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Oil and the World

Oil and the World


Directed by Alexandre Trudeau

After centuries of Western domination, the waterways of the Middle East are now being contested in unprecedented ways. Pirates are roaming sea lanes. Local powers are threatening chokepoints. And the people are rising up to bring their authoritarian rulers down. With no simple solutions for maintaining control of oil flows, the West is facing a crucial decision. Already weakened by extended military interventions, faltering economies, and strained global partnerships, the US and Europe must decide whether violent intervention or benevolent passivity is the best course of action.

  • "This is a sobering history of the decline and fall of Western hegemony in the Persian Gulf and Western Indian Ocean -- and the alarming reality of what comes next. The historic march through North Africa and the Middle East with the world's top strategists, economists, and thinkers provides an unsettling glimpse into the post-American maritime order." - James Kraska, Howard S. Levie Chair in International Law at the U.S. Naval War College

  • "A sobering, comprehensive look at the contemporary geopolitics of the oil patch and the sea lanes that connect it to the world." - F. Gregory Gause, III, Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont | Author of The International Relations of the Persian Gulf

  • "Alexandre Trudeau depicts a very clear and relevant picture of the oil-based conflict in the Middle East. The film is well-directed and only as sensational as its subject matter." - Laurence Trepanier, CBC News

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2012 / 54 minutes

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    By David Lavallee

    Narrated by Wade Davis, Explorer in Residence for National Geographic

    Canada is the number one foreign supplier of oil to the United States, a fact little known in America. Most of the oil imported comes from the Tar Sands of Northern Alberta, the second largest known oil reserve in the world outside of Saudi Arabia.

    But this is not a traditional oil field. The oil must be extracted and processed from the sands at a significant environmental cost -- requiring huge quantities of a diminishing fresh water supply and large amounts of energy that contribute to global warming.

    White Water, Black Gold follows David Lavallee on his three-year journey across Western Canada in search of the truth about the impact of the world's thirstiest oil industry. This is a journey of jarring contrasts, from the pristine mountain ice fields that are the source of the industry's water, to the Tar Sands tailing ponds, where thousands of migrating birds have unwittingly landed and died.

    Both government and industry spokespeople deny any cause for concern, but in the course of his journey Lavallee, backed by university scientists, makes a number of discoveries that challenge that assessment and raise serious concerns for Canada and the United States.

    Native peoples living downstream are contracting unusual cancers; new science shows that water resources in an era of climate change will be increasingly scarce; the proposed upgrading of the oilfields could endanger multiple river systems across Canada that makeup about half of its water supply; and a planned oil pipeline across British Columbia brings fresh threats to rivers, salmon and the Pacific Ocean.

    White Water, Black Gold is a sober look at the untold costs associated with developing this major oil deposit, and raises important questions about how much environmental damage we're willing to tolerate to feed our oil appetite.

  • "Highlights the indescribable beauty of the region and how it is being threatened by industry and carelessness." - Earth Times Award
  • Winner, 2011 John Muir Award, Yosemite Film Festival

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2011 / (Grades 7 - Adult) / 64 minutes

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    Director: Adolfo Doring

    In this haunting portrait of America's oil-fueled excesses, director Adolfo Doring explores the inextricable link between the energy we use, the way we run our economy, and the multiplying threats that now confront the environmental health and stability of our planet. Taking as its starting point the inevitable energy depletion scenario known as "Peak Oil," the film surveys a fascinating range of the latest intellectual, political, and scientific thought to make the case that by whatever measure of greed, wishful thinking, neglect, or ignorance, we now find ourselves at a disturbing crossroads: we can continue to burn fossil fuels and witness the collapse of our ecology, or we can choose not to and witness the collapse of our economy. Refusing to whitewash this reality, Blind Spot issues a call to action, urging us to face up to the perilous situation we now find ourselves in so that we might begin to envision a realistic, if inconvenient, way out. Certain to inspire debate in classrooms across a range of disciplines, especially in economics, environmental studies, the natural sciences, and political science.

  • "Blind Spot rides currents of beauty and sadness, ultimately landing with a catharsis that comes when truth has been told." - Jason Bradford, Founder of 'Willits Economic Localization'

  • "Doubtless Peak Oil will come, the timing is a matter of debate. However we may be better off if it is not too long delayed, because it will accelerate what must be done to prevent environmental catastrophe." - Noam Chomsky

  • "Beautiful, crucial, straightforward, brilliantly woven images, words and music." - John Stauber, Author of Toxic Sludge Is Good For You

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2009 / 54 minutes

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    It's the end of a myth which lasted 3,000 years. Since its oil shortage, China has relied on the outside world. Energy is its weak spot, its Achilles heel, and the problem will become more pronounced in proportion to its unbridled economic growth, which continues to be forecasted at 8% for the foreseeable future. There will be an immense need for an increased energy supply. China is unable to meet theses needs and collaboration with other governments is its only option. All of this growth has forced China to launch a world conquest. Every country with oil is being pursued.

    For three years, Chinese authorities have been traveling extensively to establish new oil alliances across the world. With those, come concessions that are incessantly at odds with the West. Contracts have been signed with Venezuela, Iran, the Sudan and Angola. In exchange, China offers its support in the form of promises to build telecommunication systems, railways and ports. It also offers protection to their partner nations by threatening to use its UN veto against resolutions involving human rights (Darfur) or nuclear issues (Iran.) Therefore doing business with the Chinese is much more attractive than with countries in the West. The Chinese do not want to be involved in the politics of other nations. They simply want oil.

    Are the Chinese really fulfilling all their promises? This investigative film offers an unprecedented examination of the issues that reach beyond the question of oil.

    DVD / 2008 / (Senior High - College) / 52 minutes

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    Crude Impact is a powerful and timely story that explores the interconnection between human domination of the planet, and the discovery and use of oil. This documentary film exposes our global, deep-rooted dependency on fossil fuel energy and examines the future implications of peak oil - the point in time when the amount of petroleum available worldwide begins a steady, inexorable decline.

    In 1956, M. King Hubbert, a geologist at Shell Research Labs, shocked the oil industry by predicting that United States oil production - the largest in the world at that time - would peak in the early 1970s, and then continuously and irreversibly diminish. His prediction was vilified and largely ignored - until it came true. In Crude Impact, modern experts predict how quickly global peak oil will become a reality and discuss its many serious implications for our way of life and our world. Impacts discussed range from the environmental to the cultural, examining how global oil dependency is impacting everything from human rights practices, world population, renewable energy technologies, political agendas, globalization, wildlife habitats, and of course global economy.

    Journeying from the West African Delta region to the heart of the Amazon rainforest, from Washington to Shanghai, from early Man to the unknown future, Crude Impact chronicles the collision of our insatiable appetite for oil with the rights and livelihoods of indigenous cultures, other species and the planet itself. With great depth and insight, the film highlights the underlying myths and beliefs that are propelling us toward what many experts believe will be a cataclysmic period for humanity.

    A story filled with discovery, sorrow, outrage, humor, and ultimately hope, Crude Impact uncovers the complex entanglement of the fate of humankind with its fierce dependence on petroleum, while providing a vital inspiration for change.

  • "It is impossible to see this film and not begin to rethink the way we live." -Lynne Twist, Pachamama Alliance

  • "Crude Impact is a terrific film. I have no hesitation in saying it is the best documentary I have seen on the subject and I would feel very happy about recommending it to anyone. Key I think is its accessibility to someone with no prior exposure to the story of oil." -Chris Vernon, TheOilDrum.com

  • "Young people absolutely need to know about this issue, and Crude Impact covers it from all angles. This is a film no educator should be without.' -David W. Smith, Science Teacher, Bay High School

  • "After watching so many films... I'm a tough audience and it is hard to find something new. This film was as comprehensive as it was compelling." -Adrienne Bramhall, Sierra Club Productions

  • "Crude Impact is a powerful and thought provoking exploration of the hold that oil has over the world." -TransitionCulture.org

  • Winner: Best Feature Documentary - Artivist Film Festival
  • Winner: Social Justice Award - Santa Barbara Film Festival

    DVD (With Curriculum Guide) / 2007 / (Grades 7-Adult) / 98 minutes

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    Part 1 chronicles the discovery of oil in Persia in 1908; the tumultuous claims placed on Middle East territories and conclude with the British being sent home from Iran in the 1950s.

    This episode explores the "sphere of interest," power politics, oil's role in both World Wars, American influence, the Saudi empire, the exile of Britain, and the Shaw's rise to power and the start of turmoil between the nations of the Middle East.

    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 55 minutes

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    Part 2 profiles the history of Middle East oil beginning in the early 1970's. It chronicles the oil embargo and the resulting rise in import prices as foreign leaders attempt to negotiate. Tensions in the Middle East begin to heighten as conflicting groups become more violent with each other and foreign powers. Assassinations, hostage situations and torture are tearing the region apart. American female soldiers fighting in the Gulf War sparks interests in women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Fundamentalist groups react to this and become even more oppressive and aggressive.

    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 55 minutes

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    Part 3 profiles the after effects of the second gulf war. Iraq, which once played a major role in the Middle East oil trade, is struggling to gain stability. Exemplifying this is the city of Kirkuk, one of the two largest oil regions in the country, where oil brought destruction and discrimination against the Kurds. In Iran, controversy surrounds the Sunni and Shiite's and the struggle for everyday life. This episode also shows the disparity between north and south Tehran and the south's disappointment with failed promises by president Ahmadinijhad. In stark contrast lies Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where modernization is far beyond that of Iran and Iraq.

    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 55 minutes

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    Featuring Michael T. Klare

    With clarity and urgency, Blood and Oil transcends partisan politics to show how six decades of failed government policy have increased America's dependence on foreign oil and made its energy and defense policies virtually interchangeable.

    Against the grain of leaders and pundits who have dismissed and belittled claims that the U.S. has sacrificed the lives of its troops and countless others around the world to feed its oil habit, the film exposes a fundamental connection between diminishing global petroleum supplies, skyrocketing rates of global consumption, and successive American wars and military interventions. Based on the critically-acclaimed book by international security expert Michael T. Klare.

    "Resources, not differences in civilizations or identities, are at the root of most contemporary confilict." - Michael T. Klare

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2007 / Approx. 55 minutes

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    Kandy Hubl - Health, Safety and Environmental Coordinator Melanie Bowman - Power Engineer
    Julie Jolicoeur - Project Manager

    DVD (Color) / 2006 / (Grades 9-12, College/University, Adult) / 15 minutes

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    Searching for the origin of oil, Johan must navigate through the smelly swamps and offshore oil rigs in the ocean before striking a type of liquid black oil called petroleum.

    DVD / 2005 / (Primary - Elementary) / 12 minutes

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    It is the largest oil deposit on earth. It is one of the biggest construction projects on this planet. And over the next 10 years up to 50 billion dollars will be invested to develop it. It is the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada. This is the story from its discover through to the present day.

    There are at least 300 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the oil sands, about 15 percent more than the proven oil supply in Saudi Arabia. Canada produces as much oil per day as Kuwait and is the number one supplier of oil to the United States.

    Alberta's Oil Sands - Centuries In The Making Pay Dirt: Alberta's Oil Sands - Centuries in the Making tells of the discovery and development of the Athabasca oil sands, from its early use by First Nations peoples to the current mega-projects working to develop oil reserves for the foreseeable future.

    The documentary follows the historic path by which the Alberta oil sands went from discovery to economically viable production. First technologically, and then socially and environmentally, the industry has moved onto the threshold of widespread development.

    As early as 1883 extracting the oil from the sand was attempted. Scientists working out of a tiny university basement laboratory made the first breakthrough in the 1920s. In the following decades the increasing need for petroleum resulted in the entrepreneurial trial and error, and determined advancement until today Canada has become one of the world's top oil supplying countries.

    Making The Unconventional Conventional Pay Dirt: Alberta's Oil Sands - Making the Unconventional Conventional tells the dramatic story behind the development of the Alberta oil sands, the largest oil reserve in the world, projected to one day yield five million barrels of oil a day.

    The documentary guides the viewer through a fascinating and compelling investigation of the hows and whys of oil sands, including new technologies, environmental concerns (water, natural gas use, greenhouse gas emissions), social concerns regarding local Aboriginal communities, and infrastructure issues due to the tremendous growth.

    All this is framed by discussions of the need for oil sands due to a < tight world-wide oil supply, increasing demand and political instability in many key oil producing countries. In a post 9/11 world, where Canada is the only country where oil reserves and production are increasing, PAY DIRT challenges its audience to consider the cost and need of oil and the oil sands.

    2 DVDs / 2005 / (Grades K-12, Post-Secondary) / 96 minutes

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    This program offers a global history of the oil industry and the issues intertwined with it, from early -20th -century prospecting in South America and the Middle East to war in Iraq. The origins and significance of OPEC figure prominently in the narrative, as do several historic and violent conflicts revolving around controlling sources or flows of oil: labor strikes in Latin America, Nasser's seizure of the Suez Canal, the Iran -Iraq war, and other pivotal events. Revealing interviews feature, among others, former OPEC leader Sheikh Ahmed Yamani and former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Akins - who minces no words and calls oil a curse.

    Note: Only available in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.

    DVD / 2003 / 52 minutes

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    Don't suffer long term health problems from exposure to Benzene!

    Aromatic hydrocarbons are derived in the petroleum refining process. Workers or emergency responders who are exposed may suffer long-term health problems.

    This program covers:
  • Short term and long-term health hazards of benzene, toluene and xylene
  • Occupancies where they are found
  • Safe handling and protective measures for workers
  • Monitoring for toxic atmospheres
  • Ventilation
  • Symptoms of exposure
  • Environmental concerns during a leak or spill
  • Diking to control runoff
  • Safe response procedures
  • Controlling vapors and sources of ignition
  • Fighting fires.

    DVD / 28 minutes

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    This four-part series was produced in corporation with Mobil Exploration & Production that is designed to train production personnel on the management of both oil and produced saltwater spills. Topics covered include the environmental impact of spills; spill prevention, discovery, and response; control and cleanup, and the reporting and investigation process.

    Part 1: Spills In Our Environment
    Discusses saltwater and crude oil spills and the damage they cause. Also explains how commonplace saltwater spills affect the environment, and how different types of crudes¡Kthin, high-gravity vs thick, heavy crudes¡Kare absorbed by different types of soils. Also covers body of water size, wildlife, vegetation, and people effects. Stresses the importance of quick decisive action.

    DVD / 16 minutes

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    This four-part series was produced in corporation with Mobil Exploration & Production that is designed to train production personnel on the management of both oil and produced saltwater spills. Topics covered include the environmental impact of spills; spill prevention, discovery, and response; control and cleanup, and the reporting and investigation process.

    Part 2: Spill Prevention, Discovery, and Response
    Looks at various types of spills and how they occur. Discusses measures to take to minimize spills and the importance of regular maintenance and inspection policies. Also illustrates the detailed steps to take when a spill is discovered, along with safety concerns to consider.

    DVD / 25 minute

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    This four-part series was produced in corporation with Mobil Exploration & Production that is designed to train production personnel on the management of both oil and produced saltwater spills. Topics covered include the environmental impact of spills; spill prevention, discovery, and response; control and cleanup, and the reporting and investigation process.

    Part 3: Spill Control and Cleanup
    Covers secondary spill response, containment, and methods of spill cleanup including environmental restoration. Also discusses the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan.

    DVD / 30 minutes

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    This four-part series was produced in corporation with Mobil Exploration & Production that is designed to train production personnel on the management of both oil and produced saltwater spills. Topics covered include the environmental impact of spills; spill prevention, discovery, and response; control and cleanup, and the reporting and investigation process.

    Part 4: Spill Reporting, Investigations, and Documentation
    Explains the tasks of reporting, investigating, and documenting a spill incident, including the legal requirements. Included topics include how to improve and document a spill response, containment, and cleanup effort, steps to use to determine the cause of the spill that will lead to improved preventive measures.

    DVD / 17 minutes

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    Learn all current control activities and countermeasures for oil spills on land.

    This informative DVD focuses on the ecological impact of oil spills on land and along the shoreline. Topics covered:

  • The ecological impact of oil spills on land and along the shoreline
  • Contingency plans
  • Control activities and spill countermeasures: low and high pressure washing, sand blasting, soil washing, physical removal, mechanical removal, vacuum pumping, use of sorbents, degradation and bioremediation.
  • Potential impact of treatment methods
  • Safety precautions
  • How land spills behave
  • Preparing for an approaching spill
  • How intrusive clean-up methods can delay natural recovery
  • The special problems of shoreline clean-up.

    DVD / 28 minutes

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    Oil spill clean-up training for spills that occur on water. Studies all types of countermeasures.

    The program studies the factors that challenge responders to address water spills, including weather, wind, sea conditions, and currents.

    Topics include:
  • The factors that challenge responders to water spills, including weather, wind, sea conditions, and currents.
  • How oil weathers when spilled on water
  • Resources for enlisting aid
  • Tracking spills to predict ecological impact
  • Managing the response effort
  • Countermeasures, including booms and barriers, skimming, herding, absorbents, in situ burning, chemical treatment (dispersants and gelling agents), and bioremediation
  • Safety precautions
  • Dealing with contaminated wildlife.

    DVD / 28 minutes

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    Oil spill clean-up management! Learn how a single organizational structure is formed for an efficient and effective response.

    When a spill occurs, many public and private agencies will become involved in the response. A Unified Command system is necessary to blend these diverse agencies together into an effective, cohesive response team. This program teaches:

  • How a single organizational structure is formed through the mutual agreement of cooperative agencies.
  • Who the key players will be in the response to an oil spill
  • The responsibilities of each
  • How resources are integrated successfully.

    DVD / 28 minutes

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    Oil spill clean-up safety training video teaches about the hazards of an oil spill response and the safety factors involved.

    It provides OSHA training for clean-up personnel. This module is an overview of factors to consider during the response.

    Topics covered:

  • How spills commonly occur
  • Factors to consider during the response
  • Different types of oils, including gasoline, jet fuel, naphtha, gasoline, diesel fuels, asphalt, and crude oil
  • Hazards associated with oil during the different phases of the spill, including fire risk, toxicity, mechanical dangers, and environmental threats.
  • Agencies to be notified of a spill
  • Factors that affect spill behavior
  • Site control
  • Responder safety
  • Incident management.

    DVD / 28 minutes

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    This oil spill clean-up safety video teaches recovered oil spill waste.

    Topics include:

  • Handling recovered oil and other hazardous wastes resulting from the clean-up effort
  • Waste management priorities: eliminating the waste, reducing the amount of waste, recycling the waste, treating the waste, and disposing of the waste
  • Standards waste oil must meet for recycling
  • Temporary storage options for bulk oil
  • Oil/water separation
  • Vacuum trucks.
  • Extracting emulsions

    DVD / 22 minutes

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    This petroleum storage tank safety training video teaches everything you need to know about tank fires and how to respond safely.

    "Petroleum Storage Tanks" DVD is safety training for emergency responders and industry personnel who work with or who may respond to emergencies involving petroleum storage tanks. The program examines above-ground, low pressure storage tanks for flammable and combustible liquids, showing tank features and explaining how accidents commonly happen.

    Topics include:

  • Studies cone roof tanks, open floating roof tanks, covered floating roof tanks, and horizontal tanks
  • Examines safety features, including secondary containment systems, instrumentation, spill and overflow protection, foam systems, and fire protection features.
  • Stresses the importance of pre-incident planning
  • For emergency situations the program covers offensive, defensive and non-intervention strategies
  • Incident command
  • Foam blanketsam, foam concentrates, and foam application
  • Water and controlling run-off
  • Protecting exposures
  • Issues with open top floating roof fires and boilovers

  • Society for Technical Communication -- 1997-Award of Achievement
  • Telly Awards -- 1997-Telly
  • National Educational Film & Video Festival -- 1997-Silver Apple
  • Videofuego -- 1997-Premio Especial del Jurado como Mejor Video de Videofuego 97 (FIRST PLACE OVERALL AWARD)
  • Videofuego -- 1997-Considerado por el Publico Mejor Video de Videofuego '97 (FIRST PLACE AUDIENCE AWARD)
  • US International Film & Video Festival -- 1997-Certificate for Creative Excellence

    DVD (With Guidebook)

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