Josh Fox takes a break from banjo playing, |
watching other members of his Grassroots Solutions Tour
address the audience at Plattsburgh State.
© 2015 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY – 3/8/15
During Josh Fox’s Grassroots Solutions event at Plattsburgh State I had a question on my mind. I had the chance after the event wrapped up to pose it to the filmmaker/activist.
A skeptical friend referred me to a reddit comment that claimed one key scene in in the documentary Gasland was deceptive: a homeowner opens his kitchen sink tap and lights up the contaminated water with a cigarette lighter, producing a burst of flame.
This startling effect was evidence that nearby fracking had polluted the ground water with methane, making it both unhealthy and inflammable. But critics claimed that it didn’t mean that fracking was the culprit: methane occurs naturally, leaking into water sources.
Josh told me to check out his short film, The Sky is Pink, [ https://vimeo.com/44367635 ] which addresses the subject.
"The oil and gas industry are trying to create doubt,” he said. “The film [Gasland] has been scientifically proven and validated over and over again." The fact is hydraulic fracking can cause the migration of methane into the water supply.
Josh added: “Duke University proved scientifically that it is seventeen times more likely to have influx of methane in your groundwater if you're within a thousand feet of a [gas drilling site]."
The Sky Is Pink explains the concept of He said/She said journalism. To be "objective" a reporter has to present both sides of an issue, even though the opposing side is completely wrong, spreading disinformation. This pseudo-debate can serve a smear campaign, putting doubt in the public’s mind.