Joe’s Movie Reccomendation: Crude

The extraordinary documentary movie Crude is showing in Santa Monica this week.
It’s a compelling portrait of epic legal struggle by indigenous peoples
in Ecuador to force Chevron/Texaco to clean up the toxins left behind
from decades of oil extraction in the Amazon rainforest.

Streetsblog generally focuses on the local impacts of our car
culture (and the hopeful stories of greener transportation
alternatives.) Crude tells part of the other end of the story
of car culture. Excessive reliance on automobiles doesn’t just
pollute, disrupt, kill and maim locally; it poisons the peoples, the
lands, the rivers and watersheds of peoples from Ecuador to Nigeria to
the Middle East.

Crude features some famous faces – Ecuadorean President Rafael Corea
and even rockstar Sting – but the real inspirational hero of the story
is Pablo Fajardo, the resourceful Ecuadorean lawyer behind the case.
Due to Fajardo and his team’s efforts, the courts have recommended $27
Billion in damages, but Chevron is still dragging things out.

Catch Crude on the big screen this week, and redouble your efforts to minimize your dependence on oil.

  • If you want to look a little deeper at the damage of this oil extraction around the world, read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. He worked in Ecuador and throughout South America, inventing optimistic forecasts of all the good to come from building the infrastructures to get the oil out.

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