems in a day than is used in fracking in a year.

      As for H2S: I guess that's a particularly Canadian problem, because there in particular conventional gas can be 'sour' (contains small amounts of H2S), so it stands to reason that some of the shale gas might be too, I'm not sure. There are protocols for dealing with sour gas, but I'm not particularly familiar with them, sorry.

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    2. Let's (for fun) just say that as much water gets leaked by municipal water systems. Does that make it justifiable to use another equal amount for fracking? As well, the water that is leaked from municipal systems will find its way back into the water system (hydrological cycle) as compared to waste water from fracturing that is laden with all sorts of carcinogens and toxins that it has to be sequestered deep underground and removed from the water cycle. And even if it is locked "safely" underground, do we know that it will never leak back out into the water table or aquifers and contaminate them? And that is only when the contaminated waste water is "properly" disposed of. What about the millions of gallons of water that is not properly treated and is leaching into ground water and contaminating farm land crop and animals, and wildlife. The proof is already been made apparent that the amount of water needed for these operations is NOT sustainable. The Athabasca River in Alberta has lost much of its volume and contaminants are all found downstream of the oil sands. No amount of pollution to any fresh water is acceptable any longer. Water is precious and the source of life. Why would anyone want to mess with it? We know that it will always turn out badly, these type of experiments. Let's stop this insanity this time before it is 20 years down the line realizing that the damage done is so great that it can never be reversed.

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