Transitioning to renewable energy will not save us.
That is the underlying message of Michael Moore’s new film, Planet of the Humans, which was just released on Earth Day. (You can watch it for free on YouTube.) At it’s most basic, our problem is that we have an infinite growth economy on a finite material planet. That problem will not be solved by transitioning to solar and wind without a drastic reduction in human consumption.
This message has received a mixed response from environmentalists, ranging from relief—that this message is finally reaching a wider audience—to outrage—that anyone would question what has become an article of faith for the mainstream environmental movement, i.e., that renewable energy will save us. I have to say, Planet of the Humans is not a perfect movie, either as a film or as an environmentalist text. But the movie goes to the heart of the problem—industrial capitalist civilization—and it correctly calls out the complicity of the mainstream environmental movement in that problem.