You feel great about buying that energy-saving, environmentally responsible refrigerator to replace your old energy-wasting global-warming monster. Except that you don’t replace it. You exile it to the basement for storing beer. Absurdly imagining you can reduce energy consumption with more energy consumption.
That’s the basic message of Michael Moore’s new documentary “Planet of the Humans,” which we watched free on YouTube last night. A thoroughly depressing experience, bringing home what should have been obvious all along. How did we think solar panels and windmills are made? Well, duh, with all the same hazardous-to-our-planet’s-health materials and industrial processes they’re supposed to replace.
Where does this “biomass” come from that’s supposed to make obsolete those ozone-depleting non-renewable fossil fuels? From mass deforestation powered by ozone-depleting non-renewable fossil fuels. Same place you get the electricity to power electric cars. Don’t you feel hopeful when you hear a scientist announce that we can replace coal with seaweed? Wait ’til you see what they’ve done to the ocean floor to get enough seaweed to meet a tiny fraction of our “energy needs.”
Naturally a film that describes itself as “a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows” has sparked furious criticism, including cries to “take it down.” It’s an outdated myth that solar panels last only 10 years! Why, dammit, they can last a good 20!
Missing the unpalatable point. Exposing the ties between the Green Industry and the Big Polluters isn’t half so controversial as questioning our energy “needs.” Look what happened to President Carter when he dared to suggest conserving fuel by driving less and putting on a sweater instead of cranking up the furnace.
Circling back to its title, the film ends with an orangutan’s fate on “Planet of the Humans” as he desperately hangs off the last branch of the last tree in the middle of a forest laid waste – and is trapped in the mud when the branch breaks.
Well, at least we can bring our own bags to the supermarket. . .