Without a doubt, the highpoint of this film is its examination and dissemination of the myths and truths involved with nuclear power.

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

James Russo

EarthToys Renewable Energy Article
Without a doubt, the highpoint of this film is its examination and dissemination of the myths and truths involved with nuclear power.
A Review of A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

James Russo

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash is the latest in a series of eye opening documentaries that Hollywood has produced hot on the heels of the financial and critical success which followed Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Many of the documentaries which followed Gore's film have focused not on the dangers of global warming per se, but have essentially acknowledged that global warming exists. Now that mankind has admitted the dangers of global warming, we must figure out how to reverse its effects.

A Crude Awakening was directed by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack and is one of the first films produced and released by Netlfix.com's film and video production arm, Red Envelope Productions. The documentary begins where An Inconvenient Truth left off and hits home with hard, cold statistical data about the world's oil consumption.

A Crude Awakening presents the viewer with a double edged sword; it shows a world where oil is a necessity and a world which cannot exist without oil, but at the same time gives a dire warning about a future where there maybe no oil left to utilize. The documentary shows that everything we use - from computers to toys to cars to sports equipment are all dependent on oil. Oil despite all of the criticism heaped upon it has been the world's savior ---a commodity that nature gave us a gift that has become more valuable that any precious metal or diamond. For a relatively modest price, oil is taken from the ground processed and used to power our modern lifestyles. The world was virtually at a productive and innovative standstill before oil was used. Wars have been fought in the Middle East and lives lost in the battle to keep oil flowing. This will continue long into the future as long as there are reserves of oil left to exploit.

The documentary goes on to examine what possible alternatives the world could have to using oil. All of the current alternatives are explored with special emphasis on nuclear and solar. Many people when faced with the hard questions about the future of oil consumption simply give the stock answer : “Well, we need to go nuclear. Nuclear power is cheap and clean. Why doesn't the U.S. adopt nuclear power…Europe has been using it for years.”

Without a doubt, the highpoint of this film is its examination and dissemination of the myths and truths involved with nuclear power. One scientist featured in the documentary said that even if the U.S. completely switched over to nuclear power tomorrow, the U.S. would only be ahead of the game for a few years before technological advancements called for more power to be created.

Unlike Al Gore's documentary, A Crude Awakening is fairly serious and sobering look at the global oil crisis. Whereas Gore's film utilized a classroom type of structure, A Crude Awakening is a throwback to the talking head documentaries of years past. Gore lightened up the topic with the use of humor and light hearted animation and cartoons as well, where as none of that is present in A Crude Awakening. Where Gore represented the everyman in his quest to deliver the message of global warming to the world, A Crude Awakening is filled with the views of scientists, researchers, and economists whose technical jargon may not have the same appeal to general viewers as did Gore's clear cut approach.

Despite this, A Crude Awakening is another step in the right direction for Hollywod documentaries. Documentaries such as this have been all both gone from movies screens since the 1970's and it is an encouraging sign that Hollywood has recognized that the true story of oil, its dangers, its powers, and our dependence on it is a story that demands to be told.


A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash is available for rental through Netflix.com or for purchase from Amazon.com. Recently, it has also been running on some Showtime channels. Check listings for air dates and times.

 

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