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F*ck the Ocean, Frack the Land

It premiered last night on HBO, and if you drink water, "Gasland" is required viewing.

Yes, what’s happening in the Gulf is obscene – and now the Energistas have set their sights on the world’s largest unfiltered fresh water supply: The Delaware River Watershed, which serves more than 15 million people in metropolitan New York, eastern Pennsylania (including Philadelphia, Allentown and their suburbs), northern Delaware (including Wilmington) and western New Jersey (Trenton, Camden).

The film documents the practice – and the chilling effects – of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), in which the earth is injected with a galaxy of toxic chemicals to fracture shale, freeing natural gas – and expanding, rather than replacing, our fossil-fuel culture. If you think Boone Pickens is on some sort of green crusade, think again. "Gasland" exposes a looming catastrophe, showing how all-too-familiar energy conglomerates (Exxon, Halliburton) are doing with natural gas what they’ve proven to do better than anybody else: Kill our Mother in the interest of short-term financial gain.

It reaches far beyond the East Coast. From Arkansas to Colorado, filmmaker Josh Fox shows us how fracking is ruining water supplies and turning rivers – even tap water – explosively flammable; exposing residents daily to known human carcinogens; and killing plants and wildlife. Even Africa and Europe are now seriously considering this so-called "technology" for freeing what the industry has hermetically coined "unconventional" natural gas.

The film was recognized with a special jury prize this year at Sundance. If you think you’re pissed off at Big Energy now, wait ’til you’ve seen "Gasland." Here’s the schedule.

And through it all, the sun still shines, the wind still blows, and the tides still flow – quietly reminding us there’s another way.

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Anthony Noel

Anthony Noel