Gasland filmmaker says fight must go on against fracking

Pensylvania film maker Josh Fox with anti-frackers at the showing of his new movie in Blackpool

Pensylvania film maker Josh Fox with anti-frackers at the showing of his new movie in Blackpool

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“This is not a time to roll over. They have overturned democracy.”

Those were the words of the academy nominated film maker Josh Fox on the Government’s decision to allow fracking to go ahead at at least one site on the Fylde at Little Plumpton.

The US documentary maker was speaking as he visited Lytham and Blackpool to showcase his new film on climate change.

He urged people opposed to fracking not to give up their opposition.

He said: “Its a tyrannical decision not a decision made democratically. Residents have done everything right, all those things that are supposed to be done by good citizens.

“Now what we have is government listening for some reason to the oil and gas industry and their interests rather than acting democratically. We have to take more extreme measures – peaceful measures to oppose this. This is no time to roll over.

“We need better forms of energy, we need to move on from oil and gas.”

Fox who made the controversial film Gasland, the film which famously showed a homeowner in Pennsylvania lighting the methane in their tap water, said he was delighted to visit Blackpool and the Fylde, the area at the forefront of the fracking industry in the UK. He said: “People around the world have taken notice because of the fracking movement in the UK.”

He said the experience in America was that fracking could cause pollution and health issues in the area round the fracked wells.

When asked if Britain’s more robust regulation and monitoring and the fact that people in Britain did not rely on wells for their water supply would prevent the worst excesses of the US experience he said that Britain was still behind the argument.

He said: “There have been 850 peer reviewed studies carried out by respected scientists which have pointed to problems. All the ills associated with fracking that we pointed to in our films have been shows to have been true.

“We know this process is extremely environmentally harmful, locally and in terms of climate change with the release of methane into the atmosphere, so why are your politicians advocating its use?

He said on this visit to the UK he had been grilled by many reporters about the truth of his claims, some of which have been deemed scaremongering. “It’s a bit like listening to the tobacco industry saying smoking is good for you,” he explained.

He said his new film, ‘How To Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change’, looks at the things remaining after climate change causes major environmental and social upheaval.

He said the world was going to have some difficult moral decisions to make as it was already too late to halt much of the global warming.

He said: “We are well past the point of no return. When we get to the point of a two degree rise in global temperature we are locked in to a five to nine metre rise in sea level.

“The UN has warned that will create 800 million climate refugees. Do we punish those people or do we help them? We have to inspire within ourselves a sense of generosity, community, these civic virtues that we’re going to need.”