Documentarian Josh Fox is making the rounds in anticipation of the HBO premiere of "Gasland Part II," the follow-up to 2010's oscar-nominated (and highly controversial) "Gasland."
Fox joined the Daily Show's John Oliver to talk about the upcoming film, which explores the impacts of fracking and the natural gas industry on public health and the environment. His appearance started with a clip from the documentary, which shows a man lighting a hose on fire connected to a well contaminated with methane.
"That is the most pleasant part of consequences," Oliver joked. "At least it's something that functions as a toy. Really the more significant thing is, I don't know, poisoned water.
Activists point to water contamination as a major problem associated with natural gas drilling and fracking wells. A recent Duke University study of water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania revealed that average methane concentrations in groundwater samples were six times higher for homes near natural gas wells.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently dropped out of a groundwater pollution study in Wyoming, leaving the project to be picked up by the state with funding from Encana Corp., an oil and gas producer based in Canada.
The natural gas industry has actively marketed itself as the cleaner alternative to traditional coal-fired power plants, and it's true that burning gas produces only half the CO2 emissions. However, studies suggest that fugitive methane emissions released during natural gas production, processing and transportation could negate the benefits of the fuel.
Methane is shorter-lived in the atmosphere, but is 105 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than CO2.
"It's like the witches in 'Macbeth,'" Fox said. "The witches say to Macbeth, 'Oh you're going to be king,' and they leave out the part about how, you know, you're going to have to kill all your friends, your wife's going to go crazy and commit suicide and you're going to be dead in three days."
President Barack Obama touted natural gas during his landmark climate change speech earlier this week, causing some alarm among environmentalists.
"Gasland Part II" premieres on HBO Monday, July 8 at 9 p.m. You can watch a trailer for the film below:
GASLAND 2 HBO trailer from JFOX on Vimeo.
The thesis of the documentary seeks to inform the audience on the environmental effects and human effects from natural gas drilling. Indeed, the documentary uses dark humor to discuss a detailed analysis on the broader effects of the controversial extraction method, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking that is rampant across the globe. The documentary seeks to negate the assertion that natural gas is a clean and safe alternative to oil. In addition, the documentary confirms that the fracked wells leak more often thus polluting the environment through water and air pollution, which endangers the environment and disturbs families (Fox Film).
Rhetorical (persuasive) Strategies in the Documentary
Notably, the documentary uses the three persuasive strategies, which include logos, pathos, and ethos. Moreover, the documentary uses rhetorical devices to apply the persuasive strategies to support the argument. In this context, I will focus on sound, speech, and visual images in discussing the rhetorical (persuasive) strategies in the documentary....
The speaker further says that, “a great deal of faith in people that we wouldn’t succumb to frenzy, or rage, or greed; that we’d figure out a solution without destroying the things that we love (Fox Film).” This comes in a convincing tone that asserts respect for the environment. More so, Josh Fox says that the proposal from the natural gas company to lease Fox’s family land for purposes of drilling natural gas generated a debate in the family. Indeed, Fox’s father initially had the thought of leasing the land for the $100,000 offer (Fox Film). On the other hand, Fox tells his father, ‘I think I have to look into this, so give me some time to go ahead and get the facts.” Indeed, even though, Fox said this in a commanding voice, Fox’s father allowed him to seek for facts and evidence regarding the effects of hydraulic fracturing on the community neighboring the drilling site. In fact, Josh Fox is the dominant narrator in the documentary where he gives a personal story. He engaged in interviews, discussions, and debates seeking to unearth the possible environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing. As a result, the film offers facts and evidence in spoken form through the interviews. We can actually experience Josh Fox talking with residents suffering from chronic health ailments that relate to air pollution and water contamination from the drilling of the natural gas using the hydraulic fracturing (Fox Film). This offers facts and evidence in spoken form through the discussions. More so, the residents report on their quest for justice where they visited the court to get an injunction seeking for damages from the natural gas companies. The court injunction mandated the ...Show more