Sunday, November 29, 2009
Crude Impact documentary film uncovers some harsh realities about our world and our relationship to fossil fuels. Yet as discussed in the film, there is cause for hope. Crude Impact is meant to inspire us to take action, because as Dr. William Rees says in the film, "this new knowledge gives us the possibility of creating a brilliant future for all us." Objective of the film is to promote positive, hopeful change in the way we source and use energy - changes that will create a more just and sustainable world.
- Peak impact : Peak oil is the point in time when the quantity of oil extracted from the earth begins to irreversibly decline. The United States reached peak oil in the early 1970s. Predictions vary, but global peak oil is anticipated as early as the year 2007.
This fragile balance of the worldwide supply and demand of oil has the potential to incite violent resource wars, where smaller, less economically developed oil-exporting nations will be at risk of both civil conflict from within and potential invasion by industrial nations from without. We may also see increased political and economic instability within these third world oil-producing nations as well as the displacement of indigenous peoples and the vast destruction of pristine environments. And with fossil fuels now such an integral part of our worldwide food production, peak oil also imperils our ability to feed the ever growing human population.
- Food impact : As the world's population has steadily increased, so have our systems of food production and our seemingly insatiable consumption levels. The development of modern agriculture in the U.S. and other industrialized nations has dramatically changed the way in which we grow, process, transport and acquire our food. The distance from farm to table has never been farther, and we now expend ten times more energy getting our food than we do consuming it. In order to offset this imbalance, we must re-localize our food economy and reduce the fossil fuel energy used in growing it by supporting local organic agriculture when buying our food.
- Earth impact : Man's overdependence on fossil fuels is a fundamental threat to the existence of all other life forms. We are currently extinguishing other species at a rate that is far greater than before the age of industrialization. Since the modern age began, humans have repeatedly taken over habitats and eliminated any competing or inconvenient organisms, in an ongoing effort to progress and expand.
Humans are now threatening the very existence of the planet by altering its climate through fossil fuel combustion, the leading contributor to the development of global warming. As a result, we have already seen the onset of more severe storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts around the world. Hurricane Katrina may be just the beginning.
- Human impact : The extraction and production of oil often wreaks havoc on the lives of those who live in its midst and in its wake.
In many oil-producing less economically developed nations, indigenous people are forced to live in cancer zones where the land and the water are heavily contaminated with toxins. And in these smaller, underdeveloped countries, oil extraction has often been supported by regimes with poor human rights records, known for their corruption and abuse of civil liberties. As oil production increases, often the poverty level of regular citizens and indigenous peoples increases as well. These people rarely benefit from the wealth extracted from the land on which they live.
- Population impact : The world's population has exploded in the last hundred years, in great part due to the development of fossil fuels and the subsequent growth of modern agricultural practices and mass food production. As a result, we are straining all of the Earth's resources and crowding out all other species. This massive human population growth may be the single most powerful impact that fossil fuels have had on the planet. The only fair and proven solution to population growth lies in the empowerment of women. It has been shown that when women are given social, political and economic power, population stabilizes and may even decrease.
- Media impact : With the consequences of peak oil and our global dependence on petroleum so severe and the situation so precarious, one might wonder why so few people seem to know about it. Because American mass media outlets - which produce our TV news programs and print our newspapers - are run as profit centers rather than as a public service, the media does not thoroughly or accurately inform the American people about the impact of government's oil policies or even the dire predictions about global peak oil. And lacking proper information, we are woefully ill equipped to take action.