If the increase in U.S. oil output continues to increase by 25 percent every year, as it did from September 2012 to September 2013, total U.S. output would double every three years. It’s a simple case of mathematics, compound interest, and the Rule of 72. The main people working to keep that from happening are Josh Fox and his friends.
According to the latest report from the Department of Energy, the U.S. oil industry produced an average of 7.8 million barrels of oil every day during September, the highest monthly output since May 1989, more than 24 years ago. Doing some math of his own, economist Mark Perry estimated that at this rate, U.S. crude oil production will hit 10 million barrels a day early in the year 2015 — a level not seen since November 1970.
Josh Fox and his friends have other ideas, however. As the co-producer of the film Gasland in 2010 and Gasland II earlier this summer, Fox joined forces with Debra Winger, Pete Seeger, and California environmentalist Mark Jacobson to bring the anti-fracking message to millions of uninformed Americans. Fox had some help from HBO, aided and abetted by Robert Redford’s Sundance Festival, which awarded Fox’s first effort its “Jury Prize.”
Fox’s lies about fracking may just do him in before he does much more damage. Investigative journalists have had a field day in pointing out the falsehoods abundantly displayed in his original film Gasland, starting from the very first scene. Fox is sitting at his kitchen table, holding something that looks like a serious proposal, saying:
One day I got a letter in the mail. It was from a natural gas company. The letter told me that my land was on top of a formation that was called the Marcellus Shale which stretched across Pennsylvania — New York — Ohio — and West Virginia — and that the Marcellus Shale was the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.
I could lease my land to this company and I would receive a signing bonus of $4,750 an acre. Having 19.5 acres, that was nearly $100,000 … right there in my hand. Could it be that easy?
No, it couldn't. As Tom Shepstone, of Shepstone Management Company, wrote, “Every aspect of his story turns out to be a falsehood.” The math doesn't work: it wasn't $100,000 but $92,625. His land couldn't be used for drilling; it’s too hilly. The land doesn't belong to him but to his father. And no natural gas company was making offers in 2008, or even 2006, when Fox claimed he first received his, but then later corrected himself. Concluded Shepstone:
The lease didn't come in the mail from a gas company. It wasn't even sent to him by the Northern Wayne Property Owners Association.
It appears that he simply grabbed a copy from someone else, fabricated a story around it, added some video of a flaming faucet and, presto, Gasland was born.
The lies continued: The flaming faucet belonged to Mike Markham, living in Weld County, Colorado, who knew that methane gas had seeped into his water supply long before Fox showed up on his doorstep. Markham had already had Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) out to investigate, after which they concluded:
Mike Markham’s wells contained biogenic gas that was not related to oil and gas activity.
Unfortunately, Gasland dismisses our Markham finding out of hand….
It should be noted that the COGCC director, Dave Neslin, offered to speak with Gasland’s producer, Josh Fox, on camera during the filming of the movie….
Unfortunately, Mr. Fox declined.
Fox’s lies continued. During his production of The Sky Is Pink, Fox claimed that breast cancer rates near fracking operations in Texas were higher than anywhere else, implying that the increase was due to those operations. Come to find out, however, his source was a single article in a local paper, and those claims were quickly debunked by both the Texas Cancer Registry and the Susan B. Komen Foundation.
Undeterred, Fox went ahead with Gasland II, in which he filmed another flaming faucet episode but this time in Parker County, Texas, using a garden hose instead. The fraud came to the attention of the Texas District Court, which stated:
[The homeowner conspired with a local consultant to] intentionally attach a garden hose to a gas vent — not to a water line — and then light and burn the gas from the end of the nozzle of the hose.
The demonstration was not done for scientific study but to provide local and national news media a deceptive video, calculated to alarm the public into believing that the water was burning.
Just how many lies does it take to conclude that Fox is a liar?
A telling moment in understanding Fox’s commitment to ideology over truth occurred during a public confrontation between Fox and the maker of FrackNation, Phelim McAleer. Using a crowd funding website, McAleer, an Irish investigative journalist with an abiding interest in truth, created his rebuttal to Gasland and then attended a meeting where Fox was holding forth. The first two minutes of FrackNation feature that confrontation with McAleer eliciting from Fox the admission that, yes, water has been known to catch fire through absorption of methane gas with recorded incidents going as far back as 1936.
But when pressed for the reason Fox omitted that vital bit of information in his video, Fox said it “wasn't relevant.” Instead, Fox tried to take control of the conversation by asking McAleer where he was from, whom he represented, whom he worked for, and so on. It was a classic technique used by targets to redirect the conversation away from themselves, but in this case it didn't work. McAleer had the goods on Fox, and FrackNation continues to inform Americans about just who Fox is and what he’s about.
In order to understand where Fox fits in the grand scheme of things, it is helpful to remember what Georgetown University professor Carroll Quigley revealed in his two paradigm-shifting books, The Anglo-American Establishment in 1949 followed by Tragedy and Hope in 1966. Early in his career, Quigley not only had learned of the existence of an “establishment” in the United States but had in fact favored it and participated in it. His falling out was over its desire to remain secretive, while Quigley thought its role in major events over the decades was too important not to be revealed.
In 1988, author James Perloff penned The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline, building on what Quigley had uncovered 15 years earlier. Perloff described the establishment about which Quigley had written:
In the public mind, the American Establishment is probably most associated with big business and with wealthy, old-line families. The sons of these families have long followed a traditional career path that begins with private schools, the most famous being Groton.
From there they have typically proceeded to Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Columbia, entering exclusive fraternities such as Yale’s secretive Skull and Bones.
Some of the brightest have traveled to Oxford for graduate work as Rhodes Scholars. From academia they have customarily progressed to Wall Street, perhaps joining an international investment bank [such as David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, now called JPMorgan Chase] or a prominent law firm or brokerage house.
Some of the politically inclined have signed on with Establishment think tanks like the Brookings Institute or the Rand Corporation.
As they have matured, a few have found themselves on the boards of vast foundations: Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie.
And ultimately, some have advanced into “public service” — high positions in the federal government.
For the latter, there has long been a requisite membership in a New York-based group called the Council on Foreign Relations — CFR for short. Since its founding in 1921, the Council has been the Establishment’s chief link to the U.S. government.
As those foundations increased their influence, members of the House of Representatives became concerned and financed an investigation into them in 1952. The chairman of the investigation was Carroll Reece, a congressman from Tennessee. Aiding him as his director of research was Norman Dodd, a banker with a degree from Yale. In an interview with Ed Griffin in 1982, Dodd told a remarkable story of a meeting he had with the then-president of the Ford Foundation, one Rowan Gaither:
Norman Dodd: Rowan Gaither was, at that time, president of the Ford Foundation. Mr. Gaither had sent for me when I found it convenient to be in New York [and] asked me to call upon him at his office, which I did. Upon arrival, after a few amenities, Mr. Gaither said: “Mr. Dodd, we've asked you to come up here today because we thought that possibly, off the record, you would tell us why the Congress is interested in the activities of foundations such as ourselves?” Before I could think of how I would reply to that statement, Mr. Gaither then went on voluntarily and said:
Mr. Dodd, all of us who have a hand in the making of policies here have had experience either with the OSS during the war or the European Economic Administration after the war. We've had experience operating under directives, and these directives emanate and did emanate from the White House. Now, we still operate under just such directives. Would you like to know what the substance of these directives is?
I said, “Mr. Gaither, I’d like very much to know,” whereupon he made this statement to me:
Mr. Dodd, we operate here in response to similar directives, the substance of which is that we shall use our grant-making power so to alter life in the United States that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union….
[Our task is to] covertly lower the standard of living, the whole social structure, of America so that we can be merged with all other nations.
One of the most influential of those foundations in working to “alter life in the United States” is the Rockefeller Foundation, headed up for years by David Rockefeller. Now in his 98th year, he stated in his 2003 autobiography, Memoirs:
For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions.
Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will.
If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
With that admission now a matter of public record, the question becomes: Where did the “environmental movement” come from? Where did that start? Who was behind that?
The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
The real enemy then, is humanity itself.
The Club publishes relevant articles in its Kosmos Journal with some illuminating comments that reveal its worldview:
Modern industrial civilization is fast outstripping the Earth’s natural regenerative and life-supporting capacity….
A radical change from the current trajectory is required, a complete reordering of global society….
Democracy has failed us. A new system of global governance, based on environmental imperatives, must be implemented quickly.
At the World Resources Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, from October 7-9, Ugo Bardi, a speaker representing the Club of Rome, reiterated precisely what their agenda is:
We are facing today an unprecedented global challenge: that of the overexploitation of the world’s resources. Not only are most natural resources being exploited faster than they can reform, but we are saturating the capability of the atmosphere to absorb the products of the combustion of fossil fuels; with the result of potentially catastrophic climate change….
[The solution] means slowing down the exploitation rate….
[We must] operate in a concerted effort to slow down and eventually stop the deadly economic growth machine.
There’s the agenda: stop growth in the name of humanity and global warming (i.e., climate change). And just who are some of these worthies promoting the end of western civilization? A partial listing is revealing: Al Gore, Maurice Strong, Mikhail Gorbachev, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Tony Blair, Tim Wirth, Henry Kissinger, George Soros — and, of course, the inevitable David Rockefeller.
Taking a closer look at the people behind the making of Gasland now reveals the influence of those seeking to reshape and remake the world, and the United States, into a one-world community, with them in charge. First there is Debra Winger, popularly known for her roles in An Officer and a Gentleman and Shadowlands. Not as well known was her role as a furious campaigner for Obama in 2008, flying around the country trying to placate concerns from various Jewish organizations about Obama’s Muslim background and consequent potential threats to Israel if he were elected president.
There’s Pete Seeger, who had a bit part in Gasland, revealing a strange sympathy for a folk singer with a long history of being a member of the Communist Party since his 20s. Now in his 90s, Seeger was asked about that and responded, “I’m still a communist.”
There’s the good professor from Stanford, Mark Jacobson, acting as an advisor to Fox in Gasland, offering such sound advice as that presented in an article published in the Energy Policy journal entitled “A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables.” Jacobson, with a serious demeanor no doubt, thinks the planet’s energy needs can be met with just WWS — wind, water, and sunlight. That will take more than a little doing, however, as it would require, according to Jacobson, a minimum of the following energy sources to do the job:
• 3.8 million 4 MW (mega-watt) wind turbines
• 49,000 300 MW concentrated solar plants
• 40,000 300 MW solar photovoltaic power plants
• 1.7 billion 3 KW (kilowatt) rooftop photovoltaic systems
• 5,350 100 MW geothermal power plants, and
• 270 new 1300 MW hydroelectric power plants.
Just for perspective, the Hoover Dam generates just over 2,000 MW, so the task facing Jacobson and his fantasizers is daunting, to say the very least.
And then there’s HBO — Home Box Office — the funder and promoter of Fox’s follies, including a check for $750,000 to get him started on his way with Gasland II.
But who owns HBO? Time Warner. And who is found sitting at the very top of Time Warner? Members of the Council on Foreign Relations, including the chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes; Jessica Einhorn, a dean at Johns Hopkins University; two out of the five senior executives; and two of the four division CEOs. The chances of that happening by accident are simply too great to calculate.
Finally, there’s the Sundance Festival, which presented Gasland its Jury Award, sending the film on its way to national acclaim. The Sundance Festival was founded and is chaired by Robert Redford, presumably with his own money in the early years. But as time went on, the Sundance Kid and his festival caught the attention of the Open Society Foundation (formerly the Open Society Institute), funded by a most generous $5-billion gift from gazillionaire and world-changer George Soros. The OSF happily announced that it was funding the festival with a modest $5 million back in 2009, which presumably has continued ever since.
What conclusions can be drawn from all of this? Fully armed now with knowledge of the networks and connections and purposes and funding behind Fox, it is safe to conclude that he is a consummate liar and a fraud. Further, he is a puppet of the people who are using him, for the moment, to promote their agenda. He is, in the words of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), a “useful idiot.” This is a term used to describe propagandists for a cause or a regime they fully support but don’t fully understand, whose support is cynically welcomed temporarily and then discarded, neutralized, or even eliminated by that regime when its agenda is completed.
By himself Fox will likely be unable to make even a dent in slowing the avalanche of oil being produced in the United States, thanks to fracking. The momentum is simply too great. The locomotive rushing forward to fulfill not only America’s energy needs but a large part of the world’s as well is just moving too quickly.
However, this is not to denigrate in any way the danger to that energy boom posed by the people currently using Fox as a foil and a tool. If they succeed in ending fracking, the math, and compound interest, and the Rule of 72 will become irrelevant, and the anti-frackers will return America to the 16th century. They will become known not for anti-fracking but instead for what they really are: anti-civilization.
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at