Whatever we may think about it in retrospect, there is no doubt that the massive material developments in the 20th century were fueled by oil – and it is equally certain that with diminishing supplies and an ecological crisis of unfathomable magnitude that situation cannot continue in the 21st century.
There are different ways to approach the future – some think we are simply heading for catastrophe – and in fact the wars being fought all round the world over resources are already a catastrophe for many people who are caught up in it. This group believe that the juggernaut is heading for the cliff, and nobody can stop it. And they may be right.
Others, however, have another take on the situation, and this is one of the better documentaries I’ve seen addressing the problem. It was made by biofuel activist Josh Tickell, and follows his journey over a period of about 10 years, examining both the highs and the lows that he has encountered along the way.
The film examines the history of oil and its cost both in terms of finance and environmental effect, and uncovers many disasters that were totally ignored by the mainstream media, like the spilling of devastating amounts of oil when Hurricane Katrina hit. It also examines the long-term effects oil has on health.
But it doesn’t stop there, it also shows the emerging new energy sources that are gaining ground, and this time round everybody who is working in these new industries is aware that you cannot sell anything that is going to be ecologically unsound, and the research and development is taking that in consideration.
He started off innocently enough by driving a biodiesel run Veggie Van all round America for 2 years, stopping off and giving interviews to local radio and TV, raising consciousness about the issue along the way. In the end Josh ended up traveling all over the planet, authoring a number of books and articles, founding a non-profit organisation and making this highly entertaining and equally informative documentary.
Anyone who is concerned about where we are headed and the possible alternatives should take a look at this film. With the right financing and the will to change we could be off destructive energy sources in a reasonable amount of time. But it will only happen if people want it more than the corporations want quick profits.
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Some Stills from the Documentary