Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"There's No Tomorrow" - Outstanding Animated Peak Oil Movie

I assume that most of my regular readership has at least a basic understanding of peak oil, and the dire long term implications it has for our modern industrialized situation. The problem with explaining peak oil to the layperson has always been the difficulty in reducing the concept to easy sound bites, something it is far easier for the deniers to do.

Peak oil does NOT mean that the world is, "running out of oil," for example, but that it is in fact running out of CHEAP oil. And while the latter does not mean an imminent overnight economic collapse, it DOES mean the end of real economic growth as we know it. Without all of the debt games being played by Western governments and central banks, the permanent end of economic growth and the beginning of a long era of permanent economic contraction would already be evident to all but the most hopelessly thickheaded.

In the spirit of attempting to disseminate the word about peak oil as widely as possible in an easily understandable manner, here is a link to a brand new animated peak oil film, entitled There's No Tomorrow, by professional animator Dermot O'Connor. I strongly urge everyone who reads this to watch this video and spread the word about it. An astonishing seven years in the making, it is a true labor of love that shows through in every frame.

The Yahoo version of the movie is posted below, but first I wanted to be sure to provide a direct link to the film's website: Incubate Pictures. Also, if you would like to express your appreciation directly to the filmmaker himself, you can sign on to the Hubbert's Arm peak oil discussion forum at this link: Llamedos, where both he and I are longstanding members.


  1. Well, after years of writing about peak oil, first for The Oil Drum and then for ASPO-USA, and now occasionally on DOTE, I know the subject by heart. I'm also tired of talking about it.

    I think many outcomes are possible in the future, but unfortunately none of the likely ones are good outcomes. Peak oil certainly figures into that. And appropriate timescales and predictions concerning dates are always a problem. Those who said the world (as we know it) would be ending just about now were wrong. But people get hysterical, and they exaggerate, and there's all sorts of hidden, unconscious agendas, and there's nothing to be done about it. Crying wolf for some is a way of life.

    That said, that's one hell of a good film. I haven't watched it all the way through and don't intend to, but the production values, the concern for accuracy, and the presentation are all very, very good in the parts I have watched.

    Thanks for posting it. I hope people without knowledge will watch it. Not that knowledge will help us in the end, but if you're going to be alive, you might as well understand the world you live in.

    -- Dave


  2. To make informed choices today about our future work, eating, housing, and transportation arrangements, it's critical to see reality through clear lenses; to understand that infinite economic growth is impossible on a finite planet.

    This film has the potential to help many people see reality clearly.

  3. Thanks for posting Bill!

    In reply to Dave - I know exactly how you feel. One reaso for making this film was so that I'd never have to explain any of this stuff to anyone, ever again.

    Ironically, if it's successful, I'll probably have to talk about it a lot more. Ah, well.

  4. Thanks Bill for posting this and to the producers. I linked to it on my blog and will share the link with every group I know including OWS who really need to see it! For all the goo it will do...

    The intro on my blog (sorry, just honest!):

    I don't really like this new movie. I don't particularly care for the style of animation. If a target audience is American, they shouldn't have had an Irish narrater (although she's quite good), because Americans typically tune foreigners out. It's a cultural reflex. I find it frustrating that although there are other serious threats to agriculture mentioned besides peak oil - including soil loss, nitrogen pollution, eutrophication, and acid rain - ozone isn't, and neither, incredibly, are climate change and rising sea levels. Inevitably, it has the obligatory absurd "happy" ending without ever recognizing the near-impossibility of "relocalizing" and "powering down" in the midst of a completely degraded ecosystem, record-breaking floods, widespread droughts and increasing incidents of extreme violent weather plus, most importantly, the millions upon millions of starving, migrating, disgruntled urbanites climate refugees well-armed zombie cannibals. But you know what? You should absolutely watch it anyway, and share it with everyone you know - especially anyone you love.

    1. "(sorry, just honest!)" usually proceeds arguments that are either not honest or weak. This movie-makers have made some very smart choices. A half hour is a good length. The animation style is targeted at kids yet won't turn off adults. It helps condense a lot of technical info into easily digestible bites.
      Americans typically have a fascination with Ireland that doesn't quite fit the "tune foreigners out" mode. Her English is clear and her accent really draws attention to what's being said.
      The "I'm frustrated that a, b, c, and d are mentioned but not e, and f" is the trap of letting the perfect get in the way of the good- no one film can/should hit everything. The ending isn't "happy", it's open- 'cause we don't know how the story comes out. "...the millions upon millions of starving, migrating, disgruntled urbanites..." will be fixed by "a completely degraded ecosystem" in any case.

    2. Actually, I started it out that way because I thought perhaps, the sort of negative positive (which is completely honest on my part) would encourage more people to actually WATCH the film, which is invaluable.

  5. Now they just need to show it in every school on earth.

  6. I too have posted this great video on my blog. To me, the "Happy End" part of the video is more of a rhetorical question. The title pretty well gives away the producer's true feeling about the fate of most of us, doesn't it?

  7. @Dermot

    Actually, I did watch more of your film. The quality doesn't drop off. Remarkable. Good job.

    "One reason for making this film was so that I'd never have to explain any of this stuff to anyone, ever again..."


    -- Dave

  8. Very good film, the only problem is that it will be watched by the converted and avoided by the deniers. The Peak Oil deniers are becoming more vocal of late, talking about shale oil, deep ocean, gas fracking, etc and denying there is any prospect of an energy crisis. They just can’t get the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet out of their heads. What a bunch of morons.

  9. Congratulations on producing a very well-constructed film ... very complete in content, well paced, appealing graphical interface, and a narrator with a pleasing accent (which was sort of surreal given the total unpleasantness of the content!)

    Ultimately, I personally don't see any good outcome to the story and thus I am not sure it is good to fully educate folks on it. The little portion of the film showing the Hummer using any gas saved by the person choosing to conserve really says it all. Perhaps driving about happily oblivious is preferable to going to bed each night rather anxious about all the future unknowns (as I do.) My husband (a denier) would certainly stop watching about 2 minutes in ... he's had his fill of hearing this type of thing from me. If I'd known your film was coming, I would have said nothing and just let him get it all from you!

    Anyway, it is a lovely contribution to the genre and I trust many people will be enlightened thanks to your efforts. Thanks to Bill for posting the link!

  10. Fell in love with the narrator's voice and accent.