Anti frackers … a must see film in Greytown

2016-03-30 06:00

THE international award-winning film, The High Cost of Cheap Gas is to be shown in Greytown on Tuesday 12 April at 2.30pm in the Greytown Town Hall and is an absolute must for the many who have already shown that the only response to fracking is a total “no”.

This project uncovers how the oil and gas industry is quietly invading one of the most pristine places on the planet. Reserves and national wildlife parks are not safe from these developments, which threaten the existence of Africa's last remaining traditional people and wildlife.

In this film the voices of the scientists, experts and people are heard opposing the unabated oil and gas development in the U.S. to ensure it does not come to southern Africa so that the region's natural wealth may be protected for generations to come by the best scientific data available. Deep in the Kalahari Desert the production team filmed secret hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations across the migration routes of Africa's largest single elephant population - 44 000 elephants pass between Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and Chobe National Park in Botswana.

The migration route is a tenuous and delicate string of sweet-water pans in the dry desert. There is evidence and undercover interviews of newly fracked gas wells already endangering these ancient elephant routes. The Karoo Shale Basin extends across the Karoo desert in South Africa - a delicate ecosystem home to myriad endemic and endangered plant species.

While exploration has started in Botswana, South Africa still has a narrow window of opportunity to prevent potentially serious harm to its environment. For those already against fracking, the film is a visual back-up to their views. To anyone still not convinced, the film is an absolutely essential to actually see the negative impacts of fracking on the environment and life.

Award-winning director Jeffrey Barbee will be present and will answer any questions. Apart from filming, his freelance work has been published in leading media throughout the world. Producer Mira Dutschke is an award-winning film producer working on social and environmental filmmaking, investigating how human rights can inform environmental laws and policies, and using the media as an advocacy tool.

A reminder to all interested that the deadline for comment on the scoping report on environmental authorisation produced by Rhino Gas and Oil and SLR Consultants is 11 April. All libraries in the area have a copy of the report which can also be downloaded on

Communication is vital for survival. Obviously the different governmental departments do not talk to each other. There are several times a day appeals on and in the media by members of the national and provincial cabinets to save every drop of water and how precious it is in view of the critical drought situation in many parts of the country.

On the other hand the government is being asked to approved fracking - in fact, it has granted licences for a process that will not only use hundreds of thousands litres of water per hole drilled, but will also pollute existing ground water. The bottom line - which is more essential - the claims that water is life or the claims that cheap gas processing will miraculously be the answer to the country's energy future and unemployment?

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