Planet of the Humans (Jeff Gibbs, 2019, USA)

Planet of the Humans is a 2019 documentary by filmmaker Jeff Gibbs. The film was produced by Michael Moore, and that should give you a general idea of the film's hyperbolic style. Gibbs isn't as charismatic a figure as Moore, and his monotone reading of the narration can be a bit tiresome at times. The basic premise of the film: we're doomed. The film presents a picture of the modern environmental movement as having been co-opted by big business (even the notorious Koch Brothers). The fundamental message is that population is the true problem behind the climate crisis and that anything else we do is just putting bandages on a serious wound.

Gibbs is quite convincing at drawing connections between the major environmental organizations, their big business funders, and the whole phenomenon of "greenwashing" - now widely known even by normal people. The film is also quite damning when it comes to its exploration of the biofuel industry and its devastating effect on forests and trees. The film is less effective when it comes to criticizing solar and wind. While it is quite obvious that these things need large amounts of traditional fossil fuels to be implemented, is it truly hopeless?

The film also notably avoids all discussion entirely of nuclear energy. This is understandable, as such a discussion could have taken up an entire separate film. It is, however, a noteworthy gap in a film that evaluates all energy sources available. Planet of the Humans offers considerable food for thought, although it is more a polemic than a serious examination of the various options available to us. Those looking for a more comprehensive examination of the subject matter should perhaps read books by one of the interviewees in the film, Richard Heinberg. The film will not necessarily be news to anyone who has been following these issues. 



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