11 Oct 2006
A New Peak Oil Film – Oil, Smoke and Mirrors.
I just watched a new film produced by Ronan Doyle called Oil, Smoke and Mirrors, which you can watch online. While not a classic addition to the peak oil cinema, it is a well-made and thought provoking exploration of the links between peak oil and the events of 9/11. I found it especially intriguing to see Richard Heinberg being more outspoken on the 911 question than I have ever seen before.
The film is essentially a lot of talking heads strung together, including such peak oil notables as Heinberg, Campbell and Darley. If you are already familiar with peak oil and have read around the 911 literature, there will be little of great revelation in this film. Interesting to see Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed, one of the best writers on the subject, in the flesh. His book The War on Truth is one of the best books on the whole 911 question, and he pulls peak oil into the interpretation of events that he weaves. For me, Ahmed the most convincing of all the 911 writers. An academic, he has done the legwork and really researched behind the scenes, asking the questions about what Al Qaeda actually is, and what its relationship to UK and US intelligence might actually be. It is all referenced and backed up with sources.
It seems to me like much that is put out about what happened on that day is like Chinese Whispers, one website quotes another which got it from another and it becomes held up as fact, without much seeking out of original sources. This leaves the whole argument open to the kind of rigorous debunking that can be seen here, much of which is quite compelling. Not being there on the day or having the time to actively research it myself on the ground, it is hard to know who to believe.
This film wisely doesn’t dwell too much on what happened on the day, rather it looks at the background. I’m not sure that it presents a strong enough case to convince anyone new to this that either peak oil is coming or that 911 was an inside job. It is, for example, not a patch on the excellent Power of Nightmares series done for the BBC. There are also other media that do that far more effectively. The things I enjoyed about this film were the quality of it, and the chance to hear the various people interviewed. I found it interesting to see the various peak oil notables being so outspoken on the issue (although I was as interested in what they didn’t say as what they did say…), which suggests that the two arguments (peak oil and the 911 conspiracy position) are coming closer and closer together. Micheal Ruppert was, in many ways, ahead of the game here. His seminal book Crossing the Rubicon made the case for the two being intertwined 4 years ago. Now he is in self-imposed exile in Venezuala, but his book, for me, still stands. Check it out, its a pleasant way to while away 50 minutes.