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Discussion: Michael Moore's new Film

in: Orienteering; Off-Course

Apr 29, 2020 3:03 PM # 
We've had some very spirited discussions on a/p about the environment, but not for a while. Yet I believe orienteers are passionate about the survival of our 'playground' and wish to see the natural world survive in good health.

Last week Planet of the Humans was posted on the internet for free. Don't know how long it will be there. I encourage everyone to watch it.

It holds up Al Gore, Bill McKibben, The Sierra Club, and most big environmental figures as phonies and charletans. During it's 1:41 running time, you'll see some amazing visuals, interviews, deaths, and destruction. And it identifies all of the pet programs of the Green Movement as myths: Wind, Solar, Biomass, etc. All of which only add to the destruction of our planet.

And in the end, the film leaves us with the realization is US, the planet's vast overpopulation, that has occurred in the last 200 years, that is destroying our environment.

Apparently 'in the can' before Covid-19 was news, the pandemic does not figure in this film. But as our stricken world changes dramatically before our eyes, you have to admit maybe, again, Mr Moore has been amazingly prescient!
Apr 29, 2020 3:40 PM # 
When I do watch then it'll be with a very healthy dose of skepticism.

"it’s a nihilistic take, riddled with errors about clean energy and climate activism" - Vox

"A letter written by Josh Fox, who made the documentary Gasland, and signed by various scientists and activists, has urged the removal of “shockingly misleading and absurd” film for making false claims about renewable energy." - The Guardian

"In short, Gibbs reveals himself to be little more than another doomsayer. And he does so despite the fact that more people are living longer, healthier, freer lives than at any time in human history. What we need now, particularly in the middle of this deadly pandemic, aren’t more prophets of doom and despair. Instead, we need an environmental ethic that is pro-human, pro-wildlife, pro-land-sparing, and yes, pro-energy and pro-nuclear." - Forbes
Apr 29, 2020 3:49 PM # 
I think we should take a closer look at the role of Bill Gates (along with other globalists), who funded this pandemic. His total wealth should be confiscated and sent to treasury as reparations. He should be sent to China where he can serve his his remaining days - life term- as a greeter at a wet market.
Apr 29, 2020 3:58 PM # 
I thought him an Elon were planning to run off to Mars together? I feel like that would suffice as an exile.
Apr 29, 2020 7:45 PM # 
leaves us with the realization is US

I concur, it is the US causing all the world's problems.
Apr 29, 2020 7:58 PM # 
And I agree. Australia has always had a much tighter control on immigration. And the US custom of sitting around having babies is nowhere to be seen. There's much more fun in life than that!

Having lived and worked in South Australia and NSW in the 1970's, can't tell you how much fun I had with my 'mates' from work, where bars had little-used separate 'women's entrances' As an American, I was contantly criticized because I was 'too nice' to your miniskirted Australian women. But I didn't mind the benefits!
Apr 29, 2020 10:22 PM # 
"Sitting around having babies," really Chitownclark? I am hardly a population apologist (I totally agree it's the biggest issue and the third rail of environmental issues in the world), but that's just offensive. I'm not sure if this is racist or anti-poor people or just a very poorly thought-out statement but it really has no place on AP.
Apr 29, 2020 10:49 PM # 
Pink Socks:
It's more fun to re-read Clark's latest comment with a parody Trump voice!
Apr 29, 2020 10:58 PM # 
This is a scathing review which might save you wasting your time watching the film!
Apr 29, 2020 11:33 PM # 
So just to be clear, it's not exactly "Michael Moore's film". He was executive producer and is described as having "backed and promoted" it. It was directed by Jeff Gibbs, produced by Jeff Gibbs and Ozzie Zehner. Moore's name does appear on the poster.
Apr 30, 2020 12:30 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
And the US custom of sitting around having babies is nowhere to be seen

Birth rate is slightly higher in AUS, 12.6 vs 12.0, if you prefer that metric.
Apr 30, 2020 12:47 AM # 
The Australia of the 2020s isn't the Australia of the 1970s, either (although the old ways clung on for longer the further you get away from the big city).
Apr 30, 2020 7:00 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
This film was obviously designed from conception to basically attack everything. It supposedly even claims that EVs are worse for the environment than ICE cars, something I thought only the most rabid Koch-funded think tanks are still prepared to claim?

Similarly for PV panels which historically have had actual lifetimes of 25+ years but here is supposedly shown as an unmitigated disaster. Yeah, until year 2000 or so electricity from PVs was extremely inefficient, since it took more energy to produce and install them, including scaffolding, wires etc, than they would produce over their lifetime, but we passed that point many years ago and now the payback time is in the months range.
Apr 30, 2020 11:36 AM # 
chitownclark: the payback time is in the months range.

Gee, I'd like to see that calculation. Because if you Google 'EROI for PVs' (Energy Received over Invested), the standard ratio of the overall efficiency of a power system, you'll see many recent papers expressing contrary results. Some of which maintain PV is an energy sink...that is, it still takes more energy to set up and operate these PV farms, than will ever be be received before they 'blow out' so many light bulbs.

PVs are delicate electronic devices; essentially LEDs run backward. How many of the LEDs you've installed in the last 10 years have blown out? And they're dry, inside, and not exposed to weather. If it wasn't for tax credits and subsidies, I wonder how many of these 'alternative energy' projects would have been built?
Apr 30, 2020 12:44 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I have actually done a bit of research on this, after all my MSEE was in electro-optics. :-)

You are right that it is hard to figure out all the energy costs for supporting gear, i.e. how much of the aluminum framing can and will be recycled after 10/15/20/25 years, but with modern "cheap" commercial panels being more than 20% efficient, each of them will generate on average several kWh per day.

Production cost for both the panels and the framing is for a significant part related to the energy used, so if we assume a subsidized cost of 1c/kWh to an aluminum smelter that would leave them approximately 2c for other costs plus profit.

Similarly the completed panels cost on the order of $3 per watt for home installation, if we here also assume that the energy cost is 1/3, then each panel must produce for 300 hours or just one month of 10-hour days to break even.

Even if that is wildly optimistic, both on the energy proportion of the costs and the value of the power generated, you can give me an order of magnitude and it is still less than a year.
Apr 30, 2020 12:59 PM # 
A solid review at Ars Technica.

"Let’s say you want to make a documentary about a complex and important topic. You could spend a lot of time on research—developing a complete picture of things, identifying scientists to interview, and figuring out how to give viewers the context necessary to understand the most nuanced issues. Or, you could just go point your camera at stuff until you have an hour and 40 minutes of footage, lay down a voiceover, upload that baby to YouTube, and call it a day.

Planet of the Humans, a documentary made by Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore, falls into the latter category.

The topic of the film—released on YouTube just before Earth Day to throw shade on what it views as a corporate takeover of the day—is green energy. But if you’re thinking you might learn something about green energy from a film-length treatment of the topic, think again. The basic formula is this: Gibbs reveals that he once thought renewable sources of energy were fairy-dust perfect, with no environmental impact of any kind, but he learns that there is some impact and so declares that they are as bad as or worse than fossil fuels."
May 11, 2020 7:28 PM # 
Here's a retort from Michaell Moore to all the critics, like those cited above, in which he mentions the coronavirus as Nature's clear message of the need to get our consumer-oriented capitalistic western society under control...we can still save the planet...maybe.

In this retort, they do not mention population reduction, population control or the fact that there are just too many people on this Earth, who consume waaaaay too much. Those are hot buttons. And completely anti-religious, unpopular topics for most Americans...worse even than abortion!

For instance, tonyf, an elite orienteer, ceased attending national and international events because of the environmental damage of all that flying. Instead he remained in New England to write a book on this same topic. And recommends the charity Negative Population Growth as his favorite.
May 11, 2020 8:34 PM # 
Look, by all means I support that you're trying to make an argument for our individual responsibility to reduce our personal impact on the environment. But Michael Moore is really not providing your argument any credibility. The movie simply gets the facts wrong. No number of interviews where Moore, Gibbs, and Zehner are given a platform to talk about their film is going to change that.
May 11, 2020 8:44 PM # 
I also fully support the idea of individual responsibility to reduce our personal impact on the environment. However, I'm completely uninterested in whatever Moore has to say at this point. Can't be bothered.

And no offense to tonyf, I respect his decision to safeguard the environment. But staying in your region is a much easier decision to make when you're at an age that you're not considering representing your country at a world championship. What about all the young people who have never had a chance to travel, explore, and meet people from other countries?

If we're going to have a future that we're happy with and also respects the environment, we're going to have to find a way to reconcile travel with being environmentally friendly. Not an easy task, but yeah, that's pretty much it.
May 11, 2020 9:03 PM # 
Agree about Michael Moore. When I've seen very credible evidence about how blatantly and intentionally misleading some of his earlier productions were, I have zero interest in watching anything by him.
May 11, 2020 9:07 PM # 
Sorry to barge in here, but sort of curious... how does that Population Growth charity regard COVID-19? Are they throwing underground raves? It's just so confusing!
May 11, 2020 9:17 PM # 
But staying in your region is a much easier decision to make when you're at an age that you're not considering representing your country at a world championship.

I've always had this issue with high profile celebs that tell you to donate all your time and money to charities... after they've been touring the world for years making squillions and continue to do so.
May 11, 2020 9:32 PM # 
For those who aren't acquainted with tonyf and who may not understand Gswede's comment about his age, or chitownclark's description of him as an elite orienteer, tonyf is 81 years old and when he was orienteering actively, was pretty good in his age group among Americans. He has descendants who have represented the US in international competitions, however.
May 11, 2020 10:21 PM # 
Does Tony F know he's getting dragged into this?
Is he a "For instance" example of supporting this specific Michael Moore film, or chitown's comments in general?
I'm expecting he chooses his endorsements more carefully.
May 11, 2020 11:05 PM # 
That's what I was wondering also, Eric.

Btw, I really respect Tony's decision and applaud him for it. It sounds like an excellent personal decision. At some point, I may make the decision to do that myself.

I kinda want to clarify my stance on this. I don't think it's acceptable or effective for people who have spent years traveling (myself included) to tell others not to, especially when those others haven't had the chance to travel. It seems to mostly be counterproductive to the goal of reducing GHG emissions since it can drive people away more than convince them to join the cause.

Let's just keep working toward sustainability of the whole system, as many of us are.
May 11, 2020 11:15 PM # 
I think the Boomers already used up Millennials' quota for international travel by racking up sovereign national debt. Now every American owes more then $100,000
to the debt holders, mostly investors from Asia. If you sell your kidney that will not cover your share.
May 11, 2020 11:20 PM # 
What if I sell both kidneys?
May 11, 2020 11:28 PM # 
No problem Yurets. Your Federal Reserve Bank just prints money and buys back the debt. Been at if for years and years now. Our own government has just started. We have always been told the risk of this strategy is inflation, but there hasn't much sign of inflation since 2008/9, other than for the assets the wealthy purchase, and PPE where your states are all bidding against each other. Face palm.
May 11, 2020 11:30 PM # 
Then you are fine...but hurry up, if people get the idea the market price for kidneys will drop
May 11, 2020 11:32 PM # 
I feel like lungs will be in high demand in a year or two, maybe if we all sell a healthy lung and kidney each we can pay off the debt
May 12, 2020 2:25 AM # 
I would prefer to keep both lungs otherwise I may end up running around in circles.
May 12, 2020 3:33 AM # 
Practice cyclical breathing techniques tRicky and that will mitigate the urge to run in circles :P
May 12, 2020 6:54 AM # 
And ride a lefty. Being careful which lung to donate.

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