Perspective

Derelict, abandoned windturbines

Planet of the Humans : If Renewables Aren't the Answer, What Is, Michael?

Controversial new Michael Moore documentary paints dark picture of the green energy revolution


BYLINE: Bill Moore

I like Michael Moore (no relation). I have seen most of his documentaries and applaud his contrarian perspectives that shine the equivalent of UV light on the hypocrisy and greed of many of the sacred cows of capitalism and the political and economic elites that profit from the pillaging of the planet and the powerless.

That being said, I came away confused by Jeff Gibbs' "Planet of the Humans," produced by Moore and released this week on Youtube. I watched it for the full 100 minutes, agreeing with many of its points (we do need to be more circumspect about the resources that are being exploited to bring us solar power, wind energy, and EV World's own sacred cow, electric vehicles.

I have been covering the world of electric vehicle now for more than 20 years. In that time, in addition to interviewing hundreds of industry leaders and pioneers, I have personally reviewed and posted on EVWorld.com more than 35,000 news stories relevant to the technical, political and sociological developments and implications of electric vehicles, large and small, as well as nearly 57,000 similar postings on Twitter since 2009. I think can say for some confidence that I know the territory, though I still have much to learn, especially the dangerously lopsided role that "biomass" is now playing in the shift from coal to purportedly "carbon-neutral" energy, which "Planet" exposes as just another greedy corporate poly allegedly supported, embarrassingly, through the complicity of such high-profile "green" movement leaders as Michael Bloomberg, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Al Gore.

Throughout the film, I kept wondering whose "side" is this guy on, who is funding him? I know from experience that fossil fool likes of the Koch brothers (David now deceased, though the ghost of his corrupting influence lingers) have long funded - both overt and covert - campaigns to thwart any technologies and policies that would threaten their hegemony of wealth and power, including "hedging" their own green bet through their control of Georgia-Pacific, a major biomass fuel supplier.

[If you want to know where the 42 million trees the planet is losing DAILY are going, a lot is ending up in boilers to make steam to generate electricity, along with old tires, creosote-soaked railroad ties and power poles]

So, yes, I am aware that even "green" technology comes with a "dark side," but then so does grass. The last time I checked, it's called dirt. The big difference between a field of solar panels and a coal plant is one depends on an essentially inexhaustible energy source and the other, an exhaustible one. There is a reason coal plants are going out of business: they are just not economical anymore, to say nothing of the pollution they generate and leave behind. Yes, making solar panels - and that may, but not necessarily include coke made from coal - and eventually disposing of them, like wind turbine blades, and electric car batteries present their own production and disposal challenges. We know that now, and it didn't take Moore, Gibbs and Zenner to tell us that.

Aside from its dated presentation of some of the technology underpinning the 'green' revolution, Planet's chief weakness is its lack of answers or direction apart from not-so-subtly veiled references to population control with its implicit racism. If not a green revolution, what, Michael? More coal? Nuclear? Trees and old tires? Or we just all shrivel up and die in a dark, cold world?

I am glad "Planet" raised important issues that need attention, especially now as we seem to be at a major inflection point in the history of modern man: which way do we go? Once the pandemic fades, which it will eventually, do we just double down on more predatory capitalism and relinquish more power and control to an ever smaller billionaire elite? Or, do we try to figure out -- non-violently -- how to rebalance the inequities surrounding us, the inequalities over which Moore is obviously concerned to take his past documentaries at face value.

A lot more thoughtful people have reviewed "Planet" and I encourage you to also read them. Here are links to some of them:

'Planet of the Humans' Breaks Down Climate Crisis

Consuming the 'Planet of the Humans:' The Most Important Documentary of the Century

'Planet of the Humans': Variety Film Review

'Planet of the Humans' Comes This Close to Actually Getting the Real Problem, Then Goes Full Ecofascism

First Published: 2020-04-24

Pages Viewed: 20494

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