Category Archives: Documentary

Up In Smoke

Up in Smoke – One Man’s Burning Issue

Opening show of Up In Smoke

Opening shot of Up In Smoke

Read a promo for this new documentary on New Scientist today. A trailer is available on

Slash and burn farming generates more carbon annually than all global aviation combined. Throughout the humid tropcial zones of the world, it is practised by between 250 and 400 million families. It is rarely reported and in environmental terms is the real elephant in the room, that very few people appear to see.

Up in Smoke follows the work of one British scientist, who over 25 years has been perfecting an alternative to slash and burn farming in the world’s equatorial rainforests.

And he’s found it…

This documentary follows scientist Mike Hands as he highlights the environmental and sustainability problems with slash and burn agriculture while proposing an alternative method – alley cropping.  This documentary is surely one worth jumping at the opportunity to watch it whenever that opportunity arises.

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Gasland: The Unconventional Natural Gas Debate

Gasland is the story of unconventional natural gas extraction across the US and the impact such work is having on residents living close to the natural gas wells. Josh Fox, the director and narrator of Gasland, begins the film in his Pennsylvania back yard and the picturesque stream that flows through it. Fox was born and raised on the property place and is concerned he receives a letter from a natural gas company requesting he sell his property for the purposes of natural gas extraction.

Fox then begins a cross-country tour detailing the hazardous effects fracking (the process by which unconventional natural gas is extracted) is having on local homeowners and the environment. Nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and winner of a 2010 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize, Gasland has been a lightening rod for controversy.

Gasland has won praise for the first of a kind exposition on the unconventional natural gas industry and has also drawn a lot of criticism from the Natural gas industry itself for what it describes as mischaracterizations and misinformation. In fact, Energy in Depth, an industry lobby group, wrote a letter to the Motion Picture Academy trying to get the picture removed from the list of documentary finalists because of factual inaccuracies. You can find a trailer for Gasland here.

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