The message in this excellent documentary is simple: "We are moving away from an era of cheap, abundant energy, to an era of scarce, hard to get, expensive energy". We are not about to run out of oil it says, but we are approaching the point at which global demand for oil will exceed global production capability. Not a difficult message to follow, and not really that controversial, but nevertheless it is a message that too few people in authority are discussing. The main point of disagreement I discovered, after watching the film (and 'Googling' a bit) is not whether "Peak oil" will occur (many oil companies acknowledge the theory and some are even planning for it), but rather when it will occur. As the film indicates the estimate of recoverable oil reserves is an extremely imprecise and flexible number, and this film has some classic interviews with Middle East Oil Ministers as well as their critics. The interview with the pragmatic ex -Iraqi oil minister was remarkable not only for its apparent honesty, but for the gravity and authority with which he speaks. It us worth watching the film for this interview alone.
Oil, the film says is a 'magnet for war', but the documentary is careful not to mention any wars in particular. What it does make clear however, is that the vast majority of the worlds remaining oil are in the hands of some pretty difficult and unstable regimes, and every passing day, as output from the oilfields of the US, Mexico, and North Sea, falls, the worlds dependence on these regimes increases. Whether it is under 7,000 feet of water, or under the sands of Iran, oil is going become increasingly ?hard to get? and the ?price? will not just be measured in dollars.
However the good news in this documentary is that there is hope. Alternative and viable energy sources are will be found, but the sooner we start moving on this the less painful the transition will be. This is an important documentary.