Even Michael Moore Slams Wind and Solar Harms, Leftist Hypocrisy

The wind and solar industries are nothing more than crony rent-seekers destroying the environment while pretending to save it, socialist activist and filmmaker Michael Moore admits in his new film, Planet of the Humans. Strikingly, the film exposes the fact that so-called green energy cannot prevent climate change. According to Moore, the people who are promoting wind and solar power are making fortunes off the backs of taxpayers, through government programs subsidizing renewable energy and mandating its use.

Released as a free film on You Tube, the film reveals many dark and dirty environmental secrets regarding wind and solar power.

Solar panels, for example, are made with metallurgical coal and require 16 times more materials in the form of cement, glass, concrete, and steel than do nuclear power plants. Solar panels also create 300 times more waste than nuclear power.

Biofuels are produced using tractors running on diesel, use tremendous amounts of water (often pumped by electricity from fossil fuel power plants), and delivered to market by trucks fueled by diesel. Also, the crops used to make biofuels require the conversion of between 400 and 750 times more land—depending on the crop grown to produce the fuel—than the land required to produce an equivalent amount of petroleum energy.

Aside from showing that so-called green energy isn’t very green, Moore and his longtime collaborator Jeff Gibbs also skewer green energy profiteers. For instance, although Elon Musk brags his Tesla Gigafactory battery manufacturing plant in Nevada is powered by renewables, Gibbs shows it is hooked up to the electric grid, relying on natural gas for much of its power.

Also, the film shows that Al Gore, the political godfather of climate alarmism, took millions of dollars in fossil fuel money when he and his co-owner of Current TV sold the channel to Al Jazeera, a Qatar state-funded network. Qatar is a nation whose government is largely funded by oil and gas revenues and whose citizens have the largest per capita carbon footprint in the world.

Gibbs examined a supposed green energy investment fund, the Green Century Fund recommended by Bill McKibben’s 350.org. Examining the fund’s investments, he “found less than 1 percent solar and wind and 99 percent things like mining, oil and gas infrastructure, a tar sands exploiter….”

Gibbs explained in an interview with Breitbart news, neither Moore nor he had intended to challenge the effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable power. Instead, they wanted to understand why it hasn’t been more successful. Instead of dark forces and moneyed interests suppressing so-called green energy, they were disgusted to find corporate interests were devising and profiting from policies subsidizing and mandating wind and solar power. Moreover, they were surprised to find “renewable” energy production requires the use of fossil fuels.

“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” Gibbs said in a phone interview with Breitbart. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … these technologies were just another profit center.”

For the sin of telling the truth about the left’s green energy fantasies, environmental protest leaders and campaigners have called for “Planet of the Humans” to be pulled from viewing.

Climate realists have long described the tremendous virtues of fossil fuels when compared to renewable energy sources. One of the most authoritative discussions of the virtues of fossil fuels is Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, and a recent paper by The Heartland Institute, “Policy Brief: How The Green New Deal’s Renewable Energy Mining Would Harm Humans And The Environment.” The latter Policy Brief examines how mining to produce minerals critical for wind, solar, and battery power produces a horrendous toll on human health and the environment. However, the mainstream media has largely ignored this research because it goes against their liberal bias. That’s why Moore’s Planet of the Humans is so dangerous to the political Left; because the criticism and expose come from one of their own.

Planet of the Humans is spot on. Green energy is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and bad for human freedom. To Messrs. Moore and Gibbs, in the immortal words of movie hero John McClane, I say, “Welcome to the party, pal!”

H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.

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  1. NASA’s “Earth Observatory Picture of the Day” recently featured a new solar farm built in Spain, as seen from space in a before/after format showing the beautifully wooded hills before and the blight of the solar panels after.

    The caption/article about the picture breathlessly reported that this farm was able to produce a peak output of 500 MW and covered “only” 4 square miles, which is 2560 acres. I was curious so I looked up the typical land-use footprint of a natural gas plant.

    I found that an “average” 800 MW natural gas plant uses about 30 acres, but there were several listed that took up as few as 7 acres.

    So 0.05x as much land-use for even more power, plus it’s reliable and constant, not subject to a ramp-up in the morning as the sun rises, peak output at noon, then a ramp-down as the sun sets, then no generation at all at night.

  2. Micheal Moore—thank you for your honesty. Al Gore got rich on promoting solar and wind equipment. Too bad young people are still being influenced by him. I saw his film in a church of all places!

  3. Excellent!! These are truths that many of us have known for years, but speaking or writing about them would just be ridiculed. I have been called a liar by high school students and teaches because I work in the fossil fuel industry. I never thought I would have praise for Michael Moore.

  4. As a 30+ year residential real estate appraiser in “green” Austin, Texas, for well over a decade I’ve been following home sales that have solar panels. I have yet to see an example of solar panels creating a significant positive value to a home that anywhere near equals the cost of installation. Additionally, if you pay cash for the solar system, what is the amount of monthly utility savings over how many years to pay for the system? If you take out a loan to pay for the system, how much monthly utility savings over how many years to pay off the loan? It takes a long time to pay off a solar system with utility savings and most homeowners don’t stay in their homes that long. Then, when they have to sell the home after three or five or seven years they are often shocked to find that their solar system hasn’t added any value to their home; sale prices of homes with solar are usually the same as the similar home in their neighborhood that doesn’t have solar. I also recently spoke to a solar salesman here in Austin who frankly told me that solar companies are having a hard time getting to a cheaper price point. And if you asked Austin area residents if they would generally approve of lithium mining if the resources were available nearby, you wouldn’t get many takers for a mining operation. Solar is a joke here in Austin, and may be a worse investment than a $50,000 swimming pool, which would give you about $15,000 in added value at the time of sale. Both are luxury “choice” items, not an investment.

  5. Thank you for presenting the practical deficiencies of solar and wind, especially for large urban populations with high seasonal demands for electricity and petroleum-based heating products.
    North America would never be able to compete with low wage nations such as China without an ample supply of power to operate its indigenous industries and transportation matrices.
    Perhaps a century of serious sustainable development and natural resource conservation will improve the acceptance of clean petroleum-based energy and nuclear as the foundation of strong western economies and relegate wind and solar to emergency backup status.

  6. Thanks for sharing. I watched the Documentary. Well done but very depressing. Glad Moore and Gibbs were open minded and thoughtful about sharing this research. Hopefully this will be seen and appreciated by many.

  7. I’ve been trying to educate people on this for several years. Renewables really can only be a supplement to the grid, not the grid itself.


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