I’m a big documentary fan, and I always try to get the word out about new docs, because they’re entertaining, and they can help you be less of a mutton-hoofed ignoramus. On that note, HBO’s Summer Documentary Series continues tonight with Josh Fox’s Gasland Part II, the follow up to his own 2010 documentary about the controversial practice of fracking, whereby a solution of water and chemicals is injected underground to break up bedrock to release natural gas, which is then captured and sold. It’s similar to the phenomenon where I farted too much and gave myself an anal fissure, a process now known as colon fracking, soon to be explored in my own documentary, Assland.
Debuting MONDAY, JULY 8 (9:00-11:15 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, GASLAND PART II shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides in one of the most important environmental issues facing the nation today. The film argues that the gas industry’s portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth, and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earth’s climate with the potent greenhouse gas, methane. In addition, the film looks at how the powerful oil and gas industries are, in Fox’s words, “contaminating our democracy.”
This is a pretty interesting, and obviously important issue. If you’ve seen the first one, it has a famous scene where people living on land leased for fracking can now light their tap water on fire after the gas leaked into the ground water, to name just one particularly visual example of the problems created by fracking.
Fox was on Bill Maher’s show a few weeks back, where he basically got shouted down by some history professor from Harvard. It seemed odd that the guy (Niall Ferguson) was so strenuously refuting Josh Fox’s facts with talking points from the energy industry. I don’t pretend to be a geologist myself, but what’s more plausible? That this random guy is out to smear the natural gas industry by exaggerating his facts, or that the people who make millions of dollars from fracking are working really hard to downplay the potential hazards of it? Anyone who thinks documentary filmmakers are doing it for the money doesn’t know how much documentarians actually make, if their name doesn’t rhyme with Schplorgan Schmurlock or Schmichael Schmoore.
I couldn’t get just the snip of the show in question, but here’s the “overtime” from that episode.