Filmmaker Michael Moore has come to realize something: Much of the modern environmental movement is built on deceptions—both to itself and to others. Although Moore remains a lifelong environmentalist, he is a disappointed and a wiser one.
Better late than never!
In Planet of the Humans, executive producer Moore explores some of the environmental movement’s deceptions. One realization is that clean energy isn’t all that clean.
Anybody who has paid attention knows that a lot of carbon dioxide is released making clean energy. From building and transporting massive wind turbines and solar panels to creating ethanol for our gas tanks, we burn a lot of fossil fuels to assuage our environmental guilt.
And it’s a fair question to ask whether the cure is worse than the disease?
Take ethanol, which many environmental groups now concede isn’t a green replacement for gasoline. Farmers must plant the corn—which is the primary source of U.S.-made ethanol—with fossil-fuel powered tractors, add fossil-fuel based fertilizer, reap the harvest, and ship it to the ethanol processors. Those processors consume a lot of mostly fossil-fuel generated energy to process the corn, which must then be shipped to oil refineries that blend it with gasoline.
Another major deception is that we have within our grasp the ability to be 100 percent clean and renewable energy in the near future.
The film’s narrator goes to several pro-clean energy events that claim to be powered 100 percent by clean energy. But the camera goes behind the façade only to find that all of them are connected to the electricity power grid—either as a backup in case the sun isn’t out or to power other parts of the event.
There is no escaping fossil fuels—at least for the time being. Wind and solar power are intermittent, and so fossil fuels are there to supply power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
The point is that you don’t get rid of coal or natural gas powered energy, because the power gaps have to be filled.
Finally, Moore learns that his hated capitalism has infiltrated the green movement.
But why should that surprise? The federal and state governments hand out billions of taxpayer dollars to green energy projects. That attracts lots of rent seekers—including capitalists.
Moore appears particularly upset about logging companies that clear cut forests, using heavy, fossil-fuel powered machines, to provide biomass—i.e., organic fuel that is burned at power plants rather than coal or gas.
The main problem with this film is Moore has no real solutions other than limiting population growth and the amount of stuff people can have. Which means some bureaucrat determines what you can spend and how many children you can have.
Moore has raised a lot of hackles pointing out clean energy’s flaws. Sometimes truth hurts.