Monday, January 10, 2011


Gasland, the HBO documentary written and directed by Josh Fox, presents an absolutely appalling look at the consequences of “fracking,” a hydraulic drilling process that extracts natural gas from the ground.

Fox gained interest in the consequences of fracking when he was offered thousands of dollars to allow fracking on his land. Fox declined the money and went on a quest to learn how fracking has affects the land and the people who live on it, focusing specifically on the water quality.

The effects are devastating, and seemingly undeniable consequences of the fracking process (though the companies who perform this process steadfastly refuse blame). Fox interviews countless people forced to buy water because fracking has ruined their source, people suffering from medical issues due to consuming contaminents released during the fracking process, and people who are able to set their water on fire. Yes, set their water on fire. Though it’s exciting to see a flame shooting out of a faucet, it’s terrifying to think that people are left to drink that water.

Though watching Gasland exhausted and depressed me, I’m glad to have seen it and learned about the fracking process—I hope that it brings attention to the issue and helps to decrease the occurrences of fracking. The documentary dragged a bit toward the end, perhaps because it deals with such a heavy subject. I’m giving it a 3/5.

Watch Jon Stewart’s interview with Josh Fox

Buy the DVD

I hope to have a second review for this week—I’ve finally finished Jimmy Carter’s tome White House Diaries.

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