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The End of Suburbia comes to Los Angles

by Eric Einem Thursday, May. 13, 2004 at 12:22 PM

The beauty of the Pasadena urban farm gave little forewarning of the serious nature of the documentary the guests were about to see. The title of the documentary, "The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream" gives you a good idea of the alarming nature of the subject.

The End of Suburbia ...
ptf1.jpg, image/jpeg, 371x262

The End of Suburbia comes to Los Angeles

The beauty of the Pasadena urban farm gave little forewarning of the serious nature of the documentary the guests were about to see. The title of the documentary, "The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream" gives you a good idea of the alarming nature of the subject. The researchers and scientists interviewed discuss how we are now facing what would could be described as the greatest challenge to humanity, and will likely be the greatest catastrophe facing the human species. It is made clear in this documentary that the peak in oil production is a reality, the effect of which we are feeling already with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is our leaders response to the imminent peak in oil production and the oil shortage that will follow.

On Sunday, May 9th, at 6:30 PM, 56 people gathered at Path to Freedom, an urban farm and resource center, to view the documentary. It was a pleasant surroundings with edible flowers, herbs growing in the front yard and vegtable filling most of the backyard. The tables were lit with cancles and the ground covered with straw as the guests enjoyed the potluck dinner and socialized. The Path to Freedom founder, Jules Dervaes, and four of his children were very friendly and pleasant and more than willing to answer questions about Path to Freedom, urban farming, bio-diesel and solar panels.

Below are some responses from people who attended the documentary screening.

This information is quite shocking. I think many people who thought they had sufficient knowledge concerning the energy crisis will be left in rethinking mode. - Jim, Los Angeles

The film was quite frightening and I am sure many will say these scientists are just alarmists -- but it's so true that petrol and our American way of life cannot and will not last forever, especially since we are so oil dependent and energy hungry. Over the ages other great empires fell; but this time there will be greater, far-reaching consequence because of globalization. - Anais, Pasadena

End of Surburbia is a perfect tool for introducing people to peak oil. Just enough humor to sugarcoat the bitter pill. Image and sound convey forcefully what can otherwise be a somewhat abstract issue, often couched in lots of confusing numbers and charts and theories. It felt good to have the documentary screened at a place like pathtofreedom, where people can see a practical alternative all around them as they're digesting the rather bleak message. At least people can get a glimpse of what they can do to minimize the impact of oil depletion in the scope of their own lives. Once you start to look deeply into the peak oil picture, it gets very depressing very quickly. And a lot of pessimists and misanthropes are attracted to it, adding to the vibe of hopelessness--which is, of course, paralyzing in itself. I think as Peak Oil kicks in it will be a kind of "dark night of the collective soul." We need to be able to look deeply into the worst possible outcomes (resource wars, "dieoff" etc.) and yet fashion a creative and human way through it all. - Jason, Van Nuys

Thanks for having us over last night and sharing. We enjoyed ourselves though the subject matter of the film was a little frightening (and heartening as well, since without cheap energy this culture will have to give up its wasteful ways). Anyway its good to see people like you making a difference. " - Suzy

If you missed this screening, you have another chance to see it on Friday, May 14th (information below), or subscribe to the Los Angeles Peak Oil Action Newsletter by sending an email to The documentary may also be purchased from

If you are interested in hosting a screening and would like help with planning, promoting or hosting, contact


Upcoming Los Angeles Peak Oil Events

Friday, May 14th, 8:00 PM

The End of Suburbia Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream
Potluck and documentary screening At Flor y Canto Community Space & Bookstore in Highland Park

Saturday, May 22, 9:30 AM

Peak Oil Discussion in the Park
Crystal Springs Picnic Area, Griffith Park, Los Feliz
Meet and disscuss oil depletion, the consequences and actions that can be taken.

Tuesday, June 22, 7:00 PM

PAUL ROBERTS The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World
End of Oil/ Peak Oil panel/talk at L.A. Central Library


Peak Oil Resources
A Los Angeles based website. People working together to raise awareness about oil depletion and preparing for a post fossil-fuel age.

Association for the Study of Peak Oil 
Description: ASPO is a network of scientists, affiliated with European institutions and universities, having an interest in determining the date and impact of the peak and decline of the world’s production of oil and gas, due to resource constraints.

From The Wilderness 
Articles about Oil Peak, and the relationship to the so-called War on Terror.

Global Public Media 
An excellent archive of audio and video recordings, many of which are on the topic of Peak Oil.

Some good starting points at GlobalPublicMedia: 
A good overview on the issue of Peak Oil. 
An online newsletter by Richard Heinberg, the author of "The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Society". 
Description: A portal site with news and forums on the topic of peak oil.

Search Google for Peak Oil 
Search Google for Peak Oil

Search Google News for "Peak Oil" 
Search Google News for "Peak Oil" 
An excellent spanish language website with information on Peak Oil. It includes From The Wilderness articles translated to spanish as well as newsletters from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas.



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