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Oil, Smoke & Mirrors
| Some dare call it|
|What THEY don't want|
you to know!
Oil, Smoke & Mirrors is a documentary about peak oil, the War on Terror and the 9/11 attacks. The documentary is not entirely wrong about peak oil and the War on Terror, though not correct enough for a stopped clock award either and of course manages to be pretty much entirely wrong about 9-11, claiming it to be an insider job.
What this documentary is about
The documentary explains what peak oil is. However, this documentary is not a good introductory documentary to peak oil because it doesn't go into very much detail explaining the importance of petroleum to the modern economy. Rather this documentary simply claims that peak oil will cause the global economy to collapse. A better introductory documentary on peak oil is A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash.
On the other hand, this documentary spews a bunch of speculative truther nonsense about 9-11, making it a schlockumentary.
Peak oil will cause economic collapse
This documentary also omits any explanation for why and how peak oil will cause economic collapse, not mentioning why alternatives to oil (i.e. biofuels, hydrogen, nuclear, and coal) don't work and just asserting that peak oil will cause economic collapse.
War on Terror is really a War About Oil
The documentary trundles along the well-worn path about oil being the real reason behind the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan while terrorism was nothing more than a convenient excuse.[note 1] Most of the world's oil (about 60% of all of the oil in the world) is located in the Middle East, so any US action in the region must be a question of oil, right?
Peak oil's socioeconomic impact
According to Richard Heinberg, peak oil will likely mean an end to capitalism because it depends on relentlessly exploiting the world's scarce natural resources of which oil is the key. Because oil and fossil fuels have clearly played a central role in industrializing the world, the documentary suggests that we will likely revert back to a barter economy and/or feudalism. While these claims are largely speculative, Heinberg, the documentary's expert on the socioeconomic impact of peak oil, apparently conflates industrialization and capitalism, without realizing that you can have one without the other.[note 2] What Heinberg presents is essentially a presentis argument from incredulity with side orders of equivocation and non sequitur: Because he can't see how our current version of capitalism (which he conflates with industrialization) can survive, no version of capitalism can survive (a non-sequitur due to the earlier erroneous conflation).
- Apparently missing that Afghanistan really doesn't have any oil and was mainly important as a transition country for a hypothetical pipeline from the Caspian Sea that would bypass both Russia and Iran and end in Pakistan. This was never a high priority strategic goal for the US and it the project had pretty much collapsed well before 9-11
- The Communist systems of Stalin and Mao, for instance, had industrialization without capitalism, while pre-industrial trading powers such as Venice or the Dutch Republic had at least some form of capitalism without (full) industrialization.