After sleeping on it, I have some general thoughts on this Michael Moore-produced film Planet of the Humans...

For my full stream of consciousness while watching it, check out my thread from last night:
And a big thank you to the generous folks have reached out to match/exceed my donations to Vote Solar and the Citizens Action Coalition.

There are 8 more great clean energy organizations in this thread if you want to get in on the action and help out!
1) The film's argument goes something like this:

Green Energy is another machine of Bad industrial civilization.

These technologies are not Pure, so they are not Good.

Big Greens have sold us out on Green Energy (e.g., biomass).

Therefore, depopulation is the answer.
2) On the first two points, it's totally fair to discuss the trade-offs and downsides of any industry, including renewables. But this discussion should be based on facts, done in good faith, properly contextualized, and alternatives should be discussed. This film did not do that.
3) Instead, the film it came at this from an outdated understanding of Green Energy based on recycled talking points from fossil fuel interests. The vast majority of the film was not a look at the dominant clean energy solutions being deployed today (solar, wind, battery storage)
4) After setting up an absurd strawman (I thought solar panels would last forever, batteries never degraded, and electric cars plugged into 100% renewable grids!), it then pivoted to outlier examples (Ivanpah) to show how bad renewables *really* are.
5) It does a cursory examination of many technologies, finding that e.g., since they use raw materials that have environmental impacts, they too are Bad.

(No discussion of lifecycle impacts or comparisons to coal and fossil gas emissions to put their downsides into any context.)
6) We've been misled by Big Green groups, the film proceeds to explain, who have nebulous financial ties to Green Energy technologies. We cannot trust them. They have sold us out. How dare they try to encourage folks to invest in rooftop solar (one of the examples, seriously).
7) The film's strongest argument was probably in its discussion of the downsides of biomass and how clearcutting forests and calling it renewable energy might not be a great thing. But by this point it had really lost all credibility and it didn't discuss forest mgmt practices.
8) But the biggest problem of the film wasn't its dishonest and repeatedly disproven attacks on renewables, as bad as they were -- it was the "solution" of depopulation that was proposed.
9) @arvindpawan1 has already done an excellent takedown of this framing, which he points out "has a long history in racism, eugenics, forced sterilizations, and other unspeakable horrors in our history."
10) The film makes no attempt at a nuanced discussion of any of this or how it jumps to the conclusion that addressing population is the only solution. Its just a recycled Malthusian argument from another 70s-era enviro white guy willfully ignorant to its troubling implications.
11) Are they really saying we should keep the grid predominantly coal and gas and run our cars on gasoline and just give up on clean energy and EVs? And do they have any idea the horrors of the implication of reducing population as the primary means of addressing climate?
12) The film doesn't leave much time to explore the troubling shortcomings or implications of its recommendations. It is more one of those "I'm just asking the questions everything else is afraid to ask" type of things.
13) So yeah, in conclusion, I don't recommend you watch this film.
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