Tag Archives: overpopulation

“Planet of the Humans” Rightfully Shames Green-Growthers and Technophiles

The film’s poster shows the Lowell Mountain, Vermont wind project at an early stage. It ended up covering over three miles of ridge-line; a tiny fraction of what exists elsewhere.

On Earth Day 2020, Jeff Gibbs, Ozzie Zehner and Michael Moore released a strong attempt to save environmentalism from the pipe dreams and lies of “green growth” addicts. Other activists and blogs have been sending the same message to limited audiences but this film got wide attention, helped by its free YouTube presence. It was welcomed by deep ecologists who can’t support Man’s latest and largest assault on open space, built with fossil fuels at every step. But big environmental groups are trapped in funding cycles with mega-sprawl developers, compelling them to pan the film.

Given their addiction to technological growth, critics of the film ganged up to call it “outdated” and “dangerously” misinformed. Some even claimed that Gibbs is a fossil fuel shill and barely watched it. There’s bad press from prominent scientists like Micheal Mann but others have yet to weigh in (James Hansen’s opinion would be interesting since he’s scoffed at “100% renewable energy”). Critics cite relatively minor technology improvements that happened during the film’s pre-production years, and they assume wind & solar can do far more than physically plausible. They list incremental solar efficiency gains and somewhat cheaper wind turbine materials, missing the point of how they’re built and the vast acreage they occupy. Today’s energy sprawl will look quaint if a full Green New Deal (Mark Jacobson style) ensues.

Ivanpah and other solar projects litter the Mojave desert. Scenic ecosystems are being converted to “clean” industrial parks, rationalized by “wasted, empty space” attitudes.

In 1973, Oregon Governor Tom McCall warned that “…the future must be protected from the grasping wastrels of the land…” but today’s clean-techies are embracing that same disregard for nature on an unprecedented scale. They say it’s being done for “the planet” but it’s really an effort to reduce CO2 for civilization’s sake (more on that). Since the year 2000, the scale of landscape and seascape industrialization has grown by millions of acres due to wind & solar sprawl, including all the areas these projects can be seen from. The visibility of wind turbines can’t be compared to other structures not nearly as tall, bright or numerous. Solar has a lower profile at ground level, but even when photovoltaic panels could technically be built on roofs and parking lots, open space gets developed for expediency, like the upcoming 7,100 acre Gemini Solar Project near Las Vegas. It will supply a city that should only be a fraction of its size, given local resources. To stay viable, Las Vegas is also grabbing water from distant valleys and represents everything wrong with urban sprawl.

Obsession with Man’s carbon (vs. landscape) footprint has distracted many younger people born into the mantra of climate change as Public Enemy No. 1. They’re willing to dump former environmental concerns and develop the hell out of nature if they can brand it “clean energy.” In a YouTube review supposedly debunking the film, someone says it’s “disturbing” when people compare mountaintop wind projects with coal mining damage, as if wind power is more sacred than any mountain. Climate concerns have drowned out land ethics and open space is for sale more than ever. If people really want to save the planet, they should realize that CO2 isn’t the fundamental problem, and helping modern economies doesn’t mean expanding them.

Other films like The 11th Hour (2007) also have anti-growth themes but fall back into “clean energy” rhetoric without examining its hypocrisy. They walk right to the edge of full disclosure then decide to not offend gluttonous people too much. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017) was full of green-growth doublespeak and Planet of the Humans showed that Gore himself represents prevailing power. Filmmakers tend to close with hopium after showing grim montages, which robs their story of integrity and leads to environmental complacency. Gibbs’ film was notably lacking in that tactic and many are grateful for it.

Strong and weak points of Planet of the Humans (2020):

What it did well:

  • Questioned our addiction to economic growth and technological fixes.
  • Explained why “100% renewable energy” is a deception on many levels. It’s a present and future lie based on carbon credit manipulations.
  • Strong critique of desert solar projects, showing old how ones are abandoned and new ones physically deteriorate.
  • Revealed that “biomass” often means cutting more trees and comprises the bulk of “renewable energy” now. Old forest industry propaganda plays into that.
  • Successfully rattled arrogant clean-techies, and reached a bigger audience than Doomers have managed to. Let’s hope it’s not a temporary boost.

What it left out:

  • It should have shown the full scale of wind energy sprawl plus more coverage of wildlife impacts, noise and shadow flicker.
  • More time could have been spent discussing human overpopulation, though they probably knew the Social Justice crowd wouldn’t like it.
  • Nuclear energy, namely SMR, wasn’t presented as a low-sprawl alternative to wind & solar invasions. Safe(r) nuclear may be the only reliable way to offset electrical-generation from fossil fuels, but not their other uses.
  • The somber orangutan scene was powerful, but could have been shortened as part of the larger context. That sort of thing was happening long before “renewables” started plundering nature.

Given the time limits of a feature film, they did well enough with their focus on energy issues, so those aren’t big criticisms. Author’s overall rating: 8/10

This page will be updated and reworded at random with new information. If you cite it, please post the link instead of a pasted snapshot.

COVID-19 is a Symptom of the Primary OVERPOPULATION Pandemic

Most people do not recognize that, at least in rich nations, economic growth is the disease, not the cure.” – Paul Ehrlich

The widely-viewed JHU COVID-19 curve looks like a graph of world population growth. Why has the latter been normalized by society?

A wise species would spend far more time and energy trying to stop human overpopulation than cleaning up its endless symptoms with planning commissions, biologists, catalytic converters and medical disinfectants. We’d be in much better shape if the main driver of wilderness destruction, pollution and new contagions was itself contained. This has been discussed for decades and seems like a lost cause but it’s worth repeating amid extreme measures to stop a virus that barely registers on the scale of species annihilation, including human wars & famines. It also applies to climate warnings that treat CO2 as a tangential byproduct we must vanquish to maintain economic growth while pretending the scale of fossil fuels can be replaced. It’s a mental illness when people flail around reacting to side-effects while treating root causes as inevitable and desirable. “We need more economic growth!” say the politicians & business leaders, but we really need frugality, self-control, and more thinking, not tinkering in this over-engineered world.

The acronym COVID could also stand for Chinese Overpopulation Virus Disease. Around 1978 the Chinese government allowed wildlife to be farmed as a means to curb hunger among its 950+ million people, and in 1989 they further loosened restrictions on endangered species protections, calling it the Wildlife Protection Law (typical growthist apologia). Today, China has over 1.4 billion people and constantly boasts of economic growth, meaning more people, more consumption, more pollution and more heinous food sources. It’s considered racist to call SARS-CoV-2 the “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese coronavirus” but it’s a highly accurate description of the origin. People should not be eating pangolins, bats, or shark fin soup. It’s disgusting and unnatural, just like the mindless overpopulation that spawned such desperation.

Attention China: When you reach a point where you’re eating pangolins, bats and other sick protein sources, you might want to retry stricter birth control.

The Internet also has physical limits to growth and its infrastructure can’t be endlessly expanded or supplied with adequate power. Data centers use a lot of electricity and water, and companies have been throttling bandwidth to accommodate more users working or video-conferencing from home. A lot of bandwidth is also used for arguably frivolous social media sites, plus spam. The impact of COVID-19 sheltering could be a preview of future overload as more people are connected, including a big increase in space junk if low-orbit Internet satellites get fully deployed. People need to know that the world is a physical place, not a spreadsheet with endless rows to add.

Reactions to any mention of population overshoot range from “How dare you say that about our Godly species?” to “It’s just a matter of inequitable food distribution” (treating hunger as the sole issue) to “Go kill yourself and lighten the load!” Few of those people bother to give counter-evidence, and are stuck on religious dogma, naive leftism or business greed. Another aspect of overpopulation-denial is ignorance of land-use and the scale of food production, physical infrastructure and energy sprawl. Those people claim there’s still “plenty of land” to fill up with farms, homes, roads, factories and wind turbines. They either won’t do the math or show little concern for what Man has already smothered. Acolytes of the late Julian Simon claim that human ingenuity can overcome physical limits, and see the Earth as not truly finite. They never prove it but they don’t care to because they view it as “optimism.” All that matters is attitude when you’re selling growth bubbles.

A big topic in mid-April 2020 was reopening economies after oppressive shelter-in-place restrictions and social-distancing. It’s understandable to want our freedoms back but the very economies we “need” to restart have been destroying nature for too long already. Scientists and laymen noticed less air & water pollution, roadkill, noise and other environmental impacts during coronavirus lock-downs. It gave a temporary glimpse of what the world might look like if we got serious about saving the planet vs. maintaining stock prices and compound interest. That wouldn’t mean building more “clean energy” sprawl, rather, scaling down human activity and limiting future births with government incentives and personal accountability. Nobody has an individual right to crowd the world to death, and all behaviors add up.

Old industrial scars and new sprawl branded as “clean energy” are compounding damage to nature. Viral machine overpopulation is no way to replace dense energy sources.

Stalling the global economy for COVID-19 has also revealed the truth of non-essential jobs and general economic bloat. Restaurants are a luxury unless your only food source is a cafe in the desert. For better or worse, film and music industries replaced people making their own entertainment. Energy-intensive sporting events are essentially showboating, with millionaires mimicking old hunting and war tactics. Other species put their energy into direct survival with little impact on their surroundings. Bears, moose, eagles and whales don’t need job-creation schemes, money or debt. People should question the true value of “passion jobs” enabled by fossil fuels, and interdependent (skilled and unskilled) professions that fall like dominoes in survival mode. Many of the highest paying jobs are non-vital, which says a lot about money itself. People seem to understand this when viewing apocalyptic dramas, but they lapse back into modern normalcy. When shale oil & gas production peaks (likely this decade) COVID-19 may be recalled as a mild economic preview.

This isn’t a call for returning to crude ancestral living, but we clearly ought to reduce wasteful labor-redundancy and ditch growthist ideology that seeks “More, more, MORE!” as it wrecks nature 24/7. People have been the main invasive species for centuries and should permanently back off to let the planet recover, just as we’re trying to recover from this virus.

This page will be updated and reworded at random with new information. If you cite it, please post the link instead of a pasted snapshot.