Segments in this Video

Geologist David Hughes (05:16)


Silver Donald Cameron introduces Hughes and highlights his accomplishments. Hughes believes we are reaching the peak of our ability to supply energy sources; we have obtained approximately 40% of all recoverable hydrocarbons.

Cost and Worth of Oil (08:00)

Hughes states that slaves were the precursors to oil; he explains a barrel of oil's worth in terms of labor. He cites statistics on oil consumption and expenditures; we are likely at peak oil deliverability.

Net Energy (09:03)

Hughes admits we will never run out of hydrocarbons and explains a pyramid diagram. He discusses the energy return on investment in respect to various sources.

Energy Consumption (08:01)

Hughes discounts the concept of an alternative completely replacing 31 billion barrels of oil a year; conservation is necessary. Cheap energy is a key concept in North American growth. Hughes cites recommendations for change; politicians are followers, not leaders.

"Hitting the Wall" (07:27)

The loss of easily obtainable hydrocarbons will affect price which in turn affects demand. Hughes considers the effects of the growth paradigm and localization.

Caltech Study and Society (09:57)

David Rutledge suggests that 90% of easily obtainable hydrocarbons will be gone by 2068 and CO2 levels in the atmosphere will rise. Hughes considers rising temperatures and sea levels, managing carbons, societal collapse, and energy consumption.

Energy Depletion (02:51)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has 40 scenarios for carbon emissions by 2100. Hughes cites the need for objective analysis.

Tipping Points? (04:37)

Rutledge's study is a statistical analysis of the past. Hughes considers permafrost melt and the importance of hydrocarbons.

Supply/Demand Balance (04:40)

The loss of hydrocarbons will create a food crisis. The present population of the Earth is unsustainable.

Personal Consumption (07:46)

Hughes cites lifetime consumption statistics. He and Cameron consider humanity's response to the hydrocarbon crisis and personal behaviors. Cameron summarizes Hughes' perspective on energy consumption and introduces other interviews.

Credits: David Hughes: The End of Easy Oil (00:15)

Credits: David Hughes: The End of Easy Oil

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

David Hughes: The End of Easy Oil

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This episode of the Green Interview features David Hughes, a geologist specializing in hydrocarbons—oil, gas, coal—and for 32 years he labored for the Geological Survey of Canada. He developed Canada’s national coal inventory, and he’s an internationally recognized expert on energy supplies. In recent years, he’s become totally preoccupied with what he calls the energy sustainability dilemma. His message is that most estimates of the energy still readily available to power industrial society are wildly optimistic. Yes, there are plenty of hydrocarbon deposits left in the ground. But we’ve already burned most of the easily captured fuels. What’s left is difficult and expensive to get at, and much of it will never be produced because the act of producing it uses more oil than it yields. To Hughes, climate change is a real issue, but in the short term, we'll be much more dramatically affected by the fact that we can’t increase hydrocarbon supplies to keep up with the increasing demand. The oil and the gas and the coal simply can’t be produced. And that fact has profound implications for every aspect of our lives.

Length: 69 minutes

Item#: BVL163279

ISBN: 978-1-64481-269-3

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.