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Switch (I) (2012)

6.4
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What will it really take, to transition from oil and coal, to the energies of tomorrow? SWITCH goes where no film has gone before, deep into the world's most restricted energy sites, to ... See full summary »

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Title: Switch (2012)

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Scott Tinker
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What will it really take, to transition from oil and coal, to the energies of tomorrow? SWITCH goes where no film has gone before, deep into the world's most restricted energy sites, to depoliticize competing power sources, make the technical accessible, and discover the truth of our energy future. Test audiences have raved, calling it, 'The most important energy film since An Inconvenient Truth.' Written by Arcos Films

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4 September 2012 (USA)  »

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Not a movie about conserving energy
2 April 2013 | by (Anchorage Alaska) – See all my reviews

If this film is truly about the importance of energy conservation, as it claims to be, why does it not mention this as an issue until the last 7 minutes of the (98 minute) film - and the credits roll at 3 minutes, so 4 minutes is dedicated to this issue?

There are a bunch of conclusory statements made by Dr. Tinker in the course of the movie, for example, it will take decades before solar will be able to provide energy for a significant number of people. I am willing to consider this as true if there is some evidence, but there was not even a statement why he reached this conclusion, let alone evidence.

Throughout the movie, there is emphasis on the fact that natural gas produces about half the CO2 emissions compared to coal. Tinker then "addresses" the water contamination issues associated with hydro-fracking using the example of the shale formations in Texas, which are about 8000 feet deep, according to the movie, and below the level that ground water is extracted, to support the conclusion that there has been no ground water contamination from hydro-fracking. There is no mention of the Marcellus shale formation in the East US and whether there are issues with ground water there. This "documentary" feels very much like a promotion of hydro-fracking for natural gas. Was this the industry answer to "Gasland?"

He is also a big promoter of nuclear, and talks about how the disposal issue is solved in France by using vitrification. However, the issue of the amount of radiation left in mine tailings (usually higher than the radiation from uranium ore itself) wherever uranium is mined does not appear to be a concern.

It just seems that energy conservation, which is a very important aspect of our energy use, is an after thought mentioned in the last few minutes of the film. It certainly does not do a good job of describing how our energy use can be lowered - it shows what he does to his own home. How many people can afford to do this? Public buildings use much more energy than private homes and there is no mention of how to transition these buildings. A big disappointment.


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