Collapse with Michael Ruppert – a Survival Film Review

Have you seen the film Collapse? I just watched it for the first time. If you haven’t seen it, in a nutshell, it’s a soliloquy/interview of sorts where Michael Ruppert, a former LA police detective and investigative reporter, discusses the worlds dependency on energy and how we are inevitably heading toward some type of collapse. It’s a great prepper flick that will get your mind turning, particularly if you’re new to some of the concepts he presents, and it could be a particularly useful movie for those that want to get their “so you didn’t marry a survivalist” spouses thinking about preparedness.

The film opens with the following text:

Earlier this year, while doing research for a screenplay about CIA involvement in drug smuggling during the 1980’s, we arranged for an interview with a whistle blower by the name of Michael Ruppert.

We soon discovered that Ruppert had little interest in talking about drug smuggling. He had other things on his mind.

Ruppert became interested in Peak Oil soon after 9/11. He begins by painting a picture of modern society’s dependency on oil. All plastic, paints, pesticides, virtually everything we consume, all created with oil.

The world has been thoroughly searched for oil over the last 120 years, he says, and there is no easily recoverable oil left. If Saudi Arabia has so many reserves, he argues, why are they moving into offshore drilling? Peak Oil isn’t a new concept to me and it probably isn’t to many readers here, but he presented a thought that caught my attention: what happens if there’s a revolution in Saudi Arabia with 25% of the world’s oil? What happens if the country collapses into anarchy and their oil doesn’t flow? This is particularly timely given the unrest in the Middle-East following the Egyptian riots and upheaval.

Ethanol is an “absolute joke,” he says, because it takes more energy to produce ethanol than what you get from it. He describes in simple terms the process of deriving oil from tar sands in Alberta, strip mining, massive use of water and natural gas to process it. He debunks electric cars as being the savior, the notion of “clean” coal, the problems with nuclear energy and the limits of renewable sun and wind power.

He describes our entire economy as a pyramid scheme, because it depends on infinite growth, which is dependent on infinite energy. He explains the basic principles of derivatives and the potential for collapse that derivatives enable, but I think he oversimplifies the complexity of the monetary system and only presents the perspective he wants to discuss.

He builds his credibility on “connecting dots” from mainstream media (as images of SHTF news stories flash across the screen), but later in the film he says he doesn’t trust mainstream media.

He describes our food production system as: sucking nutrients out of soil. For much of history plant matter was used to replenish the soil with crop rotation; and we have come disconnected from that. Top soil now, he correctly states, is a sponge that sucks up chemical fertilizers that we pour on it and once you stop pouring those chemicals on it, the soil is worthless.

He shows the graph of the human population, and points to where population growth took off, the same time that oil began getting used on a regular basis. He makes the argument that when our use of oil decreases due to supply, population will decrease accordingly. There are 3 types of people, he says, and he uses a Titanic analogy. When the Titanic is about to sink, these are the 3 types of people:

  1. “Deer in the Headlights – I don’t know what to do”
  2. “We get that the ship will sink, how do we make a lifeboat?”
  3. “This is the Titanic, it won’t sink. I’m going back to the bar.”

He asks, “If you are a life boat builder, which group are you going to help?”

The editor asks him: “Are you discounting man’s ability to adapt and improvise?”

He responds by saying that he is gifted in critical thinking and that no level of human ingenuity can overcome the laws of science. “We can’t turn into God and revoke the laws of the universe.”

Yet he ends on a contradictory note, saying the only thing we can change is our minds, that we have to believe there is a way out of this and uses the 100th monkey effect as an example (questionable science).

The film has a slight propaganda feel to it, and I believe the argument he presents is not the only argument, but he presents strong points. The film is 120 minutes long so it manageable and fast. It has its shortcomings, but I think it’s worth watching.

– Ranger Man

BTW: Here is the film trailer (direct YouTube link):