Unlike last week’s Fuel by Josh Tickell, which was rather optimistic about the fuel crisis, this film takes a very bleak view indeed. It’s basic thesis is that there are really only two options: either the ecological system is going to collapse or the economic system will.
The film is based upon extensive interviews with experts in the field, most of whom have books published on the crisis, and is illustrated with some beautiful, but not-always-appropriate photography. Most of those interviewed seem to think that even if there is change it is already too late by now.
One interesting statistic that came out, is that apparently now 17% of America’s arable land is being used to produce ethanol (biodiesel), which is lauded as an alternative to oil, and that not only displaces food production, but is producing less than 1% of energy needs for the country, and so is no alternative at all.
Like many of these documentaries, this one sees things from the American point-of-view and is concerned with what is going to happen in America when the bubble bursts, as Americans are the world’s biggest energy consumers, and the impact is likely to be strongest there if the predictions come true.
Although because of this focus the documentary may seem to be less relevant to others who live elsewhere, nethertheless what happens in America is going to have a strong impact everywhere because if it does collapse then it will bring down the present world ecomony with it.
As one of the experts puts it near the end: “If we don’t stop population growth nature will – and it will be the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, it’ll be disease, war and famine, that sort of thing…”
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Some Stills from the Documentary
Power Stations spewing out Pollution
Lights at Night
Sun Setting on an Oil Field