A Crude Awakening

It’s the end of an exhausting, exciting week of movies in Texas … I have watched an awful lot of films in the last few days at the South by Southwest Film Festival …Boy, are we in trouble. As I said above, the best movie I saw at SXSW this year was “Oil Crash”, a terrific work of investigative journalism-as-film that will scare the living crap out of you. Sure, you’ve read a little about the “Peak Oil” hypothesis, you disapprove in some theoretical way of the planet’s massive (and rapidly worsening) fossil-fuel addiction, you’re in favor of alternative energy sources and all that. You may even have the sense that things will get fairly bumpy as we try to develop cheaper solar power or new hydrogen technologies or whatever. Am I right so far? Well, Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack’s film paints a vastly grimmer picture than that, and here’s the thing. Their sources are not eco-freaks from Vermont or Berkeley in Peruvian clothing, but scientists, financial insiders and retired oil executives, many of them bedrock conservatives.

Their message: The era of oil is nearly at an end, and the social and economic consequences are barely imaginable. (Andrew O’Hehir on Salo.com 16. März 2006)