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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
Biomass plant, Williams, California. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.
As a former environmental activist and environmental journalist with a brief appearance in Jeff Gibbs’ film Planet of the Humans—I was the guy trespassing at the biomass facility—I’m blown away by the amount of discussion the film has generated.
POTH brings up a slew of critical environmental issues ranging from ecosystem destruction to species extinction to climate change; the impacts of fossil fuels and limitations of alternative energy; the successes, compromises, and failures of the mainstream environmental movement; and, at the root of it all, our culture’s collective delusion of infinite economic growth on a finite planet. Intriguingly, the film also acts as a kind of Rorschach blot for people to read whatever message they want into it, whether it’s there or not.
Call us troublemakers. Call us advocates of due diligence with all new technologies. While COVID19 has shut down most auto factories, kept consumers from car dealerships, generated relief bills that support electric vehicles (EVs), and led to an oil price drop that leaves no way for an EV to recover its manufacturing or operating costs, we propose re-evaluating EVs' true costs before anyone makes or buys another one.
When Stan Cox was writing his book, The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Stil
On November 10, 2019, a violent coup d’état took place in Bolivia, navigated by the U.S., which managed to articulate the racist national oligarchy with the backing of the armed forces, the police and the paramilitary groups forcing Evo Morales to resign at gunpoint. The objective was to regain control of natural resources, mainly lithium, and to erase the example of a government with an indigenous face that for the first time since the genocidal conquest of America had come to power... During Evo Morales’ government, Bolivia went from being the second poorest country in Latin America to the region’s top country in economic growth with an average growth rate of 4.9 percent, according to the UN. The GDP quadrupled to US$9.5 billion from US$45.5 billion. Macroeconomic indicators were unsurpassed in South America and it was the country that had the greatest reduction in extreme poverty from 38 to 15%.
“So, the country is steeling itself for its Great Leap Forward: coming out of our underground bunkers, our bomb shelters, our foxholes, our caves, where we have been hiding out from the tenuous invisible virus-laden fog of everyone else’s exhalations. We are being steeled to open air-tight hatches and climb out into the wreckage — unseen but wrecked — of our old world.
On these two opposing types of responses to the movie “Planet Of The Humans”
PRO: “The key, however, is that all these [‘greenish’] energy policies have to be carried out after capitalism has been wiped out and under conditions where production is based strictly on use.“
The first of two terrifying realities rush to mind when one stops long enough to consider what the underlying revealed human and environmental truths, realities, causes and hypocrisy’s are of the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, and what those who variously argue how to resolve it have to say about the future of not only human life but the survival of all lifeforms upon the planet and what other horrors these revelations suggest may still yet come to pass in the future.
The backlash may be more revealing than the film itself, but both inform us where we are at in the fight against climate change and ecological collapse. The environmental establishment’s frenzied attacks against Planet of the Humans says a lot about their commitment to big-money and technological solutions.
Despite the hullabaloo, the central points in the film aren’t particularly controversial. Corporate-industrial society is driving human civilization/humanity towards the ecological abyss and environmental groups have largely made peace with capitalism. As such, they tout (profitable) techno fixes that are sometimes more ecologically damaging than fossil fuels (such as biomass or ethanol) or require incredible amounts of resources/space if pursued on a mass scale (such as solar and wind). It also notes the number of human beings on the planet has grown more than sevenfold over the past 200 years. The green establishment’s hyperventilating over the film suggests an unhealthy fixation/link to specific ‘renewable’ industries.