Monday, July 9, 2012

The Sky is Pink

"Gasland" is a really terrific documentary by filmmaker Josh Fox, that focuses on a technique used to extract gas from the ground, known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking".  In his interviews and travels, he meets people who have come down with illnesses and aliments as a result of the "fracking" that goes on in their communities.  In the most infamous scene in the film, a man is shown lighting a lighter below his water tap, which sets the water on fire.

Anyway, he has just released a follow-up short film called "The Sky is Pink".  It serves as an update to "Gasland", and also addresses the plans for drilling and fracking in New York State.  A full sequel to "Gasland" is in production, hopefully to be released this year.

I really liked the title and how it meshes in with the short film itself.  In an interview with a politician, the politician explains how journalism has veered from "investigative", to basically, "he said, she said".  It has gotten to where what is considered a universal fact, such as "the sky is blue", can be contradicted by an industrial claim that "the sky is pink".  The media will take a universal fact, that everyone knows is true, and position it as one that is "under debate".  This is used very much in environmental issues, particularly climate change.

Flims like this are very important, not merely for the environmental stakes of fracking, but as a reminder of how desperate and hard-up we are for utilizing new sources of energy.  This ties in very well with the issue of peak energy.  As we run up against resource limitations, more questionable and risky tactics will be carried out to ensure that our energy supply remains affordable and uninterrupted.  Fracking is one example, drilling wells underwater (Deepwater Horizon) is another.  And more disasters, both great and small, will result.

(As I was posting this video, I realized something disturbing.  The video itself, linked from Youtube, has only 2,633 views.  I would have expected a lot more, considering the pedigree of the film, which I have known a lot of people have seen.  Then I typed "the sky is pink" into the search engine.  The short came in at number 8 on the results list, behind 7 different videos of a song by a guy named Nathan Fake called "The Sky Was Pink".  It just goes to show that money talks.) 

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