On this evening’s entertainment schedule, the planned binge-watch of the rest of Season 3 of Trailer Park Boys is going to have to wait. I’ll have to find out tomorrow if Ricky and his 8-year-old daughter, following a particularly poignant episode, were able to quit smoking together by using the patch.
Tonight I have to clear the deck for the new Michael Moore documentary, Planet of the Humans, available on YouTube (and is embedded below this post). It is going to be so brilliant I might watch it until I go to work tomorrow.
How do I know it will be so great? Because I’ve been following this beast ever since it debuted at the Traverse City Film Festival last July. I have no idea what the festival is, or where it is, or whether it was held in a hen house. But I did care, and massively, when I heard about the combination of the content and the creator.
The creators, Michael Moore and director Jeff Gibbs, are no fans of corporations, capitalism, business in general, and a great many other things I don’t mind at all. And I don’t care about that. What I care about in this instance is that both Moore and Gibbs are huge environmentalists (Gibbs says he is “worried sick about climate change”), huge icons of the left-wing of politics, and yet they dared pose the question: Are renewable energy sources like wind and solar really going to save the climate or the planet?
To their everlasting credit, the two attacked the topic with the same zeal and no-nonsense attack that they do to capitalism, and they did not shy away from the answer. As director Gibbs put it (same link as above), “Environmental groups have been collaborating on the lie of growth by helping us pretend that there will be ‘green growth.’ As if you can have wealth or stuff that doesn’t destroy the planet. News flash: that’s an impossibility of physics and biology…There is nothing you will ever have in your life that’s not an extraction from the planet earth. And so we’ve all lost touch with that.” This thesis, absolutely consistent with almost every hydrocarbon worker I know, is that the problem for the environment is 7 billion people that expect to be fed, housed, clothed and entertained. And the more we work to improve our condition, the more we want – more of everything, and that takes a toll. We extract it all from the earth.
This film is profoundly important because it goes where no one has ever gone before from that side of the political spectrum; it challenges exactly where it is supposed to challenge, in a way that some of us in the industry have been saying for a decade. It is not a whitewash for the hydrocarbon industry, far from it – Gibbs takes dead aim at that as well (“the people that produce our fossil fuels love [the green energy movement] because it still uses fossil fuels and it’s not a threat to fossil fuels. All the car companies love the electric car.” I don’t even agree with that, but I’m glad he said it because it shows that those who despise the fossil fuel industry can still come to the same conclusion about the delusional vision of the likes of the Green New Deal (Gibbs again: “The parts of the Green New Deal that have to do with social justice and equality are fantastic… [But] the Green New Deal, to the extent it’s proposing that green energy is going to save us – it’s not going to save us, it’s actually going to kill us faster.” This is like the sweetest music I’ve ever heard…).
Please watch this profoundly important movie. It is not pretty, and is often accusatory of fossil fuels, but it lays bare the truth about those who want to get rid of fossil fuels. To think we can get rid of fossil fuel usage is an absurdity, not while keeping us all alive. We can do hydrocarbons better, but we can’t do without. Please send it to everyone you know that cares about this discussion. Please send it to politicians and whomever else spouts mindless incantations about energy transitions without understanding them at all.
Post viewing, I couldn’t care less if viewers love or hate the hydrocarbon industry more than they did before. We all know that we do what we do to provide fuel for the world, and we strive to do it the best we can (and yes the past is far from perfect). What is important to the world is that it will now know the truth, and it will have come from a source that no one – no one – will call a PR hack for the industry.
Watch the full documentary here: