Fracking is often a very controversial issue. Convinced pro-fracking advocates, such as Edward Lucas with whom we spoke last week, face the scrutiny of determined opponents like Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton and the Hove, and the Frack-Off Group.
It is one of those issue where both parts deploy serious and convincing arguments and, given the impossibility to find an agreement, the contest gets to its fiercest.
Trying to make things a little bit clearer, or maybe to confuse even more, we at The Fracking Observatory have selected a shortlist of books and movies that we believe you should read and watch on the matter.
Take it as the ultimate ‘Fracking Course’ for wannabe experts, hopefully you will enjoy.
Cold Hungry and the Dark is a bible for anti-frackists and environmentalists. That said, the point made from author Bill Powers is rather than fracking will cause a new economic bubble followed by a dark crisis in the next few years rather than an analysis of the impact of the new technology. A must for both pro- and against-.
Exactly on the other spectrum of the analysis lays Groundswell, from Canadian commentator and advocate Ezra Levant, a convincet analysis of the benefits of fracking. In the book Levant takes a hardline against protesters and campaigners, tearing down their argumentations step after step. An obligate read for any advocate.
A book that tells the story behind the boom in the United States. Authr Russell Gold does not take a position on the matter, but simply limits to tell the story of the first pioneers who opened up wells in Pennsylvania. Whether their action eventually meant success or despair for the communities they worked in is left to the reader to decide.
A novel that covers pretty much the same as The Boom, The Frackers is an entertaining account of the mavericks who first tried to extract shale gas and oil in the States. Way more romantic and novelised than the previous, it is a convinced pro-fracking manifest. An overdose of American myth spices up the reading.
A longtime classic, Gasland is probably the most famous documentary on hydraulic fracturing. Director Josh Fox travelled around the US to find out the worst effects of horizontal drilling and fracking. Highly recommended by the films critics, it was shortlisted for the Academy Awards of 2011. A sequel, not as successful as the original, followed two years later.
From former Financial Times correspondent Phelim McAleer, this movie was made purposely to counteract the effect that Gasland had after its release. The two journalists even met at University of Chicago and brawled on the issue. A solid argument in favour of hydraulic fracturing and a passionate defense.
The fanciest of them all. This Hollywood independent production features Matt Damon and John Krasinski to tell the story of a pioneer in search of the ultimate gas field. From director Gus Van Sant, it premiered at Berlin Film Festival in 2013. A screen version of single man’s stories such as the ones narrated in The Boom and The Frackers.