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Mini-review: Energy Crossroads, PO documentary

How do you get your older Midwest relatives to swallow the Red Pill and understand why you're obsessed with peak oil? Or your scientific and engineering friends who wrinkle their noses at the mention of eco-villages and collapse?

Tiroir A Films has just released a DVD for when End of Suburbia just won't do.

Energy Crossroads: A burning need to change course covers peak oil, climate change and some of the things we can do about them.

The tone is sober, reasonable, matter-of-fact. The speakers are scientists and technical professionals. Their command of the material inspires confidence. Four of the ASPO-USA board of directors are represented: Steve Andrews, Scott Pugh, Morey Wolfson and Randy Udall.

The peak oil information will be familiar to most EB readers, but it is well presented. The documentary wouldn't be out of place on PBS. In a word: respectable.

On the downside, the production embodies the faults that some critics have made of the peak oil movement. The focus is very USA-centric. The speakers are almost all white male professionals over 40. To reach the United States of 2007, we need a more diverse set of voices. And somehow, we have to find ways to communicate technical subjects like peak oil and climate change in ways that are more emotionally compelling.

But one video can't do everything, and Energy Crossroads does well what it sets out to do - providing Americans with an accurate, comprehensive picture of the two biggest crises of our era. I'll be loaning my copy out quite a bit.

The 54-minute DVD costs $19.95. For clips and more information, see Energy Crossroads website

Editorial Notes: Bart Anderson is a co-editor of Energy Bulletin.

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