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Fuel: in the future and on film

 Posted by on November 13, 2008
Nov 132008

By John DeFore
Green Right Now

The latest edition of an annual report by the International Energy Agency was released this week, and while the news may not be unexpected, it’s unsettling nonetheless.

After conducting “field-by-field analysis of production trends at 800 of the world’s largest oilfields, an assessment of the potential for finding and developing new reserves and a bottom-up analysis of upstream costs and investment,” the agency projects that . . . without any new government policies, world primary energy demand will grow a staggering 45% by 2030.

Where the world currently uses 85 million barrels of oil per day, the IEA predicts it will demand 106 billion per day in 2030. Demand for coal, it says, will grow more than any other fuel, and while renewables will grow quickly, “oil will remain the world’s main source of energy for many years to come, even under the most optimistic of assumptions about the development of alternative technology.” (The predictions were actually higher last year, before economic turmoil made slower growth likely.)

That report can’t be bad publicity for Josh Tickell, an activist-turned-filmmaker whose new documentary Fuel is trekking across the country in a series of do-it-yourself theatrical engagements. The film, which has won awards including the Audience doc award at this year’s Sundance festival (and previously drew press attention under the title Fields of Fuel), was inspired by Tickell’s move from Australia to oil-industry-damaged Louisiana, and features interviews about the need for alternatives with everyone from Sheryl Crow to Richard Branson.

Audiences hoping to see the film (and maybe catch a glimpse of Tickell’s “Veggie Van”) can check the schedule here; Portland, OR, Seattle and Texas are the next on the list.

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