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Our film highlights how fossil fuels threaten national security, and how the military can jumpstart a renewable energy economy. Read more

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$50,747
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 24, 2014.

Our film highlights how fossil fuels threaten national security, and how the military can jumpstart a renewable energy economy.

About this project

Announcing The Burden's Stretch Goal

Thanks to all of your incredible support, we have achieved our $50,000 goal for The Burden!  We are proud to announce a stretch goal of $65,000 in the final hours of the campaign.  If we achieve the stretch goal, every backer will receive a special signed soundtrack from the film.  Check out our latest update for details.  

THE BURDEN is the first documentary of its kind to tell the story of our dependence on fossil fuels as the greatest long­‐term national security threat confronting the U.S., and how the military is leading our transition away from oil. The troops are crying out, in the words of Gen. James Mattis, “to unleash us from the tether of fuel.” But is Congress listening?

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A U.S. Air Force cargo plane lumbers over the snow-­capped Hindu Kush mountains. On the ground, Army Lieutenant Colonel David Preston, bundled in cold-weather combat gear against the bitter wind, watches the plane approach. He radios up, confirming the target. The cargo door opens as huge pallets shoot into the sky. Parachutes open and the supplies drift to earth. Troops on ATVs race across the frozen plateau to retrieve the precious cargo. It’s not ammunition or food – it’s jet fuel, used to run all the equipment at Forward Operating Base Waza K'wah. Alert soldiers sweep the barren horizon with their rifle sights as others struggle to load the 500-pound fuel drums to tow away. They and their flammable cargo are now completely exposed to an enemy ambush. But they must get that fuel. “This is the lifeblood for this combat outpost here,” Preston explains. Without regular air drops, his soldiers can’t stay warm, use their vehicles, or run the generators that power their communications gear. Convoys used to bring the fuel by road, but the treacherous mountain roads made them more vulnerable to attack.

“If fuel ran out here,” he tells us, “they’d be sitting ducks.”

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Previous Videos

http://vimeo.com/95076329

Risks and challenges

The reality is there really aren't too many obstacles unless a solar flare zaps all of our hard drives. Short of that, we are backed up on four different drives across different towns and states.

The only other thing that might change are current events, particularly on the international stage, which would force a re-edit of the film to reflect the changes to our advocacy these developments would present. Other current events could possibly shift a little, at which point we'll be sure to re-edit any sections in order to keep the story relevant. One of the things I have tried to do from the start, however, is present a story with the longest shelf life, so I'm careful not to cite stats that might be obsolete next month.

One of the things that makes it easy to overcome these obstacles is the fact that I have access to senior leaders at the Pentagon who support the project and who would be willing to sit for pick-up interviews that would help refresh any story lines suddenly made obsolete by current events.

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Funding period

- (60 days)