Writer and Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster Discusses the Dangers of Fracking and the Importance of Conserving Antarctica’s Environmental Resources

March 31, 2014

A noted oceans expert and longtime grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, Jon Bowermaster has undergone numerous expeditions to the Antarctic over the past 25 years. As a result of his travels, Jon has become a keen advocate for environmental protection issues. During this discussion with GFDD he explains why it is so important to protect Antarctica from natural resource exploitation and how the controversial process of fracking in
the US, is increasingly jeopardizing the freshwater resources of Americans.

On March 31, Jon Bowermaster took part in the third edition of GFDD’s 2014 online broadcast program “GFDD Global Roundtables.”  Natasha Despotovic, GFDD’s
Executive Director, warmly welcomed the honored guest to participate in a discussion focused on fracking, the controversial process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth.

Shedding light on his latest film project, entitled On the Edge: Antarctica 3D, Mr. Bowermaster explained how this 3D movie is the first of its kind, providing information on the impact of climate change and how the resulting loss of
ice is rapidly impacting Antarctica’s wildlife. Explaining that Antarctica’s peninsula is “warming faster than any other area on the planet” he stressed that the ecosystem and wildlife of this huge continent “depends on consistency” and is at risk from this rapidly changing climate.

Turning to the issue of fracking, Mr. Bowermaster
explained to viewers what motivated him to make Dear Governor Cuomo, a concert protest film highlighting the campaign by more than a 100 grass root groups to keep fracking out of the state of New York. Notwithstanding the extensive water pollution risks associated to this drilling process, Mr Bowermaster pointed out that the methane gas that is extracted is in fact a much more dangerous greenhouse gas than coal.

Believing that the media is the best means of communicating a message, he stressed that the “goal of a good documentary is to energize [people]” and to help them realize we
only have 5 years left to change our ways before causing irreversible climate change.

About Jon Bowermaster
A noted oceans expert and long-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, Jon Bowermaster, is the founder of the “Oceans 8” project, a ten-year long series of expeditions around the world’s oceans. Born out of his desire to study the health of the oceans and the nearly 3
billion people who depend on them, Oceans 8 enabled Jon and his team of photographers, scientists and filmmakers, to reach rarely seen corners of the world and provide the public with much-needed, and unique information about the state of the world’s oceans. The latest films from Jon and his team continue to garner praise. "Terra Antarctica, Re-Discovering the Seventh Continent" documenting
a six-week long exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula by sail and sea kayak won "Best Ocean Issues" award from the Blue Ocean Film Festival. His other feature, "What Would Darwin Think? Man v. Nature in the Galapagos" showcases the impact of tourism over the wildlife reserve that is Galapagos. The film was awarded "Best Environmental Film" at the Vancouver International Film Festival and was screened
last September during the GFDD’s third Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), an event that Jon attended and for which he gave a workshop on the topic entitled “How ‘Ecofriendly’ is Ecotourism?”

About the GFDD Global Roundtables
The regular series, GFDD Global Roundtables is
also a part of GFDD’s program to support the work of the United Nations and, as a non-governmental institution affiliated to it, contribute to the visibility and understanding of its work.

About the DREFF
The DREFF, which is hosted in the Dominican Republic on September 10-14, 2014, aims to raise awareness and deepen the understanding of environmental issues among Dominican audiences. The Festival seeks to promote
dialogue and inspire Dominican audiences to adopt practices that will ensure the country’s environmental sustainability and health. As part of this objective, it seeks to provide youth and general audiences the opportunity to watch the best and most beautiful, informative and educational environmental international films of the year, to learn about the pressing issues, to appreciate and value the diversity and beauty the country has to offer and, hopefully, inspire greater
environmental stewardship. Screenings take place in different locations across the country. For more information about the films and the program please visit the festival official website at www.dreff.org.

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