A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack

Oil, schmoil. Who needs it? We do. And bad. A Crude Awakening puts it all in pretty bleak perspective: one barrel of oil provides energy equivalent to an average person performing physical labour for 25,000 hours. And that barrel of oil could be extracted in some places (Like Iraq, once upon a time) for as little as one dollar. That’s 25,000 hours of labour for one dollar. For that reason oil’s not just popular in the "first world,” it’s catching on all over the place, including emerging industrial powers like India and China. The thing is we’re peaking and it’s all downhill from here; we’re using it up like there’s no tomorrow, literally. In 20 or 30 years, the shit could hit the fan. Every aspect of our economy is based on cheap energy to produce and move everything, including us. With little or no oil we would face a global economic depression, mass starvation, oil wars, a potential quartering of the world’s population to just over a billion or so people and long line-ups for gas. But we have a backup plan, right? The film systematically dismisses just about every energy alternative currently out there. Hybrid electric cars? Can’t match increasing demand. Hydrogen (fuel cells)? No infrastructure to deliver it, it takes more energy to produce it and it’s 50 years from working. Biomass/ethanol? Just a drop in the barrel. Nuclear? We’d need 10,000 new plants and we’d run out of uranium in a decade or two. Wind? Intermittent. Solar power represents the single sliver of optimism in the entire doc and it’s a small sliver. Solar is expensive and we’d have to cover an area half the size of California in panels to match the oil consumed at current rates. Yikes. Had a hard day? Rent Raising Arizona. A Crude Awakening might leave Al Gore rocking himself in a corner but eventually you’ll need to see this well-made, eye-opening, heart-shrivelling, pessimistic analysis of our future. It was nice while it lasted. (Mongrel Media)