I just watched Gasland, three years after its release, and it left me open-jawed, shaking. That doesn’t happen very often.
I know that corporations are amoral, profit-driven entities that have no compunction about destroying the planet if they can make a quick buck first. I also know that our political systems have been almost entirely captured by these corporations.
Still, somewhere inside me I wanted to believe a little common sense, a thread of connection to nature, a scintilla of humility towards the biosphere remained. This documentary on fracking made me realise I’m being naive. These corporations would rather run towards the precipice than amble there.
This film got widely reviewed in the British media, suggesting it was given a theatrical release there. An internet search indicates it barely played in US cinemas. I sure hope it got shown on American TV. If you haven’t watched it, please do. Apparently there is a follow-up documentary.
I didn’t think it could get any worse, then I watched Gasland 2 (2013). Here director Josh Fox shows that the fracking industry knew all along the dangers of what they were doing, but like the tobacco industry they chose to sow confusion through disinformation campaigns rather than risk their profits. He also reveals that the industry took a page or two out the US army’s playbook, adopting counter-insurgency techniques to deal with the dissent.
Not worried that the NSA is recording everything? Got nothing to hide? Wait till someone starts drilling in your back yard and you want to get organised to stop it.