Lockdown #8

May 4th, 2020

This week my attention has been drawn to an online film by Michael Moore – Planet of the Humans.

His name rang a bell for me, as I remember one of my sons collecting his books and watching his films (starting with ‘Bowling for Columbine’). 

Climate experts are calling for the film to be taken down – I’ve written to Mr Moore, on his Facebook page to start with.

Here’s a quote from a review in EcoWatch: “Environmentalists and renewable energy advocates have long been allies in the fight to keep unchecked industrial growth from irreversibly ruining Earth’s climate and threatening the future of human civilization. 

“In their new YouTube documentary “Planet of the Humans,” director Jeff Gibbs and producer Michael Moore argue for splitting the two sides. Their misleading, outdated, and scientifically sophomoric dismissal of renewable energy is perhaps the most dangerous form of climate denial, eroding support for renewable energy as a critical climate solution.

Planet of the Humans by the end of April had more than 4.7 million views and fairly high scores at the movie critic review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The documentary has received glowing reviews from numerous climate “deniers” whose names are familiar to those in the climate community, including Steve Milloy, Marc Morano, and James Delingpole. Some environmentalists who have seen the movie are beginning to oppose wind and solar projects that are absolutely necessary to slow climate change.

“The film by these two “progressive” filmmakers may succeed where Fox News and right-wing talk radio have failed: to undermine humanity’s last best hope for positive change. 

“As energy journalist Ketan Joshi wrote, the film is ‘selling far-right, climate-denier myths from nearly a decade ago to left-wing environmentalists in the 2020s.’”

As you can imagine, reading all this made me feel very depressed; but since looking at Moore’s Facebook page (lots of sensible, questioning comments), I hope that he actually does not have such huge influence after all. I certainly don’t think he/the film should be ‘gagged’ – rather, recognised for all its flaws…

Now a piece of unusual, unexpected good news – billionaire investor Warren Buffett told shareholders on Saturday that he had sold all of his company’s airline stocks. He said the world/business (the same thing to people like him…) is changing ‘in a very major way’. And EasyJet are raising prices of flights. Moving in the right direction!

Please sign, if you haven’t already, Greenpeace’s ‘Public money for public good’ open letter about not bailing out airlines.

Now, news from the inspiring Caroline Lucas.

Strengthening environmental regulations must be a key plank of the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis to help prevent the spread of future pandemics, say a cross-party group of MPs – and bailouts for industries must contain strict conditions on their future environmental performance.

Led by Caroline Lucas, our government is being urged to encourage better agriculture, help developing countries to halt deforestation, and provide funding for poor countries to improve their health systems.

Human health is dependant on that of animals, plants and the environment. It wouldn’t hurt to send Rishi Sunak a tweet or other kind of message to this effect, if you have time!

And finally, the National Portrait Gallery has announced that BP will not help judge the portrait award this year, for the first time since 1997. Good news!

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