A Better World | Mitchell Rabin

Mitchell Hosts a Round Table on Fracking in New York

.Roundtable on Fracking & More in New York
with Tony Ingraffea, Varushka Franceshi, James Cromwell and Pramilla Malick
hosted by Mitchell Rabin

This week, Mitchell has convened a Round Table discussion about the continued use of fossil fuel & fracking in upstate New York after Governor Cuomo signed legislation that banned fracking in New York. The issues at hand are specific ones to NY but likely have equivalencies across the country & globe in one form or another. Even though Governor Cuomo banned fracking in NY state he did not ban the fracked gas infrastructure build-out that has been happening without much public knowledge & understanding of its severely detrimental health and environmental impacts. There is a plant called CPV near Middletown that was built under the radar of public knowledge & will be using all fracked gas which will plug NYC into a fracked gas dependency for the next 40 years. There is a new study that demonstrates why fracking is the single most harmful process for the planet. It has what might be 100 times the global warming impact as CO2 over a 20-year cycle.  Not only has it continued but it the power plants under construction are said to emit more methane and greenhouse gases to the extent that people cannot live anywhere in the general vicinity without risking severe illnesses.  The issues surrounding these plants are the subject of today’s Round Table and will be de-constructed by three environmental activists who have been dedicated to closing these down and a scientist who has much to say about the dangers of continuing the use of these plants.

Varushka Franceshi founded Shapeshift Dream Productions (SDP) a film and media communications company that creates artistic and persuasive issue campaigns. SDP’s mission is to influence a global vision of the future using film arts, digital and traditional media enabling a profound shift in perception as we grapple with many serious topics including the state of journalism, women’s issues, climate change, ethics and the rapidly changing state of the world. Varushka was named to the Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation and is now on the Media and Arts Board and the Sustainability Board. The Lifeboat Foundation is a non-profit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies.  

James Cromwell, world-renowned actor, born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan, educated at Middlebury College,Carnegie-Mellon University, the son of famous film director John Cromwell, studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon. He went into the theater (like both his parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays. He started doing television in 1974, gaining some notice in a recurring role as Archie Bunker’s friend Stretch Cunningham on All in the Family (1971) , made his film debut in 1976, and goes back to the stage periodically. Some of his more noted film roles have been in Revenge of the Nerds, Star Trek: First Contact and the surprise classic about a charming pig, Babe. He garnered some of the best reviews of his career (many of which said he should have received an Oscar) for his role as a corrupt, conniving police captain in L.A. Confidential.

Some of his more notable films include  Star Trek: First Contact (1996), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Green Mile (1999), Space Cowboys (2000), The Sum of All Fears (2002), I, Robot (2004), The Longest Yard (2005), The Queen (2006) and The Artist (2011), as well as the television series Six Feet Under (2003–2005), 24 (2007) and Halt and Catch Fire (2015).  Cromwell has been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Babe (1995). He won his first Primetime Emmy Award for his role in American Horror Story: Asylum (2012) and a Canadian Screen Award for his role in Still Mine (2013) 

James has been an activist since the days of the Civil Rights Movement and has continued since, using his celebrity to bring greater awareness to very serious issues he deeply feels need to be brought to the ongoing attention of the public to catalyze action for the common good.

Anthony Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E., is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University.  He is Co-Editor-In-Chief of ENGINEERING FRACTURE MECHANICS.

As a concerned scientist/engineer, he engages beyond the academy to further inform and educate the public on critical scientific issues that involve public health and safety, and is also Founding and Past President and now Senior Fellow:  PSE Healthy Energy, Inc.

Pramilla Malick is a mother of 4, an environmental activist, community organizer, and former state senate candidate in NY’s 42nd district.  She is founder and chair of Protect Orange County and Principled Progressives. Since 2011 she has led the fight against fracking infrastructure in NYS and has been advocating for responsible energy, climate, and public health policies that safeguard the public interest. In 2013 she organized a ground breaking citizen science study in her community that first identified the public health impacts from gas infrastructure. n 2015 she was arrested for civil disobedience along with actor James Cromwell, and local resident Madeline Shaw, to protest a fracked gas power plant project. Her work exposed corruption behind the fracking enterprise in NYS and resulted in the 2018 conviction of a high level Cuomo aide for bribery.


Mitchell Rabin is the Founder, President and CEO of A Better World Foundation & Media, with a background in psychology  stress management, acupuncture and social entrepreneurship. He is a counselor, and executive coach all as a means of educating and inspiring clients and students alike to lead others by modeling humane, eco-sensitive and integrity-based values.  He has been a consultant to business leaders and CEOs of green and health-oriented start-ups over the past  25 years. He is an impassioned environmentalist and social entrepreneur using media & business as agents for change.

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