What the fr*ck is this music video doing here?

By | May 12th, 2011

A music video on a consumer advocacy website? What’s the world coming to?

Actually, this isn’t just any clip — it’s part of a ProPublica and New York University investigation of hydraulic fractured gas drilling.

The video describes fracking in a way that almost anyone can understand. And it’s fun, too.

As the music video’s creators explain in a blog post:

[It’s not] “everything you need to know about X.” It’s not a shortcut to becoming an armchair expert. But it is the starting point, the big picture, the tiny bundle of information that gives users the context to appreciate and understand the most challenging and rewarding works of journalism.


Fracking, at least the way major oil companies do it today, is a significant consumer issue. Read a few of the stories or just watch the video if you don’t believe me.

Here’s an excerpt from the song:

But there’s more in the water than just H2O
Toxic chemicals help to make the fluid flow
With names like benzene and formaldehyde
You better keep ‘em far away from the water supply

As I watched this video, I wondered what applications it might have for consumer advocacy. What if we could summarize other complex issues like contracts or bait-and-switch price games and turn them into a catchy video anyone could understand?

How many customer service disasters could be avoided?

Indeed, how many lives could be saved?



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