Thursday, June 7, 2007

The End of Suburbia

I had a chance to see The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (78 minutes), a documentary released in 2004 in USA by Greg and Gregory Greene. This movie made me think some of the things I like about working from home are actually much more than a lifestyle improvement. They actually seem to be helping the planet. or at least reduce the amount of damage i am personally causing it being one of the seven billion human creatures breathing its air.

In Israel there are usually 14 holidays, 52 Fridays and 52 Saturdays - altogether 118 official off-workdays each year. Add to it - say - 14 vacation days and you'll get a total of 132 off-workdays each working year. 365 minus 132 makes 233 workdays each year. As I have been working from home for seven years now, 233 times 7 is 1631. That makes one thousand six hundred and thirty one days i didn't use my car to burn fuel and time on the road.

Now, providing my not-working-from-home office would have been in Tel-Aviv city, and I had to commute - say - 40 Kilometers both ways each day and use - say - 10 km per Liter car, and providing there would not have been too many traffic jams which significantly increase fuel consumption and is probably a wrong one) it means i saved 65,240 Liters of fuel. I need to check how much energy, money and pollution have been saved here.

Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? Here is a blurb about the story of The End of Suburbia taken from the official website of the movie:

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness. Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.

But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World
Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.

The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia?

See movie trailer on Youtube

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