Lynch, Contributor in Forbes 7/4/2013
I should have been pleased to hear that Gasland II is coming
out. It took only a brief viewing of Josh Fox ’s original Gasland
to move me to tears—of laughter. He employs a number of
fairly transparent tricks to imply things that aren’t demonstrated
factually, most famously playing a banjo while wearing a gas mask,
as if the air was toxic. Although perhaps the audience was
meant to think he was at an organic farm after a manure
He has been called out by any number of people, including
reporters, for false claims about elevated cancer rates, saying a
toxic spill from a coal mine was actually from a fracking
operation, among others. The biggest error is that he implies
that all pollution and health problems in an area with fracking
must come from the fracking, on a par with medieval people who
blamed the Black Death on the Jews: there’s plague, there’s
Jews, they must be the cause.
It would be easy to dismiss him as being on a par with Ancient
Alien theory proponents, whose logic systems he most clearly
resembles, but astonishingly, he continues to be embraced by
many activists, including celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and
Yoko Ono. Criticisms are often met with ad hominem attacks
and cries of conspiracy, which now seems to include most
environmental regulators, who can’t validate his claims.
Environmental activists often seem...