(NOTE: I replaced the YouTube link with a more critical annotated version. Because intellectual engagement is better than censorship.)
So here I am, sitting back and waiting for the hot takes to start rolling in about the Planet of the Humans documentary. It’s already pretty clear that one group will be taking it as an excuse to take a huge dump on any and every environmentally conscious person on the planet. It’s also equally clear that another group will take it as an excuse to turn on every fact and datapoint and idea in the movie, out of despair and frustration.
Big surprise there.
Funny how when Moore was telling us about school shootings and fear culture, the left loved it and the right shouted about what a commie kook he was. Now he’s telling us about the perils of green solutions and the corruption and greed driving it, the right is thrilled and the left is shouting “ecofascist”.
 I’ll want to see more science on this, solar power has come a long way in the ten-plus years since any of the information included in this movie. But there is still legitimate cause for concern and caution.
 Frankly I find this instantly easy to believe.
Nobody’s got it right yet. Moore’s always had a mixture of solid truth in his messages, and a lot of scary shit designed to wake us up and make us think. Is he right? Is he wrong? Not really the point. You can’t be right or wrong about such a sweeping and multifaceted issue. All we can hope to do is take away some practical points and not discard stuff that still has merit in our rush to abandon our posts and flee, flee for our lives.
And that goes for the people on all sides of this.
Moore isn’t wrong that, without some unforeseen and orders-of-magnitude change in our resource-providing technology, there are just too many humans living too unsustainably for this planet’s biosphere. The problem, as I so often like to say, lies in the “so” this leads to. Yes, we need to reduce population. But as soon as any human agency takes over that decision-making process, the result will be ecofascism and an absolute travesty the likes of which human civilisation has never seen.
And mark my words. It’s coming. It’s only going to get worse and the climate is only going to continue to disintegrate around us. The choice will be taken from our hands and our population will be decimated. Or whatever the 90-10 version of “decimated” is. And before that happens, we are going to tear ourselves apart like rats in a sack. And it’s going to be the third world that cops it in the neck.
 And that’s good!
The thing is, Moore’s message hasn’t always been like this. The driving point, I seem to recall, of his book Dude, Where’s My Country? was that we were dying out because, I don’t know, something about sitting at computers too long and our sperm going manky and so more women were being born instead of an even mix, so population was declining due to lack of males. I mean, that was a solid decade back. Wasn’t that a good thing? Frankly the more women we have, the better.
Furthermore, it’s become very clear that the moment you grant rights and education to women, the population starts to level out and drop because they suddenly realise they have better things to do than sit around being baby factories. It’s happened in Scandinavia and basically everywhere else women have been acknowledged as human beings rather than cattle. Educate, and the problem solves itself. Maybe not fast enough, but it will happen.
Therein lies the problem. Therein lies the “so”. Because the developing world, the non-western world, is the one with the booming population. Women’s rights, education, birth control … the second we start trying to direct that shit in other countries, we wind up with genocide and butchery. Because we’re humans and we suck.
On the other hand, the developing world is a massive majority population-wise and are guilty of only the smallest part of the actual carbon load. It’s the tiny, rich, wasteful, privileged population of the west that is responsible for most of the pollution and fuckery which is contributing to human-caused climate change. It’s me. If you’re reading this, it’s you. The solar panels on my roof haven’t changed that one bit.
So what do we do?
Well, we’re not going to solve the climate crisis with green alternatives like wind and solar. Even if those technologies are absolutely fine, and even without hamstringing from movies like this, it was never going to work because we’re shit. We’re not going to get it together in time. We’re going to keep using fossil fuels until we die. Maybe the green technology we have in place will slow things down, maybe it will have no impact whatsoever. The fact remains that it’s not going to be able to support a population of 7-and-a-half billion monkeys.
What will? I don’t think anything will. Sci-fi shit, post-scarcity, is needed and that won’t happen. We don’t trust nuclear power and that’s the only thing I can think of with the grunt to replace coal in the mid-term. We could turn Africa and Australia into solar farms, but we won’t. And maybe it wouldn’t do any good if we did. Maybe that production would be more wasteful than digging up coal and burning it.
So is reducing our population the only thing we can do? Good news – that’s definitely going to happen anyway. Human fertility rates are dropping and our population growth is slowing. Even if we don’t take any more steps to educate and grant rights to more women worldwide, we’re levelling off – probably, I think, because we’ve just plain reached the edge of the envelope there. It’s not going to happen fast enough, but good news again! The climate collapse super-catastrophes are coming, and so are the climate refugee massacres and the ecofascist genocides. If any species can cull itself, it’s ours. We’ve trained for this. The question is, will any of us be left and will there be any arable land at the end of it?
I don’t know, whatever. Smoke ’em if you got ’em. I guess all we can do is sit back and do nothing and wait for the next thing to happen.