Hollywood star Matt Damon recently told Playboy he has little hope that Washington can address long-term environmental issues like using hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas.
“We’re at a point where politicians don’t really get any benefit from engaging with long-term issues,” he told the pornographic magazine, according to Politico. “Instead, it’s all about the next election cycle. Those guys in the House don’t do anything now but run for office.
“So unless they can find some little thing that zips them up a couple of points in the polls, they’re not interested. There’s a consensus among scientists, though, that we face serious long-term issues. They’re saying that unless we engage with those issues, we’re genuinely fucked. The way it looks, we’re going to wait until one of those big issues smacks us.”
Damon is the star of the new movie Promised Land, which dramatizes the environmental controversy surrounding fracking. The process of pumping water and other materials underground at high pressure extracts natural gas, a profitable and environmentally-friendly alternative to coal, but there are concerns the mining technique can contaminate groundwater and produce fatal explosions. Fracking has even been blamed for earthquakes.
“They’re debating about letting it happen in New York now,” Damon explained to Playboy. “To us, the movie was really about American identity. We loved the characters because they felt like real people making the kinds of compromises you have to just to live your life.”