Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gaslands and fracking

The film Gaslands has had a huge influence on public opinion about fracking in the Karoo. Do we want our water bursting into flames, like they showed in the film?

I have long said that I doubted the veracity of the tale. If it were commonly associated with fracking, then someone would have reported it long ago. Fracking has been around since the 1940's and over one million holes have been fracked.

Indeed, the truth is now out - the phenomenon was first reported in 1936.

A 1976 study by the Colorado Division of Water found that this area was plagued with gas in the water problems back then. And it was naturally occurring. As the report stated there were "troublesome amounts of methane" in the water decades before fracking began. It seems that in geographical areas gas has always been in the water.

But Josh Fox knew this and chose not to put it in Gasland. I asked him about this omission at a recent screening at Northwestern University in Chicago. He said he had not included these facts that questioned his alarmism because "they were not relevant." He also dropped the bombshell that I had not been aware of that there were media reports of people lighting their water as far back as 1936. Again this was not included in Gasland because it was not relevant.

The video confession was pulled for copyright reasons, but still exists on

I haven't heard any reports that the nomination for an Oscar has been withdrawn - or of any apologies from our local activists for having misled everyone.

No comments: