Skepticism is healthy, but Planet of the Humans is toxic

A review of Planet of the Humans, directed by Jeff Gibbs, Executive Producer: Michael Moore.

by Timmon Wallis

It can be refreshing to watch a true believer taking a deeper look at their own sacred cows. But in his rush to be open-minded about his long-cherished environmental beliefs, Jeff Gibbs has thrown out the baby with the bathwater. He lumps solar and wind power, which hold substantial promise despite their drawbacks, together with the bogus-but-profitable “solutions” biomass and biofuels (ethanol). And he offers no new solutions, only a bleak reminder that our species’ recent exploitation of fossil fuels has both enabled our exponential growth and sealed our fate.  

Biomass and ethanol

It is hugely disingenuous, and frankly misleading, to hide in the credits at the end of a movie the fact that two of the leading organizations being damned in the movie for their support of biomass as a “green” energy source ( and Sierra Club) do not, in fact, support biomass any more. Bill McKibben deserves an apology for being misrepresented in this film, even if he was a supporter of biomass at one point in his career and equivocal about it at other points since then. Everything Planet of the Humans has to say about biomass itself, however, is true.

Biomass is a massive con trick that has been hailed, like nuclear power, as a “green” alternative to fossil fuels. Planet of the Humans does not attempt to address the scandal of nuclear power, but it does tackle biomass head on as the fake solution it is – in most cases spewing out more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the coal plants it may have replaced.

There have been other documentaries, like Burned, that expose the scandal of biomass. If Planet of the Humans had stuck to biomass as its target, it would have at least been a useful addition to that genre, raising public awareness about a false solution to the climate crisis that we should all be wary of supporting.

Solar power

Instead of focusing on biomass, however, Planet of the Humans sets out to tar all green alternatives with the same disdainful brush. A whole array of solar panels is described by one man as being barely enough to power a 1200-watt toaster. Another person says his panels are only 8% efficient, and to get the efficient ones would cost him “$1 million per square inch.” These and other claims in the film are false and hugely misleading.

The efficiency of solar panels has been steadily rising while their price has been steadily falling. If you are able to stop the film and look closely at the array that “could barely power a toaster,” you will see that it consists of 60 solar panels, each rated at around 300 watts, for a total rating of 18.30 kW (18,300 watts). That’s a lot more than a toaster’s worth.

The “only 8% efficient” array in Lansing, Michigan, may have consisted of very old and inefficient solar panels, but a modern solar farm of that size (approximately 250 panels, each rated at 300 watts) would generate at least twice as much electricity as the speaker was claiming, at a tiny fraction of the cost he was quoting ($1 million per square inch).

Many solar farms now contain thousands of panels, not just a few hundred, and can power entire communities. And there are now more than 2 million of these farms across the US, with a total capacity of 77 GW (77 billion watts). That may still be only a small percentage of the nation’s total electricity needs, but it is much more than you would think from watching this movie.


Planet of the Humans goes on to suggest that, like solar power, wind will never be able to produce enough electricity to meet our demands. It quotes an expert from Germany saying that the contribution of wind and other renewables to German electricity production is still small in comparison with coal and other fossil fuels. This is incorrect.

What the movie showed to back up this claim was a pie chart showing, not German electricity sources, but German energy sources. This includes natural gas used for heating buildings, petroleum products used for transportation, and other industrial uses of energy. Wind may only account for a small percentage of Germany’s overall energy needs, but it produces nearly 30% of its electricity, and that is important.

Other European countries, including the UK, Spain, and Portugal, are now getting more than 20% of their electricity from wind. And Denmark produced 47% of its total electricity in 2019 from wind. These hugely significant and rapidly increasing amounts of electricity coming from wind are not mentioned in the movie.

Intermittency and storage

It is, of course, true that solar power only generates electricity when the sun is shining, and wind power only generates electricity when the wind is blowing – a problem known as “intermittency.” However, there is a graphic shown in Planet of the Humans that purports to back up a claim made in the movie that no amount of battery storage could possibly store the solar and wind power needed to ensure there are no gaps in the electricity supply. This graphic is also misleading, as it again compares current storage capacity to overall energy needs worldwide rather than to the actual need for storage in the electricity sector itself, which is the only measure that is relevant here.

The US currently has about 800 million watt-hours (MWh) of utility-scale battery storage in total. This will rise substantially by next year, when a single battery unit capable of storing 900 MWh of electricity comes online in Florida. By 2024, battery storage capacity in the US is expected to reach 14,000 MWh. We will need much more than this to meet current and future electricity needs, but it is not impossible to imagine doing so.

In fact, there are many other solutions to the problem of intermittency, apart from battery storage. Hydro-electric power is one of the most important renewable sources of electricity and has been around for many decades. By controlling the flow of water out of reservoirs, and by using excess energy to pump water back into reservoirs, energy can, in effect, be “stored” for later use when it is needed.

It is stated correctly in the movie that the Ivanpah concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in California requires a natural gas power source to start it up every morning. Other CSP plants do not, however. And newer CSP designs, like the one operating at Crescent Dunes solar plant in Nevada since 2009, use molten salt to store enough of the sun’s heat to keep the generators running all night long. That cuts out the need for fossil fuels and the need for battery storage.

Geo-thermal, wave and tidal power sources also have enormous potential for producing electricity to fill the gaps that may be left by solar and wind power. Re-designing the electricity grid to make it more efficient (a so-called “smart” power grid) can make a big difference to leveling out the supply and demand of electricity, as can making use of electric car batteries to provide electricity to homes at night, and other novel approaches to this problem.

Much more research and development is needed to improve and advance battery storage and other approaches to solving the intermittency problem. However, huge progress is being made in this direction and it is simply incorrect to state, as several people do in the movie, that renewable energy can “never” meet the electricity needs of this country without gas-fired or coal-fired plants providing the back-up when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Electric vehicles

Yes, when you charge up the battery in your electric car with electricity coming from a coal-fired generating plant, you are running your electric car on fossil fuels. But there is no inherent reason why an electric car has to be powered with electricity generated from coal. It can be powered with electricity generated from wind or solar or hydro or wave or geothermal power. And in that case, you are not running your electric car on fossil fuels. You are running it on renewable energy.

Electric cars, like windmills and solar panels, are also made out of raw materials that have to be mined out of the ground, refined, molded into shape, and put together into a finished product. All of that currently involves the use of fossil fuels, since our entire economy is based on fossil fuels.

Does that mean we can never rid ourselves of that fossil fuel input and move to a fossil-free future? Of course not. We have no choice, if we want our species to survive, but to move to a fossil-free future. That is the bottom line. We now know that if we continue to power our global economy with fossil fuels, we will turn this planet into an unlivable wasteland. So we have to move off our dependence on fossil fuels. There is no other option.

Making the transition is always messy

Planet of the Humans is factually correct in pointing out that everything we might have thought of as “green” actually turns out to be tainted to some extent or other by association with fossil fuels. But that is hardly surprising, since literally everything we build, buy, or trade has had some kind of fossil fuel input involved in it, from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to the chairs we sit on, to the houses we live in, to the books we read, to the phones we talk on.

There is no getting around the fact that fossil fuels are involved in the production, transportation and installation of every “green” alternative that’s out there. And we cannot move from a fossil fuel economy to a fossil-free economy unless we actually take steps to do so. That involves a transition period, when things are still not as we intend them to be by the end of the transition period.

Anyone who has ever moved house knows about the “transition” period. You want your new house to be completely set up and functioning the day you walk into it, but it rarely works like that. Your mail is still going to the old house. Maybe half your things are still at the old house, or in storage, or in boxes. Your bank still has your old address, and so do all your friends. Your car is at the new house, but registered at the old house.

So where do you live? Are you at the new address or not? Have you “left” the old address or not? Is Michael Moore going to make a documentary pointing out that you claim to live at the new house when in fact all the evidence suggests that you still live at the old house?

Come on, people, it’s a transition! Why is that so difficult to understand? Yes, it’s going to be imperfect, confusing, maybe even contradictory. But are you seriously going to stay put at your old house because you can’t move into the new one “perfectly,” all at once, without any lingering doubt that part of you might still be living in the old house for a certain period of time?

Harping on about electric cars and windmills and solar panels still being dependent on fossil fuels is actually doing us all a huge disservice. Because that is not the point. The point is we have to be moving our economy to electric cars and windmills and solar panels. And we also have to be moving our economy onto fossil-free cement and steel, fossil-free ships and planes and trucks, fossil-free (and child labor-free) mining and manufacturing. These things are not optional. They are the essential ingredients of our survival on this planet.

Good to question AND good to find answers

Planet of the Humans does a great job of asking questions and challenging assumptions. Yes, we need to hold our political leaders accountable. We also need to hold the leaders of our environmental movement accountable. We need to be suspicious when big business billionaires, like the Koch Brothers, are getting in on the act of “greening” the economy. And we need to be constantly aware of the dangers of being co-opted, bought out, or otherwise compromised by those whose real interests are making money, not saving the planet.

But we also need to be better than Jeff Gibbs has been in this movie at finding the answers and discerning fact from fiction. “Fake news” is built on people who claim to be “experts,” using anecdotal evidence, or no evidence at all, to make sweeping generalizations and other unfounded claims that are not backed up by a wider consensus of informed opinion. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that in this movie.

For example, despite what this movie claims, there is no inherent reason why the cement and steel used in a windmill has to be made from burning coal. There are already experimental processes for producing cement that do not require the use of coal. There are already plants producing steel without the use of coal. And there are alternatives to cement for holding up heavy structures like windmills, as well as alternatives to steel for making windmill blades and other parts.

There are also many types of solar cells being produced, including solar cells that do not require the use of coal in their production. So the claim, made several times in the movie, that solar and wind are “not a replacement” for fossil fuels, but merely an extension of them, is incorrect. Yes, we can do better than we are at the moment – and we have to. But calling the idea of moving to solar and wind powered electricity and electric vehicles to save the planet a “delusion,” and saying they are no better than fossil fuels, is itself delusional.

What way forward?

At the heart of Planet of the Humans is the basic premise that humans cannot continue a path of infinite “growth” on a finite planet. That much is indisputable. But what does it mean? Does it mean that all industrialization is bad? Does it mean that replacing fossil fuels with an all-electric economy fueled by wind and sun is not achievable or not desirable? Does it mean that there is no solution to global warming, apart from killing off a large part of the world’s population?

We are at a critical juncture in human history. Who we elect to run this country for the next four years, and what we decide to do about the climate crisis during that time, may well seal the fate of billions of people. We cannot afford to get this wrong. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists across the world agree that we must halve our global carbon emissions over the next 10 years to have any hope of averting a climate catastrophe. There is only one way to do that in the time available, and that is by moving as swiftly as possible to renewable forms of electricity and to electric vehicles and heating.

A movie that purports to care about the environment and the future of humanity and yet seeks to undermine support for the very things we must do to save this planet, and ourselves, is worse than a disappointment. It’s reckless.


  1. By shooting down Michael Moore’s movie you are doing everyone a disservice. First of all you are allocating it to a cult film. For once in our life we have the opportunity to have a major discussion about this and not make it a cult film so we can give this a massive audience and include all the people in the discussion. You all have done so much harm to say it is bad and wrong that it is pathetic. You NEED to say yes this is a great start and here is more info. Yes And… not no no no. You are doing harm to people. Stop it. We need this film to generate mass attention. Stop being so selfish and let it shine as far and wide as possible and then jump on to make it better. You are throwing the Baby out with the Bath water as you seem to not realize what you are doing by poo pooing this movie. WE need this movie. This movie is our saving grace. Stop it now. And no I am not saying that it is the be all end all but you need to see an opportunity to save the human race and the planet and not try to shoot it down. Say YES Great and here is more info for the discussion. Oppositional is not strategic, it is unfortunately shameful at this time.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am in accord. Let’s have the conversation and let go of the sacred cows.

  2. Hi Mari,

    Sorry that you think I am doing a disservice by critiquing this film. People who make films usually expect them to be critiqued. This one contains numerous inaccuracies and is deliberately misleading in a number of places. I think that’s pretty important for people to know, don’t you? You say this film gives us “the opportunity to have a major discussion about this,” so surely you want to let us have the discussion and not shut it off before it’s even started?

    Timmon Wallis

  3. I love Michael Moore. That said:

    Yes, Erlich’s “S Curves” are upon us; tipping points are everywhere. Making an argument for the virtue of our species, with respect to all other life trying to survive on this planet, is a mighty tough row to hoe.

    Still, if generation of solar “electricity” is really so inconsequential, so inefficient, why are utilities trying so hard to escape from energy buy-back contracts for grid contributions? I don’t know but am curious. Obviously, battery-storage technology sufficient to reliably power industrial applications has not been achieved….I wonder if that’s the right question?

    Seems possible that a more useful application of solar would be scaled to the powering of individual homes..subsidized home by subsidized home. I believe this is how Germany is achieving 31% of their domestic electricity requirements.

    Bio-mass has been a laughable fiction forever…I don’t know anyone who ever took it seriously…apparently, this film depicts Mr. McKibbens as such a one.

  4. That is not what I am saying.

    I say if you embrace the film so it doesn’t get allocated to cult status where no one pays attention anymore that is the way instead. If you instead say: Yes this is great Film and we need to get this discussion Rolling and then say…and we need to do more about this and I suggest doing it in this way. You can also say…. Right now things have changed or more has happened in Solar and let me tell you about it or, these things are happening that are working in our favor in biomass, don’t even bother with inaccuracies, you can help the momentum of the film and help your cause without shooting down the film. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Having discussions about it will work out with more momentum that way, not pointing out inaccuracies. Michael is having meetings every week where a bunch of leaders are getting together and discussing how to change this and that is the way to do it. If you say it in this way: Michael this is Great, and I have some good info for you about how we can proceed because this is working but this is not working like you said in the movie. I have a great idea Michael, then this will work. Michael has street cred and notoriety and you need to know how to use it properly to harness the energy. Say yes, not no. If you wrote an article on the greatness of the movie and instead said, here are are suggestions on how we can proceed as we see that this is working better than suggested then you can harness what he has done and build upon it, not stop it in it’s tracks. When one just disagrees then it creates an oppositional energy that stops the movement and basically doesn’t allow the momentum to go forward. Please see that I don’t argue with your ideas, rather the way you are executing them. It is life or death that we harness this at this time. Please look at effectiveness.

  5. Oh yes, and to me the goal is not having a discussion and finding what is inaccurate, rather getting moving with something that is actually really sustainable and moving it along with momentum. If the discussion and the debating was the goal, then yes I would agree. For me it is that effectiveness is the goal and creating a mass interest and movement that actually is effective and creates actual change. This can happen if the movie is celebrated and then re-directed, not torn appart. As the Buddhists say, “skillful means.”

    1. Sorry, I cannot agree that effectiveness and actual change require that we first have to hold our tongues and uncritically “celebrate” this movie. We live in an age of fake news, mass misinformation and propaganda coming from every quarter, including our own. Actual change is not possible without having accurate and reliable information. So when our own side puts out a movie like this, as far as I’m concerned, it is our moral DUTY to challenge any misleading and false information it may be putting out.

    2. “something that is actually really sustainable” => it does not exist

      A sustainable human is a dead human.

  6. If the author did serious research about cradle to grave embedded energy in renewables, perhaps he wouldn’t criticize the focus on human overshoot.

    Cement, steel, and myriad other materials dependent upon mined resources go into the infrastructure of wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, etc. Batteries for EVs, homes, commercial usage have limited lifespans and high embedded energy. Mining, transporting ores, smelting/processing, transporting again to manufacturing facilities, assembly, transporting parts to sites, construction of machines/trucks/buildings used in all steps, require fossil fuels.

    Have a look at:
    Nature is in the process of rebalancing the Plague Species. As part of nature, we are always self-culling as well.

    1. I think the focus on materials alone is a distraction from what “green” machines LOOK LIKE when fully installed. In many ways, mines are visually benign, often obscured by mountains or below eye level. But when their yields are assembled as wind turbines (ranging from 400 to 700 feet tall) they intrude on nature like never before. People are basically digging stuff up and making it far uglier.

      People like Mark Jacobson and AOC are fine with MILLIONS of these things littering the planet. Either they don’t understand the final sprawl tally or they don’t care. I don’t think AOC’s “social justice” and environmentalism have very much in common, since poor people are hardly non-polluters. We need more birth control, not more pseudo-green jobs.

  7. Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for your comment and link to an article about “emergy” and “exergy.” I must admit I have never come across such terms. There is no author identified with the article, is it you? Apart from the fact that we already know all energy systems are inherently inefficient, I don’t actually see the relevance of this article to mine.

    I fully admitted in the article above that cement, steel, windmills, solar panels and EVs all require fossil fuels AT THE MOMENT for their production, transportation, etc. But there is no inherent reason that they MUST rely on fossil fuels. That just happens to be the dominant energy source for our present economy. Are you trying to argue that we CAN’T change our dominant energy source to renewables, and therefore, in future, produce our batteries and windmills, etc using solar and wind electricity? Otherwise I’m not clear what your argument is.

    1. Those who can’t get what “AT THE MOMENT” means are likely looking for a magic wand solution.

  8. It’s mostly a technicality that McKibben changed his biomass views, since he represents millions of people still duped by green growthism. You admit that bioMASS is sham, so why are MASSive wind turbines so sacred and defensible? He’s still sticking with Big Wind, last I saw.

    Germany has been visually wrecked by wind power and many Germans hate it. What sort of environmentalists are fine with ugly sprawl that’s highly inefficient for the space it uses? In 1998 a group of academics published the Darmstadt Manifesto, which is truer than ever with their 30,000 turbines (U.S. has nearly 64,000). Here’s a good documentary on Germany’s Energiewende, rather, Energiewind: (Wind Turbine Battle)

    Energy sprawl is the biggest, growing blight on nature per many studies, and people lie by using the ANWR “2,000 acres” fallacy to excuse wind turbines, claiming they only impact where their towers meet the earth (vertical visual pollution and access roads have already spoiled millions of acres). Environmentalists used to protest much smaller ski lifts and cellular towers, and still do. Can’t you see the double-standard?

    Josh (Gasland) Fox’s reaction to the film was hypocritical since Big Wind can’t exist without fracked natural gas and other fossil fuels in its production cycle. Selective greens who could learn from this documentary are ignoring its full context. They’ve staked their reputations on bashing specific industries.

    I’m weary of “environmentalists” who’ve reduced mountain, prairie and ocean scenery to nothing more than “installed capacity” or joyful “gigawatts!” They’re either clueless about the SCALE needed to (barely begin to) replace fossil fuels, or have been eco-posers all along. I suspect the latter is true in many cases.

    Vermont, Maine, and Appalachia’s peaks are prime battlegrounds for deep vs. shallow ecological values. The shallow ones call spiked, red-lit, ruined ridges “beautiful” because they represent something ostensibly new, while the deep ones find them obnoxious and futile. And I’m not even getting into the oft-denied wildlife carnage here.

  9. Sorry its unpleasant news, but there is no net energy in alternatives if you look honestly at all inputs. Wishful thinking at best so don’t shoot the messenger (including me)

    1. That is a nicely phrased aphorism, but what does it actually mean?

      What is the “mindset” that created the mess we are in, and what is the “mindset” that is trying to get us out of it? Are you (or rather Charles Eisenstein) saying that Bill McKibben and Greta Thunberg and millions of climate activists have the same mindset as the greedy capitalists who have been plundering the planet purely to make a profit? Are you saying that those same greedy capitalists can’t have a change of heart and realize that they have to change their ways if their own grandchildren are going to have a planet to live on? Are you saying that people, in general, are incapable of solving their own problems?

  10. I think the film is help us look soberly at the fact that we CANNOT CURRENTLY transition to a totally green economy. From the way a lot of environmentalists and ally politicians talk about it – you would think that the only thing holding us back from a 100% renewable energy infrastructure is political will, this film points out that it’s not just political will – the technology is simply not there… YET.

    I think the film also does a great job at exposing many of the hyperbolic statements made by green energy proponents that contribute to a misunderstanding that a renewable energy future is closer than it actually is… Whether it’s corporations like Tesla claiming they are 100% powering a plant by wind/solar, to Earth Day festivals claiming all of the electricity is coming from solar panels, to countries like germany revealing that the vast majority of their ELECTRICITY generation relies on the very much not green biomass fuel burning.

    Your critique is actually really anemic. You’re actually just demonstrating the point of the film. Renewables are currently just nibbling around the edges of the problem and are in no way an answer in and of themselves. The thesis of the film that gets lost is this: the problem isn’t changing our economy to renewable energy and carrying on – we need to downscale our society, move away from capitalism, and move toward sustainable PRACTICES not merely energy sources.

  11. You do not seem to address a crucial need for humanity to reduce its demands for energy of all kinds going into the future. Perhaps currently we can meet demands but as more of our lives become reliant on technologies that require an energy source of some kind, and with more human beings born all the time making demands for energy, is it likely possible to be able to meet demand?
    The film showed how land was being cleared to build these large solar arrays and wind farms. The destruction of ancient plants and displacement of other animal species’ lives is also important to consider, is it not?

    Perhaps there are several important inaccuracies in the movie but a large take away from it, for me at least, is that humanity MUST dramatically decrease the impact of our presence on the planet. Can there be optimism that humanity will change its lifestyles considerably for the sake of a better future? Will we be willing to switch off our energy sucking gadgets at times, stop consuming resources beyond our means, stop encroaching further into the natural world simply to meet our needs, forgetting the needs of other lives on this planet?

    What was most disappointing for me about this film is that it did not for whatever reason talk further about resource overshoot. Also there is perhaps another problem still to be addressed about relying on natural elements (light/solar, air/wind, water/hydro), which is that these things are unpredictable and sometimes destructive in and of themselves. The film doesn’t appear to address the costs of maintaining the equipment, both in monetary terms and people being responsible for checking, etc. either, even though it is apparently critical of capitalism as well.

    In the messy transition of moving from one house to another, to use the analogy from the article, there may be a need to sort through your stuff in the old house and get rid of stuff that won’t fit in the new house. A need to fully assess our belongings and decide what is really useful and what is simply serving no purpose.

    1. From Overshoot Day 2019 we learned that 3.27 billion people are redundant, if the remaining (richer) ones are going to live the way they live now.

  12. Global electricity sources: Solar and wind, 7% Hydro 19% Nuclear 10% Fossil fuels 64%

    Global energy sources: Renewables 4%, Hydro 7%, Nuclear 4%, Fossil fuels 85%

    You are looking for a fossil fuel free future using wind and sun? How does consumption and population figure into your plan?

    Figures from Wikipedia

  13. Dear Timmon, why is it that the US has massively expanded oil and gas exploration and production over the last decade?

    I have checked the data of energy portfolios of Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany and they all confirm what Gibbs is saying. Even in Denmark oil and gas provides more than 25% of final energey consumption and this is not projected to decrease. So it doesn´t matter that we improved the relative share of renewable energy, because we have not decreased the absolute level of consumption, which continues to rise. There are a wealth of arguments from economics and geopolitics which support this premise which are not even mentioned in the movie. Taken together, the broad weight of evidence supports Gibbs´ and Moore´s argument: renewable energy cannot replace fossil fuel consumption.

    You argue that total electricity generation is as or more important than total energy consumption. Why? Here I find that the filmmakers picked the correct statistic. Our atmosphere does not care how or for what purpose the greenhouse gases were generated. Without going into further detail, I claim you have countered what you perceive to be misleading and incomplete data with your own misleading, incomplete and unsubstantiated data.

  14. I enjoyed both the film, and your response, however both were lacking in believable, factual data. When you say “huge progress is being made in this direction…” without any supporting data, you are leaving yourself open to being accused of simply being another loud by shallow climate activist. Publish the peer reviewed data, and keep it current. The facts (if such can be found in this polarized fake news environment) should be allowed to stand for themselves. Unsubstantiated superlatives in expression do not instill confidence in the speaker. If you can’t speak with supporting facts, better to not speak at all.

    1. Hi Wayne,

      Good to be demanding believable, factual data! I provided lots of supporting data in the above article, with links to a number of different sources highlighted in the text. The “huge progress” claim that you quoted is a summary of the data on battery storage provided, and sourced, a few paragraphs above. However, more data and more sources are a good idea. I will do better next time. Meanwhile, I invite you to read my full report on climate and what we can do about it at You can download it for free, and there are over 200 references to back up the data in that report.

      Timmon Wallis

  15. Hi David,

    In what sense does the “broad weight of evidence” support the argument that “renewable energy cannot replace fossil fuel consumption?” There is no conceivable amount of evidence that can possibly support an argument claiming that something “cannot happen” in the future. Does the fact that there is comparatively little COVID-19 testing going on right now count as evidence that extensive COVID-19 testing “cannot happen” at some point in the near future? I’m sorry, but it’s an absurd argument.

    I objected to the film quoting figures about total energy demand as opposed to total electricity demand because the film was talking about the capacity of wind and batteries to produce and store electricity. Wind turbines are not used to power cars or heat homes, they are used to make electricity. The film claims that people are lying when they say Germany is already producing nearly 30% of its electricity from wind. It’s not a lie, it’s a fact. Look it up!

    Nobody is claiming Germany is producing 30% of its total energy requirement from wind. Of course it would be nice if they were, and sooner or later they will be. But it is, quite frankly, a rather foolish argument to say it’s impossible, because sooner or later you will be proven wrong.

  16. How are we to escape the fact that renewables use materials and land far more intensively than natural gas or nuclear do? I agree Moore sensationalizes in calling Jan Nelson to the camera to describe high-efficiency solar panels as things only NASA can afford. But if the intellectuals believe America can continue its love affair with single-occupancy on the road while air-conditioned at home after endless cornucopia in the checkout lane, given only enough renewables, they’re sadly mistaken, for CO2 aloft is driven by more fundamental aspects of the current political economy or, perhaps, of human social nature itself, that will apply to other issues such as topsoil and habitat loss, water shortages and the tapping-out of Earth’s mineral stocks once emissions abate.

    We’ll never save the planet without consuming less per capita and curbing population growth under measures I doubt we’ll embark upon voluntarily. I hold nothing against the well-intentioned McKibben. It’s just the hard questions that remain when he’s finished speaking.

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