Gasland – the town hall meeting

In this case you will have the opportunity to:

  • Search for relevant information
  • Question the credibility and reliability of different sources
  • Discuss to develop arguments
  • Write an argumentative presentation
  • Discuss environmental issues in general and draw comparisons between different countries, based on your knowledge and experience.


1. What do you think are the biggest issues facing our environment? Why?

2. What does the phrase ”think globally, act locally”, tell you?

3. What are the consequences of fracking?

4. What kind of evidence do we get that fracking is bad?

Town hall meeting – the case

You will be divided into groups of three. You are all members of the small Wyoming town, Jackson, which has been chosen for ”fracking”. You have invited the governor of your state to your town hall to try to convince him that he should not allow fracking in your county.

In the group:

Based on the film and on the texts linked below discuss how you best can convince the governor to change his/her mind.


  1. Watch the film (First class)
  2. Read texts. (Revisit the film, if needed) (Second class)
  3. List arguments and evidence. Draft argument. (Make sure to have 3-5 strong arguments that you can base on evidence) HAND IN DRAFTS AS A POST! (Third class)
  4. Individually write a manuscript for your speech. Help each other out! (Fourth class) Submit manuscript.
  5. TOWN HALL MEETING. Come prepared and dressed for the occasion! You are the one who can save you community from disaster! (Sixth class)

Devil’s Advocate (optional)

You are a representative of Halliburton. You have come to the town hall to hold a speech where you try to convince the citizens of this community of the benefits of fracking and gas.

As above, but you must find your own evidence. This is a VERY difficult task.

Gasland (2010):

The texts

Here you will find texts that will give you all the information you need to protect your community and convince politicians and law-makers. This text gives information on how you can take action. This text gives you information on the dangerous side-effects of fracking. Together they give you all the information you need to develop a convincing argument.

Template for speech
An oral argument has an introduction where you adress your audience.


You state your opinion and give reasons for it. You can start with an anecdote also. This can touch the emotions of the listener!


You should have 3-5 arguments in your overall argument.



Claim Flight attendants who suffer from diseases shown to be connected to inhaling secondhand smoke on airlines for at least five years before 1995 should have the costs of their treatment and disability covered by tobacco companies.

EVIDENCE Tobacco companies have concealed evidence that nicotine causes cancer. Studies show that secondhand smoke can be damaging.


  • Claim – an opinion or idea, often an oppositional claim exists
  • Evidence/Reason – a reason why the claim is a “good idea”


Punchline or appeal or end as you started.



Evaluating credibility of sources


28 reaktioner till “Gasland – the town hall meeting”

  1. 2. I think the phrase means that one should think of the consequences that your actions have on the rest of the world, and act accordingly so everybody is happy.

    3. Some of the consequences include contamination of groundwater, which leads to not only the death of animals, but humans as well. It also leads to emissions of toxic gases.


  2. 3. What are the consequences of fracking?
    There are a lot of concequensces of fracking. The biggest consequences is the polution of air and water which results in other consequences such as animals dying and people getting sick.
    4. What kind of evidence do we get that fracking is bad?
    The reason as to why the fracking companies can keep on their operations that destroys the nature around them is because it’s hard to provet hem wrong withouth a proper investigation which needs a lot of money. Since no major investigation is being held the biggest evidence comes from the people living aroun


  3. When I read the phrase, ”think globally, act locally”, I think of how we are suppose to think about the whole world and do our best in our town or city. So it´s kind off saying how the small things do a big difference, and you should get others to think the same.

    Fracking comes with many consequences. For example, animals die and humans get sick because their body can’t handle the chemicals they get from drinking the water or just breathing the air. So the people who live by the stations their water gets chemicals in it, and some of them you don’t notice because they don’t change the colour of the water.


  4. 1. What do you think are the biggest issues facing our environment? Why?
    The biggest issue facing the environment is definitely all the wildlife that is getting contaminated. As shown in the documentary there were tons of animals that were getting killed just by drinking the water that was obviously filled with toxic emissions. It’s bad because wildlife is important for the food chain.
    3. What are the consequences of fracking?
    The consequences are angry communities since they are intoxicating their homes. They are poisoning the waters and the air so the people can’t live in the environment.


  5. 2. What does the phrase ”think globally, act locally”, tell you?

    It tells me that, whenever something bad happens and people realise that there’s something going on on a big scale, people have to try to fix it part by part. Taking an example from the movie could be that, for any company to fix a problem like this would be needed to be taken really slow, and not the whole thing at once.

    4. What kind of evidence do we get that fracking is bad?

    Fracking is bad because of the several examples showed in the movie, one being that many of those sites are being built near houses that are being lived in and they can become unhealthy living near it. Another example could be that the water can be easily contaminated, meaning that many people won’t even know that from the first minute, drinking it unconsciously and becoming really sick and eventually die. The chemicals that are being spread around the air could also affect the animals, making them lose their fur and start losing weight really fast.


  6. 2. ¨Think globally, act locally.¨ means that you should think of acting environmentally after fracking into the ground and isolating it so that it cant leak and effect the others.
    3. The consequences of fracking is that sources of water become poisonous for living organisms to consume and absorb. The drill is covered in chemicals that are bad for the environment and yet they keep pumping it into the ground to crack and drill into it more easily. the chemicals and the gases get leaked into streams and creeks and that turn them into poison for people and animals alike. The poison can result into diseases and such for those that drink it and can even kill you if you have consumed it for a while.


  7. The consequences of fracking is when it shatters underground it´s release chemicals and gas to nearby lake and water but it´s also release gas to the air when it´s fracking. but the gas and the chemicals is bad for the nature because the plant and animals drink the water and they die because of the chemicals and the gas in the water.


  8. 1: Companies inability to take responsibility in the long term and the lack of laws stopping companies from ruining the environment for profit. Companies have one motive for everything they do because that is the way they grow and compete, profit. This leads to them doing things that will make them money, like staying away from issues for the environment as a topic as long as possible. And then making an effort to make everyone know that they are doing something good for the environment in some aspect if they do. They will be dishonest and leave out the details when those details put their company in risk.
    2: To me it means that you can’t say that in some area hurting the environment is fine and in some other place it is not. This is because many environmental hazards spread outside the area that they were caused. So you can’t only think locally. You have to think globally, and act on the local level to make a difference.


  9. What kind of evidence do we get that fracking is bad?

    When watching the movie you can tell some evidence like you can get bad diseases for an example from the water you drink because the chemicals get in to the water.

    What are the consequences of fracking?
    The consequences are that its not healthy for the human body and it can cause for bad diseases. It not got for the climate either because then its get in the air and you breathe it in.


  10. What kind of evidence do we get that fracking is bad?
    Some evidence people are experiencing from fracking are the dangerous chemicals from the drilling process, getting in their drinking water. Later on they get sick from the polluted water they use in their home.

    What does the phrase ”think globally, act locally”, tell you?
    This phrase tell me how I should work to succeed globally. But I have to start locally to have something to begin with, which can later be part of something globally. By starting locally you can expand your work to later work on the global part. In this case, you start locally by looking at the local area and later seeing how it effects the global area


  11. 1. What do you think are the biggest issues facing our environment? Why?

    When demand gets to a certain level as for example the value of natural gases, oil
    Companies stop listening to the people and the environment, As shown in this video.
    That is dangerous for the future of the human kind.
    Companies have too many loopholes to be setting rules, the reason why the companies refuse is because of the cost for better natural conditions.

    4. What kind of evidence do we get that fracking is bad?

    When they mentioned all the toxins and chemicals used in the process of fracking
    It’s easy to see how big of a effect it has on the environment and living organisms, it was obvious that it wasn’t healthy neither for animals or humans, humans and animals need water sources to survive, in this case the humans had 2 choices, drink the water and get sick or pay a large amount of money to buy water from the store.


  12. 3. So when fracking there is a lot of chemicals that get released into the air and not only does all living things breathe it in but it also gets into the water and as we saw in the documentary it could be it on fire and was really dangerous.

    4. The evidence we get is that we can clearly se that places next to where they get the oil is getting almost destroyed by the poison, where no animals and humans can live healthy because of there being a fracking station there that releases a lot of gas and other bad things.


  13. The biggest issues facing our environment can be the water and gas that we can’t live without them. There are too many countries in the world that have no water in the country and it’s the biggest problem for them.
    The phrase ”think globally, act locally” can tell me that we have to think big and think about the world but do the things that is good for our environment and the world.


  14. The Devils Advocate.
    The town jackson is sitting on a very large oil and gas deposit. The size of this deposit would allow us (the fracking company) to frack for a larger amount of resources, and therefore allowing us to be more cost effective, resulting in lower gas prices, more profit for the company and therefor also the country, as the company of course pays taxes, and it would also allow us to drill fewer wells, which is cheaper, and it would also affect fewer people in case a freak accident were to happen.

    The fracking of this deposit would allow us to offer more people jobs, contributing to a flourishing economy. It would also of course allow the unemployed folks of jackson to get a stable income.

    Fracking here would allow us to be less dependent on foreign oil, which would lower the taxes of fuel, and in turn lower the consumer prices.

    Fracking allows us to extract natural gas. When burned, natural gas lets out much less contaminants into the air, making the air cleaner than if we kept burning oil at the level that we are today.

    And you Johnny boi (i know its spelled boy, its a meme) , haven’t you been unemployed for almost six months now? That must have been really rough. My father was unemployed for 2 years when i was 14, i know how taxing it can be on a family. Let us frack here and we can guarantee workspaces to several inhabitants of the Jacksonville area.


  15. We shouldn’t allow fracking since it is proven to have a very bad effect on the surrounding environment. The U.S. Geological Survey has released reports that proves fracking does increase the amount of earthquakes by a lot. It has also been proven that fracking release about the same amount of green house gas as burning coal.

    A massive reason for us to not allow fracking in our area or in any other are for that matter is that our water sources will run out. The technique the fracking companies use when fracking uses a tremendous amount of water which later on won’t be able to reconnect to the natural water cycle. If we keep on fracking there won’t be any water left in areas where theres already a lack of water.

    I know a man called Peter who lives close to a fracking extraction site. From what Peter have told me I understand it’s a living hell around these areas, not so much for Peter but for some of his neighbors. Peter told me of one specific couple who no longer can drink or shower in their tap water. He told me they noticed the water started to smell weird so they sent it to a lab, they then got told not to drink or shower in the water because it contained too much chemicals for the human body to handle.

    You could say that fracking is good because it helps the economy and brings more jobs but fracking will in fact put its workers at risk. They have no idea what chemicals they are handling and doesn’t wear the proper safety equipment to protect them from the gas getting realsed in the extraction site. This can bring long term brain injuries. This has also been reported to affect the people living close to fracking sites.


  16. 1. Chemical-laced wastewater can spill and pollute drinking water as well as cause earthquakes when massive amounts of it are disposed. Fracking is also not immune to mishaps like dangerous and climate change–aggravating methane leaks and even explosions.
    2. And as a counter argument for ”but if it sooo bad why has it not been shut down yet” thats because the companies doing the fracking has and are making lots of money wich gives them the upper hand in court.


  17. Arguments:
    1. The key argument is undoubtedly the health issues that Hydraulic Fracturing causes, there is proof in multiple cases where they started fracking in an area, and the human beings living inside that area have been experiencing chronic headaches, development of Asthma, higher blood pressure, anemia(Iron shortage in your body), heart attacks and worst of all development of cancer. This is all due to the exposure to diesel particulate matter., hydrogen sulfide and volatile hydrocarbons. All of these chemicals are used more or less in every fracking job and they can are chemicals that are proven to deal this damage to your body. This is only a small portion of all the medical issues that it causes and more information and proof can be found on Natural Resources Defense Council’s webpage( They did a study on this in December 2014 about hydraulic fracturing and the air pollution it causes. Considering the fact that all human beings have the exact same rights to live as every other person this has to be a logical reason to decelerate the use of hydralic fracturing. Something that fracking does is also intoxicate peoples waters. Water for drinking, showering, cleaning in general gets filled with chemicals that the general public didn’t even know existed. When the indivual living nearby a fracking-station ingurgitates the water they can suffer from a bunch of other medical concerns apart from the horrible ones I already mentioned.
    2. Secondly there is the amount of resources used, especially drinking water. The U.S Geological Surbey did a study 15 years ago and found out that they use about 9.6 million gallons of water per well. In 15 years the amount of water has risen drastically due to more oil rigs. Water is probably on of our most needed natural resource. Apart from the fact that it uses a huge amount of water the water used is seriously troublesome to extract from the earth again. Meaning we are basically wasting a whole lot of water.
    3. Along with the waste of water, fracking causes the earth to release a gas mostly methane. Which is a a highly potent greenhouse gas that traps 86 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. This gas is released out in the athmosphere which is bad for climate change.

    These arguments are not written as a roleplayer. Because that’s for casuals and I’m hardcore.


  18. 1.
    As multiple sites and a lot of trusted politicians state that earthquake is being caused by fracking, the people who work there refuse to agree with that fact. But right when the government kicked it with a report with statistics and explanations on why fracking is causing most of the earthquakes. I mean let’s be honest here, the company has been refusing all that just for the money, from the movie we saw we could see evidence on camera that the company didn’t really spend much either on the storage or protection of all this gas towards nature and people nearby. Besides that the earthquakes that are being caused because of all that puts in danger too many people, they’re basically making caves under people’s home, producing those earthquakes constantly.

    Apparently, the fracking sites weren’t even enough, we know that they are using frac sand in the fracking process. But what about the frac sand mines? Even those are polluting the air and affecting a lot of people, just think about the people that are around that area, literally having to breathe sand, not being able to open the window because of the obvious reason. The air pollution can be of course lowered if they would be more careful and of course not mine near people’s houses.

    Using 500+ chemical substances in fracking, who would even think that drilling 10 000 feet into the ground and inserting all those stuff in the ground would not affect the nature a LOT? I’m not blaming the workers at all, it’s all the company’s leaders and tells them how to do the work. All the gas extracted would just come out and pollute the air and waters, killing critters instantly, and eventually bigger animals but also humans, and for what, for money? People should join and fight together against this problem.

    The movie that we have seen the first class shown a lot of families whom had children. And just thinking about how the parents would feel when right when they would have a baby all the gas and contaminating substances and being let out in the air and water, infecting their little baby right when he/she’s born with a kind of heart disability. And again, all that because of the fracking sites being built near people’s houses.


  19. Arguments
    1. One of the larger issues of fracking is of course the fact that it has a negative impact on the individuals that live in the surrounding area. In the process of fracking there are a large amount of different chemicals that are being used which have severe effects on among other things the wells in the area. To the point that the water becomes dangerous to consume as the groundwater become contaminated by the chemicals. And if you drink this water during longer periods then it affects both your body as in limbs negatively but also damages your brain as seen in the documentary Gasland.
    2. Another issue with fracking is something that impacts but the local community but also other parts of the state which the fracking takes place in. The issue in question is the fact that 90 % of the water used if fracking never returns to the surface. This means that the water is not reusable as it’s no longer a part of the natural water cycle. Now this effects the local community as they can’t use said water. If the water used came from the local area then it means that the lose enormous amounts of water with each fracking as 8 million gallons of water are used per fracking. However this also has a major impact on the states as said before. In areas that are in drought this now means that there is even less water then before, which was not a large amount to begin with.
    3. Now since the water no longer is consumable it means that the people who can’t drink their water anymore has to acquire their water by other means. What this means is that the people has to invest in another water source with their own money. This money is probably the amount that they recived when they signed the contract that said the companies were allowed to drill on their grounds. Now this might work for the people who recives money but what about the people that refuse? As the fracking companies dump the waste in rivers and such the water of those people will sooner or later be affected anyway. This also means that the people who did not sign but felt the impact anyway has to pay for water with their own money that they have saved up over the years. So they will not have any comsumable water and their savings will take a hit because even though the do not have any drills on their ground the still have feel the effects of fracking and might not have the funds to purchase the amount of water the want.


  20. 1. chemicals leak out in nature
    2. can infect groundwater where people get their water from
    3. smaller earthquakes can happen
    4. loud noise from the machines disturbes neighbours.
    5. damage the environment and animals
    6. dangerous and hidden chemicals used.

    some arguments in dotform that i will write more about in future


  21. Companies don’t listen to the people

    Laws need to be precise with the rules so the eda (fracking company) won’t use loopholes
    for it to be legal instead of helping the communities by cleansing the water and get rid of the chemicals in a safe way they totally ignore the people just to make more money, if they listened to the inhabitants than the water would be okay to drink also they could live a normal life without getting poisoned.

    destroying general nature’s life cycle

    fracking does not only take away the usage of water when poured and stored in the ground, it harms animals aswel, all the chemicals that is released in the ground and the air from the pits of chemicals, eventually it will harm animals when they consume the water and breathing the dangerous toxins that also means that we humans doesnt have the access of near meat consumption same goes for plants and soil growing food and water. climate change is also something to be aware of, with the spill of natural gases that is meant to be used instead of coal that seen to be better. Even though the case might be so they still let out more gas than if they mined for coal.

    Destroying the economy

    You will be forced to buy water in the market where to prices will probably have been doubled, the economy will change dramatically either way you buy water or not. If you drink the water chances are that the majority won’t be able to go to work. Destroying the economy once again. Even though the you get money from the natural gases. It still isn’t worth the cost of a collapsing economy and nature.


  22. Fracking should be stopped for the use of getting natural gases out of the ground because of the dangerous side-effects the process has. One of the most noticeable side-effects fracking has, is the amount of chemicals released under the process. These chemicals go in to the groundwater in the surrounding area of the fracking site. The groundwater it later used by people in their houses. With the use of polluted water there’s a high risk of getting sick at various levels, even death in the worst-case scenario.

    Not only the groundwater gets effected by the chemical released. Most of the environment around the fracking area gets contaminated in one way or another. Gases and radioactive materials can be caught by the wind and lead to health problems in the longer terms for people and animals. Gas such as Radon is one of the radioactive gases which gets released under the process of fracking.

    Another reason why fracking shouldn’t be used as a way to get gases out of the ground is the use of resources. A lot of water and sand is being used together with chemicals to bring up the gas from the ground. The amount of water and sand used in the process is too much to have, especially when most of the resources get dumped afterwards. The amount wasted resources are hard to reproduce for the natural cycle. Especially when most of the wasted resources dumped in the nature have become contaminated.


  23. Fracking is bad because it releases chemicals in the water. It also costs a lot of recourses.
    All these chemicals cause pregnant women to get babies with health problems, for example cancer, asthma, headaches, anemia and high blood pressure.

    Houses near fracking sites have an overall radon concentration 39% higher then houses not located near fracking sites.


  24. – We should stop the fracking, because the sand they need kills hundreds of workers each year and the people living ner the facilities get lung problems and can’t have their windows open.
    – Using to much water


  25. 1. The water get poisoned:

    In the process when the companies are doing the fracking the water can get poisoned because of the chemicals leaking in to the water and because of that when people drink the poisoned water they get diseases and have a chance to also die.

    2. Angry neighbors:

    From reading the first text it been said that fracking can cause earthquakes and that is not good because it can damage people houses depending on how strong the earthquake is. Fracking cause even more problems like when the companies are drilling and fracturing the sound that it makes are really annoying. These things are making the people that lives near fracking place angry and the have been strongly complaining about that.

    3 Fracking companies lie:

    When people are asking the people that are working with fracking that the chemicals they are working with are dangerous and has a massive impact on peoples life’s and the nature, their answer is that the chemicals are not dangerous and people can drink the chemicals water for an example.


  26. 1. It results in a lot of earthquakes. Oklahoma, a well known fracking state is now more prone to earthquakes than Chicago. Between 1990 and 2008, had only three earthquakes measuring around 3.0 or more on the richter scale. On 2013 the number rised to 109.
    2. A lot of useless emissions of gas. The transportation of tools and such require the use of trucks.
    3. Extreme amounts of water contamination. They dump their contaminated water into clean water as a way of being cost efficient. otherwise they would use the sewage system to dump it instead of dumping it into drinking water.
    4. Accelerates climate change. These fracking companies are interrupting the natural water cycle by depleting large water sources .


  27. I think that it’s really bad that the oil and natural gas are mixed with a millions of gallons of water.
    I think that it can be too dangers for everybody and everything that is in the world like animals, children, women and man.
    I think that too many people can die if they drink it wrong.
    it can also make a big fire in the town or burn a house because that thing that we saw in the film showed us that it’s very easy to make fire with the gas even if it’s mixed with water.
    Like we watched animals died and it can not be okey for oss to kill the animals and see the died animals.
    Everyone has right to drink water and what that happened is disaster.
    Everybody could get cancer and be sick with this.
    I think we should stop it, it can be really danger for our life.



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