'Switch' film explores energy choices

'Switch' film explores energy choices

 Is fracking polluting our water? How dangerous is nuclear power? Will gasoline prices continue to rise? Can we clean up coal? Can renewables really power our future? 

To answer those questions, Midwestern State University's Geosciences Club and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists are sponsoring two screenings of Switch, an award-winning documentary that explores the world's energy sources and gives straight answers on the global energy future. The screenings will be at 6 and 8 p.m. Oct. 5 in Bolin Science Hall Room 100. 

Dr. Rebecca Dodge, Associate Professor of Geosciences, said that the screenings were not just for science majors. "This is important for everyone to see because it is knowledge that we all need to have. Our society will have to deal with energy conversion for decades," Dodge said.

Dr. Scott Tinker traveled to 27 of the world's leading energy sites to explore the myths and facts about renewable energy and fossil fuels. Tinker is the Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and the State Geologist of Texas. He is also the acting Associate Dean for Research and a Professor holding the Allday Endowed Chair in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. He is an internationally known energy expert, giving invited lectures more than 40 times a year to industry, government, and academic groups, striving to bring them together in a common understanding of energy.

According to a press release, audiences have called Switch "the first truly balanced energy film." As no documentary before it, Switch has been embraced and supported by people across the energy spectrum: environmentalists and academics, fossil and renewable energy experts, scientists and economists. Switch was filmed in 11 countries and includes 53 interviews with renewable and fossil fuel energy specialists, plant managers, international energy company CEOs, and governmental and academic energy experts. 

Dodge said she was giving "serious" extra credit to her students for attending the screenings.

"Such issues will affect the lives of our students for 50 years," Dodge said. "This film gives us an analysis of energy sources so that students can make informed choices."


Switch is part of the Switch Energy Project, a multi-pronged effort to build a global understanding of energy. The total project includes the film; a video-based and data-supported Web site that aims to be one of the Web's foremost energy resources; and an elementary, middle, and high school education program of videos and curricula co-developed with the American Geological Institute.


Switch won the "Best of Fest" award at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival and has been the feature presentation and invited selection at film festivals around the world. It was produced by Arcos Films and directed by Harry Lynch. For more information, call Dodge at (940) 397-4475 or visit www.switchenergyproject.com.