Free films presentedFor the second year in a row, What We Need is Here presents a series of films on an issue related to sustainability that is relevant to the St. Croix Valley region. This year's theme is energy.
Continuation of “What we need is here: Getting creative about sustainability in the St. Croix Valley
For the second year in a row, What We Need is Here, a network of non-profit organizations united to spark action to encourage sustainable living in the St. Croix Valley, presents a series of films on an issue related to sustainability that is relevant to the St. Croix Valley region. This year's theme is energy. The films to be shown are “Gasland,” “Dirty Business: Clean Coal and the Battle for Our Energy Future.” They will be screened at 6:30 p.m. each Thursday in February at Stillwater Public Library (Feb. 2, “Gasland” and Feb. 16, “Dirty Business”) and River Falls Public Library (Feb. 9, “Gasland” and Feb. 23, “Dirty Business.”) All showings are free and open to the public. Facilitated discussions will take place after the films so that the audience can explore the issues presented in the films in more detail. Refreshments will be available and donations are always appreciated.
Josh Fox is a filmmaker who was approached by a gas exploration company about selling the mineral rights on his land in Pennsylvania. That encounter launched him on a journey to discover the truth about natural gas exploration that took him around the country and is well chronicled in his award-winning documentary, “Gasland.” Fox examines the relatively new technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" that allows gas deposits to be tapped that were once infeasible to retrieve. This has opened vast areas of the world to the possibility for gas drilling and the rush to develop these fields has outpaced any scientific analysis or subsequent regulations to mitigate the possible implications of using these exotic methods of gas retrieval. The film exposes how companies such as Halliburton, the primary developer of the fracking method, have been able to create loopholes in environmental regulations. “Gasland” is an eye-opening tour of the United States showing how much of the landscape is being developed for gas drilling. Most disturbing are images where groundwater has been so contaminated with hydrocarbons that it is actually possible to ignite the tap water from homes in the proximity of gas drilling.
Written and directed by Peter Bull, “Dirty Business” examines the validity behind energy industry claims of "clean coal." The documentary film examines the true cost of using coal as a primary source of electrical energy. The coal industry often touts the known coal reserves worldwide as being able to supply more than 100 years of demand at current rates and how the increasing technological gains in capturing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired plants make coal burning benign. “Dirty Business” challenges these claims primarily as being at best overly optimistic and, at worst, intentionally misleading. Bull exposes how the coal lobby has succeeded in suppressing government assistance in developing alternative sources of energy. The film also exposes the social and human costs of coal exploration to the communities in the coal belts. This film has been featured in several prominent film festivals throughout the world and was the recipient of Best Documentary at the Appalachian Film Festival.
What We Need is Here partner organizations are ArtReach St. Croix, Belwin Conservancy, Franconia Sculpture Park, Lamar Community Center, Minnesota Food Association, The Phipps Center for the Arts, River Falls Community Arts Base (CAB), St. Croix Art Barn, St. Croix Festival Theatre, St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, St. Croix Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local, St. Croix Valley Foundation, and Sustain Hudson.
For more information, go to www.whatweneedishere.org or call Anastasia Shartin at (715) 386-2305, ext. 103.