FrackNation screening

biMy fellow columnist at the Daily Maverick, Ivo Vegter, has secured the rights to screen FrackNation in South Africa. If you’ve seen Gasland, you might think that the South African government would be giving Shell permission to destroy the Karoo, create flammable tap water, and murder a number of meerkats. If you’ve read any of Ivo’s columns, you’d know that he thinks these fears unfounded, and that fracking in the Karoo is instead likely to result in lots of cheap energy, jobs and so forth.

But regardless of which side of the fence you are on the issue of fracking, it’s important to be persuaded by evidence rather than by hysteria, unfounded fear, or emotional blackmail. And this is the problem with Gasland, in that Josh Fox simply makes stuff up (at times) in that highly successful documentary. Regardless of whether he’s right or wrong on the merits of fracking, he does his cause no good through playing fast and loose with evidence.

Well, one might hope that causes premised on hysteria and dishonesty pay a price. In this case, that hasn’t happened – in fact, Fox has been commissioned to make a sequel. Fox’s documentary did however prompt a thorough response – also in documentary form – by independent journalist Phelim McAleer. I’ve seen it, and it’s worth watching – not only because he counters many of the claims made by Fox, but also because he exposes how afraid Fox is of engaging with any critical questions.

So if you care about the issue of hydraulic fracturing – and also, care about your views on important matters being justified by all the (reasonably) available evidence, then try to attend next wek’s Cape Town premiere of FrackNation.

To quote from the press release:

The premiere will be screened at in Cape Town on 20 June 2013. Afterwards, there will be opportunity for a Q&A with me (Ivo Vegter, columnist for Daily Maverick and author of Extreme Environment).

Venue: The Labia
City: Cape Town
Date: Thursday 20 June 2013
Time: 18:00 – 20:00

Tickets are R200. You can book here:

A full house would be great, because it is important to combat lobby group propaganda, and I’d like to cover my own expenses. Please forward this to other people you think would be keen to hear an
independent take on the shale gas debate.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.