This article was originally published in New York Post, May 2nd 2020.
I pay as little attention to Michael Moore as humanly possible. But when his latest documentary opened on Earth Day to attacks from fellow leftists, including calls for censorship, it got my attention.
After all, one of my favorite scenes in “Lord of the Rings” is watching the orcs fight among themselves.
So I grabbed a bowl of popcorn and sat down to watch “Planet of the Humans.”
Director Moore’s latest documentary starts with electric cars, the vehicle of choice for the environmentally conscious. As GM proudly unveils its battery-powered Volt, his narrator innocently asks the executive in charge where the electricity to recharge it comes from.
Power plants, comes the answer. Coal-burning power plants.
Memo from Moore to those who think they are driving green: You may indulge your illusions if you prefer. But all you’ve really done is transfer your emissions from the tailpipe of your car to the smokestack of the local power plant.
Maybe you think solar power is the answer?
Moore treats you to a visit to a showy solar array that covers an entire football field. The power-company executive present admits that it can only power ten homes, and then only when the sun shines.
Powering the nearby city of Lansing, Mich., he says with a grin, would require 15 square miles of panels. You want to talk about “footprints?”
We follow local environmentalists as they hike up a mountain where a site has been clear-cut for 21 mega wind turbines. They deplore the destruction of the natural beauty of the landscape and the scattering of the wildlife it once supported.
The engineer in charge ticks off the hundreds of tons of concrete, steel, aluminum, carbon and other products that go into the construction of each and every mega wind turbine. Industry requires huge inputs of energy to produce such things, a total energy deficit that the spinning blades of the wind turbine will not begin to pay back over its projected lifetime.
Moore ends the segment with a shot of broken and rusted wind turbines littering the landscape.
We visit plants that generate electricity by burning “biomass” rather than fossil fuel. But as we see one diesel-powered machine after another felling, hauling and chipping logs for burning, the absurdity of the entire enterprise comes into focus. In the final scene we see a clear-cut forest and learn that we would need to burn every tree in America to power the country for just one year.
By the midpoint of the movie, Moore has already revealed that each and every form of green energy is a fraud, surviving on popular naivete, government subsidies and the products of industrial civilization.
If he were to have stopped there, his sins against his fellow eco-leftists might one day be forgiven. But he doesn’t, instead going on to argue that the fraud extends to the very top of the green-energy movement itself.
He begins his takedown by taking us to a green concert, where the organizer has just announced to cheers from the crowd that it is powered by “solar energy.” Going backstage, however, we learn that the tiny solar array is only for show. The actual power for the lights, amplifiers and electric guitars comes from a portable diesel generator.
Then he moves on to the big boys. He exposes the massive funding that the Sierra Club, 350 and other environmental groups receive from the energy industry, and exposes the connections between leading environmentalists like Al Gore and Wall Street financiers.
Moore’s sometime friends in the eco-left movement are not amused and apparently have already convinced the distributor of his film to take it down.
For now, you can still watch Moore’s epic take-down of “green energy” on YouTube, but you’d better move fast. There’s a campaign underway to remove it from that service as well.
If you do tune in, bear in mind that Moore is no friend of free markets or individual liberty. His “solution” to reducing humanity’s use of energy is a throwback to twentieth-century population control.
I don’t know about you, but any time anyone tells me we need to reduce the world’s population my answer is always the same: “You first.”
But you can fast forward through that part. Otherwise, it’s a joy to watch Moore skewer one “renewable energy” fantasy after another.
After all, as a movement insider, he knows where the carbon is buried.
Steven W. Mosher @StevenWMosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s ‘Dream’ is the New Threat to World Order.”