Shattered Ground


Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has freed immense amounts of natural gas buried in deep shale beds. Some think it solves the energy crisis and offers a chance for energy independence. But it’s an incredibly divisive issue. The extreme backlash has split communities, and even families. Also, many state and national governments have banned fracking.

Is fracking bad? Or is it truly an energy gift that can boost jobs and the economy? Shattered Ground looks past the rhetoric and emotion to the real opportunities – along with key health and environmental issues – in a 1-hour documentary. From northern gas fields and rancorous political battles to the hotbeds of shale gas activity, it shows us the people who benefit, and those who do not.

New scientific data is only now clarifying the complex issues and highlighting health and environmental concerns on an unprecedented scale. Thousands of wells were drilled with fracking technology before all the health factors were understood. At first the toxic “frack fluid” that returns to the surface from shale wells went through trials to determine a disposal strategy. The final answer: pump it deep underground. But research shows this can cause earthquakes. And a much larger problem confronts us: fracking destroys fresh water and millions of litres per well are lost forever.

(Shattered Ground, by Leif Kaldor and Leslea Mair, and produced by Zoot Pictures Inc. in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, was nominated in the Rockies Program Competition in the Environmental and Wildlife Programs category.)


Cast/Participants: David Suzuki

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Awards & Nominations


Golden Sheaf Awards



Banff World Media Festival Rockie Awards