Heads Exploding Over Green Energy Expose

by Stephen Haner

Producer Michael Moore’s  explosive new documentary on the renewable energy industry is indeed causing heads to explode.  You’d better take the 100 minutes to see Planet of the Humans before the forces of political correctness drive it off YouTube, where it was approaching 3 million views this morning. The first 30 minutes give you the gist, but if you get that far, you’ll be hooked.

Moore is the executive producer, but the writer and director is Jeff Gibbs, who has collaborated with Moore on other projects including Fahrenheit 9-11. Claiming a long history of environmental activism, it is Gibbs who chronicles and narrates his own disillusion with the biomass, wind and solar industries and the massive capitalist structure that promotes and benefits from them, with near zero environmental benefit.

True believers won’t watch it, of course, and will reply that 97 percent of critics find it lacking. Consensus is truth, you see. Unfortunately, Moore’s association is also scaring off potential conservative viewers. I have watched it through twice now, and my biggest complaint is it just ignores nuclear energy as a viable choice. There are other problems. But it reveals much about the links between the fossil fuel and renewable industries, and, delightfully, is driving environmentalists to fascist repressive tactics.

Could it possibly be true that the hated Koch Brothers and their companies are the world’s largest recipients of renewable energy financial incentives? The film focuses much of its anger on biomass and biofuels, tearing down virgin forests for power plants or destroying rain forest to plant sugar cane. Al Gore’s status as a greedy empty suit was no revelation, but I honestly didn’t know that solar panels are made by melting coal and quartz in coal furnaces. Watch it and share it while you can.

You will better understand the motives of some, not all but some, who are delighting in the destruction or our economy. Malthus Lives.

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10 responses to “Heads Exploding Over Green Energy Expose

  1. Full confession: I have not yet viewed “Planet of the Humans.” I have found Moore’s other documentaries to be woefully awful for a host of reasons too lengthy to describe here, so I view everything he produces with extreme skepticism. That said, he might be on to something this time. At least he’s asking questions that very few had asked before.

    I wonder when Virginia environmentalists will start demanding the same kind of full supply-chain Environmental Impact Statements for wind turbines and solar farms that they demand for gas plants and gas pipelines.

  2. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    I need to know this before I watch. Is it as good or better than “Soylent Green”?

    • Well, no. But if he were around, Heston’s voice would greatly improved this! And Jim, no, of course not. They have no interest in the “carbon footprint” of the steel, other materials, manufacturing and transportation methods, or other inputs to the Promised Land Wind Bonanza coming off Virginia’s shores. They have no interest in the source of some of the chemicals and rare earths used in solar, etc. And a key point in this film is the eventual disposal, as he visits bulldozed old solar fields and rusting abandoned turbines (along with new solar facilities that burn natural gas and won’t operate without natural gas.)

      Using the fossil fuels directly is less expensive, more efficient, with about the same environmental impact. Conservation of energy or some such. Sorry, no physics, no real science….

  3. Watched it. Ho hum

  4. Full Disclosure: Bill McKibben wrote the cover blurb for the hardback edition of my book on coal.

  5. Yawn! There’s a good reason I never found Moore worth listening to from the get go and this is just more of the same with some extra red meat for the anti-renewables crowd.

    There continues to be confusion over the equipment used to create power – and what the fuel is for that equipment.

    All equipment has to be produced from raw materials and all of it has to be disposed of when it is no longer of use – no matter whether it is equipment to mine coal or frack gas or pipelines or rail or the plants themselves.

    The fuel is a different story. Mountaintops have been removed and the streams that flow from them – ruined forever. Coal burning plants rain down mercury on all living critters – and it’s does not degrade – it actually accumulates in the food chain. Natural gas requires thousands of acres of trees cut for the corridor… and Nuclear has it’s own problems.

    All of them do have impacts – but if you compare apples to apples – solar/wind have lesser impacts – not no impacts.

    Electric cars – yep… they need rare metals to work – the same as your cellphone by the way… and yes.. if the electricity comes from a coal plant – it’s no better than pure fossil fuels but power than comes from solar to recharge an electric car – has less overall impacts to the environment.

    All of this is going to be past history when we find a way to “store” solar/wind – and as usual – all the folks who are opposed right now – in the future they will say they were always for it… no news there!

  6. Missed this article Steve.
    Will watch when I get a chance.

  7. OK I watched it.
    There were some things I do not agree with, but on the whole it is a similar message I am trying to say, Americans are delusional about thinking green energy is the solution. Actually my personal message is were are delusional about needing zero pollution. That just means everything gets made by poor people in poor countries with zero pollution controls, as depicted in this new docu.

    I feel like I need to crawl into a cave and because I am not drinking the political correctness Kool Aid.

    One big element I think the docu misses. is what is happening is political choice. I never thought the US climate change movement was actually about climate change, it is about picking winners and losers based on political preference, or at least for many it is.

    As a side technical note, it is interesting how much the biomass wood burning has expanded. We in Virginia have long bragged about doing that, but sounds like more widespread practice now.

    • Regarding: Heads Exploding Over Green Energy Expose

      I agree with Steve Haner and you TBill 100%. I think the documentary is excellent, highly informed, and well documented. Indeed, the documentary tracks closely all the many objective books and websites on the subject that I have read.

      It also tracks many, indeed all, of the arguments that I have made in detail on this blog over the past several years.

      In short, the documentary eviscerates many of the arguments that the green energy industry and their allies, have been making for many years. The results on the ground and in real life, exposing performance problems and issues of Green Energy, also support the arguments and conclusions set out in the documentary as well.

  8. This is really not that complicated for some of us. We just want to not waste energy or pollute any more than necessary – and save money in the process if we can.

    I would no more than the man in the moon dump motor oil in a ditch or creek or burn plastics and other chemical in a trash barrel in my back yard. I know a lot of folks that used to do this. But we don’t do it now nor do we want the equivalent of it done as a result of generating the electricity we use and especially so if it might be harming the planet.

    That’s not ideology – it’s just simply being responsible for the waste we do generate and how to have it not harm the environment – the planet we live on.

    Renewable energy is not as dense energy-wise as fossil fuels – so it takes more of it and yes, it’s not 24.7 so we still have to use fossil fuels when wind/solar are not available.

    But there is no comparison to the pollution generated by fossil fuels compared to renewables.

    If you burned coal or even natural gas in your backyard to supply your electricity – you’d find out pretty quick how polluting it really is and you’d get almost none of that from solar panels, even if they covered a substantial part of your yard… they’d sit there and generate power, and you be breathing nothing harmful as a result.

    Why this has become such an issue is the fault of both sides who do want it to be a wedge but a lot of ordinary folks just want to do what is right and have no interest in the culture war.

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