A Crude Awakening - The Oil Crash
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An unforgettable and shocking wake-up call, A CRUDE AWAKENING offers the rock-solid argument that the era of cheap oil is in the past. Relentless and clear-eyed, this intensively-researched film drills deep into the uncomfortable realities of a world that is both addicted to fossil fuels and blissfully unaware of the looming "peak oil" crisis. Drawing on an international cast of maverick energy experts and thinkers, directors Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack debunk the conventional wisdom that oil production will continue to climb, and instead stare bleakly at a planet facing economic meltdown and conflict over its most valuable resource. Featuring a haunting score by Phillip Glass and a fascinating array of rare archival footage, the film explores oil's rocky relationship with human progress in locales ranging from ancient Baku, Azerbaijan to dusty oilpatch town McCamey, Texas.
Amidst a dark and disturbing vision of our future, A CRUDE AWAKENING hints at a humbler way of life built around sustainability and alternative energy, providing a visually stunning, boldly prophetic testament which provokes not just thought but action.
While the previous eco-doc Who Killed the Electric Car? spent some time on the world's oil crisis, A Crude Awakening (formerly OilCrash) builds an entire film around the subject. Swiss journalist Basil Gelpke and Irish filmmaker Ray McCormack have constructed their narrative in a conventional manner, alternating between talking heads, archival footage, and modern-day material, but the addition of several pieces by Phillip Glass is an artful touch (and evokes his work on 1988's The Thin Blue Line). Throughout, a diverse array of experts from the U.S., Azerbaijan, Venezuela, and other countries explain how the 20th century became addicted to "the blood of the dinosaurs," and why contemporary society needs to change course. As attorney/activist Matthew David Savinar puts it, "Oil is our God." As Stanford professor Terry Lynn Karl adds, "More and more oil is going to come from less and less stable places...places that actually challenge the taking of oil in the first place." One of the more chilling revelations concerns the discrepancy between the reserves oil-producing nations claim they possess and the actual amount. These padded estimates allow them to drill with impunity, leading to an abundance of wealth in the short term and cataclysmic consequences once they've depleted their supply of this non-renewable resource. A Crude Awakening isn't exactly a day-brightener, but Gelpke and McCormack are comprehensive and impartial in their inquiry, which makes for an informative examination of a vitally important subject. Extras include extended interviews with four participants and bonus chapter Petrostates. --Kathleen C. FennessySee all Editorial Reviews
- Extended interviews
- Bonus chapter: Petrostates
- Theatrical trailer
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What's more interesting is that some of the guests reveal how seawater injection in some of the largest fields in Saudi Arabia, the North Sea, and other regions accelerates the flow of oil, leading to potentially steeper declines. In other words, the use of what one speaker called "super straws" for oil extraction will boost short-term profits but have serious consequences later one.
For those still wondering about production curves, just look at North Sea oil and USSR field production charts in "Twilight in the Desert" by Matthew Simmons or any number of other peak oil books.
Even though I have a background in science and already knew most of what the film said, I still found it spell binding.
If I were producing a remake, the principal change I would make is to have fewer talking heads and more quantitative exposition of the data. For democracies to survive peacefully the coming fuel crisis requires the public to place more faith in documented fact and less in cursorily buttressed expert opinion.
WATCH THIS MOVIE. It does not matter what your politics are, you should hear what the speakers have to say about oil. The dot-com crash, the housing-market crash, the financial institutions crash--all of these things were completely obvious AFTER THE FACT--yet almost nobody seemed to see them coming BEFOREHAND. There will be an oil-supply crash too. Understand the implications of this for your future. Watch this movie. I cannot overrate the film.
The concept that our present way of life may be seriously in jeapardy is too much for many to grasp or accept. Crude Awakening is very well done as is End of Suburbia. The message of both documentaries is essentially the same -- the cheap oil is gone and nothing is going to replace it that will allow our present level or life style to go on. There will be a lot less driving around in the future, for instance. End of Suburbia focuses on North America, US and Canada, Crude Awakenings, a german production I believe, focuses on the whole industrial world. Both DVDs start with how we got into this mess back when oil was first discovered.
The US uses nearly 21 million barrels of oil per day. That volume is equal to the flow of water over the Niagara Falls in 19 minutes. Or that's one square mile, four feet deep. If that square mile were corn, it would produce only 8000 barrels of ethanol in a year. Presently the world uses one cubic mile of crude oil per year. The Sears Tower is only 1/4 mile tall. Estimates are there are only 30-some cubic miles of conventional oil left. Nothing will replace oil in terms of low cost, concentrated, abundant energy. When it's gone's it's gone.
And if the world doesn't get it's act together, serious economic collapse is highly possible -- that is the message of Crude Awakenings and End of Suburbia.
Both Crude Awakenings and End of Suburbia are worthy. For me, there's enough differences in each one that I didn't regret purchasing both. However, if your budget is limited, you only need one of the two. Watch it. Show it to your friends.
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energy sources, and reduce our dependency on oil.Read more