It took hundreds of millions of years for petroleum to form on Earth. It took just 150 years for human beings to bleed the planet dry of roughly half of this oil. Arresting in its honesty and erudition, Crude Impact examines the prospect of ''world peak oil'', which is the point in time when the quantity of petroleum extracted from the earth begins to irreversibly decline.
The film highlights a vicious cycle of escalating dependency and need, as well as the behaviors and patterns fueling this cycle, such as consumer fetishism and the myth of endless supply, the tremendous rise in population and the demands of many more quickly industrializing nations.
It also surveys the devastating and far-reaching effects of the rampant pursuit of oil, including increasingly aggressive political turmoil, irreparable ecological damage, economic turbulence and gross human rights violations.