"Oil is the excrement of the devil," warns a commentator in this downbeat documentary, a film that promises to give petrol-heads A Crude Awakening. Filmmakers Basil Glepke and Ray McCormack poll oil company consultants, OPEC officials and ex-White House advisors and discover another Inconvenient Truth: we're running out of oil. Life as we know it is doomed; yes, doomed. That may be old news, but this post-Michael Moore shock-doc paints a chilling picture of coming global crisis fuelled by our lack of fuel.
There's no doubting our addiction to the black stuff: it accounts for 98% of all our transportation; for every calorie we eat we spend ten calories of hydrocarbon energy. Worse still, everything from plastics to pharmaceuticals depends on it. Yet, supplies are finite. Back in the 1950s, Shell geologist Dr Marion King Hubbard was virtually laughed out of his profession for predicting that we'd reach the peak of global oil production in the 1970s. Fifty years on, he's been proved right: oil fields are drying up, while global demand increases year on year.
"AN UNBALANCED, ONE-SIDED ARGUMENT"
Cutting back and forth between its apocalyptic futurology and grimly ironic archive footage (including some hilariously wide-eyed Esso ads from the 1950s), A Crude Awakening wants to shock you. It's an unbalanced, one-sided argument that would have benefited from a more unbiased spin. The experts all come from the Eeyore school of pessimism, predicting mass disaster with no little relish: more Iraq-style adventures ("the militarization of oil"), more ecological damage and long-term social collapse. Don't expect technology to save us, either. Researchers claim the wells will run dry long before an alternative is found. The message is clear: when black gold runs out, we're all going to go bankrupt. Act accordingly.
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash is out in the UK on 9th November 2007.