“A crude awakening” Life after peak oil

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crudeYou know you’re in for an alternative night’s entertainment when you hear oil described as “the excrement of the devil”.

Released in November 2007, “A Crude Awakening“, directed by Ray McCormack and Basil Gelpke is a 90 minute documentary about the planet’s dwindling oil supply.

The films ‘cast’ is made up of experts from the petroleum industry including former ministers for oil and former CEOs of oil companies. The conclusion reached by all is that our industrial society and current Western lifestyle, built on cheap and readily available oil, needs to change quickly if we are to avoid catastrophic events.

Peak Oil

“A Crude Awakening” focuses on ‘peak oil’ – the point where demand overtakes supply. Depending on who you listen to, it looks like we have reached this point already, or will reach it in the next 20 years. This will result in large price increases at best and world war at worst. It will certainly change the lifestyle we have all become accustomed to over the past 100 years.

The film states that oil is a magnet for war. It links dwindling oil supplies with America’s current obsessions with the Middle East, the ongoing war in Iraq and the nuclear ambitions of Iran and finishes without a glimmer of hope.

Alternative energy

They touch briefly on alternative energies – wind; erratic and not enough, hydrogen; uses 6 barrels of oil to produce the equivalent energy of 1 barrel, solar; the best option but too [amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]B0011W2IL0[/amazon-product]expensive and it’s clear that there is no simple answer.

Apparently the film makers chose their ending deliberately. They don’t want us to blindly believe that we will be saved by some wonderful technology which will let us off the hook. The message is not to scare people, but it serves to wake us up and get us thinking about what the future might hold.

Oil dependency

It is clear from watching the film that although the people who make decisions are aware of the situation no significant changes are going to take place on a global level. There is still money to be made from oil, (in no film is that made more clear than ‘Who killed the electric car’) and let’s face it, if there are 20 – 30 years left, most of the people in power will be dead and the situation will no longer concern them.

There appears to be no looking to the future in a positive light, unlike Al Gore’s “An inconvenient truth” and it shows you just how dependent on oil we all are. It’s clear we are moving from an era of abundant, cheap, easy to get energy to an era of scarce, hard to get, expensive energy.

Oil is our God

As a startling quote reads “Oil is our God. I don’t care someone says they worship Jesus, Buddha, Alaha or whatever. They actually worship Oil”.

I must admit, after watching it, it made me think about ways in which I could personally reduce the dependency on oil in my own life. Subsequently I revisited a page I wrote about the ‘independence challenge‘ to see what changes I could make.

What about you – have you watched ‘A crude awakening’? Are you making plans to reduce your dependency on oil or do you believe there is a renewable, sustainable answer which will enable us to ‘carry on as before’?

Visit Matt Savinar’s  “Life after the oil crash” site for more information about surviving after peak oil.


  1. Mr Green on September 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

    What struck me when viewing the documentary is that the real problem is our insatiable demand for energy. Every second the human species is demanding and expending energy. Most of that enegy, once used is producing harmfull bi-products and most of it is from non-renewable resources.

    We are parrasites of energy and the world is the hapless host becoming weaker with each generation of progress and population growth.

    It does not take much to see that there can be only one inevitable conclusion that leaves us bankrupt and the earth’s resources totally depleted.

    It’s reasonable to look elesewhere for energy resources, to find those that are renewable or so far untapped, like zero point energy. But there is a far more fearsome problem to solve. Politicians and decision makers are really not that interested in anything further away than short term election winners. OPEC has no interest in what happens in 20 years time. What matters to them is that their fat arses are kept comfortable until they have sucked the oil wells dry

    Keep on the gravy train fellers. Make hay while the sun shines and all that stuff. But when the storm comes, I wander what your grand children will be thinking about you …

  2. Neil on September 14, 2009 at 10:02 am

    The shudder making thought is the alternatives that the oil men are looking toward to take the place of the depleting oil. Tar sands for instance with the filthy method of extraction.

    Lets not forget coal reserves as well (remember how the mines were closed under Mrs T’ reign, forward planning for the future without problems of the Unions getting in the way). There are millions of tons underground ready for extraction. Hitler’s Germany in WW2 showed that petrol and all the products can be refined from coal. But with the consequence of larger Co2 release in the process.

    The fuel will be much more expensive, but the average person will still only sigh with relief that they can still run the car.

  3. Mrs Green on September 15, 2009 at 11:29 am

    @Mr Green: Mr G, I agree with you about our insatiable demmand for energy. Unfortunately, I watched the film and woke up with a resolution to look at where I cold become more self sufficient. But I admit to having short-term feelings about this. I’m soon back in the habit of turning the oven on, popping out in the car and doing all those things I do without thinking about it. I wonder what it takes for lasting change to come about and if we really can do it early enough…

    @Neil: Hi Neil, You make a valid point and I feel that as long as we can continue ‘business as usual’ we will find the money to fund things. I don’t think people are driving less because they can’t afford to any more, they simply find the money from somewhere else – I’m guilty of that 🙁

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