This 77 min pseudo documentary “The Crisis of Civilization” is based on the Book by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed of the same name. It goes through multiple parts each exploring various elements of our interconnected world, namely Climate Catastrophe; Peak Energy; Peak Food; Economic Instability; International Terrorism; and the Militarization Tendency with some final thoughts on a Post Peak World. I have mixed feeling about this one and I still can’t figure out if I like it. For starters it really is just a long talk done in an interview style with some old stock footage and the occasional custom animations to provide some visual distraction. I don’t have a problem with this, but that is what the pseudo documentary refers to.
What it does do well is take a holistic view of the world and the many problems we are currently facing and pulls them together. I am in broad agreement of most the overall stuff that Nafeez talks about, especially highlighting the link between our current neo-classical economic model and energy use. But the scientific/academic side of me cringed a few times at some of the statements he made and I was inwardly saying “that’s not technically correct”. It just made me question his thinking when he said this and this and therefore that. There was certainty some cherry picking of data and some logical inconstancies that made his truth more obvious than it fact it likely is.
For example he talked about how the world oil production would peak (I agree), then he said that nuclear energy uses oil (yes) and therefore oil peaking would make uranium mining unviable (which I cannot agree with). Yeah sure it might not work under the exact market conditions of today, but if I was a head of state with an oil crisis on my hands I would sure as hell prioritise getting oil to critical economic functions like electricity generation. Lets not confuse peak oil with running out all together and there is a hell of a lot of waste in the system so making just a small saving in domestic transport will free up more than enough to make nuclear energy viable (or building renewables for that matter). There certainly is a risk of what Nafeez talks about coming true, but there is probably a bigger likelihood that collective human effort and technology will be directed into solving some of these energy problems. That side of things doesn’t really get a mention. I could go through another few examples but I won’t.
What I will say to you watch this to get an overview of our problems from holistic viewpoint. You should certainly be aware of the broad areas that this film covers and how they fit together. As for the details I would say don’t take them as the gospel truth even there is a lot of truth in there. This is still basically another opinion film and I generally always have a problem with pure opinion as broad statements can be made without the viewer knowing the truth behind them. This is why I will continue to stick to keeping data at the centre of any videos and articles that I make.