Rock ‘n’ Roll cabaret act Citizen Band’s co-founder Sarah Sophie Flicker and award-winning filmmaker/artist Maximilla Lukacs are back with another Internet public service announcement, following their huge viral video success with their vote-promoting PSA using Lesley Gore’s classic hit “You Don’t Own Me,” which tallied hundreds of thousands of YouTube views after it went up last October, as well as tons of blog reports and exposure on mainstream media sites including Huffington Post, CNN and The Washington Post.
This time Flicker and Lukacs, along with rock drummer/DJ Tennessee Thomas, have directed an anti-fracking video, with Rebecca Fernandez again producing. Flicker, Lukacs and Thomas appear in it, again along with scores of other celebrities, this time including Adrian Grenier, Alexa Chung, Carrie Fisher, Devendra Banhardt, Diane Birch, Ione Skye, Liv Tyler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mark Ronson, Melissa Auf der Maur, Penn Badgley, Rain Phoenix, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sean Lennon, Susan Sarandon, Yoko Ono and Zoë Kravitz.
Also participating are members of bands including The Strokes, Wild Belle, the Chapin Sisters, Citizens Band, Hole, The Like (Thomas’s former girl group), Au Revoir Simone and Cibo Matto.
The anti-fracking PSA involves a song, “Don’t Frack My Mother,” written and sung by Sean Lennon, which features his mother Yoko Ono’s frequently emphatically expressed “Don’t frack me!” outcry. It is accompanied throughout by the other participants’ lip-synching in the manner of “You Don’t Own Me,” as pointed informational anti-fracking text appears intermittently.
Ono and Lennon had formed Artists Against Fracking last year in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that fracking might soon begin in New York, directly impacting their home in upstate New York. The organization now numbers nearly 200 members.
“Sean approached our little team about making a PSA to send the message to stop fracking in New York State,” says Flicker. Lennon then came up with an acoustic folk song structurally reminiscent of “The Times They Are a-Changin'.”
Lennon and the “Don’t Frack My Mother” PSA creators, in a note accompanying a link to the clip, contend that “science shows--from industry’s own documents--that fracking poses a direct threat to our drinking water, our air, and our land. It has not been proven to be safe and has caused a lot of health risks in states like Pennsylvania where it has been practiced for many years. Have you all seen the clip of the man lighting his drinking water on fire?”
One of the major risks of the fracking process, they continue, is that “the protective cement in the wells cracks and leaks toxic chemicals and methane into the air and water. There is a six percent leak immediately after installation and 60 percent over a number of years. The methane that leaks is 100 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This makes fracked gas as bad as coal for the earth’s climate. And the effects are irreversible! Once the pipes have been laid our waters are forever in danger of contamination and it's not like little men can be sent down the pipes to fix leaks.”
They conclude: “Saving our environment is the fight of our lifetime. Our planet cannot be held hostage to big oil money. Now is our moment to use our voices and send a message to Governor Cuomo. Let's make New York a leader in clean energy!”
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