Skip to main content  
  Helping the environment one joke at a time, Grinning Planet. Click to go to home page. flying letter; click to go to signup page for free email version
Get GP free
via email !

What a Way to Go
Life at the End of Empire

(Documentary)   Released: 2007

This What a Way to Go review written by Mark Jeantheau, Grinning Planet.

DVD cover for What a Way to Go - Life at the End of Empire This is a different sort of "Peak Oil movie." Rather than just focusing on the approaching decline in oil production and its likely effects on our petroleum-powered modern lifestyles, What a Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire, presents that issue merely as a symptom of a larger problem---modern society as empire. For those who thought the 20th century finally saw an end to empires, think again. The emperors only changed clothes, got new job titles, and swapped in "predatory economics" for slavery and overt domination. It's a Matrix-like nightmare that seems normal to us, even with all its chaos.

The film surveys the litany of collateral damage due to our entrapment in the empire:

  • environmental degradation, including the approaching disaster known as global climate change;
  • species facing a new mass extinction event---this one caused not by killer asteroids but by the march of "human progress";
  • dissociation from the details of how life's basic commodities (such as energy, water, and food) are provided to us;
  • our general ignorance of the technological wonders that we depend on;
  • the dominant use of violence (war) as a means of overcoming obstacles and expanding influence;
  • our Ponzi-inspired, never-ending-growth economic model, which logically must fail at some point.

These are all symptoms of a planet and people in serious trouble. We've been encouraged to live beyond our economic, natural, and spiritual means, and we've done quite a job of it. The film lays out the bleak truth for us in a surprisingly watchable package, nicely incorporating narration, interview clips, and strangely cool archival material. Elegant and almost poetic in tone, What a Way To Go gently takes us by the hand as it explains to us the harsh reality of how things really are, where they're likely to go, and how difficult the challenge is.

In the end, What a Way To Go leaves us with a choice: As the reach of The Powers That Be exceeds their grasp and things really begin to come unglued, will we citizens of empire shrug our shoulders and party on as the marble columns fall around us, or will we shake off the illusion and being to re-take control of what was ours to begin with?

See clips or get purchase info for this movie at the film's website

Check out this movie at

Bookmark and Share

Related options....

Or search for more...


Liner notes for What a Way to Go - Life at the End of Empire:
Categories: Peak Oil, Empire, Plutocracy, Collapse, Environmental Degradation, Animal Abuse. Produced by Sally Erickson. Written, Directed, and Edited by Tim Bennett. Featuring interviews with Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen, Jerry Mander, Chellis Glendinning, Richard Heinberg, Thomas Berry, William Catton, Ran Prieur and Richard Manning.



free audio news clips link; image of zombie kid - DON'T BE A MAINSTREAM MEDIA DRONE! - Free MP3 news download at Grinning Planet


Grinning Planet also has audio . . .



Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Sea Change Radio

The Latest Oil Glut—Once Bitten, Twice Shy — It comes as little surprise that the author of a book entitled Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future is a critic of the natural gas industry and a proponent of peak oil theory. Host Alex Wise reviews the issues with Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute and gets his perspective on how plunging oil prices will affect the energy and transportation industries; the status of the North American natural gas boom; how the turbulence may alter consumer behavior in the near term; and the need for sound policy to guide us through the long-term challenge of living in a post-carbon world.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  Heinberg is solid as usual, though if you have heard his other interviews in the last six months, you will not find much new here.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen C-Realm Podcast

Twilight's Reach — KMO and John Michael Greer talk about the two novels Greer published last year. The first is Twilight's Last Gleaming, a geo-political thriller where a declining United States and a resurgent China come to the brink of all-out nuclear war. The other novel is Star's Reach: A Novel of the Deindustrial Future, which is set in a world shaped by the exhaustion of fossil fuels, where new social forms have replaced our familiar institutions and where new ways of inhabiting the North American continent have been necessitated by centuries of climate change.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   59:24

GP comment:  I haven't read the books, but it's always interesting to get glimpses of possible future scenarios.

Original Show Pub Date: 04.Feb.2015


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Radio EcoShock / Legalise Freedom

A "Renewable World" Built on Fossil Fuels is Not a Renewable World — The message for green-energy lovers and haters alike is simple: We can't keep this crazy civilization running just on the sun and wind, let alone on high doses of fossil fuels. When we stop being able to milk the billion year-pile of concentrated solar energy in the form of oil, gas, and coal, something WILL change. Energy expert David Fridley of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Post Carbon Institute talks about the energy dilemma, diving deep into the specifics. Topics/points include ... Our energy matrix cannot be renewable until the renewable-energy technologies and sources can replicate themselves. Wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars are all hobbled by the limitations of fossil fuel inputs for their creation and maintenance as well as by the specialized minerals needed for their creation. He acknowledges the psychology of the American energy consumer as a key problem, referencing former Energy Department Secretary James Schlesinger's axiom that the American people only have two modes: complacency or panic.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  This is one of the best reviews I've ever heard of the problems we face as demand for energy keeps rising but technology finds itself unable to compensate for the peak in global net energy. Must-listening!

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Jan.2015 ~~ Original story title: Green Dreams - Future or Fantasy?


Get more audio clips on peak oil and environmental issues (and many more topics) in Grinning Planet's biweekly downloadable audio news feed.






Hey, we don't pick
the Google ads!   – GP

   > document gif Sign up to get Grinning Planet free by email, or get more info about it    
   > Copyright 2008 © Mark Jeantheau — All rights reserved.  

MP3 News Download
Video/Audio News Sites
Environmental News Sites
Investigative Journalism Sites

    - Articles/Resources By Topic
    - Articles By Date

Environmental Quotes
    - Funny Environmental Quotes
    - Peak Oil Quotes

Environmental Cartoons/Jokes
    - Environmental Videos/Animations

Environmental Products
Eco/Nature Greeting Cards

Grinning Planet Farm


Funny Jokes/Cartoons
    - Environmental Cartoons

Funny Animations/Videos
    - Environmental Animations/Videos

Funny Quotes
    - Environmental Funny Quotes


Environmental Books
Global Warming Books
Energy Books
Solar Energy Books
Peak Oil Books
Food-Gardening Books
Media Books


Environmental Movies
Environmental Songs
Environmental Music Videos

Album Reviews
Fun With Lyrics


Home Page
Site Map
About Us
Free Subscriptions
Privacy Policy