Attacking the Messenger: Smearing Gasland Producer Josh Fox

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Re: Attacking the Messenger: Smearing Gasland Producer Josh

Postby admin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:03 am

Gasland II's Luddite Slander Of 'Fracking' Is The Latest Technophobe Attack On Progress
by Alex Epstein
Forbes.com
Guest commentary curated by Forbes Opinion. Avik Roy, Opinion Editor.
Jul 19, 2013, 08:00 am

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Imagine some of America’s best minds created a technological breakthrough that could pull us out of recession, lower every American’s cost of living, revitalize dead industries, and lead to employment opportunities for millions. How would we react?

Unfortunately, history tells us that technological breakthroughs often face hysterical opposition. Technophobes opposed the automobile. They opposed the radio. They opposed the computer.

And now they’re opposing today’s most exciting technological breakthrough, shale energy technology—aka “fracking.”

Their spokesman is Josh Fox. And July 8th, to worldwide fanfare, HBO broadcast his latest manifesto, Gasland, Part II.

Gasland, Part II is a direct continuation of the original Gasland, which famously featured footage of a Pennsylvania man lighting his water on fire—a phenomenon that, unknown to many, is a frequent natural occurrence.

Both movies follow a similar three-part formula. First, Fox tells a sad story about a family undergoing a problem, usually with their drinking water—“When we turn on the tap, the water reeks of hydrocarbons and chemicals,” says John Fenton of Pavillion, Wyoming. Then, Fox blames it on the oil and gas industry using “fracking”--without exploring any alternative explanations, such as the fact that methane and other substances often naturally seep into groundwater. Finally, Fox concludes that fracking, and really all oil and gas drilling, should be illegal--as if any technology that can be misused should be outlawed.

This is a blueprint for opposing any technology. For example, Fox could make Carland, which could show car crashes and then blame all of them on “Big Auto.” Then it could argue that because car crashes are possible, we don’t need cars.

In fact, Fox could make a far more alarming movie than Gasland based on supposedly risk-free solar and wind technology. Imagine seeing the following scene, described in this article by a British reporter visiting a wind-power mining operation, in a film called Wasteland.

...an apocalyptic sight greets us: a giant, secret toxic dump, made bigger by every wind turbine we build.

The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs.

For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr Yan’s village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day.


Here’s the truth about groundwater. Every technology uses raw materials that must be mined from the ground--any time we drill or mine or dig underground, whether to drill for oil or to mine for the materials in solar panels, groundwater can be compromised. Of all the things you can do underground, fracking is the least likely to impact groundwater, because it takes place thousands of feet away from groundwater. As President Obama’s former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson acknowledged, there is no “proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water. . . .”

If something goes wrong at a fracked oil or gas well, it almost certainly has nothing to do with fracking. This has been explained in the many, many factual refutations of Gasland’s claims--see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,here.) And the valuable industry research organization Energy in Depth has already systematically refuted Gasland II here.

So why single out fracking? Because technophobia thrives on unfamiliar, unknown terms like “fracking.” If Fox had opposed “drilling,” he wouldn’t have gotten very far, because the public knows that while accidents can happen while drilling, drilling itself is a vital human activity.

Supporters of Gasland would argue that Fox is not against new energy technology, and in fact champions “renewable” energy technology like solar and wind. But not only does he ignore the “dirtiness” of these technologies, he ignores their greatest problem: they are utter failures at producing cheap, plentiful, reliable energy that life and progress require. The reasons why have been well-understood for decades. Because sunlight and wind are low-density energy, they require vast land and material resources to capture. And worse, because sunlight and wind are unreliable energy, they always need a backup, which is almost always fossil fuels.

Think of solar and wind like unproductive, unreliable employees; you can take on a few of them in your company without going bankrupt, but they always cost you a lot of money and they never help you make progress.

If Josh Fox was a true believer in the power of solar and wind technology to improve human life, he would advocate open competition. But he, along with his new ally in the film, Stanford environmentalist Mark Jacobson, want to outlaw the best technologies on the promise that they will somehow make the worst technologies work.

He expresses no acknowledgement whatsoever of the upside to fracking technology and no acknowledgement of the downside of restricting, let alone outlawing it. Like the technophobes of the past, with new technologies it sees only problems but not solutions. And this is a shame, because the truth is that America is becoming Gasland--and that’s an amazingly good thing.

They say you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, but shale energy technology can get oceans of precious oil and natural gas out of once-useless rock. The “fracking” in shale energy technology uses water and sand to fracture shale rock, creating cracks that oil can flow through. It has been used (safely) for over 60 years on conventional oil and gas deposits in over 1 million frac jobs. Now, more advanced versions are being applied to shale around the country, with incredible results. In North Dakota, the once unknown Bakken shale formation has become the foundation of America’s greatest economic boom, which drove the state’s unemployment rate down to 3.2%.

And there is so much potential to expand. California is home to the Monterey Shale, which is four times larger than the Bakken. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that it contains 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil, or 630 billion gallons. That’s an almost unimaginable amount of oil for getting to work, for family vacations, for life-saving medical devices—and studies estimate that it can create job opportunities in the millions.

Those of us who have jobs can easily forget what a new, well-paying job means to a family. It means saving for college instead of falling deeper into debt. It means enjoying a comfortable life, not anxiously living on the edge. It means optimism, not despair.

Unfortunately, our fellow citizens may be deprived of this opportunity, thanks to widespread miseducation about shale oil technology, led by Josh Fox.

When we look 10 or 20 years down the road, will we be the nation that embraced technology and brought prosperity to all, or the state that rejected technology and deprived millions of our fellow citizens the opportunity for a better life? It’s time to get behind shale energy technology. It’s time to embrace being Gasland.

Alex Epstein, an energy philosopher, debater, and communications consultant, is Founder and President of the Center for Industrial Progress and head of the I Love Fossil Fuels Campaign.
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Re: Attacking the Messenger: Smearing Gasland Producer Josh

Postby admin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:10 am

Tribeca: ‘Gasland’ Director Josh Fox Clears Up Some Nasty Rumors About Himself and Promises Audiences “Bigger and Better Explosions” In His Sequel
by Indiewire
Apr 23, 2013 12:16 pm

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Josh Fox’s 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland” compellingly exposed the damaging impact of a form of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, on small town America. Framed by Fox’s wry perspective, the movie clearly demonstrated how fracking and the oil companies responsible for it endanger the safety of anyone living within its vicinity. “Gasland” contained damning evidence but apparently not enough to instigate much change, because now Fox has completed “Gasland Part II,” which ably demonstrates the deleterious environmental ramifications of fracking on a much larger scale. Below, Fox talks about his project, which recently premiered at the currently underway Tribeca Film Festival.

About my film: “Gasland Part II” is a sequel to “Gasland,” but don’t worry, you don’t have to have seen the first one to be right with it. It tells the story of another layer of contamination due to fracking, not the water or the air–our government. Every oil & gas dollar is toxic to our democracy.

Q. Anything about yourself you’d like cleared up?

A. No one ever asks me about myself, they just want to know about fracking. According to the oil and gas industry and their proponents I am a communist, terrorist, nazi, Russian sympathizing, anti-American, arsonist, extremist. Their smear campaign would have you believe that I took money from Hugo Chavez, the Wind industry, Valdimir Putin, etc. and that my films misrepresent the oil and gas industry, which, of course, never has any problems with water contamination, air pollution, spills, or toxic industrialization and is just a great neighbor to everyone on earth and doesn’t cause climate change or any other kind of future apocalypse. Also according to them, I burned down a building on my own property, and pro-drilling officials have publicly compared “Gasland,” the first film in this series, to the work of Goebbels. You may also be advised that screenings of my film, “Gasland,” in Pennsylvania were listed as Eco-terrorist events in PA Homeland Security bulletins. Of course, none of those things are true. I’m just a guy who lives in the upper Delaware River Basin, the watershed for 16 million people including New York City. I also sometimes live in Brooklyn. I’m just trying to stop fracking, a horrendously contaminating industrial process that is currently occupying huge areas in 34 states in the U.S. and has now spread to 32 countries world wide. I’ve investigated the crisis of fracking on 5 continents for the past 5 years. Also I play the banjo. If you haven’t heard about all of this yet, or especially if you have, come and watch “Gasland Part II.” I’m gonna play the Star Spangled Banner on the banjo at the end of the Q and A. Every time. I promise.

Q. What else do you want audiences to know about your film?

A. It’s a sequel, so it has bigger and better explosions.

But more than that it gives a picture of where we are now, in the U.S. and worldwide of the state of extreme energy development. We can continue to frack the world with all the ensuing chaos of water and air contamination, health problems and the dismantling of our democratic process, or we can start to make new choices about where we get our energy. The film will lay out those choices clearly. As Calvin Tillman, the Mayor of Dish Texas says so poignantly in the film “Once you know, you can’t not know.”

Q. What was your biggest hurdle to overcome in getting this made?

A. When I first started, no one knew anything about fracking. Now it’s a household word. The biggest challenge was in trying to tell the story of fracking that you don’t know.

The other huge challenge here was choosing what to include from incredible testimonies coming from all of the families depicted in the film. Thousands upon thousands of people across America and many more across the globe are suffering at the hands of the oil and gas industry. It’s a huge story that demands the utmost attention. We tried our best to serve that with humor and the deepest respect.

Q. Fave docs?

A. I love the documentary work of the Maysles Brothers. I love how Koyaanistqatsi captures the conflict between nature and industrial civilization. Those films inspire me. Godard’s use of percussive rhythms in his editing. I love documentary because it’s alive. “When you get blue, and you’ve lost all your dreams, there’s nothing like a campfire and a can of beans.”- Tom Waits.

Q. So what comes next?

A. Gonna get out there and keep fighting the oil and gas industry. “Gasland Part II” will have a cross country grassroots engagement campaign similar to the first film. I’m really looking forward to touring with the film and bringing the movie to the grassroots organizations that are fighting fracking all over the country. HBO has been really amazing in that they see the potential of this kind of distribution model — a TV premiere running along side of a grassroots tour. We will be organizing house parties for people to watch in coordination with Americans Against Fracking, Environmental Working Group and many other grassroots orgs.

[Eric Kohn contributed to this article.]
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Re: Attacking the Messenger: Smearing Gasland Producer Josh

Postby admin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:16 am

The Truth Has Changed by John Fox Will Play the Town Hall
by BWW News Desk (broadwayworld.com)
Jul. 12, 2018

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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The Truth Has Changed, a new theater work performed by Emmy winner and Oscar and Drama Desk Award-nominated filmmaker, playwright, and activist Josh Fox (Gasland), will play New York's Town Hall on September 11, 2018 at 7:30pm. Initially commissioned by HBO, The Truth Has Changed is a solo monologue tracing the arc of American political life from 9/11 to the Trump era. The piece, which will be filmed as part of a feature film for release in 2019, traces Josh's experiences as a first responder during 9/11, his groundbreaking reporting on fracking, his eye-opening eco-flights over the Gulf of Mexico during the BP oil spill, Hurricane Sandy, the massive rallies during the 2016 election and the Democratic Convention, Standing Rock, and beyond.

Josh's first book, The Truth Has Changed, with introduction by Bill McKibben, will be published by Seven Stories Press on September 11, 2018. Signed first editions will be available at a 25% discount, for purchase in advance when purchasing tickets to the show and at The Town Hall the night of the event.

Golden Globe winner and NOLA resident Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes has penned the score for this theatrical piece, adding an immediate emotional musical impact to the work.

The Truth Has Changed is written and performed by Josh Fox, directed by Ron Russell, features original music by Alex Ebert (aka Edward Sharpe), dramaturgy by Morgan Jenness, project advising by Nathan Lemoine, Susan Barnes, Kyle Cadotte, and Bonnie Sue Stein, and is produced by International Wow Company, GOH Productions, and Barrow Street Productions.

The Truth Has Changed offers both a warning and a way forward for our besieged democracy.

The water has changed. The climate has changed. The rules have changed. There's toxic data everywhere. How do we know what's true?

As the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker behind Gasland, the film that started the anti-fracking movement worldwide, Josh Fox was the subject of a $100 million smear campaign by the oil and gas industry. This campaign of misinformation and slander was run by people we have heard quite a bit about in recent times: Steve Bannon, Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe and others. And what Steve Bannon did to Josh from 2010 to 2015, he did to the whole American electorate in 2016. Josh Fox was the beta test for the types of propaganda for which the gang that created Cambridge Analytica is now known worldwide.

And Fox tells his story in an uncompromising way like never before.

The project was commissioned by legendary documentary producer Sheila Nevins for HBO as a solo performance to inspire action on climate change, fracking and democracy. In the face of the advance of fracking and fracked gas power plants across the USA, the work has become more relevant day by day.

Tickets are priced at $24.50 - $64.50 (premiums also available), and are on sale at The Town Hall Box Office at 143 West 43rd Street, New York, NY or on TicketMaster.com. The Truth Has Changed runs 2 hours 20 minutes with an intermission.

For further information about this performance and the national tour, please visit thetruthhaschangedtour.com

For further information about the book, please visit http://www.sevenstories.com.
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Re: Attacking the Messenger: Smearing Gasland Producer Josh

Postby admin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:21 am

CAP UCLA Announces 2018–19 Season Addition: Josh Fox’s ‘The Truth Has Changed’. New Theater Work by Emmy-winning Filmmaker
by Center for the Art of Performance UCLA
October 27, 2018 at Royce Hall

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“Entertaining, funny, insightful and important." —Tim Robbins


“Tremendous! Absolutely riveting. A brilliant, brilliant performance. A fabulous journalist.”
—Harvey Wasserman, KPFK


UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) presents Emmy-winning and Oscar and Drama Desk Award-nominated filmmaker, playwright and activist Josh Fox (Gasland) in a filmed live solo performance of his new theater work, The Truth Has Changed, ahead of the U.S. midterm elections on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. at Royce Hall. Tickets for $29–$59 are available now at cap.ucla.edu, 310-825-2101, Ticketmaster and the UCLA Central Ticket Office.

Tracing the arc of American politics from 9/11 to Trump, Fox tells an intimate and damning personal story of our world in crisis in his riveting monologue, The Truth Has Changed, a companion to his upcoming book and film of the same title. Fox has been an active eyewitness to history from his work as a first responder during 9/11 to his groundbreaking reporting on fracking, the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, Hurricane Sandy, the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Democratic National Convention, Standing Rock and beyond.

“The water has changed. The climate has changed. The rules have changed. There's toxic data everywhere,” said Fox. “How do we know what's true?”

Through his complex, funny and dramatic storytelling, Fox delivers a first-person account of the dizzy and confusing landscape in which he became a witness to systemic corruption on an unprecedented scale and the alarming shift towards authoritarianism in U.S. politics. Golden Globe winner and New Orleans resident Alex Ebert, of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, has penned the score for the performance, adding an immediate emotional musical impact to the work.

The Truth Has Changed is written and performed by Josh Fox, directed by Ron Russell, features original music by Alex Ebert (aka Edward Sharpe), dramaturgy by Morgan Jenness, project advising by Nathan Lemoine, Susan Barnes, Kyle Cadotte and Bonnie Sue Stein, and is produced by International WOW Company, GOH Productions, and Barrow Street Productions.

Fox has written, directed and narrated four feature-length documentaries confronting the fossil fuel industry, climate destruction and rampant globalization. He is best-known as the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker of Gasland, which started the anti-fracking movement worldwide and resulted in his becoming the target of a $100 million smear campaign by the oil and gas industry. This campaign of misinformation and slander was run by Steve Bannon, Andrew Breitbart, James O’Keefe and others.

Fox is the only journalist ever arrested in Congress for doing journalism. Hailed by The New York Times as “one of the most adventurous impresarios,” Criterion noted “there are few filmmakers who epitomize the idea of the democratization of cinema in the digital age more than one Josh Fox.”

The project was initially commissioned by legendary documentary producer Sheila Nevins for HBO as a solo performance to inspire action on climate change, fracking and democracy. The Truth Has Changed will be recorded as part of a feature film for release in 2019. Coinciding with the book publication on September 11, an extended national tour will kick off at New York City’s Town Hall, which will also be broadcast. In The Truth Has Changed, Fox recounts his amazing tale in a heartfelt, uncompromising manner that offers both a warning and a way forward for our besieged democracy. Special post show discussions and events to follow the performance.

CAP UCLA’s upcoming programs include Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed in Conversation (Dec. 2, Royce Hall), A Thousand Thoughts: A Live Documentary with the Kronos Quartet written and directed by Sam Green and Joe Bini (Dec. 7, The Theatre at Ace Hotel DTLA), Viet Thanh Nguyen and Luis Alberto Urrea in Conversation (Jan. 17, Royce Hall) and Jesmyn Ward and Mitchell Jackson in Conversation (Feb. 7, Royce Hall).

CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
CAP UCLA presents
Josh Fox: The Truth Has Changed
Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m.
Royce Hall, UCLA
10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Program: Ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, CAP UCLA welcomes Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker and activist Josh Fox (Gasland) with his new theater work, The Truth Has Changed, a filmed live solo performance based on his book of the same title that traces the arc of American politics from 9/11 to Trump. As a first responder during 9/11 to his groundbreaking reporting on fracking, the BP oil spill, Hurricane Sandy, the 2016 U.S presidential election and Democratic National Convention, Standing Rock and beyond, Fox has been an active eyewitness to history. In The Truth Has Changed, Fox recounts his amazing tale in a heartfelt and uncompromising manner that offers both a warning and a way forward for our besieged democracy. Special post show discussions and events to follow the performance.

Tickets:
Single tickets: $29–$59
Online: cap.ucla.edu
UCLA Central Ticket Office: 310-825-2101, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Royce Hall box office: open 90 minutes prior to the event start time.

Credits:
The Truth Has Changed
Written and Performed by Josh Fox
Directed by Ron Russell
Original Music by Alex Ebert (aka Edward Sharpe)
Dramaturgy by Morgan Jenness
Project Advising by Nathan Lemoine, Susan Barnes, Kyle Cadotte and Bonnie Sue Stein
Produced by International WOW Company, GOH Productions and Barrow Street Productions

Artist website: The Truth Has Changed Tour

ABOUT JOSH FOX

Josh Fox made “fracking” a household word with his debut documentary Gasland, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Documentary. In June 2010, it premiered on HBO to an audience of four million homes and was also viewed by more than 250,000 audience members during a subsequent 250-city grassroots tour. In 2011, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and won an Emmy Award for Best Non-Fiction Director. Gasland Part II premiered on HBO in July 2013, and won the 2013 Environmental Media Association award for Best Documentary, Best Film at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and the Hell Yeah Prize from Cinema Eye Honors. Fox’s other films include the award-winning How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change and AWAKE, a Dream of Standing Rock.

Fox is the founder and producing artistic director of the International WOW Company, which has produced over 40 new plays to consistent rave reviews. The New York Times calls him "one of the most adventurous impresarios of the New York avant-garde" and Time Out NY said Fox is "one of downtown's most audacious auteurs." He has toured to 500-plus American cities to speak with people about climate change and the proliferation of fossil fuel extraction, raising awareness at the grassroots.

Fox has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Real Time with Bill Maher, CBS World News Tonight, The Colbert Report, The Diane Rehm Show, NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Last Call with Carson Daly, All In with Chris Hayes, Democracy Now and many other national broadcasts. He has been covered in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Time magazine, among other publications. He lives in New York City and New Orleans. Fox's first book, The Truth Has Changed, with an introduction by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, will be published by Seven Stories Press on September 11, 2018.

ABOUT CAP UCLA

UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) is dedicated to the advancement of the contemporary performing arts in all disciplines — dance, music, spoken word and theater, as well as emerging digital, collaborative and cross-platforms — by leading artists from around the globe. Part of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture, CAP UCLA curates and facilitates direct exposure to artists who are creating extraordinary works of art and fosters a vibrant learning community both on and off the UCLA campus. The organization invests in the creative process by providing artists with financial backing and time to experiment and expand their practices through strategic partnerships and collaborations. As an influential voice within the local, national and global arts communities, CAP UCLA connects this generation to the next in order to preserve a living archive of our culture. CAP UCLA is also a safe harbor where cultural expression and artistic exploration can thrive, giving audiences the opportunity to experience real life through characters and stories on stage, and giving artists an avenue to challenge assumptions and advance new ways of seeing and understanding the world we live in now.

Like CAP UCLA on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. #CAPUCLA

# # #

PRESS REVIEW TICKETS/PHOTO PASSES/INTERVIEW REQUESTS: Contact Holly Wallace at hawallace@arts.ucla.edu, 310-206-8744.

IMAGES: Available by request or register for download at cap.ucla.edu/pressimages. Photo courtesy of International WOW Company.
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