Reflections on the movie “Planet of the Humans”

I’ve been thinking hard on the new environmental movie “Planet of the Humans“, which the acclaimed director Michael Moore put his name to as Executive Producer. You can watch it at the foot of this post (if it’s still free). The wife and I watched it shortly after its release on Earth Day, 22 April 2020.

I was really excited to watch the movie. The older I get, the more of a tree-hugger I’m becoming. I have enormous respect for Michael Moore as a documentary maker, fighter for human rights, defender of truth and justice, and lifelong Bernie Sanders supporter. He really hyped up the movie in his podcast series, Rumble.

My initial impressions of the movie were:

  1. Damn it! Renewable energy is not nearly as good (green) as I thought it was. I love my solar panels a bit less.
  2. Jeez, the director’s narrative voice is as dull as dishwater. He’s attempted to adopt the same style as Michael Moore, but doesn’t pull it off.
  3. The subject matter felt too narrow, and shallow in the science department. More ground could and should have been covered.
  4. It’s almost completely devoid of hope, solutions. If you were depressed about the state of the environment before, then you might be be upping your Prozac dosage afterwards.

I kept my eyes and ears open for the reviews to roll in and, generally speaking, they weren’t that great.

Yes, the movie is a good discussion starter. Yes, we do all need to continue to stay focused and work hard to improve the state of the planet for ourselves and the future of humanity. But there IS hope. The future is NOT as bleak as the movie would have you believe. Jeff Gibbs’ heart is in the right place, but he lets himself and the green energy movement down with errors of omission, oversight, and outdatedness.

As a Director, Michael Moore has given us documentary classics such as Sicko, Bowling for Columbine, Capitalism: A Love Story, and Fahrenheit 9/11. “Planet of the Humans” is the weakest movie that MM has lent his name to.

There’s an Australian website called SolarQuotes. Its primary commerical function is to earn commissions by introducing people to 3 reputable solar panel retailers/installers. But over the years I’ve learnt that the main contributors have strong science backgrounds. They absolutely know their stuff on all things solar, and renewables in general. Their review of the movie sums up my feelings, and with a lot more science and evidence than I could muster. Definitely worth a read.

by Ronald Brakels of SolarQuotes, 1 May 2020