An Environmental Advocate’s Response to ‘Planet of the Humans’

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The Michael Moore-produced, Jeff Gibbs video, Planet of the Humans, uses the capitalism onslaught that has caused disaster across the planet as an Earth Day opportunity to lob spitballs at environmental movements and prominent advocates. While it can’t even manage any more cogent solutions than vague assertions about curbing population and over-consumption, it also fails to see the monster who stands before it: the system, which needs to be overcome, immediately.

Planet of the Humans - Jeff Gibbs, Michael Moore

Green Capitalism Won’t Save Us – But System Change Might

Of course green capitalism won’t save us. Of course the utilities and their investor owners only have their bottom line to think about and use greenwashing to push it on us. And this amateur video project uses the greenwash as though the environmental advocates put it forward.

Of course there are groups and environmentalists who support neoliberal clean energy follies that end up doing more harm than good. But the problem is the system — not the advocates who Gibbs and Moore particularly skewer, or even worse, the (over) population in general. And the system is known to infect environmental advocates who usually have to choose between total destruction or near calamity, with the right alternative not even offered. Instead of illustrating that cap and trade, carbon credits, and market mechanisms poison the system and encourage false solutions, this video wants to make the case that environmentalists, and their advocacy for clean, renewable energy, are the problem.

“When it comes to me, it’s not that Planet of the Humans overstates the case, or gets it partly wrong, or opens an argument worth having: it is a sewer.”  — Bill McKibben, Co-Founder of 350.org in Rolling Stone

When environmentalists support the lesser evil, maybe the small difference between certain and near death was enough for them. Not all of us have the privilege or resources to fight the machine and stop it from running us all down. In this case, in addition to front-line fossil fuel victims, the vulnerable communities of color and limited means who live with contamination and effects of climate-disruption every day, environmentalists are also casualties of a system out of control — not the perpetrators. When a victim sells out, you can hate them, but you should blame the system.

The fiction of Carbon Credits is that laws allow corporations causing massive amounts of carbon pollution to claim they are 100% carbon neutral by purchasing them. Again, the same claim is made that the purchase of such credits sends an “incentive” to the market to reduce carbon.  — Paul Fenn, Films for Action


Jeff Gibbs’ Mess of a Film – Watch for Yourself

What we need are solutions that come from the community, not the corporations, not the neoliberal pushers, not the profit-motivators. We need to take over this system now, and that won’t be easy. More on this in future communications.

The essence or fundamental problem of capitalism is not, as Moore and Gibbs argue, “greedy” and “scheming” corporations. As can be seen here, capitalism is an economic system with certain fundamental features and inner drives. A system of private ownership of the means of production (factories, transport, means of communication, etc.)… a system organized around the production of profit based on the exploitation of wage labor worldwide… a system in which huge units and blocs of capital (corporations, banks, investment groups, etc.) are driven by competition to expand on the basis of cheapening production to gain market share and competitive advantage—or face ruin. It is a global system of exploitation and domination divided into rival capitalist-imperialist states (the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France, etc.) safeguarding the national capital interests and contending with each other in pursuit of control over markets, raw materials, and regions in different parts of the world and domination over the oppressed countries of the world.  — Raymond Lotta, Revcom.us

Stories to Read:

350.org Co-Founder Bill McKibben can speak for himself: Rolling Stone350.org

Debunking some of the Solar and Wind Misinformation : Planet of the Humans – A Re-Heated Mess of Lazy, Old Myths???

What Michael Moore’s New Film Got Wrong About Renewable Energy

Michael Moore’s ‘Planet of the Humans’ Documentary Peddles Dangerous Climate Denial

3 Times Michael Moore’s Latest Doc Gets the Facts Wrong (and 3 Times It Gets Them Right)

Viewing Notes on Planet of the Humans

Review of Planet of the Humans by Paul Fenn

Moore Takedowns Annotated…

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist and designer, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Partners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt