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Review:The End of Suburbia
Using the notion of "peak oil" as its underlying assumption, this documentary builds a case for suggesting that the suburban lifestyle is unsustainable. What happens when oil becomes unattainable in a society built on an oil assumption?
The End of Suburbia
Directed by Gregory Greene.
Produced by Barry Silverthorn.
Duration: 78 minutes.
Host: Barrie Zwicker, a senior Canadian journalist currently working with Vision TV
Available on DVD.
- http://endofsuburbia.com - includes trailer link
Using the notion of "peak oil" as its underlying assumption, this documentary builds a case for suggesting that the suburban lifestyle is unsustainable. The further assumption is that one-person or one-family vehicles will always be gas powered and gas guzzling. Whether or not you accept this premise, the film does examine critically the wisdom -- or folly -- of constructing an entire civilization on the expectation that there will always be plenty of cheap fuel for combustion.
Whether oil is past this alleged peak is still in debate; however, we are seeing consistently higher prices and a doubling or trebling of those already-higher prices is predicted.
The producers suggest that suburbs will become the new slums, as many families may be sharing the former "McMansion" built for one family. People will be trying to grow food on the former front lawn because the system of importing will break down as long as it's dependent on ships powered by fuel. Quote: "Peak oil is going to reverse globalization" because we will have to develop local economies and local energy generation. Installing any form of wind or solar power for home use is strongly advocated.
The aspect not addressed by the film is the progress being made by many creative inventors and companies to make transportation and other energy applications much more efficient.
A worthwhile exercise would be to view this film with family and friends, and to discuss the implications. It is a good context into which to introduce strategies and approaches for advancing clean energy technologies.
Sequel: Escape from Suburbia
The sequel to End of Suburbia is due for release in autumn of 2006, produced by Gregory Greene and Dara Rowland.
See http://escapefromsuburbia.com - A trailer is available on the site for advance viewing.
The advance description is that there will be a positive emphasis on what people in many countries are doing to meet the challenges of higher and higher oil prices.