Saturday, August 29, 2015

Reading Between the Headlines: The Issues of Fracking and Free Speech Collide

In The Rockaways a pipeline debate took a contentious turn.  The issues of Free Speech and Fracking collided. This has national implications.

It isn't a coincidence that all the screenshots are of articles in Al Jazeera written by Peter Moskowitz. I chose the articles for a reason. 

In The Rockaways a pipeline debate took a very contentious turn. The issues of "Free Speech" and "Fracking" collided. This is not just a local issue. It has national implications. The truth has been buried and in its place in the news only myth and misinformation multiply. The people responsible for the myth and misinformation are antifracking activists and reporters. They all have names. Many have been mentioned on this blog but not all.

"If you shut up truth, and bury it underground, it will but grow." --Emile Zola

"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Picture Can Speak Volumes

I'd like to credit the photographer for the picture above but right now but I can't remember exactly where I was on the web when I screencaptured the image. It is however a photograph which captures some of the action at a fossil fuel resistance event which involved civil disobedience and arrests that occurred in NY state recently, part of the We Are Seneca Lake campaign.

In a creative writing class one summer a wonderful professor, a poet,  as an exercise had the class first choose two photographs they found interesting. Later the students were required to create a short story, a work of fiction, based upon something the pictures inspired and the result, the student's stories represented most of what the students grades were based on. I was one of those students. It was a terrific class and exercise and the poet would probably make it on a list of teachers that I remember the most fondly. That same summer I also  took a photojournalism class where photography was explored in a much different way, to tell a true story. The teacher was a working photojournalist who would also likely make it on that list of favored educators.

It's often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. But one could also write a thousand words  about certain pictures. There are two pictures in this post and if I wanted to do I could write lots and lots of words about them and how they might speak of the times we live in and also how that time is being presented to us via the news or other media.

In the pictures are police, people with cameras, a social media post, and a WBAI radio broadcast in the making, which featured the voices of people completely ungrounded in fact or reality.

Erik McGregor captures the filming of a WBAI broadcast featuring Kim Fraczek and Patrick Robbins with Reverand Billy lying about the Port Ambrose LNG import project along with lots of other things.

At the library works of fiction and non-fiction are labelled as such. In the news these days over some environmental issues and other things its awfully hard to tell which of the two you are actually getting.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The "Indypendent" Flat Out Refuses to Print anything but Misinformation and Propaganda on Port Ambrose

It is a sad day for independent journalism and it's a sad day for journalism in general. The Indypendent, which according to Wikipedia "has won numerous awards"  and "has served as something of a "farm team" for other progressive media organizations", has consistently despite receiving information that says otherwise, promoted myth and misinformation over fact about the Port Ambrose proposal in multiple articles for over a year now. 

The Unbearable Lightness of Activist

Sane Energy activists have no problem dragging everyone down with them as they drag Patagonia into their misinformation campaign on Port Ambrose LNG import project

The activists responsible for bamboozling the public, reporters and politicians for two plus years now about the Port Ambrose LNG import proposal and also on the history of the Rockaway project are accountable to no one. They don't represent a community. They aren't elected to speak for one. It appears that they can simply been seen as experts or powerful entities representing lots of members just based on their word, a clever press release, facebook meme, or any other number of activist tactics.

Josh Fox's Gasland social media promotes a conspiracy theory that the Port Ambrose LNG import project is for export and directs people to sign a form letter that says so

So in this moment, while the EPA head Gina McCarthy, presumably in some way accountable to citizens, says "Cleaner-burning energy sources like natural gas are key compliance options for our Clean Power Plan and we are committed to ensuring safe and responsible production that supports a robust clean energy economy.",  May Boeve, executive director of, a climate activist who lives in Brooklyn who is currently being promoted as one of 10 leaders who are reshaping the environmental movement disagrees. says the opposite, which is basically what I have seen for years now with activists surrounding the issue of fracking and natural gas. It is what defines the activism surrounding the Rockaway pipeline and Port Ambrose proposals. According to a very recent press release from, "the only safe way to deal with fracking is to end it". I can almost guarantee that quote has already been picked up by someone somewhere in the media.

One dirty secret about the environmental world, its leadership or activism tactics is that it is in no way held accountable. It isn't just either. Because the environmental activist world is like any other, the controversy over natural gas development in NY state and the Deleware River Basin has impacted many organizations which network or associate with each other, not just the ones that have sprung up over this issue.

One consequence of the activism surrounding the war on fracking is that the public is losing access to credible information on natural gas and environmentalists are losing their ability to provide credible information to the public as well.. To quote Ms. Mccarthy again quite recently:
 "Hydrofracking has certainly changed the energy dynamic considerably. You are absolutely right, it has created an opportunity for a shift away from coal into natural gas, and that shift has been enormously beneficial from a clean air perspective, as well as from a climate perspective."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

On Politicians, Port Ambrose LNG "experts" and the "news"

According to the Rockaway Times Melinda Katz is just the latest of Queens politicians who mostly appear to be courting a miniscule  number of people when it comes to the Port Ambrose LNG proposal over all the rest of their constituents

According to Jon Cori, in an article recently published in the free newspaper the Rockaway Times, Jessica Roff of the Catskill Mountainkeeper, a woman who is responsible for lots of misinformation on the rockaway pipeline project and has often described the Port Ambrose LNG proposal as the EXACT OPPOSITE of what it is in reality, was an "expert" fielding questions about the proposed project at a protest event this past weekend in the Rockaways. To go into the history of "reporting" by Queens publications on both the Rockaway Pipeline project and the Port Ambrose LNG proposal over time and what qualifies as news or even information or a source is probably something that could make up much of an entire course in a university level journalism class.  On Rockaway reports that there were about 50 people at this sparsely attended protest (which according to Jon Cori's article was organized by a number of groups and business sponsors) and some people were local. The leader observer writes an article titled "community draws a line in the sand presumably meaning the Rockaway community. However, social media pictures of the actual event display photographs of non-local organizers or activists, whether fractivists or occupy organizers, like Patrick Robbins, Monica Hunken, Jessica Roff, Judith Canepa, and Maureen Healy, among others. 

Monica Hunken formerly of Occupy the Pipeline appears to coordinate perhaps a photo at the Port Ambrose LNG draw a line in the sand event in the Rockaways

So who are the politicians or government officials listed in the various news articles, who one would assume should be interested in what benefits their constituents as a whole, but who for the last two years seem to be more interested in courting votes at rallies or hearings or gaining some street credibility mainly from antifracking movement? The tally of those folks from this weekends event include Phillip Goldfeder, Joseph Addabbo, Melinda Katz and the new NYC Parks’ Rockaway Supervisor Portia Dyrenforth.

NY Environment Report Emily Manley "reports" on the Port Ambrose LNG proposal, politicians like Donavan Richards and David Denenberg (who may be currently behind bars) , the antifracking movement "umbrella group" Sane Energy Project and the No LNG Coalition 

How is all of this poor reporting or communication possible?  Well one reason among many and it might be the most important is that the "reporters" like Emily Masters of the Environmental Report blog, whose bio describes her eight years experience in the nonprofit, conservation, and local food fields, and Jon Cori do not understand what they are reporting on. I've seen for three years now as the news coverage on natural gas projects oscillates between what appears to be PR by official sources, be it politicians or companies and then PR by activists. I've seen more misinformation in the news than real information. Another important reason why the misinformation may build over time is that reporters and politicians may find it hard to believe that activists or people they trust, often are aligned or are friendly with might not give them information that is anywhere near the truth.

Many leaders of local environmental groups, including fractivist organizations like the Catskill Mountainkeeper and Sane Energy project, have in fact been promoting misinformation on the Port Ambrose proposal as well as their numbers, expertise and influence for the last two years.