By Chris White
Michael Moore rolled out a new film Tuesday ahead of Earth Day that blasts former Vice President Al Gore and other celebrity environmentalists for supposedly being coopted by the fossil fuel industry. The film also deconstructs the idea that green energy can save the Earth.
The film titled “Planet of the Humans” crafts a contrarian narrative, stating that many of the sustainable energy products environmentalists argue are needed to stifle global warming are themselves heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Environmentalist documentarian Jeff Gibbs directed the movie while Oscar award-winning documentarian Moore executive produced the feature.
Gibbs spent the bulk of the film, which Moore uploaded free on YouTube Wednesday, laying out why he believes humans, not fossil fuels, are likely the bane of Earth’s existence. “Green energy is not going to save us,” Gibbs noted in the film before focusing his ire on environmentalists Bill McKibben, Van Jones, and Robert F. Kennedy, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, all of whom push for a combination of solar panels, nuclear or wind power to replace oil production.
McKibben is dismissing Gibbs’ claims that he is beholden to billionaire funders. “I don’t understand the reasoning behind these particular attacks; when I first heard rumors of them last summer I wrote the producer and director to set the record straight, and never heard back from them,” he wrote in a statement posted on 350.org’s website. McKibben co-founded the group in 2007.
The film also describes McKibben as a supporter of biomass, which Moore and Gibbs argue gives off large amounts of carbon. McKibben said in the statement that he once supported that form of energy until learning that biomass produces the kind of pollutants that he opposes.
Gibbs argues that solar and wind energy parts and electric cars rely too heavily on electricity generated from coal, natural gas, and other petroleum products to produce them.
In addition, some of the key components of an EV rely on exotic, complex, “rare earth” minerals such as graphite, cobalt, and lithium, which are produced in countries with lax environmental regulator systems. Many of the workers and people who mine these products suffer from health problems from the mines.
Lithium is a rare metal, making it difficult and time-consuming to discover and produce. Mining it results in staggeringly negative side effects for both the environment and those producing the metals that will eventually go into making products from the likes of automaker Tesla.
Moore noted the problems with producing solar panels and wind turbines during an interview Wednesday with Reuters. “I assumed solar panels would last for ever. I didn’t know what went into the making of them,” Moore said, referring to quartz and the petroleum products needed to manufacture the panels.
“The takeover of the environmental movement by capitalism is now complete,” Gibbs said at one point in the film that included video images of Gore laughing with billionaire business tycoon Richard Branson, who famously pledged in 2006 to divert $3 billion in profits from Virgin Airlines to develop an alternative energy source. He made the pledge after a meeting that year with Gore.
The film also splices together video clips of Gore defending his decision in 2013 to sell his liberal news network, Current TV, to Al Jazeera, which is bankrolled by oil-rich Qatari.
Neither Gore nor McKibben have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about Gibbs and Moore’s characterization of the environmental movement. Gibbs concluded the film with a dire message: “We humans must accept that infinite growth on a finite planet is suicide. We must accept that our human presence is far beyond sustainability.”
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