NOTE: As of Monday morning, May 25, 2020, the documentary “Planet of the Humans” has been removed from YouTube. The film has ignited a great deal of controversy within the environmental community with critics claiming that its indictment of ‘green technologies’ is a gift to the fossil fuel industry. It has been described as “dangerous, misleading and destructive” by some climate scientists and the directors of mainstream environmental organizations. It appears that these establishment figures have succeeded in taking the film down.
While I don’t profess to support nor can I verify all the claims made in the film, I do agree with the director’s conclusion that simply relying on technology alone to save us from our wasteful lifestyles is a pie in the sky illusion.
As director Jeff Gibbs states, “The reason we’re not talking about overpopulation, consumption and the suicide of economic growth is because it would be bad for business, especially the cancerous form of capitalism that rules the world now hiding under a cover of green.”
Lifestyle Changes Are Necessary
Don’t misunderstand my intent here. I am certainly not in support of our continuing use of fossil fuels to support our lifestyles. I chose not to bring more children into an already overcrowded world. I don’t own a car. I live in a small apartment in a region where I don’t need heating or air conditioning. I have adopted a frugal lifestyle with the aim of living as lightly as possible on our planet. I find it hypocritical that many mainstream environmentalists refuse to lead by example and model the real lifestyle changes necessary to undo the damage we’ve caused to our planet.
Americans, particularly, are always looking for that silver bullet – whether it be the latest trendy self-help book, medication, diet, technology etc – that will solve a problem without having to make any painful lifestyle changes. Such attitudes are at best selfish, and at worst destructive.
So, the most important question is: How can we utilize technology along with lifestyle changes to restore the health of our planet while, at the same time, creating a more equitable world for all? This is the collective discussion we need to be having, instead of claiming that a couple of filmmakers are spoiling our pie simply by raising concerns which need to be addressed.
UPDATE as of 16:00 on Monday afternoon, the film has reappeared on a different YouTube channel but it could be taken down again at any time. The link below works at the moment.
Header Image: International Animal Rescue