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The Burden    cover photo

The Burden 2014

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Distributed by The Video Project, PO Box 411376, San Francisco, CA 94141-1376; 800-475-2638
Produced by Produced by Roger Sorkin
Directed by Directed by Roger Sorkin
DVD, color, 88 min.

General Adult
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers

Date Entered: 12/01/2015

ALA Notable:
Reviewed by: Reviewed by James Gordon, University at Buffalo Libraries

Sorkin’s film breaks new ground. It is a cost-benefit analysis of US military dependency on fossil fuels, a consequence of the general US dependence on these fuels. The US military is trying to free itself from fossil fuel shackles, but is running into unexpected resistance from conservative politicians. Until recently, conservatives faithfully promoted military priorities. This movie attempts to gently bypass conservatives who are now endangering national security by denying climate change and are actively thwarting the military’s attempts to promote energy independence. Sorkin delivers the military message directly to the public. This is well-made very watchable documentary.

Because of climate change denial, the military isn’t taking action on strategic arctic seas which are melting and being exploited by the Russians. Funding is cut off when the military tries to fund research into energy alternatives. The American public is in the dark about how much they are paying for fossil fuels. Although the price at the pump seems inexpensive, American’s are paying more than $7 per gallon in hidden subsidies over and above the price at the gas pump simply to protect the oil supply. The artificially low price at the pump exacerbates dependency problems.

The cost in lives and money for the US military to deliver and protect fuel delivery for military purposes is staggering. Half the missions in the Iraq war are to protect fuel delivery. The point is made that the costs and risks involved are unsustainable, avoidable and create strategic disadvantages for the US military, leaving fuel supplies vulnerable to attack from enemies.

This movie will be of interest to anyone interested in national security, the role of the military in promoting sustainable energy, veterans, military personnel, and to those who follow the politics of climate change.