Ep1/3 The Curse of Oil
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Rich and Poor:
Three-part series that goes on a revealing journey through the world’s oil-producing regions, beyond the familiar territory of the Middle East. Now that the oil price appears to be rising inexorably at the pumps, newspapers are full of gloomy predictions related to our increasing addiction to perishable reserves of oil. Bill Cran’s series takes a somewhat different approach.
We are in fact still amply supplied with oil on planet earth. The problem is that most of it lies in what we cosseted addicts regard as the wrong places. Getting enough oil to fill George Bush’s SUV requires dealing with nasty governments or destroying the wilderness. But the relationship between oil companies, consumers and those who live where the oil is extracted is changing very rapidly. It is becoming possible for native populations to obstruct oil companies.
Cran’s series leaves one with the feeling that there are no easy answers – but that, given the hysteria surrounding the subject, is no bad thing. It’s also ravishingly shot.