Tuesday, May 01, 2012

If You Think Living With Oil Is Bad, Try Living Without It..."

Former Harvard President Derek Bok is known for his quip that "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."  I have an interesting take on that, but that particular hobby horse is not one I wish to mount today.  Filmmaker Mark Mathis uses a variant on this theme as the central enticement for you to view his documentary about oil entitled spOILed: "If you think living with oil is bad, try living without it..."

I have long said on this blog that what most people in this country and around the world know about oil and the energy business is totally wrong (see here and here).  Now along comes a documentary film whose filmmaker was inspired by that very notion.  The reality is that hydrocarbon energy runs our lives and enables a standard of living that we simply will not relinquish despite all of our posturing and protestations to the contrary.

Furthermore, it is a standard of living that billions around the globe aspire to and will not tolerate being denied and their leaders will not risk their power by denying it to them.  What this boils down to is the persistence and increasing demand for hydrocarbon energy well into the future, and unless we make every effort to find and extract hydrocarbons there is going to be a severe shortage and prices will rise substantially, causing very severe economic dislocations, the likes of which will cause tremendous economic hardship and suffering.  Here's the main trailer.

Just judging from the trailers, the film appears to give credence to the Theory of Peak Oil. I don't and I've discussed that many times here and here.  It is not oil that is scarce, but human will and desire to find it and channel it to our own ends.  But Peak Oil or No Peal Oil, a demand/supply imbalance is possible, even likely, all the same if we make bad policy decisions, such as not aggressively developing our energy resources.  And no matter how we arrive there, a demand/supply imbalance gets us the same result - higher prices.  Mathis's film attempts to get this across and exposes our anti-hydrocarbon obsession with the economic suicide that it is.  Of course, it looks like this film might be relegated to oblivion while some Hollywood silliness starring Matt Damon will continue to fuel Americans' ignorance of the energy world.  I sincerely hope not though as spOILed looks like a small dose of sanity in a sea of anti-oil rubbish, misinformation and propaganda.


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