I have very little time for conspiracy theorists. Often interesting when they start, they always (always) seem to end up pointing at that triangle with the eye inside the dollar bill, while talking about the masons and of course, The Jews (as in The-Jews-that-rule-the-world).

Michaell Ruppert doesn't believe the official 9/11 explanation, and he thinks the government colluded with Wall Street so they could both take advantage of the attack.* In other words, he is one of the so called 9/11 truth-movement types, a big red flag in my book. I am well aware of some of the CIA misgivings back from the 70s, all of which were only revealed decades later when documents were declassified, but the whole 9/11 conspiracy thing just screams hard left paranoia to me.

So Mr. Ruppert could be just another crazy activist when he starts talking about peak oil and the sure end of times as we know them, in the recently released Collapse DVD. Except that he is not talking about any mysterious back room deal to cover up The Truth. He is just talking about population growth, middle class rise, oil reserves that are not growing, and the fact that everything (everything, from fertilizers to tires) is connected to oil one way or another. These are not theories, they are facts, and this is why the documentary Collapse is so engrossing and so profoundly scary as well.

Like any other opinionated piece,there is a lot one can disagree with. For instance, I don't buy his advice to hoard physical gold (another conspiracy theorist's favorite). Seeds, gasoline? Sure, but gold? Gold can not be eaten, drank or used as fuel, so what would be its value if we return to pre-industrial times? When push comes to shove, gold's value seems to me as arbitrary as the value of printed money.

He also mentions the connection between printing dollars and oil value, something I have never found properly explained. Lastly, his doom's day scenario assumes that we only run on oil, which is a bit of a stretch. If we find out that we have been lied to, and there is not too much oil left, it would be very disruptive for sure, but let's don't forget that there is a lot of coal out there. All the lights will not go out at once (not that I am advocating for a switch to coal, of course not). China's recent crowning as the world's biggest energy user was achieved mostly because of their enormous use of coal.

This is a very powerful documentary (critically acclaimed too), that I ended up watching twice in 24 hours. Mr. Ruppert is compelling, likeable, human, and one can see the depth of his convictions. I might not agree with some of the ideas, but Collapse main argument (if not the tone) is not very different from Hot, Flat and Crowded, that essential Thomas Friedman book. Here, it is all concentrated into 82 (very) emotional minutes, and it turns An Inconvenient Truth into a Disney Channel special.

Watch it. Whether you like it or not, I assure you it will not let you cold.

* To be fair to Mr. Ruppert, he was one of the first ones who raised concerns regarding 9/11. He has since separated himself from the movement, which he considers today full of bad science. I should also point out that he does not mention neither the triangle on the dollar bill nor the Jew conspiracy that I mock in the first paragraph.