Unnecessarily Limited Choices

Film Recommendation

Pump (2014)

This documentary seeks to reminder the viewer that people love choice, especially in the US where choice is often equated with freedom. So why then is there so little choice when it comes to fueling the vast majority of automobiles out on the road today? As presented in the film, this petroleum monopoly was no accident, but there are choices.

Indeed, electric alternatives exist (and have from the very beginning of automobile manufacture), but so too do biofuels such as Ethanol, or even other possible fuels sources such as Methanol, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The documentary explains the process behinds some of these alternatives, as well as their availability. They present the case of Brasil for instance that made the switch over to Ethanol and their environment and economy have been better for it. The film also makes it a point to dispel the myth that Ethanol is bad for the planet as it takes away food from the mouths of people. Ethanol (which is essentially alcohol) can be made from pretty well any organic crop, but when it’s made from corn it is actually already part of the process when converting corn for livestock feed. So it doesn’t deprive humans (which don’t eat this form), but rather make it fit for animal consumption.

Find these and other insights as you learn about some of the forces at play in the fuel markets, and what you can do about it. Watch on if you’re intrigued!

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