Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fuel for Thought

The movie "Fuel" is currently playing in Portland OR at the Fox 10 theater downtown. My friend and EV driver, Gary Graunke, recently watched it. Here is his review.

I was initially skeptical that this would be another naive "bio-diesel will solve everything" promotion, but was pleasantly surprised to find a much more mature discussion of the many diverse components of any energy solution. To be sure, it began by appropriately pointing out the unholy connections between the oil industry and government, how short-term corporate greed has caused costly and long lasting damage to the environment and public health, and some good historical background on the diesel engine and relative benefits of bio-diesel, especially now that diesels must meet air pollution standards comparable to gasoline powered vehicles. However, it went well beyond this, pointing out the problems of the initial bio-fuel approaches which divert cropland and rain forest to ethanol and bio-diesel production at the expense of food production. I was impressed by the way it presented not only better ways to produce bio-fuels and "organic oil", but put them in perspective with the other diverse components that can help us utilize the abundance of renewable, sustainable energy that is available to us right now. Each aspect, solar energy, wind, plug-in hybrids, public transportation, and good old energy efficiency was properly explored, noting its potential, limitations of scale, and inputs required. In short, the film fills a gap in public education with regard to energy--one that is useful to individual grass roots efforts as well as public policymakers.

If enough people see it nationally, it will appear on DVD! If so, more people will get to see this worthwhile documentary.


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