By Sherri Lange — May 7, 2020
“Anti-mineral-energy Big Green has been hoisted by its own petard.”
“Solar and wind cannot replace fossil fuels. They are intermittent and always need to be backed up with non-renewable sources. In the case of solar and wind factories, the process of building, maintaining, and rapid replacement is overwhelmingly irresponsible, destructive, and short sighted.” See original post at Master Resource: here.
Ronald Reagan said back in 1964:
… anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we’re denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we’re always “against” things — we’re never “for” anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Would you like to see a documentary chronicling “what isn’t so”? Check out the multi-million-view U-Tube sensation, Planet of the Humans by “equal opportunity offender” Michael Moore (with producer Jeff Gibbs).
In short, the anti-mineral-energy Big Green has been hoisted by its own petard.
The film uses landscapes of post apocalyptic scope, and piercing personal interviews; stabbing but yet strangely subtle exposes of renewable-energy fraudsters; and a series of questions to create “awareness.” (Some of the interviewees are Green icons: Al Gore, Bill McKibbon of Green New Deal fame, Sir Richard Branson, to name a few.) It is an ambitious movie crafted by Jeff Gibbs, writer and director; Michael Moore, producer, with brilliant interviews; and coproducer Ozzie Zehner, of “Green Illusions,” fame.
It is Ozzie who informs us that solar panels are made of quartz and coal. And that not only the production process but quick decay plus the destruction to desert life makes solar panels a questionable proposition for real environmentalists. Behind-the-curtain now has a spotlight.
The movie–providing open disclosure on green mythologies, incongruities, along with just dead wrong approaches to “fixing” and enhancing energy systems–is bravely done. There is a great deal of exposing, “what isn’t so.” The director and producer also deftly expose the financial web of many green causes and their promoters. (We regret the absence of exposure of the wind turbine debacle, but perhaps that will be in Part Two.)
Planet of the Humans could not cover the entire scope of the harm of “renewables” in its hour and forty minutes. Many of us versed in the subjects have quietly discussed what was missed in this film: images and commentary on birds and insects being fried mid-air above solar arrays (Ivanpah), thousands, or millions, tens of millions, bird, bats and insects, sliced, exploded lungs, by industrial wind.
This was a missed opportunity to portray the devastated landscapes, habitats, including ocean creatures subjected to noise and infra-sound beyond sustainable life. Some are experts in the technical and economic failures of green promises are here, Wayne Lusvardi, and here, Mark Krebs and Tom Tanton, who would be worthy subjects for a Planet of the Humans II.
But let’s talk about the film as it is: a formidable visual portrayal of the shams of renewables, promoters in full verbal gear, some Renewables Leaders, stupefied by simple questions about biofuels, shots of protestors, dialogues with people who contemplate and research and study where the human race is going.
It is fascinating. The ironies abound, and the slightly wry tone from time to time, adds depth to the seriously deep contemplation. It is, in a way, a combination of Super Size Me (filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s spoof on cultural excess) meets tragic ironic cultural commentary of Bowling for Columbine, meets take your pick of “doom pics.”
However you wrap it in movie context, it is for my taste, a very self-aware narrative, allowing the photography to create most of the story. (One could add two more full feature films to cover more details, and we would welcome that.)
The Narrative Unmasked
Planet exposes the myths of Green Energy, targeting the ironies of promoters who bravely assert their program is 100% Green Energy, or is “sustainable,” or green, and effectively displacing carbon dioxide emissions.
The docufilm exposes little known details that many do not know: electric cars are indeed powered by coal. It shares with the viewer ironies of famous filmmaker and former US Vice President Al Gore’s green profit motives as leader of the global green energy revolution. (“Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy.”)
A choice memorable scene depicts a brief interview with a noticeably deadpan Robert F Kennedy Jr, whose expression is puzzled and blank as the movie’s narrator, Jeff Gibbs, asks him innocently in a flat tone: are you for or against biofuels? He clearly does not know.
By this time, the viewer has seen the razed forests, heard the commentary on the necessary back up systems, (coal and gas) and heard a plaintive female interviewee resident near Lake Superior woefully discussing the incinerator in her community that burns just about anything, including nearby forests, while spewing black toxic dust into the once clear air. The camera equally lingers on her tearful face, as sincere a person as exists, as on Robert F Kennedy Jr’s blank stare.
What is clear is that the interviewees do not appear to have much knowledge about energy, and are in a way as misinformed as the former Leader of the Green Party in Canada, Elizabeth May. Her response to the Michael Moore/Jeff Gibbs movie, is to call it dreadful and unhelpful: “The grid is for storage. That is our premise in Mission: Possible. Feed into the grid when renewables produce above local demand; draw from the grid when renewables drop.” One can easily see the lack of knowledge by Ms. May and her addition to an already abundant confusion.
The movie is about other things:
- Solar and wind cannot replace fossil fuels. They are intermittent and always need to be backed up with non-renewable sources. In the case of solar and wind factories, the process of building, maintaining, and rapid replacement is overwhelmingly irresponsible, destructive, and short sighted.
- Much time is allotted to portraying the damage, harm and profit taking of biofuels.
- Electric cars are also fossil-fuel heavy. They are charged via the conventional grid. Basically, power-up or plug in stations are fed from local utilities, which are of course gas and coal heavy.
- The Green Energy movement is laden with profit takers, insincere, unknowledgeable, and apparently rapacious in consumption of materials, landscapes, wildlife.
The movie is also about providing visual confirmation of the destruction: this is extremely powerful footage, and I suspect many of us have not seen some of those images.
The panorama of tree removal sequentially showing a long shot of stripping an entire forested area, bulldozed, razed, while watching a mother and child bonobo climb higher on a stripped tree, eventually scrambling, clearly exhausted, in the muddy bank of the river, is as heart wrenching a scene as could be offered on the theme of environmental carnage.
Fodder for Planet II
Some are wondering where is the equal time given to birds and bats which are demolished in the tens of millions per year, insect life as well, by wind turbines.
Where is the equal time to other wildlife displacement and unimaginable, in cases terminal, destruction? We suspect the intense power of the last scenes with the near death bonobos is sufficient to suggest the ongoing and pervasive harm to animals and flying creatures, and habitat, and that this is the tip of the iceberg.
Other running themes troubling to many, include the director’s acceptance of inevitable apocalyptic climate change, which to many is the “charging station” for harmful and useless wind and solar and biomass.
Also, the Malthusian solution drifts in and out, that there are simply too many people on the planet. That food sources cannot keep up with population expansion. Highly controversial, Malthusian theory is largely disputed. It’s ugly history traverses India, China, and the US, to name a few.
Still, going forward begins with creating awareness. For a film producer and director who must have spent thousands of hours scouring international film archives and directing fresh film, Planet of the Humans is an achievement. But this beginning deserves a sequel and, finally, a deep dive into Malthusianism and its latest iteration, climate alarmism.
You cannot fail but be impressed with the visual scope of the portrayal of production of solar, mining, child labor, international transportation, lame or nonexistent materials control and disposal of toxic waste. Much of it is here. In technicolor.
At once it is shocking; terrifyingly busy images of barges carrying materials, barren landscapes, time lapse destroyed forests, toxic rivers, and hauntingly unforgettable plumes of blackened air space, more riveting in light of the “greenness” they represent.
Our view, and that of colleagues very versed in the collateral harm of “renewables,” is that the images in the movie are merely “representative” of much more massive destruction.
Filmmaker Michael Moore calls this movie, the “most urgent film we have shown in the 15-year history of our film festival.” Environmentalist Michael Donnelly described the film last summer as critically important and warned:
Sure, ‘Planet,’ Jeff [Gibbs], Ozzie [Zehner] and Michael [Moore] will come under fierce fire from those who benefit from the current half (at best) measures. Already, many of the organizations and people – a huge multimillion dollar Climate Campaign industry … have panned it, without ever even seeing it.”
Others call for the movie’s removal based on climate bias, or other perceived dangers, referring to it as a gift to Big Oil. Already at six million views, we hope millions more will view the film during the few remaining weeks it is hosted on You Tube. Consider this a Course 101 in Renewables.
Ozzie Zehner in a talk some hears ago (2012), asks: “Ten years from now, will we think of renewable energy as clean and green?” The question, rhetorical, has even deadlier consequences now.
A FEW NOTABLES
Quote: Jeff Gibbs, narrator.
“Everywhere I encountered green energy, it wasn’t what it seemed,” Gibbs says at one point. “It was enough to make my head explode.”
Quote: Reviewers, Frederic and Maryann Brussat
A delusion-shattering documentary on how the environmental and green energy movements have been taken over by capitalists.
Quote: Jeff Gibbs, narrator at the beginning of the film, asks bystanders.
“How you ever wondered what would happen if a single species took over an entire planet? Maybe they are cute; maybe they are clever, but lack a certain self-restraint. What if they go way, way, way, way, way too far? How would they know when it is their time to go?”
No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine”). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.
Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors, 350.org, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla.
Please see this list of other reviews by John Droz, as well as some of his own perspectives.
Excellent full length Michael Moore movie: Planet of the Humans
Michael Moore Documentary Reveals Massive Ecological Impacts Of Renewables
“Planet Of The Humans” Skewers Renewables, Delivers Same Old Anti-Humanism
Michael Moore stumbles upon the truth about so-called ‘green’ energy
Moore Rolls Out Movie Destroying A Common Enviro Left Narrative
Moore-backed Doc Tackles ‘False Promises’ of Green Energy
Michael Moore Is Now the Green New Deal’s Worst Enemy
Left-Wing Activists Are Trying to Cancel Michael Moore
Professor Can’t Muzzle Moore Movie; Must Pay Defendants’ Legal Fees
Alex Epstein: The five things Planet of the Humans gets (mostly) right
Short video: Michael Moore Goes Nuclear On Green Energy
Michael Moore pulls the chain on renewable energy
Guardian: Contrarian eco-doc from the Michael Moore stable
Moore Movie Acknowledges Green Energy Is Tommyrot
Green Brownshirts Strike at Michael Moore