mine your own business

Fri, 2014-01-24 16:00Steve Horn
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Citing DeSmogBlog Series, "FrackNation" Screening Cancelled by MN Film Festival

FrackNation,” the documentary film about hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) with close conservative movement ties, recently had its showing cancelled at Winona, Minnesota's annual Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF).

Citing DeSmogBlog's two-part investigative series published in May 2013 on “FrackNation,” FRFF Director Mike Kennedy told the Winona Post his rationale for cancelling the film is that it was, “pretty apparent they were paid to make these movies to counter Gasland [Part II].”

“DeSmogBlog.com appears to be the main source of allegations that 'FrackNation' was industry-funded,” wrote the Post. “DeSmogBlog claims connections between [film Co-Director Phelim] McAleer and conservative groups, industry groups help[ing] promote the film after its was made, and the fact that McAleer directed an industry-funded documentary in the past, as proof that 'FrackNation' is cut from the same cloth.”

The cancellation has caused a major kerfuffle in conservative media circles, covered by outlets ranging from Fox News, Fox BusinessThe Blaze TVTown Hall, Watchdog.orgHot Air and others. McAleer was a featured guest on “Fox and Friends” on January 23. 

Mon, 2013-06-03 05:00Steve Horn
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Exposed: "FrackNation" Deploys Tobacco Playbook in Response to "Gasland 2"

Big Oil has deployed the “Tobacco Playbook” once again, this time in response to the release of “Gasland 2.”

It comes in the form of a documentary film titled, “FrackNation,” whose co-directors' funding in the past came from Donors Capital and Donors Trust, referred to by Mothers Jones' Andy Kroll as “the dark-money ATM of the right” and a major source of funding for climate change denial. 

Both “Gasland 2” and “FrackNation” cover hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the toxic horizontal drilling process via which unconventional oil and gas is obtained from shale rock basins around the country and world. Co-produced and co-directed by Irish couple Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, “FrackNation” purports to be “funded by the 99 percent to combat the misrepresentations by the 1 percent of urban elites who want to tell rural Americans how to work and live.”

McAleer and McElhinney also say they are independent journalists working independently of corporate funding. McAleer was referred to by the San Francisco Chronicle as “climate denial's Michael Moore” and both McAler and McElhinney are listed as “experts” by the climate change-denying Heartland Institute.

“FrackNation is an independent film and we want to remain independent of the Gas industry and be funded by ordinary people,” it says on its KickStarter page that it used to raise $212,265 from 3,305 backers of the film between February-April 2012.

This isn't the first dip in the “doubt is our product” pond for McAleer and McElhinney. In the past, they co-directed and co-produced a pro-mining documentary titled “Mine Your Own Business” and a climate change denial documentary titled, “Not Evil, Just Wrong.”

Both McAleer and McElhinney have made a living in recent years deploying the “Tobacco Playbook,” mutating settled scientific debates on energy and climate catastrophe into false two-sided affairs, which corporate-funded news media take and run with as “he-said, she-said” stories. 

Tue, 2009-09-22 08:50Richard Littlemore
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Climate Week: Denial Never Sleeps

Anti-activists: “Real grassroots; not Astroturf”

Wandering through New York in the early part of Climate Week, climate activists were interrupted periodically by forceful protesters assuring us that climate change is not a scientific reality, it’s a wild-eyed plot by the dastardly Al Gore and his minions to trick us into wrecking the (Exxon?) economy.

When questioned as to whom was funding the most prominent of these protests (in front of the NY Public Library immediately before the opening ceremony), a well-dressed, 30-something pamphleteer said, “We are. We’re real grasroots; not Astroturf.”

This sounds exactly like a guilty conscience. It also sounds, in the vernacular, like bullshit.

Thu, 2009-03-05 13:47Kevin Grandia
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CEI Coal Booster Says Greenhouse Gas is Good For You

There was a small pro-coal rally held in Washington, DC on Monday and the National Wildlife Federation was able to catch snippets of one of the pro-coal keeners talking to the media. The rally was organized by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) as a counter to the 2,000 youth who held a massive rally demanding action on climate change on the same day.

Word on the street is that the 20 or so who rallied in support of coal were mainly CEI staffers, in fact when one of the coal supporters was asked why they were there, his response was, “I don’t know I’m just an intern.”

The woman in the video below is Ann McElhinney, a British filmaker touting her most recent work “Not Evil Just Wrong.”

To give you an idea where McElhiney is coming from, her last film project was called “Mine Your Own Business” which according to the Wikipedia entry “investigate[d] controversial proposed mining projects in impoverished villages.” The film, “portrays western environmentalists as wealthy elites who are working counter to the interests of the local people.”

The pro-mining film was financed by a Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources Ltd., which is the same foreign corporation that at the time was looking to develop Roşia Montană as an open pit gold mine.

So a leap from pro-mining to pro-coal to arguing that CO2 is good for us wasn’t a hard one for Ms. McElhinney.

Here’s a partial transcript:

“I’ve been around this country making our film and people are driving their white cars… snow white, so if you look at this idea of black stuff coming out, it’s not. C02 is not dangerous. C02 is what you push into greenhouses to make things grow this is a good thing, you know.”

And here’s the video:

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