Driven by great ingenuity and ambition, the green energy revolution is a powerful rallying cry to support a cleaner planet. But you wouldn’t know it from watching Planet of the Humans, a controversial new documentary that embraces a somber counter-narrative.
Written and directed by Jeff Gibbs, a self-described green energy activist who became disenchanted with the movement upon closer inspection, the film has been criticized by an array of high-profile climate change activists who slam its inaccuracies and blatant efforts to mislead. If viewed without proper factual perspective, the film’s critics fear it could inspire a decay of enthusiasm for a movement that has set out to change the world.
The film essentially charges that the green energy revolution is led by a misguided optimism and widespread corporate corruption. The technologies are insufficient, the outcomes are too trivial to effectively combat climate change, and the huge amounts of money used to support the movement are being distributed in vain.
The basis of some of the film’s arguments are not without merit. Can the same industries who helped to create the climate change dilemma really be trusted to provide the solutions? Is it possible that the profit motive can pervert good intentions?
But when setting its sights on wind, solar and biomass energy sources, the film plays in the sandbox of bad science, cherry-picked facts and antiquated data to support its themes of distrust and skepticism.
As with most Herculean efforts attempted throughout history, the green energy movement continues to be driven by improved technologies, inventive thinking, and more creative solutions. In contrast to these buoyant ambitions, this documentary largely wallows in hopelessness.
Most regrettably, the film does little to offer its own innovative solutions, beyond bemoaning the issues of overpopulation and overconsumption. This is especially surprising coming from a figure like Michael Moore. Whatever your take on his politics, his films are elegantly produced and approach their themes from a humanistic stance; that’s the road he travels in order to inspire support for his arguments. Planet of the Humans argues that humankind itself is the problem and no renewable energy source can combat the wastefulness of our existence.
Directed by: Jeff Gibbs