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New ‘disaster’ movie warns world of oil apocalypse

Robin McKie, The Observer
The latest gloves-off documentary to hit screens predicts a global meltdown as vital fuel runs out

Oil is ‘the bloodstain of the earth’s economy’ and will soon trigger a global conflict that will cost millions of lives. That is the stark claim of a controversial new film, which says a crash in oil production is about to set off worldwide recession and economic collapse.

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, which opens in UK cinemas this week, shows stark images of rusting Texan and Venezuelan wells and fuel riots in Asia and Africa. Such scenes will be repeated thousands of times around the planet in the near future, argue the film’s makers, who say the world is facing changes ‘more frightening than a horror movie’.

The film is the latest of several polemical documentaries to achieve nationwide release. Others include Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Michael Moore’s Sicko, and the forthcoming Darfur Now, in which Don Cheadle provides a voice-over about the Sudanese civil war.

However, A Crude Awakening has had a boost not available to the rest. Just as its screenings were scheduled to begin here, crude oil prices soared to their highest level for decades, reaching $96 a barrel last week. Petrol and diesel at more than £1 a litre at UK garages is now common.

‘This is a bleak and very worrying topic, but we have tried very hard to make it entertaining and exciting,’ said Basil Gelpke, who – with Ray McCormack – wrote, directed and produced the film.

And to judge by film festival screenings, they may have succeeded. A Crude Awakening has won prizes at the Zurich and Palm Beach festivals. It is a dramatic depiction of the arguments of economists and geologists who say that the day of ‘peak oil’ has either occurred or is imminent
(4 November 2007)

Ignoring the Obvious

James Howard Kunstler, Blog
One of the biggest laughs of the season came out of a New York Times business section story last Tuesday by reporter Michael Grynbaum, who wrote, “Oil is on a steady march toward toppling the inflation-adjusted high of $101.70 it set in April 1980, analysts said, though many are at a loss as to what keeps driving the price.” (Italics mine.)

Actually, lots of people know what is driving up the price — just not anybody who works at that once-august and now-clueless newspaper. It can be stated simply — the demand line has crossed the supply line — though that simple fact has many curious ramifications.
(5 November 2007)

When Will Russia (and the World) Decline?

Stuart Staniford, The Oil Drum
This piece concerns the near term prognosis for Russian oil production. For background on Russia at TOD, I would recommend the excellent summary by Dave Cohen last year, and also a recent comment by Gail Tverberg which summarized a variety of warnings on the potential for Russian production to go into decline (for the second time). Also excellent is the book Russian Oil Supply by John Grace.

Here I just what to update and extend a fairly simple analysis of the situation. But first let me set some context. We have been discussing the plateau in global oil production on this site for the last two years (pretty much since the plateau first began). The latest statistics show the plateau continuing, indeed there is even some hint of decline now in both the IEA and EIA series for total liquid fuel production:
(5 November 2007)

Sleepwalking over the oil peak

Michael Lardelli, On Line Opinion
If you are an avid listener of ABC radio you will hear the words “peak oil” pop out now and then with increasing frequency. Fran Kelly mentions it on Breakfast (John Anderson on food shocks oil dependency and drought), a caller to Australia Talks Back mentions it with respect to food prices, even news stories on oil are introduced with lines such as, “In a world with oil peaking…”.

ABC TV has broadcast its excellent documentary Crude, The Incredible Journey Of Oil. There are occasional articles relating to it in the Fairfax and Murdoch press. One could almost start to believe that peak oil consciousness is spreading into the Australian mainstream and that we can soon discuss how to prepare to cope with it rather than debate whether or not it will occur.

But if you believe this you are wrong. The great majority of Australians have simply no idea that oil production will soon be decreasing, and the few that do mostly do not comprehend the extent to which this will change their way of life.
(6 November 2007)
Links at original Thanks for mentioning Energy Bulletin at the end of your article, Michael! -BA

New Presentations by Matt Simmons

Simmons & Company

  • A Hungry World In Search Of More Oil

  • Gauging The Risks Of Peak Oil – Will We Face Limits To Growth?

(4 November 2007)
These and more are available as PDFs at the link.

November issue of ASPO newsletter
Association for the Study of Peak Oil (and Gas) – Ireland
877. Appalling Ignorance by the British Government
878. US Government admits to Depletion
879. Turkey : a new flashpoint ?
880. Production: Flat
881. The Challenge of Contraction
882. Yemen Goes Nuclear
883. ASPO-USA Conference
884. The Role of Government
885. Peak Politics
886. Oil Company Confession
887. ASPO6 Conference DVD
(November 2007)