on June 16, 2010
In this movie there is an interview with a former oil executive who stated that drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is as difficult as going to the moon. BP has certainly proven that to be the case. Besides being prescient, this movie, that was ten years in the making, is clearly thought out, powerfully eloquent yet humble. In a very personal way it starts off and states the oil problem clearly. If you are depressed about the Gulf of Mexico oil leak you need to watch this film because the second half is uplifting. The documentary proposes a sensible solution or more accurately a plausible energy and environmental vision for the United States of America. This movie is sad, funny, optimistic and exciting. I watched it 6 times in the theater taking colleagues and other friends to see it.
on May 18, 2010
My husband and I enjoy documentaries, particularly ones that have an environmental bend, and Fuel is at the top of my list. It is entertaining and educational and inspires hope for a better future. Fuel uses a good mix of humor and fact to interest the viewer while educating us all about the reality of climate change. What I like best about Fuel is that it made me leave the theater ready to make changes in my own life and inspire others to do the same.
on May 11, 2010
Every person in the USA needs to see this film. You may not agree with it 100%, but you will have enough information to make choices for a sustainable future for your energy needs.
on June 21, 2010
Widescreen Edition DVD being released June 22, 2010
"Fuel" is a Sundance Audience Award-Winning documentary about biofuel directed by biofuel visionary, Josh Tickell who was named as a UN Goodwill Ambassador on renewable energy. Tickell explores America's reliance on oil and his own history of biodiesel use traveling the country in his Veggie Van to spread awareness.
This movie was made by the first time director and narrator of the film over the course of eleven years with interviews with politicians, historians, professors, and celebrity activists. Josh Tickell was raised in one of the country's higher oil producing regions and got to see up close the impact of the industry's control over people and the environment. After his own mother became very sick, he decided something needed to be done about this problem and got to work creating this film.
There is something refreshing about the fact that his section on the economic stimulus package for purchasing off-road heavier vehicles is already out of date since Hummers are no longer being developed. There is a focus on the demand for the Toyota Prius (which is also old news since the recall began on those), but the ultimate conclusion is that being able to use an electric car with a diesel engine running on biodiesel fuel would run more efficiently and better for the environment beyond any current Hybrid models.
For a while, it seemed like biofuel was really taking off with all the celebrity support and good press it was getting. Some familiar celebrity faces in this documentary include Sheryl Crow, Larry David, Woody Harrelson, Robert Kennedy Jr., Willie Nelson, and Julia Roberts. Then suddenly a couple of articles were released professing all the health problems that might come out of using biofuel and progress stopped.
Tickell breaks down all the math of the efficiency of gasoline versus biofuel and the effects on the environment and our health. For every one unit of energy put into creating gasoline, only 80% energy comes out of it. Alternative energy sources are crucial to curing America's addiction to oil and several are discussed besides vegetable oil. These sources give our country more hope for the future and as a nation, we all need to alert our government representatives to our desire for this change.
The tragedy of 9/11 initiated an awareness of the security component of energy dependence. Hurricane Katrina is another tragic event that created awareness on an another level for environmental issues we are all facing in our ever changing global condition. This film offers several ideas for how people can get involved to make a difference. There are tons of things you can do!
In conjunction with the release of this film, a cross-country tour of 25 stops was organized by the Veggie Van Organization featuring Tickell, co-producer Rebecca Harrell, and the world's first plug-in hybrid automobile, the Algeaus which runs on a blend of algae-based, renewable gasoline and gets 150 miles per gallon.
There is an extra about sustainable Biodiesel with HERObx, a company started to show agricultural waste can be turned into biofuels. What is fantastic about this company is that not only are they are on their second and third generations of their product but in a time when car companies are laying off workers left and right, they are hiring some of these laid off workers, particularly in Erie, PA. The people have been hit hard there and this is educating their children about alternative energy resources.
Building a green bottom line with John Paul DeJoria showcases the Paul Mitchell systems and the Patron Spirits company going green and how it has changed the outlook for their customers and how they continue to further their efforts with a groovy biodiesel train.
There is a quick featurette on the new Prius that will have a plug and be completely dependent on electricity. It will have a back-up source of gasoline but it won't go into use unless the electric battery runs down completely. It only has to be plugged in for six hours to get a full charge and can run 80 to 100 miles per gallon which is only pennies to the gallon. There is no word on how much of a toll the charging takes on your electric bill if you don't have solar panels but there is no doubt it has a much lesser effect on the environment. One claim was that driving from Alaska to Florida would produce less harmful emissions to the atmosphere than one can of aerosol spray.
There is an extra on how to save thousands through energy efficiency with six suggestions: 1) Switch your electric provider, 2) Control temperature, 3) Switch light bulbs, 4) Reduce phantom power, 5) Weatherize your home, and 6) Reduce water flow.
Besides all those extras, there is also Director and creative team commentary where they talk about how they chose the focus of the film, the sources of their information, and other discoveries made along the way. And lastly, there is DVD-ROM content that includes Tickell's complete book From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank as a downloadable pdf which includes directions on how to make fuel for under a dollar per gallon, how to run your vehicle on straight vegetable oil, and how to tmake a machine that automates your fuel processing, all in eco-friendly packaging and disc!
on April 30, 2011
Worth a watch,but nothing really new here.The biggest change that has to happen is our mindset to energy.How come when they talk of 150mpg hybrids they never seem to take into account the electricity they use? Do they get their power for free? Biodiesel is over rated,very little if any is made without fossil derived methanol,so its at least 20% fossil fuel.Virtually nothing on ethanol,except that making it from a huge monoculture crop ie corn isn't a very good idea.There are many more better ways to make ethanol,which ultimately will become our future fuel.
Tickell deserves an Oscar for this, truly. He links together so many disparate threads that have been woven together into America's oil addiction, and exported in the form of wars, pollution and so many other ills, and he does it with an unsparing eye for the truth as well as a fine sense of humor. There's also plenty of rage and disbelief, as befits any study of our present greed and selfishness, and Tickell ain't afraid to show how deep the corruption goes.
He details the oil companies' secret meetings with Cheney to draft plans for taking over Iran's oil fields...months before 9/11. The obvious non-leap of logic is casually moved past; Tickell is too smart to get caught up by the corporate media as a conspiracy nut, which is funny as most everything here is pure conspiracy fact, from Reagan taking down Carter's solar panels to the cover up of the oil spills during Katrina, which taxpayers are paying for, not the companies that caused them.
And how about the timing of the stuff in here about the Gulf, and oil companies having to drill so deeply and dangerously there? I just saw another interview on the news tonight with various local Louisiana officials who by this point, 70 days in, feel that BP and Obama are purposely stalling relief efforts, but can't figure out why. A close reading of this film might answer some of those questions.
One thing Fuel makes clear is how much power lies in controlling oil, and stopping alternative fuels. Among the many highlights here are the details of Rudolf Diesel's mysterious disappearance at sea, and how Prohibition started one year after Ford went into biofuels instead of oil and how Prohibition ended months after Ford quit using it because Prohibition had made it too expensive to make. Just one of sooo many "coincidences" around the history of oil in America. WMDs and many other lies are also mentioned along the way.
In other words, Tickell's long study of the subject has clearly led him to the actual facts of the matter, and he lays it out here. Our wars make perfect sense in this light, insane as they are, and our present messes in the Gulf of Mexico and in Iraq and Afghanistan are indeed all about oil, and our greed for it. Compared to the enlightened policies of Germany and Sweden---shown here in all their common sense, which we sadly lack---the USA is clearly not leading the world in anything but idiocy, while helping destroy it with great haste. No wonder this film had such a low profile upon release. It's too full of truth!
Well done, Mr. Tickell. Some of us are listening. My home has been solar powered since 2005, and I do everything I can to reduce my carbon footprint. I do wish the massive oil savings of eating vegetarian had been discussed here, and a number of other conservation ideas as well, but it's hard to get everything in one film, and the many pluses of Fuel outweigh any minuses. We need a hundred more films like this, and I think our present messes are going to wake us all up to these facts in a hurry. But I've been thinking that for decades. Maybe we really are destined to be the next dodo birds. If so, those who find our remnants can watch this and see that at least some folks knew what was really going on.
Can't recommend this movie enough to anybody, period. If ever there was a film that every schoolkid and adult alike should see, Fuel is it.
on January 27, 2011
This documentary has a coordinated multi-modal approach that touches upon:
1.) geology, biochemistry, and ecology in the sciences;
2.) business history, speculation, financial trends and machinations in economics including John D. Rockefeller vs. Henry Ford on fueling alternatives (yes, Ford did not win that one), and more recently, the G.W. Bush administration's possible incentive for the Iraq invasion;
3.) biofuels engineering concepts and creation from cooking grease to algae; sustainable energy from solar, wind, tidal power, and retrofitting for energy conservation (wish they had a few more minutes on conservation since that is one thing everyone can do whatever their economic circumstance).
4.) The special features has about 20 minutes of informative and practical data on four energy topics.
The writer and narrator also spins his personal life into the frabric of the work in an effective way. He leaves no doubt as to what drew and draws him to this topic and project now and into the future. This film shines some light upon this topic and I highly recommend it as one who does think and worry about the future we will leave our children and their children.
on October 13, 2011
This film is a must see for any American that cares about the future of this country. It's amazing how much the political power and back door dealings of a few wealthy corporations can shape our country's history for an entire century. I was completely shocked and dismayed by the deception and greed that got us in this mess and then pleasantly surprised by the optimism and determination of everyday Americans to change all that. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power. So if you have children, as I do, and care at all about their future, you cannot afford to miss this film.
on May 20, 2010
Every American who considers themselves a patriot must see this movie. It changes the way you think about America's dependence on oil. It also provides a path for a sustainable future that will not only make a greener planet, but save us all. Where most films of the sort leave you with a sinking feeling in your stomach, "Fuel" leaves you with hope and a sense of empowerment that you can, and will, make a difference. Own this film and share it with everyone you know.
on March 15, 2016
This film did little on its own to change the world, as so few people saw it, but the connections made in the filming and promotion of the film have put together some of the most inspirational and influential people in the world, and they're doing good.
Very special thanks to Moby for contributing 4 songs that made the movie feel so much more personal.