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The Green Flame

Aug 6, 2020

In this episode we discuss the film Planet of The Humans, directed by Jeff Gibbs and produced by Ozie Zehner and Michael Moore. The film shows how the environmental movement -- as defined by large environmental organizations, what we call big green environmentalism -- has been largely been co-opted by corporations and finance, and refocused from the natural world to so-called green technology that, despite what we may like to believe, will not and cannot solve the climate problem.

The film was released on Earth Day 2020 and has been viewed over 8 million times since then. The backlash to the film by the big green environmentalists was swift; within days, many big names in these organizations had posted harsh criticism of the film. Because the film dares to question the technologies these organizations have been pushing on us -- primarily wind and solar -- most criticism focused on how the film got small and inconsequential details of these technologies wrong---for instance whether solar panels are 8% efficient or 15% efficient. Of course, this misses the point of the film entirely, which is that these technologies are simply a means to keep our industrial civilization going just a little bit longer so that we may continue to destroy what's left of the natural world.

The film's detractors succeeded in removing the film from YouTube for several days in late May and early June using a copyright claim over 4 seconds of film; 4 seconds that clearly falls under fair use. The film is now available again and continues to be offered for free.

We discuss some of the questions raised by the film, the authoritarian nature of modern-day solar, wind, and biomass technologies, our responses to the film, parts of the film that resonated with us most deeply, perhaps the most controversial topic touched on the film -- population, how the media fails to communicate the full impacts of technology, the film as part of the conversation about the price of technology in our lives, and more.

Interview with film maker Jeff Gibbs on The Green Flame:
Interview with film maker Jeff Gibbs on Resistance Radio:

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