- Last Updated: 1:23 AM, August 3, 2012
- Posted: 10:04 PM, August 2, 2012
Breast cancer is uniquely frightening. Almost everyone knows someone who’s had it, and too many of us know someone it’s killed.
More than 40,000 Americans died of breast cancer last year alone — more than were killed in traffic accidents. Many of the dead are young mothers.
So what are we to think of someone who irresponsibly rings a false alarm about breast cancer — simply to serve his own agenda?
Imagine someone telling people that they are living in an area where the chances of developing breast cancer are shockingly high; picture the alarm and worry.
Then imagine if that same person had made up the story — yet was getting cheers from Hollywood stars for telling it.
Stop imagining: Filmmaker Josh Fox has done just that.
Fox uses his films, which he calls documentaries, to crusade against fracking — which is a well-tested way of getting oil and natural gas from deep beneath the ground that’s nonetheless become a target for environmental hysteria.
He was heavily criticized for inaccuracies in “Gasland” — such as telling viewers that fracking makes water flammable. (He recently admitted that he knew that parts of America have had flammable water for decades before fracking, but decided not to include this information because it was “not relevant.”)
The film also painted Dimock, Pa., as the ground zero for polluted water caused by fracking. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency joined every other major US regulatory agency to say that Dimock’s water is safe to drink.
But Fox’s latest film, “The Sky Is Pink,” sets a new low. It tells viewers that, even as US cancer rates are falling, breast cancer is rising in the Barnett area of Texas because of pollution caused by fracking.
An Associated Press investigation found that Fox has absolutely no scientific evidence for this claim.
AP spoke to David Risser, an epidemiologist with the Texas Cancer Registry. He found no breast-cancer spike in Barnett. Simon Craddock Lee, a professor of medical anthropology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, also dismissed Fox’s claims.
Even Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the famous cancer-advocacy group, said it had seen no spike in breast cancer cases.
Confronted with these facts, Fox cited a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that doesn’t support his claim, and a newspaper story that, Risser told AP, was “not based on a careful statistical analysis of the data.”
Frightening the public with a bogus breast-cancer scare is despicable. It may scare some families into moving away, or divert medical resources from areas with real problems.
Faced with cancer experts telling him he’s wrong, it would be ethical to issue an apology and correction. But Fox has continued to make the claims, regardless of the science.
A corporation behaving like this would be out of business, with its executives looking at prison. But Josh Fox is being rewarded for his lies.
HBO has a sequel to “Gasland.” And the Hollywood and environmental elites — Mark Ruffalo, Yoko Ono, Debra Winger, Robert Redford, Bill McKibben and Robert Kennedy — are supporting him.
All are silent about Josh Fox’s despicable lie about breast cancer.
Even Paul McCartney, whose mother and wife Linda died from breast cancer, has remained quiet. The former Beatle is a vocal campaigner for breast-cancer awareness — yet astonishingly is also a vocal supporter of Josh Fox. He recently joined Artists Against Fracking, which cites “Gasland” as a source of information and has Fox as a prominent member.
How can McCartney stomach this lie?
New York is still deciding whether to allow fracking. A word of advice: Don’t believe a single word from anti-fracking activists who are willing to lie about breast cancer.
Phelim McAleer is the director and producer of “FrackNation,” a documentary to be released later this year.Follow @NYPostOpinion