Professor lectures, contributes to film about energy usage

Jasmin Sun

UT Bureau of Economic Geology director Scott Tinker drew nearly 300 people to a lecture on global energy consumption and usage.

Tinker’s lecture at the Blanton Museum of Art on Wednesday could appear on film as part of a documentary on the present and future state of energy consumption. The Arco Films production team has been working with Tinker on the 90-minute film since early 2009.

“I have two college-aged kids, and they’re always sending me videos on YouTube,” Tinker said. “So you could say that’s kind of how the idea
took root.”

Putting together a video to showcase this research was also a way for Tinker to get information to a broader audience and a bigger demographic.
“We wanted to show what the future of energy would be in a realistic world, not an ideal one,” said film producer and director Harry Lynch.

Lynch’s team shot more than 500 hours of footage throughout 10 different countries for the movie, which aims to show the viewer unfamiliar aspects of the energy production process. For example, many people are unaware of the high costs that go into creating and distributing energy, Tinker said.

“We’re really spoiled in how cheap energy is, whether it’s the cost of electricity or the amount of money that we spend on a gallon of gas,” he said. “We get excited when a gallon of gas turns to $4, but there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into bringing that gas from underground to
the consumer.”

Geology senior Michael Nieto attended the talk and said he agrees with the idea that the general public needs more education about
energy conservation.

“People in general don’t really take into consideration the effects of using day-to-day technologies,” Nieto said. “It would be good for students to see this video because it’s good to be more aware about how your life affects the environment.”

The public should be able to view the documentary, which will accompany a large website, later this year.

“We’ve actually screened a rough cut of the movie and had an original score written,” said Tinker. “We hope to be finished in May, when we’ll take the finished product to a distributor. Hopefully, you’ll see it as a feature length film on HBO and then on the DVD markets.”