Interviewer: Is Al Gore a prophet?
Al Gore: [chuckles awkwardly]
Richard Branson: ummm … ah… how do you spell prophet?
Al Gore: [more awkward laughter with the other two men]
Climate change is such a complex issue that seems to be beyond the full understanding of alarmists and skeptics alike. And yet, it is hardly the only environmental issue which we need to tackle. So, I don’t understand why we are so fixated on it, rather than more acute issues where the science is more solidly laid down, like deforestation, desertification, solid waste management, water pollution… the list is pretty long, and in all likelihood, is tightly linked to climate change, anyway. And then it occurred to me how climate change has been forcefully associated with carbon emission — fossil fuels, or more specifically, how we produce and consume energy. That’s where the big money has been in the last century or so. And to think people and organizations I had looked up to appear to be complicit or turning a blind eye to the whole thing… well, it’s been a while since I watched a documentary with a clenched fist.
The film’s timeline is vague. It definitely covers events within President Obama’s first term, but beyond that I’m not sure. This sort of explains the criticism about it’s alleged datedness. Nevertheless, Planet of the Humans poses uncomfortable, but relevant questions about renewable energy which I have wondered about for a long time now — questions you’d be in danger of being demonized and branded as a climate denier if you dare to ask them openly.
I know greenwashing is a big issue. But I still underestimated how deep and pervasive it has become and how the ugly side of capitalism has subverted, or rather, appropriated the green movement. If Gibbs’s allegations are true, then we really are better off with coal and oil plants, at least for now. And while he doesn’t touch on the topic, nuclear power right now may as well be the available technology with the smallest carbon footprint and demands serious consideration even by those who vehemently oppose it. But no matter what the right answer is, it would only be a band aid solution when one looks at the big picture. Energy is not the only resource we consume. On top of maintaining the integrity of our ecosystems, until we seriously deal with the issue of overpopulation, or at least our overall efficiency with all resources (not just fuel), then civilization may really be in for some drastic unwanted changes in the not too distant future. Maybe not in 10-20 years and not as drastic as mass extinction, as the most fanatical alarmists want us to believe, but possibly close and hard enough for our children and their children to possibly live long enough to see and experience.