Energy War

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In a world in which the U.S. and Europe are addicted to oil and gas, and those increasingly scarce resources are controlled by authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia, the geopolitical ramifications have upset the traditional balance of power between nations. ENERGY WAR reveals precisely how the economic importance of fossil fuels affects international politics and becomes a powerful tool of foreign policy.

The film profiles newly emergent superpowers such as Iran, a rogue regime that Western democracies must politically tolerate to assure access to its oil, and Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez has nationalized the oil industry, which boasts the largest untapped oil field in the world. Through interviews with Russian and Georgian government officials, ENERGY WAR shows how oil was used as a political weapon in the struggle between an economically revitalized Russia and its former Soviet Republic.

Thomas Friedman (author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization and The World is Flat) analyzes the political concept of “petro authoritarianism” and Kenneth Deffeyes (Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage and Beyond Oil) explains the “Peak Oil” phenomenon, the point at which the earth’s supply of oil begins its terminal decline.

Energy War concludes by investigating the search for alternatives to our dependency on oil, featuring interviews with economists, stock market traders, and new energy entrepreneurs who discuss the pros and cons of such possible substitutes and renewables as biofuels, hydropower, nuclear and solar energy. As China, Africa, Latin America and even Saudi Arabia are preparing for a “green” future, it’s clear that a world of new energy sources will reshape the global balance of political power.

Forget the axis of evil, its the axis of oil. The Cold War and the War on Terror were about ideology and globalization. The 21st century will be dominated by the struggle for energy: It will be every man for himself and it’s going to get dirty. In the two-part documentary Energy War, VPRO’s Backlight investigates the major developments with regards to energy sources. Featuring NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

The film describes the geopolitical consequences of the dependency on fossil fuels. In the struggle for the last sources of fossil fuels, countries all over the world are forced to take new political and moral decisions and have to enter into awkward alliances: rogue regimes must be tolerated and befriended.

With a special focus on the gas conflict between Georgia and Russia and the position of Saudi Arabia. Featuring a.o. Thomas Friedman, author of international bestseller The World is Flat. Friedman sheds his light on the inverse connection between rising oil prices and the establishment of free democracies.

The film then moves on to take a look at the international markets for alternative energy. If oil and gas are scarce and expensive in the future, where will countries turn to keep their economy going and their population warm and happy? Could solar energy or bio fuels become the main energy sources of the post-fossil fuel era? Will governments, multinationals or small producers be the motor of the green race?

Energy War, 7.8 out of 10 based on 21 ratings

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  • Anonymous

    I like it. Give it an A. It brings into perspective what we may or may not face if the powers that be do not let alternative energy take over. The technology is there, the Corporations fear losing money and power if they are not the ones to control, if not invent it.

  • DC

    great doc

  • Rodney Peter

    In the prelogue, they say All these countries are authoritarian….hmmm I wonder what the U.S. is if you can’t speak against the government without being put on a list by the Patriot Act, or if you decide to hold a stike (Oakland) and get the living shit kicked out of you…or starting wars based on lies and kill litterally millions of people from other countries that it sees as ”The AXIS OF EVIL”  Holy Crap!!! just watch all the documentaries on the Internet….3/4 are about the crap the U.S. and it’s alies do to others!!!!  Now they want Iran?? OMG stop them before the REAL shit hits the fan!!!

    • Anonymous

      Yes , it seems like they are setting up for Iran, Syria next. I hope we are all wrong, but the ratcheting up of the rhetoric lately suggests they are. The US is no better than any other authoritarian country, I have to agree.

  • Alex Richards

    “In the prelogue, they say All these countries are authoritarian”

    Yea I think by authoritarian they mean countries that have expressly outlawed criticizing the government in any way, that kill their citizens if they protest, that STONE people to death for as little as being homosexual, or committing adultery. In some of these countries women cannot leave the house without their face covered and a male guardian, let alone vote. The internet is tightly restricted and religion is embedded in the law.

    So what does all of this mean?
    Try thinking about things in a slightly broader context before you make these sweeping generalizations about things. The US is not a perfectly free country by any means, but compared with some of the nations talked about in this movie, we are very privileged.

  • http://www.sdu.dk/ansat/crm Chandrakant Malwade

    Nice documentary, there is one more option i.e sixth one which is not mentioned in the documentary and it is sparingly use of the available energy. Only the genuinely required use of energy is tantamount to the saving of energy, saving of environment, getting rid of addiction, reduced dependence on nasty powers. Don’t feel ashamed of switching off the lights when not required even if you think that you are paying for it, use of public transport whenever possible use “BICYCLE” then for sure life will become much more easier not only ours but also of the future generations.