Michael Moore thinks we’re all delusional
by John P. Flannery
Many have recommended that Michael Moore’s Movie, “Planet of the Humans,” free on YouTube, is worth a watch because it supports the environmental movement.
At least that’s how it looked to me watching from a nearby couch.
Every environmental initiative involving renewables is run down.
Fossil fuels are often referenced throughout this flick as the only true base of power.
It even says repeatedly the problem is not fossil fuel.
Silicon cells rely for production on cobalt and coal. The key word in that sentence is coal. So what’s the big deal about solar.
In one segment it is reported that solar cells are 8% effective, when it is now about double that.
The flick claims a solar cell may only last 20 years — and have to be replaced.
But the flick doesn’t talk about the contribution of solar, not even in the United States.
For example, in 2018, we had 64.2 GW of installed solar–and that was enough to power 12.3 million American homes.
In the flick, the solar “witness” laughed at the thought of using solar cells, and said this vast array he showed could support 10 homes for a year. Nothing was said to suggest otherwise in the flick.
As I mentioned two years ago, we were powering 12.3 million homes with solar cells.
The flick claims storage batteries, for when the sun is intermittent, say at night, have a cost; they run down and become less efficient.
Falling solar battery costs and better solar battery storage options such as the Tesla PowerWall and the RESU energy storage solution from LG Chem have, however, made more people think about energy storage for their homes.
Windmills run down. They have to be replaced. That’s the charge.
Windmills may force one to destroy parks to put up the windmills. Another charge — and not without merit.
Yet wind energy is a part of the energy puzzle to meet global energy demand (as the chart below indicates (as of 2018)) — which is expected to increase by 30% within the next two decades — while slowing down climate change.
There was no mention of the source of wind along the atlantic coast. Almost every state along the Atlantic coast — 12 out of 14 — has offshore wind potential that exceeds its current electricity needs, according to a past study. See — https://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-03-28/study-predicts-major-expansion-of-offshore-wind-along-atllantic-coast/
We agreed with the flick’s slam on the promotion of biomass — burning trees as an energy source — anybody heard how trees produce oxygen? — and how burning them increases carbon dioxide emission — and global warming.
The flick did catch Robert Kennedy short who couldn’t say what he thought of biomass.
Brazil, the lungs of the world, is burning down rain forests, destroying trees at an alarming rate. In the bargain, animals, villages, people are bing destroyed.
And so it goes.
We would do better if there were fewer of us. That was part of the flick.
On this, we are all agreed.
The tragedy of the commons.
That is — limited resources exceeded by population growth.
In the balance of arguments, there was nothing, however,about how the fossil fuel industry has blocked renewables, tax credits, even go so far as to use their weight with legislatures to forbid solar in some states.
Similarly about wind.
Ironically, the movie says renewables are just a dodge to make money.
There was a healthy criticism of all corporations — leaning into those corporations that are working on renewables.
But light on the fossil fuel industry.
The movie stopped short of saying that humans on this fair planet have created more global emissions.
I would like to place side by side this movie and what’s happened during the pandemic.
Global emissions have plunged an unprecedented 17% during the pandemic.
I am sympathetic to the most salient claim — that we should get on with less — as we have during the pandemic.
But I’m criticla of the dressing down of the environmental initiatives to save the planet, and, rightly, from fossil fuels.
The section I found most offensive was an interview with a professor who said that we all deluded ourselves out of fear of our mortality and some believed God would take care of things, and others thought renewables would.
Delusion really — based on the fact that we will all die.
Found the flick simple, slap dab, and mostly misleading.
But watch it for yourself — and see what you think.