7 August 2010

Collapse (documentary)

I watched Ruppert's documentary Collapse (consisting almost entirely of him sitting in a dark room talking). Those who have seen The End of Suburbia or other pieces on peak oil probably don't want to see the film as it doesn't offer much new except for some discussion of Ruppert's life. Michael Ruppert was a police officer who became an independent reporter who was initially interested in CIA-sponsored drug running but later turned to the topic of peak oil. I'd agree with much that's said in the film, but there are a few parts that leave me cold. At one point, he races through alternate fuels and rapidly dismisses all of them, citing, among other reasons, the fundamental laws of thermodynamics. This is clearly hogwash--there's so much wasted energy around us that an ability to use even the smallest fraction of it (even with considerable waste) would give us more energy than we could find uses for. That said, Ruppert's point that we'd need to be moving in the right direction very rapidly so that we'd have access to our current infrastructure (built and sustained on oil) while making the expensive transition is, I'm sure, right on. If you're interested in this sort of thing, I think The End of Suburbia, although a bit older, is much more watchable and convincing, as it features a lot more speakers (many of whom have greater expertise). That said, we have to be thankful for our Michael Rupperts. They're an important breed of self-educated, independent-minded muckrakers, who are able to see beyond the blanket of lies cast by the media and critically analyze the situation for themselves.


libhom said...

Physics isn't what is keeping us imperiled by peak oil and global warming. Political corruption and conservative intellectual laziness are.

Karlo said...

I completely agree. Even a simple step like doubling the required mileage of new cars would lead to dramatic improvements in our situation.