As statues are being torn down across the US, the statue of our fake renewables industry is about to crumble
Some of the greatest films of all time, some of the biggest philosophers, visionary politicians, iconoclastic painters of our civilisation were censored, ostracised and even persecuted by the society of their time. This has happened again and again countless times in our human history, so many times that you would think that by now, we would be slightly more open minded. I guess we are, otherwise Michael Moore, Jeff Gibbs and Ozzie Zenher, the team behind the movie Planet Of The Humans, could have ended up on a spectacular witch hunt bonfire (not a CO2-friendly way to go).
The movie faced an unprecedented attack soon after its release by the very industry that it so masterfully exposed, but also by supposedely indepenent (as well as not so independent) media who just couldn’t possibly fathom the fact that their whole reality had been shattered, their whole point of view would now have to be reconsidered. Because doing precisely so would have been embarassing. It would have made all of them look like fools. Doing so for some of them would also mean having to say goodbye to their endorsements from, and friendships within, the renewables industry. It would have to mean pulling out those YouTube videos that now didn’t seem to fit in with the truth the movie exposed. Rather than opening their eyes and ears to the biggest whistleblowing that the renewables industry had ever seen, they decided to pay their respect to their father figures. They decided to stick their head in the sand. And then go on attack mode.
The attack of course had nothing to do with the movie’s message. Rather than attacking the message, they attacked the messenger through copyright laws that were supposedly infringed, in order to shut it down. It was like saying to Erin Brockovich “we don’t care if you’re right, you don’t have a law degree and your boobs are too big for us to actually take you seriously”.
But managing to pull the movie off the air only further proved the fact that the industry wasn’t simply concerned about being seen in the “wrong” light: it was precisely concerned about the fact that it had been most accurately portrayed, for the first time ever. And this is why it wasn’t content with simply critiquing the movie. It wanted it removed. The industry didn’t want anyone, anywhere, to be able to see this movie. Because if they did, they would see that it didn’t just expose one, or two, or three types of renewable technologies. It exposed the entire business model on which this industry is based, which is to tell consumers we are saving the environment, but then do the opposite. For many this was a truth that is too earth-shattering, too painful, “too real”, “too truthful” to accept.
Not for me. Because in my view the movie actually doesn’t expose anything new. It is yet another movie that demonstrates that whenever there is profit involved, capitalism will find a fake alibi to justify it’s actions, putting profit above the people and the environment, and covering it all up with half truths. We’ve been sold a big lie about renewables, a lie which aimed to clean a dirty industry. An industry where intentions may be good, but the sum total of its imperfections and exceptions when it comes to its true emissions, actually do not support and cannot support any good intentions whatsover. Today’s renewables industry is a Frankestein project: although the overall result is some kind of a being that moves and talks, the insides are all rotten to the core.
After 11 days of being blocked on YouTube by a powerful entity that obviously didn’t want the truth to come out, the movie’s central message has been nothing but emboldened. And like the movie’s creators, I also believe in transforming our energy sector. I’m just not ready to delude myself. I do hope that, unlike philosophers like Socrates and painters like Van Gogh that become famous posthumously, we won’t have to wait until the film is not “ahead of its time” in order to heed its message. Because we don’t have that kind of time here. The time for the planet of the humans has ran out already. As this great country still struggles to come to terms with the truth of its treatment of black people, after hundreds of years, and as confederate statues begin to finally come down, let’s make sure that the statue of the renewable industry we had all revered is replaced not with a new statue, not with fake hopes or smoke and mirrors, but with something much, much simpler: a tree.
(from the book Disposable Earth)