Scene from the Josh Fox documentary ‘Gasland’ in which a homeowner lights his tap water on fire. Fox had the last laugh on terminal bore Niall Ferguson, appearing on Bill Maher last night.
Gasland and Gasland II film maker Josh Fox didn’t hold back Friday night when confronted by the Harvard conservative prof and Über Troll, Niall Ferguson. The fur flew, diatribes were unleashed and Ferguson howled “Cheap Shot!” after Fox suggested he might be one of the beneficiaries of fracking which is why he so avidly defends it. Ferguson resorted to just about every tawdry ruse and cheap tactic in the pseudo-armory of the entitled, aristocrat class, including denigrating Fox’s credentials, asking at one point: “What qualifies you to do this apart from being a film maker?” Fox responded: “I’m an American CITIZEN!” To which the audience cheered. Bravo! And to be sure, the citizen has paramountcy when federal, state and local governments try to undermine our voices.
Ferguson, twisting his face up to emulate a spoiled brat, then deplored the absence of any “science” in Fox's film efforts. But Fox held his own, especially on the issue of the water contamination- challenging Ferguson on whether he’s actually examined the data.
Most pleasing to the audience was Fox calling out Ferguson for his constant interruptions: “You haven’t let me complete a single sentence yet without interruption!” But this is common for the entitled likes of a twerp Harvard history professor. One can only feel sorry for his students who must resort to extreme distractions when they’re caught up in one of his classes.
Ferguson harped on an “MIT study” but that study MIT: The Facts On Fracking Methane Emissions, was more concerned with the level of methane emissions relative to ordinary gas drilling – it didn’t address the water contamination issues at all. What we DO know is that Theo Colborn and researchers at the Endocrine Disruption Exchange here in Colorado pored through industry and government documents to assemble a list of generic chemicals used in hydraulic fracking, with the findings published in the journal, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment(2011).
The results are scary to say the least. Of 353 fracking chemicals for which they could find health information, nearly half affected the brain and nervous system. Meanwhile, a quarter were likely carcinogens and forty percent had the potential to adversely impact the endocrine system which regulates sexual development, pregnancy and critical aspects of child development.
Oil and gas industry PR meisters and hacks insist the levels of their chemicals are so low that there’s no need for concern, but scientists like Colborn aren’t assured. They know the existing data show that fetal and early childhood exposures to even very low levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals can have lasting effects over a lifetime. These effects include infertility and early puberty in girls.
Another worrisome aspect that twits like Ferguson overlook, is the debris – including radioactive- hurled up to form pools of produced water. These pools contain not only the chemicals originally injected into the ground, but heavy metals as well as radioactive material – which can drift into nearby homes, school yards. This finding has been published in ‘New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy’ by Alisa Rich who has studied such ponds, pools in Texas.
At the end of the Maher Real Time show it was a double TKO for Josh Fox, taking out both the troll Niall Ferguson as well as Neoliberal hack Jonathan Alter who at one point came to Ferguson's aid. (Neoliberals of the same political class stick together like rats.....errrrr.....birds of a feather.)
Of course, make no mistake the oil and gas industry will squeal like stuck pigs, just as much as the intelligence community is for having its own excesses exposed. We citizens will always have to expect those who would keep us deaf, dumb and blind to react this way. They want us to remain sheep, and when others help us to break out of the sheep mold, the arrogant corporate-war-spy state goes ape shit, along with all their whore lackeys. This is what the real citizen comes to expect, and we ignore it in our pursuit of truth and transparency pertaining to issues affecting our lives. We also continue to try to wake up our slumbering, semi-comatose fellow citizens who, for some reason, seem to think none of this matters, at least in their self-contained, egocentric social media universe.