Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Love Of Documentaries, Pt. 1

I've got a new found love for documentaries, especially environmental themed ones. I've long ago watched, loved and bought Inconvenient Truth. I was dramatically moved by that movie, and credit it with starting my interest and desire in environmentalism. I've watched Food, Inc. with disgust, and became emotionally angered over Gasland. This weekend I watched three great documentaries: Fuel, No Impact Man, and Flow.

FUEL is a story of how Big Oil is hindering any effort for Biodiesel and alternative fuels to takeover the world. There are many alternative fuel sources that are fully capable of supporting our automotive dependency but they are being crushed by Big Oil.

Interesting facts: Henry Ford intended for his cars to run on Ethanol when he first developed them. Standard Oil company felt threatened by this and paid for the creation of the laws that led to prohibition of alcohol and alcohol based products. For this out of the loop, Ethanol is basically corn alcohol, so no alcohol = no ethanol = we have to buy oil based fuel. Prohibition was not a moral based decision, but a corporate based decision.
The Diesel engine was created to run on vegetable based "Bio Diesel" not oil based diesel fuel. The German man who invented the diesel engine knew that a sustainable plant based fuel was the way to go. He invented this engine over 100 years ago!

"No Impact Man", is a documentary of a writer in New York that decided as an experiment to live for one year and create as little impact on the environment as possible. The process was complicated due to his reluctant wife and they're young child. They started with the simple things like giving up restaurants and public transportation, and by the end of the year had turned of their electricity and were only buying fresh foods and avoiding anything with packaging.  I was very impressed by the lengths that one would truly have to go to be this minimal, but also somewhat jealous.

FLOW is basically a condemnation of the privatization of water throughout the world. Many people around the world don't have access to safe drinking water, yet when water is brought to their front door, it's offered at a price they cannot afford. Even the drinking water in America is often barely fit to drink, whether it is from the tap or from a corporate bottler. It's been proven time and time again that most bottled waters are no better than, or are often the same as, municipal tap water, yet are priced higher than gas. Really when you consider the pollution from bottles, the cost, the fact that corporate bottlers will drain an areas water supply to feed their bottom line, and the fact that it is no healthier than tap water, there really aren't any reasons to ever drink bottled water.

My wife tells me that I watch too many documentaries, and that I take it all in too deeply, but I can't shut my eyes to the bullshit in the world now that they are open.

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