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Oklahoma City University screens “Switch,” a documentary about the energy’s future

Fueling a tanker in Qatar, the world’s largest producer of LNG is shown in the energy film “Switch” screening at OCU’s Meinder’s Auditorium on Tuesday, April 24 as part of the Karl F. and June S. Martin Family Foundation Energy Speakers Series. Photo provided

By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer

Oklahoma City University, partnering with Arcos Films, will screen the energy documentary “Switch” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 24 in the Meinders School of Business Kerr McGee Auditorium, at N.W. 27 St. and McKinley Ave. The screening is free to the public and is part of the Karl F. and June S. Martin Family Foundation Energy Speakers Series.

“Switch” is a film about the latest trends and the future of the energy industry. It was the opening night film at the Environmental Film Festival and won the Best of Fest at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival.

“Smart energy movies like this one focus on pragmatism instead of silver bullets,” said Michael Ming, Energy Secretary of Oklahoma. “I found it very encouraging.”

“Switch” capitalizes on the expertise of officials from around the world and from a wide variety of energy companies, government and academic institutions.

Scott Tinker, a professor at the University of Texas in the Jackson School of Geosciences and the director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, made “Switch” along with documentary filmmaker and director Harry Lynch.

The film is part of the Switch Energy Project, an effort designed to build a balanced national understanding of energy.

“Switch is a feature length documentary that seeks to make the complex world of energy understandable,” said Tinker. “I have teamed with Harry Lynch, an award winning filmmaker to produce the film. The viewer will enjoy a realistic, engaging and thorough examination of global energy supply, demand, infrastructure, and scale.

All major forms of energy will be examined, with proportional focus on those that are likely to be most dominant in the coming century. Energy efficiency will feature prominently, as efficiency represents a mechanism for participation of individuals and industries, and crosses all demand sectors – transportation, heating and power.”

Tinker is passionate about educating the public. He is engaged in building bridges between academia, industry, and government. He has visited more than 45 countries and numerous cities in the United States giving more than 400 lectures on the subject.

“Energy, one of the most important commodities in the world, affects every aspect of our lives,” said Tinker. “Global energy supply is transitioning slowly from the foundational energies of oil and coal to alternatives. But not much is known or understood by the public about what the alternative resources are or what it will take to make the transition. To make smarter decisions about energy, about our global future, we must be better informed.”

Tinker goes inside the world’s premiere energy sites for its resources, most of them highly restricted, and talks to leaders in government, industry and academia, exploring the world of energy with a balanced, non-political perspective. The film, shot in many locations around the world, hopes to provide a comprehensive depiction of the vital subject of energy to the broad public.

Phil Dutton, vice president of independent engineering for the GL Garrad Hassan North America consultant firm, said of the documentary, “Over the 30 years I’ve been working in renewable energy, ‘Switch’ is the most comprehensive and balanced documentary on our world energy situation I’ve ever seen.”
An internationally known energy expert, Tinker is 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.

Tinker worked in the oil and gas industry for 17 years in research, exploration, and development, prior to coming to The University of Texas in 2000. A licensed professional geoscientist in Texas since 2003, Tinker is the past President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Association of American State Geologists.

He serves as President of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies in 2012.He also holds appointments to the National Petroleum Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

Switch Director Harry Lynch said, “With our preview audiences, we’ve seen that people from left and right, young and old, fossil and renewable, energy companies and environmental groups, are all positive on the balanced message, and on the conversation it could help start. And really that’s our goal – to start a balanced national energy conversation with this film. We need that badly.”

For more information about the film or register for free tickets to the OCU screening, visit

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