You might not want to watch Collapse if you’re in a good mood. On the other hand, viewing this documentary in a bad mood might not be such a good idea either–at least not if there are any sharp objects lying around. Such is the extremity of the dire message delivered by Michael Ruppert, who predicts nothing less than the imminent and total breakdown of industrialized civilization. Ruppert has some credentials–a UCLA graduate, he served in the Los Angeles Police Department, and is now an investigative journalist with many articles and several books to his credit–and a large amount of information at hand. And although it’s worth noting that everything he offers in the way of facts in the course of this film goes virtually unchallenged, his argument is compelling, and more than a little frightening. As Ruppert sees it, the collapse can be attributed primarily to just one thing: oil, and our almost complete dependence on it. The world has passed the point of peak production, he says, and the supply is now in steady decline (and this was well before the 2010 spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico). There is no currently viable energy alternative–ethanol, nuclear power, Canadian “tar sand,” and everything else is dismissed outright, leaving only wind and solar power as vague possibilities. The planet’s unsustainable population growth began with the discovery of oil (and it will go down accordingly when the oil is gone), Ruppert argues; what’s more, the world’s economy is essentially a “pyramid scheme” based on the notion of infinite growth, which can’t happen because it too depends on oil and its many derivatives (such as plastic). In the end, he says, what we’re witnessing is Darwinism in action, and while there are a few ways to prepare for what he passionately describes as “the cataclysmic end of a paradigm” (he suggests learning to grow your own food, for starters), the momentum is irreversible. One might be tempted to dismiss this guy as some wacko with a website, but Collapse–essentially a long interview conducted by director Chris Smith, supported by photos, film footage, animation, and other visuals to illustrate Ruppert’s arguments–offers some very serious food for thought. –Sam Graham

https://youtu.be/l98iYxneSas

 

 

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