War on Science: Even more debunkings of the lousy science of “Planet of the Humans”
It’s been a few weeks since Michael Moore’s deceptive re-release of Planet of the Humans, a documentary so loaded with errors it’s spawned at least 30 rebuttals and even more critical reviews. Scientists, journalists, activists, energy experts and even another documentary filmmaker have published debunkings, while the fossil-fuel funded climate denial network has praised it.
There you go. Even its biggest fans acknowledge that Planet of the Humans is little more than regurgitated climate denial.
Not that it wasn’t obvious that the documentary was woefully out of date and deceptive. Leah Stokes, Ketan Joshi and many others have explained how the decade-old details of the movie fall apart when examined.
For example, a debunking from John Rogers at the Union of Concerned Scientists points out the film misleadingly discredits renewables, while also unduly criticizing electric vehicles because coal is burned to power the grid. Over the past decade, the increasing efficiency and uptake of renewables has made EVs considerably cleaner than gas cars, while the film’s claim that solar panels are only meant to last 10 years is bizarre, Rogers notes, when“the vast majority of solar panels come with 25-year warranties.”
As for the integrity of the environmental movement, while there are always bad actors, Bill McKibben and the Sierra Club are not among them.
As McKibben explains in one of his rebuttals pointing out that he’s never gotten paid for any of his activism, the documentary failed to reach out to those whom it attacks to fact check their claims. Had they done so, maybe the documentary wouldn’t have made so many errors and misrepresentations.
For example, the documentary attacks a supposedly fossil-fuel-free investment fund for actually being invested in fossil fuels, but it was actually looking at the wrong fund all together. Whoops!
While the details supporting the movie’s argument are bad, its conclusion is arguably even worse. Calls for population control may sound reasonable when discussed in broad terms, like the movie does, but in practice mean draconian and inhumane policies.
By falsely framing the climate problem as one of too many people, “Planet of the Humans” plays into the racist rhetorical framework of eco-facism, shifting the blame from the rich, largely white countries responsible for most of the CO2 in the atmosphere and instead leading the audience to believe that it’s overcrowded, brown, foreign nations who need to change.
In reality, the countries that have polluted the most aren’t the ones that are the most populated, but are instead those with the largest economies. In fact, a recent study came to a pretty direct conclusion that it’s the rich (who are few) who cause climate change, not the poor (who are many).
With terrorists echoing eco-facism in their mass-murder manifestos, “Planet of the Humans” plays a dangerous game by encouraging the belief that the environment needs to be protected from use by Other humans, as opposed to protected for use by humans, who remain inexorably a part of the nature of this planet.