The last item that Josh Fox’s documentary reveals that I wish to highlight (there are several more that other outlets have picked up on already) is the one that is not mentioned specifically: the problem of the endocrine disruptor. His interview with Dr. Theo goes into what the effects of endocrine disruptors are, which are primarily neurological. If you have not heard of endocrine disruptors, here’s the description from our favorite source on the web for such unknowns, wikipedia. The subject is addressed by NIEHS as well.
Josh captured reports from individuals experiencing these very symptoms, and tragically filmed animals experiencing these symptoms rather strikingly. The reason I highlight this issue here is because we have no treatment for endocrine disruptors. It seems that people and animals had exposure from endocrine disruptors that traveled by air. Again, the dispersed nature of this kind of gas development poses an extra challenge for protecting environmental health, in the air, soil, and water. Admittedly, endocrine disruptors are not unique to gas exploration at all. I bring it up here as something of a public service announcement.
The one critique I have of Gasland is that he does not talk about the benefits of natural gas, and of the lease holders. I know he mentions the adds run by Chespeake and what not about this being a ‘game changer’ and of course starts the movie by describing the generous offer he received in the mail. The reason it is important to note the incentive is that there are a lot of landowners out there, a lot of farmers whose business is struggling, home owners scraping by, who have a justified reason to exercise their mineral rights: they can plain and simply use the financial boost. Second to that is the fact that our way of life here calls for this steady supply of cheap energy, and this is a resource that we can and will use. Once we acknowledge these facts, I believe we can have a better discussion about how to extract those resources responsibly to provide all stakeholders better economic stability.