Sunday, May 1, 2011


I think my world has just flipped on its head.

Well it was actually my Mum who passed on the tip. She had just finished watching a doco about the root bridges of Cherrapunji in Shillong, India. Intrigued I did an image search and almost swallowed my tongue.

Cherrapunji is toted as being the wettest place in the world. Which is an interesting factoid in itself, but what captured my imagination were these living bridges. The locals train the trees to grow and span across the provinces many waterways.

The process takes between 10 to 15 years, yet with each passing year the bridges grow stronger. Some of the more robust bridges are over 500 years old. I think I need to include the ‘land of oranges’ to my India itinerary.

Buoyed by the plethora of documentaries at our fingertips, Mum and I settled in to watch Gaslands. Needless to say this had a completely different spin on water.

What started as a why of understanding what natural gas mining would do to his family's farm in Milanville, Pennsylvania, Josh Fox winds up becoming a 'detective' and fields the complaints of hundreds of people nursing the side affects of mining in their backyards.

What he unearths, could only be described as wild west style shenanigans of major corporations. Yet that was the most profound fact is the coroporations are in fact acting 'within' the law. As due to loopholes in the clean air and the clean water acts, the mining processes are currently unmonitored in USA. As a result of the fracking process, the waterways in the ‘red zones’ are contaminated with some 580+ chemicals. Chemicals that would scare you senseless if you read about them let alone ingested the equivalent of molotov cocktail of them without knowing.

The homespun style of video footage, spliced together with interviews of ailing citizens and facts about the mining process, made for heart wrenching viewing. I definitely recommend anyone to watch it, as Fox finishes off the doco with the comment that Natural gas mining is becoming a major interest around rest of the world. Gulp.

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