We feel it at the petrol pump and in our household bills. It affects our businesses, the cost
of virtually everything we buy and directly alters the course of our everyday lives. Energy
prices have doubled in the past five years and will double again in the next five. And now
the battle to control energy supplies and the consequences of burning it are affecting
things on a global scale.
As one of the world's highest per capita energy users and biggest exporters of fossil fuels,
Australia is bound to be deeply affected by the changes coming down the energy pipeline.
How will we cope? Where will it all end? What are Australia's options?
These are the questions that self‐professed fossil fuel addict Dick Smith sets out to explore in this documentary. Hostage to no vested interests, Dick brings his signature brand of common sense to the issue and along the way he explodes a few myths and surprises us with his conclusions about the decisions Australia should take.
In many ways Australia is blessed with an abundance of cheap energy. But most of it comes from underground as dirty fossil fuels and the pressure is on to find new ways of powering our world. As he travels around the nation, Dick reveals the massive scale of our investment in coal and gas projects and raises the serious question of what we will do if the world finally decides that burning huge amounts of coal, gas and oil is no longer acceptable.
But as Dick discovers on his journey, there is no perfect solution. Each alternative energy source, such as wind and solar, has its limitations and we have to be realistic about how difficult – and expensive – it will be to replace cheap fossil energy. He comes to the controversial assessment that by refusing to consider nuclear energy, Australia is delaying its transition to a clean energy future.
'We need to talk about energy," says Dick. 'It's no use just complaining about prices if we are not making the right decisions now about the future. There are no easy answers."
By the end of this provocative film, Dick has changed many of his preconceptions about energy and had even abandoned his -gas guzzler' for an electric car. Is he prepared to give up his helicopter next?