The Movie Gasland
Gasland is a documentary that explores the detrimental impact of hydraulic fracturing on various communities in the United States. Josh Fox, the director and screenwriter of the film, visited different communities affected by drilling activities in their areas. After learning about the conditions of people in affected areas, Fox consulted experts to substantiate claims on the detrimental impact of fracking on communities, particularly on people’s health and wellbeing. The things that Fox exposed in the film made me realize the impact of industrial greed on human beings and the environment. Moreover, people’s increasing dependence on oil and gas granted businesses in the energy sector the power and privilege to take advantage of this need or dependence to expand their access to resources at the expense of people in communities.
As an engineer and a citizen, I would recommend that actions and processes taken by public and private agencies to pursue energy initiatives and projects must be guided by Ecocentric Ethics. Ecocentric ethics take into consideration the interests and wellbeing of the entire community as an ecosystem. Based on this ethical framework, society functions well as a whole if it is a healthy ecosystem. Hence, initiatives to ensure the health of the community must involve the preservation and conservation of the ecosystem (Martin & Shinzinger, 216). To accomplish this objective, all members or organisms in the community must learn to adopt or exhibit the moral imperative to preserve and conserve the ecosystem in the best way possible. If we are to apply the ecocentric ethical framework in the case of hydraulic fracturing, communities must achieve balance. Balance is important because on one hand, communities rely on oil and gas. Without oil and gas, there would be no energy to power homes or facilitate transportation, among others.
On the other hand, the means used by businesses to tap into oil and energy sources are detrimental to the environment. For these reasons, the community must learn to balance the need for energy and the health of the ecosystem. In the film, Fox explored the legislative implications of hydraulic fracturing. The government implements laws to protect the health of people in the community, particularly when it comes to the production of safe drinking water. Nevertheless, existing legislation does not involve regulations on hydraulic fracturing. For this reason, applying the ecocentric ethical framework could mean that communities in the US may achieve balance and maintain a healthy ecosystem if regulations are in place to limit hydraulic fracturing activities. Furthermore, businesses must be regulated such that they may only be allowed to tap into oil and gas resources if their processes or methods are safe for the entire ecosystem. In a way, the film’s narrative was biased but such that it favors the people of the community who are affected by the impact of hydraulic fracturing and critiques businesses or organizations and the government for failing to address the issue.
Hence, Fox may …