MOVIE REVIEWS by Don Britt - July 2018

     In the Church Library, we have 2 excellent movies related to our concern for the environment. Life for many people in the U.S. is pretty bleak. The cause? Hydraulic Fracturing, commonly called Fracking, is a drilling technique for extracting natural gas from thousands of feet beneath the earth. As usual the big businesses (like Halliburton) and various levels of government all declare that fracking is safe and won’t pollute the water table or waterways. Even though hundreds of poisonous chemicals were used to loosen the earth and get the gas out.


     In a film called “Gasland: Can You Light Your Water on Fire?” Josh Fox got involved in investigating fracking for natural gas when he learned that a large area of Pennsylvania and New York had vast amounts of natural gas underground. He was offered $100,000 to lease his land for drilling. So were his neighbors. His investigating found that 24 states were being drilled for gas. He visited them to find out what was happening.

     In his travels, visiting with homeowners to find out how the drilling affected their homes, he discovered that the natural gas was bubbling up into natural waterways, and even into their wells. Several persons he visited showed him how to light a match to their tap water – and get a huge flame of fire! Who would want to drink or bathe in such water? Nobody. When he took water samples to interview company executives, none of them would drink that water. Yet they all said fracking was safe.

     Others who were also investigating spoke of how many residents in these drilling areas were getting sick in terrible ways. Over and over, residents told him their heartbreaking stories of children and adults being affected by the natural gas drilling called fracking. Wildlife in their areas were dying; fish kills brought many dead fish to the surface; etc.

     Is there fracking going on in Minnesota? In Wisconsin? Look up Fracking in Minnesota or Wisconsin on your computer. Drilling companies are buying sand in Minnesota to use in drilling in nearby Wisconsin. What have the neighbors in those areas learned about the effects of fracking?  This film is 106 minutes.



     In the film “A Plastic Ocean: We Need a Wave of Change,” we see and hear evidence of the effects of plastic trash and how it effects wildlife and so much more. A team made up of investigators from around the globe, also researchers and others, learned how expensive our use of plastics is, especially those that we use once and throw into the trash.

     Birds, animals and other wildlife eat bits of plastic – sometimes huge pieces – and since plastic is not digestible, it stays in the stomachs of the animals eating it….until they starve to death slowly. One test the investigators used was dragging a net with small holes in it, to gather what the ocean was carrying. At every level of the oceans they tested, they found bits and pieces of plastic. From the surface to the ocean floor, plastic had invaded the ecosystem!  

     Our beautiful oceans, which appear to be so pristine and clean, are filled with garbage and trash that pollute the oceans and often kill the wildlife that lives in them. Aside: The trade tariffs placed by the U.S. government between the U.S. and other countries, not only effects our Minnesota farmers, but also the polluting of the oceans. Why? Because millions of tons of garbage and trash – which had been sent to China as part of a business there that uses them in many ways – will have no place to go – but in the oceans or on the natural lands of our beautiful country! This film is 102 minutes long.