Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Movie Review: Garbage Warrior

Garbage Warrior is an amazing life story of Architect Mike Reynolds spanning over 35 years. The warrior who fought one battle after another with one goal in mind. The goal is self sufficient, sustainable habitation for humanity using garbage. If "garbage" is a taboo word then we can use "recycled material" :)

It is an awesome movie. Words can not describe this movie. I literally felt the struggle that Mike went through in his 35 year of expedition of self sufficient homes.

He believes that progress evolves through making mistakes.

Nothing comes in or goes out these houses. No water lines, No sewer lines, No electric lines. Sewage is internalized. Family of four can easily survive without going to a store. That's what I call "freedom" :)

Movie time line
4:20 - He says, we are running out of oil. He is peak oil aware :)

4:30 - Population is exploding - That's Malthusian theory :)

12:20 - Cities cannot support themselves. He sees them getting abandoned and people going out there to mine out the goods. I agree with this.

13:20 - Beating dirt into tires and creating thermal mass. Thermal mass stores heat.

54:17 Renni 'Zee' Zifferblatt (Bill Analyst Judiciary Committee) looks gorgeous with long black hair. :) She has a very deep voice. Love her black dress :p

1:00:00 Mike and 7 crew members respond to an urgent call for help for the tsunami hit Andaman Islands in India (We may end up a similar devastation, when post peak oil hits the world)

01:13:00 Mike says: "It was great to see something happen in 14 days in India when in 3 years it could not happen in a developed country (US)."

01:16:10 August 2005: Hurricane Katrina slams into the Gulf Coast of America

01:19:00 Renni says - "you do not want to scare people so much that they are paralyzed by their fear" This is a very important message for peak oil educators.

01:19:30 Mike mentions oil shortage again

01:20:20 Senator Leonard Lee Rawson says: "you can not prove global warming"

01:23:20 Mike says: "American dream in my opinion is in the toilet. It is history. It is gone. The American dream is now how do we survive in the future. It is not having eight bedroom home or eleven bathrooms. It is not having a career and a lawn and all the amenities.It is simply how does our children and children's children even have a chance at life."

Time Line of events in Mike's Life:

1969: Graduated from the University of Cincinnati

1972: Thumb House (Used beer cans wired together into "bricks," which were mortared together and then plastered over )

1976-1986: Castle Compound, Taos, New Mexico, USA. A decade of evolution.

1988: First earthship for himself and his future wife in New Mexico. There is no heating or cooling.

1990: Greater World Community, Taos, New Mexico

Late 1990: He surrendered his state architect's license to avoid prosecution for malpractice. His national license was revoked a year later.

2004: Mike drafts a new law to allow for easier testing of sustainable building
47th Legislative Session, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The bill dies due to filibustering. This will make you wonder if the representatives are really doing their job.

2005 April: Mike and 7 crew members respond to an urgent call for help for the tsunami hit Andaman Islands in India

2005 August: Hurricane Katrina slams into the Gulf Coast of America. Mike is back in US

2006 January: New Mexico State Legislature Mike re-presents his bill

2006 February: Mike's second attempt to introduce new legislation failed.

2006 October: U.S. Board of Architects learns of Mike's work in the Andaman Islands, India, they invite him to reapply for architect's license. A poetic justice :)


The section of the movie which covers earthship building in India has so many stories to tell and leaves us with so many open questions

(1) Sometime it takes a tragedy for humans to wake up
(2) It is remarkable that a community can rebuild itself in such a short time even after massive destruction.


Time is running out as we pass peak oil. Humanity can still survive and there is hope.


At a personal level, it brings back my memories of growing up in India. I used to be that boy who used to shower with a mug and a bucket of water, 20 years ago. I got spoiled with hot showers and 24/7 running water in US for almost a decade. If post peak oil situation demands me to shower with a bucket of water and a mug, I will do it again :)

You can buy this DVD from http://www.garbagewarrior.com/
I bought it from Amazon.com. It is few bucks cheaper at Amazon.com

1 comment:

John said...

"...US Board of Architects..."

There is no such thing!