America is addicted to oil and it is time for an intervention. Enter Josh Tickell, a man with a plan and a Veggie Van, who is taking on big oil, big government, and big soy to find solutions in places few people have looked.
The film tells the story of biodiesel, an alternative fuel for diesel engines. Made from vegetable oil, it is non-toxic, has low carbon dioxide emissions and can ultimately replace all liquid fuels used in the United States, thus freeing America's dependence on oil needed for gasoline. Written by
Teachers Respond to Fields of Fuel: "This film should be screened in every U.S. School!"
If one film this year has capacity to transform today's world to one where human rights are restored, it is "Fields of Fuel." As the film highlights, returning the power, both energy and political, to the common individual is what biodiesel and the father of diesel, Rudolph Diesel were all about.
One of the best things about bio-diesel is the next generation food-free biodiesel creatively and economically produced. Non-foods such as algae, desert grass and Camelina grown where no food grows are major parts of the new, "next generation," food-free biodiesel. Keeping biodiesel but not the old way of making it with precious food source is the key. Throwing the baby out with the bath water has never been a humane solution. It seems that some groups are intent on causing the average person to think the contrary - about both biodiesel and babies. That's why "Fields of Fuel" needs to be seen by most Americans; the sooner the better for humanity. The film leaves no question about what is morally right. Not only that, it inspires and motivates with its compassionate and solution-driven demonstrations.
Without seeing "Fields of Fuel," it seems too few Westerners, the "haves," realize the rich opportunities and the justified hope that the new generation of biodiesel offers to the world's poorest of the poor. Many of the poor, such as Australian Aborigines and Ni-Vanuatu islanders, both among Earth's oldest living cultures now living in Least Developing Conditions, could benefit enormously from biodiesel produced in their communities.
We hear people complain of high fuel prices, but most of these people still go and do. Present oil prices for the poorest Peoples means they do not go or do. For such Peoples already experiencing high levels of suffering due to unemployment and associated disease, too expensive or no oil often means no transportation for services to survive.
Locally produced biodiesel can help change this scenario of the poor and the hungry to one of hope and health. As a matter of fact, thanks to the leadership of "Fields of Fuel" producer and one man in the Least Developing island nation that followed him, Vanuatu, ni-Van buses run on coconut oil. The abundance of coconuts left to rot on the beaches there are now used for biodiesel. This generated employment and income to locals that had none, plus clean air to an overpopulated town - not to mention the streets' sweet scent similar to toasted coconut candy coming from the buses.
After one "Fields of Fuel" screening, I met a small group of bio-diesel advocates that learned from and then followed in the footsteps of "Fields of Fuel" director; after which they created their own path. They now travel the world to marginalized Least Developing condition communities. They are teaching Indigenous tribal villagers to produce biodiesel so their villages have: fuel for their village tractor so they can grow their food more efficiently; fuel for their community generator for desperate needs; fuel for their village school bus so their children can learn; and fuel for emergency trips to their far-off hospital to save a life. We in "developed nation" communities would now do well learning sustainable living from these villagers.
I've been privileged to view "Fields of Fuel" several times, appreciating it more each time. The theater has usually been understandably packed, and people were standing along the side walls. Roars of laughter, clapping and cheering DURING the show, wiping of heartfelt tears upon seeing the pain and suffering that we are complicit in committing when we fill our tanks with other than biodiesel ... all typically occur during this film's screenings. Standing ovation typically occurs after the show. These are well-deserved rewards of a special young man who experienced firsthand as a boy the suffering deliberately induced by Big Oil profiteers. He vowed to offer a better choice to all of society.
The strong, favorable, audience responses to "Fields of Fuel" and this films' capacity to transform our unjust world today to one more humane are due to that young man's courageous determination to make a difference. Over twelve years, he demonstrated that focused determination to help halt suffering from petrochemical related injuries in his mother's home state, Louisiana, our great nation, America and the world. Those years of dedication and hard work are reflected in this amazing work of theater art.
Perhaps the most favorable "Fields of Fuel" response of all is one that I've heard a few times after different screenings. Each time, it was a teacher speaking this to Joshua and the audience during the Q and A, in the theater following the screening:
"This film should be screened in EVERY school in the United States!" Indeed, our nation and the world will likely be much better places for all to live when school children, their parents and teachers face and learn the truth about oil, and learn the joys of making a positive difference locally, nationally and globally. Seeing "Fields of Fuel" is empowering. It leaves the viewer knowing that this better standard of living is possible for all of humanity, the rich and the poor. It is right there at our fingertips to be harnessed, not only through biodiesel, but also whichever alternative sustainable energy sources most appropriately match each individual's and community's unique needs and resources. This is all explored in gripping edutainment of "Fields of Fuel." Congratulations to the over one hundred people that worked and are still working tirelessly to improve our world through "Fields of Fuel," especially to that special young man, one of my two great sons, Joshua Dupre' Tickell.
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