PLANET OF THE HUMANS
(director/writer: Jeff Gibbs; cinematographers: Jeff Gibbs, Ozzie Zehner, Christopher Henze; editors: Jeff Gibbs, Angela Vargos; music: ; cast: Jeff Gibbs, Richard Heinberg, Richard York, Nina Jablonski, Ozzie Zehner, Adriann McCoy, Philip Moeller, Steven Running, Steven Churchill, Sheldon Solomon, Josh Schlossberg, Catherine Andrews, Adam Liter, Pat Egan, Van Jones, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva; Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jeff Gibbs, Ozzie Zehner; Rumble Media; 2019)
“All the noise got my attention.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Jeff Gibbs was a bore when early on he acted as narrator, but when removed from that duty the film brightens under the charge of other spokesmen (like an energized Ozzie Zehner).
This is an argumentative political documentary that tells us to forget about how Renewable Energy is our salvation. It disses certain liberal advocates of green power who disagree with the filmmaker’s viewpoint. Which is the same viewpoint as the executive producer, the populist activist filmmaker Michael Moore, a long time partner on such ventures with Gibbs.
On this year’s Earth Day, the film played for free on YouTube, giving millions a chance to see it for free. It then will play again for free 30 days afterwards.
Moore, always the provocateur, lays down the following points against his environmentalist buds, which should piss them off:
• Solar and wind energy are not feasible replacements for fossil fuels because they’re intermittent energy sources that need to be supplemented by nonrenewable sources, and because the manufacture of solar panels and windmills is environmentally destructive.
• Biomass fuel is even worse, destroying nature at a far faster rate than it can be replenished.
• Electric cars are bad because they’re charged through the existing power grid, and because they’re made of materials that take a lot of energy to produce.
• The green energy movement is full of hypocrites, many of whom are in bed with big corporations and even with the Koch brothers.
• And even Earth Day itself is a fraud, since it has corporate sponsors and its founder, Dennis Hayes, claimed that its 2015 concert event was powered by solar energy when it actually had diesel generators backstage.
All the noise got my attention, and left me re-thinking my knee-jerk acceptance of green power.
I found the film was more a public service informative one than an entertaining one, which is also okay. But, in its favor, like it or not, it raises so many legitimate questions about the green power movement that it’s worth seeing just for that. It also doesn’t shrink from attacking those rigid and corrupt conservatives for their bad positions on dealing with the environment.
I welcome once again the Michael Moore team for throwing the gauntlet down to his adversaries, this time his fellow liberals, as I always wondered why the green power movement seemed so ineffective when it was advocated by so many bright and seemingly sincere right-minded folks.
The best thing I can say about the in-your-face film is not to just dismiss it because you’re angered that people you might like were attacked or that the film fails to recognize politics has always worked best through compromises, but to instead welcome a maverick like Moore into the public arena who has some fight in his belly and is not afraid to openly tell you what’s on his mind and is not afraid to confront even his friends (or shall I say former friends).
REVIEWED ON 5/8/2020 GRADE: B