If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter
Let's make some funny pictures. -Tex Avery
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. -Howard Zinn
When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. -Chuck Jones
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus
A man should never neglect his family for business. -Walt Disney
What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi
Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about. -Chuck Jones
Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. -Buddhist Proverb
Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.
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A couple of days ago the state of Oklahoma experienced an earthquake, the biggest its recorded history. Oklahoma does not experience very many earthquakes at all, so this one was intriguing. Turns out the epicenter of the quake is in the heart of an area where "fracking" is used to extract oil and natural gas from deep below the surface.
Fracking is controversial as it involves pumping water, sand and chemicals under pressure to force out gas and oil, especially natural gas.
Here's an animated film I discovered by Earthjustice.org that explains the process and the environmental risks associated with it.
This video, although not animated, describes what folks who live in the eastern US, especially in Pennsylvania where fracking operations are scheduled to vastly expand over the coming years, are experiencing. The health risks and environmental problems they're facing as a result of fracking are very significant.
Throw in a high amount of unavoidable human error and you got yourself the perfect nightmare...coming to a city near you.
My Water's On Fire Tonight
Music by David Holmes and Andrew Bean
Vocals and Lyrics by David Holmes and Niel Bekker
Animation by Adam Sakellarides and Lisa Rucker
A similar technique for early pilot programs in engineered geothermal heat extraction did in deed produce a minor earth quake in Europe before it was shut down.
An government funded, engineered geothermal plant in California was halted a while back. It was near some very active fault lines (about the worst choice of location possible).
The scientific jury is not yet in on this technique.
One possibility is that the gas companies are going to learn a lesson for everyone the hard way by taking it too far, claiming that there is no proof as strange things continue to happen, and then we'll get a worse case scenario where it causes some kind of disaster. I think humans are getting a little in over their heads as far as particular kinds of energy technology or pursuing the wrong technology strictly in the name of the all mighty money god that rules every step we all take. As we already know, profit comes before common sense, safety or anything. In the current world climate, if you're not rolling in the cash, you're nothing...so they'll keep doing whatever they can until something beyond their control slaps them upside the head...and then after they spend millions of dollars putting a small band-aid on a fatal wound, they'll start it right back up again. No lesson learned. It's the inevitable loop we can't avoid, at least until something happens that we can't recover from.
Hate to sound negative, but it's hard not to when making basic observations. Humans in general are very self destructive, either unconsciously or consciously.
Until this year, this Rust Belt city and surrounding Mahoning County had been about as dead, seismically, as a place can be, without even a hint of an earthquake since Scots-Irish settlers arrived in the 18th century.
But on March 17, two minor quakes briefly shook the city. And in the following eight months there have been seven more — like the first two, too weak to cause damage or even be felt by many people, but strong enough to rattle some nerves.
“It felt like someone was kicking in the front door. It scared the stuffing out of me,” said Steve Moritz, a cook who lives on the city’s west side, describing the seventh quake, which occurred in late September. It was the strongest one, with a magnitude of 2.7.
Nine quakes in eight months in a seismically inactive area is unusual. But Ohio seismologists found another surprise when they plotted the quakes’ epicenters: most coincided with the location of a 9,000-foot well in an industrial lot along the Mahoning River, just down the hill from Mr. Moritz’s neighborhood and two miles from downtown Youngstown.
At the well, a local company has been disposing of brine and other liquids from natural gas wells across the border in Pennsylvania — millions of gallons of waste from the process called hydraulic fracturing that is used to unlock the gas from shale rock.
The location and timing of the quakes led to suspicions that the disposal well was responsible for Youngstown’s seismic awakening. As the wastewater was injected into the well under pressure, the thinking went, some of it might have migrated into deeper rock formations, unclamping ancient faults and allowing the rock to slip.
Looks like Ohio is putting a stop to things at least temporarily until they get to the bottom of this problem as to why they're suddenly experiences earthquakes in areas where historically there is no such phenomenon. It's all about fracking...
Ohio suspends well operations after series of quakes
January 2, 2012
CLEVELAND — Ohio has suspended operations at five deep wells used to dispose of fracking-related fluids after nearly a dozen earthquakes in the town of Youngstown over the past year, the latest sign of local unease over the booming shale gas industry.
One day after a 4.0 quake, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said on Sunday it was halting operations at five Mahoning County wells owned by Northstar Disposal Services LLC as a precaution, citing concerns of a possible link between well activity and the quakes. The wells were used to store wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations, not for production.
"We are being overly cautious in order to ensure public safety in asking the company to halt disposal injections at one site on Friday and then asking for a halt to any injections in a 5-mile radius Saturday," Ohio Department of Natural Resources deputy director Andy Ware said.
"Our geologist would say there is a strong chance there is a fault line very close to the site of the well," Ware said, adding the department was concerned that pressure from the fluid disposal could be affecting a previously unknown fault line.
Ohio's decision comes amid an intensifying debate about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, the process of extracting oil or natural gas from shale rocks by drilling miles deep wells and injecting thousands of gallons of water to flush out natural gas deposits trapped in between its layers.
Whoa... this reminds me of a song.
Wondrous Boat Ride
Round the world and home again
That's the sailor's way
Faster faster, faster faster
There's no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There's no knowing where we're rowing
Or which way the river's flowing
Is it raining, is it snowing
Is a hurricane a-blowing
Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Are the fires of Hell a-glowing
Is the grisly reaper mowing
Yes, the danger must be growing
For the rowers keep on rowing
And they're certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing
WASHINGTON -- In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Initial reports from sources suggested that an ABC News camera was also prevented from taping the hearing; ABC has since denied that they sent a crew to the hearing.
Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Gasland" was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing. The meeting of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment had been taking place in room 2318 of the Rayburn building.
HuffPost has obtained exclusive video of the arrest of Josh Fox. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, can be heard at the end of the clip asking Republican Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) to halt the arrest and permit Fox to film the public hearing. Harris denies Miller's request as Fox is escorted out of the hearing in handcuffs.
I was arrested today for exercising my First Amendment rights to freedom of the press on Capitol Hill. I was not expecting to be arrested for practicing journalism. Today's hearing in the House Energy and Environment subcommittee was called to examine EPAs findings that hydraulic fracturing fluids had contaminated groundwater in the town of Pavillion, Wyoming. I have a long history with the town of Pavillion and its residents who have maintained since 2008 that fracking has contaminated their water supply. I featured the stories of residents John Fenton, Louis Meeks and Jeff Locker in GASLAND and I have continued to document the catastrophic water contamination in Pavillion for the upcoming sequel GASLAND 2. It would seem that the Republican leadership was using this hearing to attack the three year Region 8 EPA investigation involving hundreds of samples and extensive water testing which ruled that Pavillion's groundwater was a health hazard, contaminated by benzene at 50x the safe level and numerous other contaminants associated with gas drilling. Most importantly, EPA stated in this case that fracking was the likely cause.
As a filmmaker and journalist I have covered hundreds of public hearings, including Congressional hearings. It is my understanding that public speech is allowed to be filmed. Congress should be no exception. No one on Capitol Hill should regard themselves exempt from the Constitution. The First Amendment to the Constitution states explicitly "Congress shall make no law...that infringes on the Freedom of the Press". Which means that no subcommittee rule or regulation should prohibit a respectful journalist or citizen from recording a public hearing.
This was an act of civil disobedience, yes done in an impromptu fashion, but at the moment when they told me to turn off the cameras, I could not. I know my rights and I felt it was imperative to exercise them.
When I was led out of the hearing room in handcuffs, John Boehner's pledge of transparency in congress was taken out with me.
The people of Pavillion deserve better. The thousands across the US who have documented cases of water contamination in fracking areas deserve their own hearing on Capitol hill. They deserve the chance to testify in before Congress. The truth that fracking contaminates groundwater is out, and no amount of intimidation tactics --either outright challenges to science or the arrest of journalists --will put the genie back in the bottle. Such a brazen attempt to discredit and silence the EPA, the citizens of Pavillion and documentary filmmaking will ultimately fail and it is an affront to the health and integrity of Americans.
Lastly, in defense of my profession, I will state that many many Americans get their news from independent documentaries. The hill should immediately move to make hearings and meetings accessible to independent journalists and not further obstruct the truth from being reported in the vivid and in depth manner that is only achievable through long form documentary filmmaking.
I will be thinking on this event further and will post further thoughts and developments.
I have been charged with "unlawful entry" and my court date is February 15.
Journalists Arrested At Hearing By Order Of House Republicans
An animated campaign intended to educate us about peak oil and why fracking is popular now.
Designed and Animated by Alexander Perry and Michael Wilson. Producer by Dalton Crosthwait of Monstro in San Francisco. Sound by Ben Roider.
This video is called "Oil Wars" and was made for the Post Carbon Institute.
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