“Planet of the Humans:” Humanity’s Epitaph, or an Incomplete Tale?
The recent documentary release by Michael Moore, Planet of the Humans, comes down hard on renewable energy, much to the dismay of that industry and of many environmentalists and “green” energy supporters. The film portrays renewables as failing miserably to replace fossil fuels and thereby prevent catastrophic climate disruption. Their solution: there are too many people on the planet, and technology can’t help us.
In other words, we’re doomed, and a lot of people have to die.
We at Climate Coalition beg to differ. “Planet of the Humans” is just the first part of a story not fully told. While the film documents the shortcomings of renewables, that does not mean that all is lost, nor that we should abandon renewables now and forever. As we know, reality is nuanced, not black and white. Indeed, renewables have some significant flaws; some perhaps can be improved, while others are inherent. Our failure has been to expect renewables to deliver more than they are able. We succeed when we deploy any given technology according to its merits, fully cognizant of all its attributes, positive and negative.
Which brings us to biomass. Although considered “renewable,” biomass is clearly in a different class than wind or solar. Biomass consumes vast quantities of natural and/or agricultural landscape, emits greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants when burned, and is often a net loss of energy. The lesson here is that “renewable” is an imprecise, misleading and incoherent marketing term. We’re better off to describe actual attributes that matter, such as emissions of CO2-e/kWh (to name one of many).
The part of the story not told in this film involves nuclear power. When nuclear technologies are considered, along with what renewables are realistically able to contribute, our future does not seem so dire. This is the message Climate Coalition wishes to convey.
Rod Adams, of Atomic Insights blog fame, has penned a review of the Moore’s film entitled Nuclear energy makes a cameo appearance in Jeff Gibb’s Planet of the Humans, and does so from the nuclear perspective—the rest of the story. Adams is a former Navy nuke, a managing member of Nucleation Capital and a member of the Climate Coalition. Read the article at this link: https://atomicinsights.com/nuclear-energy-makes-a-cameo-appearance-in-jeff-gibbss-planet-of-the-humans/