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Michael Moore released a new climate documentary to celebrate Earth Day. Like many of Moore’s films, opinions of the film’s statistics and information abound. His film, “Planet of the Humans,” focuses on renewable energy like solar and wind and shares statistics to show they’re doing more harm than good.
Moore worked for years on the film alongside writer and director Jeff Gibbs. The bulk of the film reports that solar and wind energy production creates intense deforestation and electric cars use electricity from coal or natural gas to power them. “What we have been calling green, renewable energy and industrial civilization are one and the same thing — desperate measures not to save the planet but to save our way of life,” says Gibbs at one point in the movie.
The renewables industry is pushing back at the timing of the film and its statistics. “It’s difficult to take the film seriously on any topic when it botches the solar portion so thoroughly. Although the film was released in 2020, the solar industry it examines, whether through incompetence or venality, is from somewhere back in 2009,” wrote Eric Wesoff, a renewable energy analyst at PV magazine.
Leah C. Stokes, an assistant professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, wrote in Vox, “The largest share of the movie’s scorn goes to biomass — generally, burning wood — which supplied less than 2 percent of the US electricity mix last year. But the filmmakers obscure that fact, showing graphs that imply biomass is leading to forest destruction across the US.”
Reviews have been mixed and the debate over the film continues. In the Guardian, Peter Bradshaw pointed out the “queasy merger of environmentalism and capitalism,” where the film points to big corporations and banks supporting the climate movement or noted icons like Bill McKibben or Al Gore not being as “green” as we’d like them to be.
The film is available for free on YouTube and has over 3 million views:
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