By Melissa Baird
Fracking has been most recently banned in New York state in the USA as more and more cases of contaminated ground water as a result of fracking are brought into the public domain. South Africa however has approved the prospecting for shale gas in the Karoo with the first wells likely being sunk in 2015.
Unearthed, is an independent South African feature documentary, that investigates fracking in the United States – the technology’s place of origin – in order to understand what this new method of gas extraction could mean for the semi-arid Karoo and other countries who are looking to this source of energy as a long term solution to energy supply.
Karoo born director, Jolynn Minnaar, undertook month s of research conducted over 400 interviews; traversed South Africa, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom;
battling gag orders and no trespassing zones; losing cameras to extreme heat and subzero temperatures and suffering first hand chemical exposure from drilling sites – to get to the bottom of the controversial topic.
The film toured across the UK at the end of 2014 and has left a lasting impression ( In South Africa it won the audience award and the director Jolyn Minnaar was made woman of the year in 2014 in the Change Agent category)amidst the proganda surrounding the benefits of shale gas extraction without fully uncovering the tremendous risks that we can ill afford to take when renewable energy can offer the answer for wide spread, efficient and cost effective energy supply to communities still needing to connect to the grid. We have solutions to hand but legislative delays are causing severe pressure to be put on the wind and solar technology manufacturers who are not only in a position to create lasting jobs but also boost our country’s much needed energy levels.
View the trailer and request a screening here www.un-earthed.com