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Movie Review: Escape from Suburbia September 15, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society, Technology.
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I watched “Escape from Suburbia” last night. It was a captivating documentary discussing the problem of the impending peak oil crisis. (Although it felt at times the “peak oil” phrase was getting hammered in.) It discusses how the world (and namely the US) uses much more oil than we (the world) are able to find and produce. We are running out of oil. I also mentions global warming and other related problems.
It primary discusses localizing economies to reduce non-renewable fuel usage. I think it is definitely part of the solution, but it is hard to enforce and regulate. One thing I found extremely odd was that is never mentioned the Cap And Trade method. And while this is difficult to enforce as well, but it can be more regulated and monitored. But it has to be an international solution. As one of the examples one person mentioned, Canadians catch Whitefish, ship them to China where they are filleted, packaged and shipped back to Canada for consumption… how ridiculous is that! And I am sure it happens all the time. Under a Cap and Trade regulation, this would be too expensive to do and it would produce more local jobs and reduce oil usage.

Another topic I was very interested in was their discussion of Willit, Ca. They, like many other towns on some level, are trying to implement completely localized economies and energy. They are formalizing this effort and really getting the whole town involved. I wish I had the time to organize this for our area. At the global or even national level, I think politics will prevent us from really making much progress.

This movie also made me really have trouble with buying an SUV that getting less than 25 MPG. We are going to need a larger vehicle and my mid-size sedan gets 30 MPG, but there are no American-made SUVs on the market that can come close to that number. It really makes me think seriously about getting the Highlander Hybrid again. They say it can get upwards of 33 MPG. And while we do not want to buy foreign, a used foreign vehicle would not produce the monetary gains out of the US AND it would be re-using a perfectly good product instead of causing a new vehicle to be produced.

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