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'Gasland' Filmmaker Has a Problem—and It Spells Trouble for Dem Presidential Candidates

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The filmmaker and activist Josh Fox has a problem. And it’s a problem that spells serious trouble for the dozens of Democratic candidates running for president.

Josh Fox is the self-proclaimed leader of a “grassroots” movement to “reclaim our country” and has been acclaimed by Hollywood elites for years. He has won an Emmy, been nominated for an Oscar and three of his documentaries have been broadcast on HBO. These documentaries included two “Gasland” anti-fracking films and a climate apocalypse movie. 


If you believe Josh Fox and the media, these films are important and timely, reflecting grassroots concerns. But Josh Fox has very publicly discovered that the grassroots really don’t want to follow him or his ideas.  

In July, Fox launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a “grassroots” film tour of his movie, “THE TRUTH HAS CHANGED” (unnecessary capitalization his). He hopes the project will screen in over 100 cities in 2019 and 2020. The film is based upon Fox’s book of the same name, which argues that we are facing an existential “climate crisis” which is being covered up by evil liars (myself included). His Kickstarter page proclaims that “he’s going on the road to defeat Trump, organize for the climate, and support grassroots groups who fight for progressive values.” 

Just how he squares going on the road to 100 cities with his pledge to “save the climate” is not explained. Maybe Fox has some mysterious way of traveling to 100 cities that does not involve air travel and burning of large quantities of fossil fuels. Or maybe Fox doesn’t really believe in climate change and is using fear to push his anti-American, anti-business and anti-modernity agenda. Or maybe like so many Hollywood elites Josh Fox believes that climate change restrictions are for the little people. He is important and has important work to do. Others need to ditch their cars or not fly and be penalized if they continue to do so. He’s certainly not alone in this mentality. Earlier this month, Google had a climate change summit in Italy. Collectively, the A-listers, reportedly including former President Barack Obama and Prince Harry, arrived by way of 114 private planes. Talk about a large carbon footprint. 


But all these hypocrisies may be irrelevant. The grassroots is failing to support Fox’s crowdfunding campaign. It looks like Fox might have to ponder the meaning of truth and the climate from his apartment in Brooklyn and not the 100 cities as planned.

In the nearly 40 days since the project launched, it has barely reached 25% of its $100,000 goal. As of this writing, Fox has raised just $25k from 277 backers. 

I’ve done quite a few crowdfunding campaigns myself and you can always rely on your family, friends and coworkers to chip in. But when you strip away those people from Josh Fox’s “grassroots,” it’s clear he actually has almost no grassroots support. In his Kickstarter campaign he claims he’s “leading a movement” and will shift paradigms and “defeat Donald Trump.” But it seems to be a movement without any movers. Fox’s support is even more pathetic when you take into account that he had a mysterious donor throw in a matching 4k. Fox suddenly received another big donation to allow the matching to kick in. Strip out this fake 8k and Fox seems to be the leader of a movement that cant even energize his own friends. This should be alarming for Fox but also for the Democratic candidates running for president on a climate alarmism platform. If Fox can’t even get his friends to support him what hope have they of attracting millions nationally. 

The filmmaker seems to be in denial about his lack of popular support. He has been sending “Comical Ali in Iraq” style emails boasting about the success of the campaign despite a publicly available miserable tally for two months of furious fundraising. And just like Comical Ali a tenuous relationship with the truth is not new for Josh Fox, whose anti-fracking documentary Gasland is full of unethical journalism and straightforward untruths. I helped debunk the film’s much publicized claim that fracking was responsible for some faucet water becoming “flammable.” When I questioned him about it, he admitted to omitting inconvenient facts because they were “not relevant”. No wonder so few individuals want to invest in Fox’s work. 


Phelim McAleer is the co-host of The Ann And Phelim Scoop podcast, available weekly every Wednesday on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other podcasting platforms. See the full list of providers here. You can also view the video version on YouTube.

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