Pump

Pump is a documentary that explores the history of oil-based fuel consumption, the use of the internal combustion engine and the geopolitics involved with petroleum.  After World War II, consumer tastes and government policy steer America into a fateful reliance on oil-fueled technology that must and can be broken.  The film then explores alternative energy options for vehicles besides gasoline that are either readily available for use or can be on a mass scale.  It highlights those points of recent history that spurred alternative fuel development in the USA and abroad.  I think this is THE documentary to watch that will not just educate you about oil dependency (really, I think we all know how bad it is by now), but educate you on what we can actually do today (not in the distant future) to put an end to oil’s dominance.  This is also a very informative documentary in that it provides information that petroleum was not the original fuel for Henry Ford’s mass produced Model T automobiles, it was alcohol.  I really loved the discussions on China (their mistake is trying to be like the USA), and electric cars, and Brazil’s sugar cane fuel.  There are many alternative fuels presented that give you a choice, such as ethanol, methanol, electric, and Flex vehicles that can use several fuels.  I didn’t know that many cars have the Flex option already, or that cars could be reprogrammed for the Flex option (very simply it seems)!  This tells you that every car since 1996 has a computer with the ability to get hacked so that the car can run on ethanol, methanol, or regular gas with all three mixed any which way.  I found the section on methanol the most compelling, which seems to be a fuel we should be promoting heavily as well.  This is filled with practical solutions.  Sure, electric vehicles are maybe the best way forward for the future, but this shows options that are ready now.  This is so amazing that we don’t have to be using only gasoline!  For decades I have been wondering why the U.S. has not been developing alternative fuels.  We are all going to run out of oil permanently on this planet eventually, and studies show that this will probably occur within many of our lifetimes.  So, what is the hold up?  This movie explains it all very clearly, offers alternatives, and uncovers the oil conspiracy that is costing us more than twice as much for gas and polluting the environment many times more than alternatives would.  It shows us a country, Brazil, that has already implemented alternative fuels as a national policy, and has completely turned their entire economy around as a result.  It also reveals the truth behind a huge lie in the media that alternative fuels would totally off-set our economy in other ways, something contrived by the oil companies to keep us in slavery to their high prices and high pollutants. I work in petroleum-reduction advocacy, and I thought the movie was pretty good.  There was also new information in the documentary even for me, and for the most part I thought the conclusions of the film were fair.  I definitely recommend it to those interested in the topic, but who are not well informed on the challenges and opportunities we face in using oil.  Gasoline was and still is the most energy-dense, most convenient to use, most effective fuel to power automobiles available. Since this was filmed gas prices have dropped significantly, yeah, gasoline is cheaper now than it was.  As I write this oil is selling for only $65 a barrel, so it seems that until it approaches $150 again we won’t see meaningful progress on replacing gasoline as our #1 fuel of personal transportation.  How can this still be happening when there are alternatives.  Americans need a choice of fuels!  Hopefully we will someday soon get some good people in government instead of big business buddies.  But we can’t afford to wait.  We need to ramp up ethanol production, and since it can be made out of other stuff rather than just corn, what are we waiting for?  The benefits are huge, beyond just price.  But the film puts most of the burden on consumer choices to correct a condition that was developed over years by major corporations.  People embraced hybrid and electric cars, why not biofuel?  Next time at the pump I might just give ethanol E85 a try.  I for one am going to look further into this and change my car to use flex-fuel ASAP.  I would have liked to have seen some opposing views on the technologies presented so it wouldn’t be as much of an infomercial — to me it was somewhat one-sided and seemed to have its own agenda to promote flexfuel.  I’d say the overall point can’t help but be right though — we should be able to come up with something better than what we have.  And the reason we haven’t is probably that big oil has unscrupulously influenced the industry in order to keep itself on top.  I definitely recommend the movie, because it does raise important issues that we should be talking about.  This movie does exactly what it should, and that is get people interested to where they will do their own research into what’s going on, and what we can do.  I imagine anyone that watches this film will come away with some feelings of renewed interest, anger, and hope about what can be done to help correct this situation.  Very interesting documentary.  It is one of the very few films I think everyone should take a look at.  If enough people watch this documentary it has the potential to change the world that we live in for the better.  Very motivating — you may be inspired to do something.  This is the best documentary on automobiles I’ve seen since Who Killed the Electric Car?  I recommend both documentaries to anyone interested in the power issues the United States is facing, as well as the ways in which government stymies most anything that could hurt big oil.  Documentary 2014 PG 1hr 27m.

SEE ALSO:

The Oil Factor

Fuel (Fields of Fuel)

Who Killed the Electric Car?

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