Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore released a new documentary, Planet of the Humans, on Tuesday, ahead of the 50th Earth Day on Apr. 22. Like most Moore projects, it targets corporate greed and hypocrisy. But this time, the greed and hypocrisy it targets are on the environmentalist left.
The film, directed by Jeff Gibbs, exposes the solar and wind energy industries as scams that pretend to be saving the planet from climate change while consuming more fossil fuels than they save, and causing ecological damage.
The film reserves particular scorn for the biomass industry, which touts itself as a “renewable” alternative to fossil fuels, while chopping down trees and even consuming animals in pumping yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Moore released the 100-minute documentary for free on YouTube, with a warning: “[W]e are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.”
Many green efforts, the film notes, are simply façades. Twice during the film, Gibbs goes backstage at concerts purporting to be powered by solar energy to find they are, in fact, reliant on backup fuel generators or the municipal electrical grid.
Gibbs warns that many “green” energy projects are merely the tools of wealthy billionaires and corporations, who have bought off the environmental movement — including groups like the Sierra Club and activists like Bill McKibben.
“The takeover of the environmental movement by capitalism is now complete,” the film warns.
It also targets Al Gore, and suggests that his Oscar-winning climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, might have been timed to create a more favorable political environment for his investment projects in “green” energy.
Planet of the Humans makes the “Green New Deal,” beloved by the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, seem all but impossible. The solar and wind energy prescribed by the plan cannot be produced without the continuous use of fossil fuels.
One might expect these critiques from a conservative filmmaker. For that reason, the left may be reluctant to embrace this film, as it has Moore’s other, more election-friendly projects.
But Gibbs and Moore are firmly on the left. The film argues that the only real way to save the planet is to control population and consumption — not to invest in “green” capitalism.
One does not have to agree with those conclusions to see the value in the film. Nuclear energy enthusiast Mike Shellenberger, reviewing the film, noted in Forbes: “There has always been enough fossil fuels to power human civilization for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, and nuclear energy is effectively infinite.” But he credited Moore and Gibbs for exposing the “green” claims of companies like Apple as a sham, noting that no company can rely 100% on renewable energy alone.
Planet of the Humans asks the left to take a hard look at its own hypocrisy, and how easily its utopian visions have been exploited by self-dealers and rent-seekers. And perhaps it will open a productive conservation with conservatives as well.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.