Freedom of speech is the heart of Western democracy. If the heart is sick, inevitably the whole body will be severely damaged. But what is the virus that has infected the very core of our body of state?
Is it the fact that feelings triumph over reason in public debate? Where references to group identity and emotion can shut down all opposing arguments without any facts or valid expressions of opinion. Is it that freedom of speech, the free exchange of ideas, has been perverted by “political correctness” as people no longer seek truth but rather comfort?
Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs look critically at the “green movement” and its protagonists in the new documentary “Planet of the Humans”. Famously known for “Bowling for Colombine” the self-styled socialist, together with Mr Gibbs have some uncomfortable questions for their own side in this new documentary. The immediate response? The Left calling it “dangerous, misleading and destructive”. Not only do the Left refuse to engage with the interesting aspects he shines a light upon, but they call for the suppression of his opinion, “deplatforming”, despite him being one of their own.
In his unique style, the former icon of “good America” and Mr Gibbs, a militant tree-hugger from his early childhood onwards, show that many of the new green energy solutions, which claim to be CO2 neutral, do in fact rely heavily on external power plants which – as you might suspect – are burning fossil fuels.
Wind and solar farms, which they are neatly called, require loads of energy to be constructed, producing vast amounts of CO2. Life-cycle assessments, the methodology for estimating the environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product, demonstrate that these so-called “clean” energies are clean in name only. The wind and the sun are clean and renewable, concrete and crystalline silicon are not.
Indeed, some of the “green energies” in the film seem to be as green as a piece of coal, or perhaps as clean as a Volkswagen Diesel. The film even raises the legitimate question of whether we are actually worse off using them rather than burning coal and gas for electricity; instead of using the fossils to mine for the quartz and non-renewable rare earths required for the production of wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars. The same questions apply to the questionable method of chopping down trees to be burned as biomass. “Green energies” do not just fail to deliver on their promises, as “Planet of the Humans” claim, but they might in some cases even make us worse off.
Also, they come with a heavy price tag for the taxpayer – almost all methods of “green energy” depend exclusively on government subsidies for survival. Money goes in the pockets of Big Business while well-meaning activists provide a green cloak of “morality” – a phenomenon also known as “green washing”. It is indulgence trading of the highest standards, but there is no paradise gained. The documentary calls this by its rightful name – “fraud” – thus enraging the top of the “green-energy” movement, which claims to be selfless but is in fact dominated by the greatest profiteers.
With their profits in jeopardy and their ideology in question these climate activists cry out for this documentary to be banned. I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of Mr Moore and his documentaries, but all our alarm bells should ring when he faces censorship, pardon me, “deplatforming”. What has become of the sentence attributed to Voltaire, not a staunch reactionary himself, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”?
We hear calls for “deplatforming” everywhere and they are often successful; first wave feminists, to name one particularly targeted group, can tell you a thing or two about it. Self-imposed “moral police“ are omnipresent in social and traditional medias – not only when the classics of gender, environment and migration are the topics – but everywhere; making an inquisitor or a politburo member blush with the vigour those activists display.
Labelling legitimate critique as “hate speech”, “dangerous”, “misinformation” and vociferous calls for “safe spaces” are the poor arguments and tactics employed by the Left. But now they are used against one of their own: Michael Moore who had been noticeably quiet in other cases of “deplatforming” was strikingly made aware of the importance of an uninfected beating heart. The Revolution devours its own children; we are not quite there yet, but Mr Moore has received a taste of how it is if you are suddenly on the menu.
I do not agree with the narrative that all that is bad in the world is created solely by billionaire plutocrats and their capitalism which they – according to Mr Moore – impose upon us. However, let me be absolutely clear: I utterly defend Mr Moore’s freedom to produce as many documentaries, “Beneath the Planet of the Humans”, “Escape from the Planet of the Humans” or “Battle for the Planets of the Humans“? – as he sees fit. I am bewildered that in 2020, this position seems to be an extraordinary thing for so many, too many people.
Yes, climate change is real, but climate activists do not get it all right and public scrutiny with reason is vital to keep the body healthy and sane. Yes, the global population is growing Africa alone is expected to double to 2.5 billion by 2050, which will increase its CO2 output massively.
The West has been burning fossil fuels for some time now, but suddenly swapping to ineffective expensive “green” measures will not save the planet. We need to lead by example: reasonable and cheap alternative energy solutions are already at our hand in the form available, for example nuclear power. The way to gain further technical solutions to tackle climate change is not big government, but market-efficient and market-effective measures such as incentives for the invention and development of climate-friendly technologies. Personal, economic freedom and ecology go hand in hand. Without economic growth we will not be able to create the necessary innovation nor will we be able to afford it.
The green revolution shouldn’t send Moore and Gibbs to the scaffold and scare people from using their freedom of speech. Open exchange is vital and necessary in order to find truth. Science, our methodological way of seeking facts, should not be restricted to one professional field. New knowledge needs relaying and reviewing in the public arena. In this debate we need to hear voices like Moore’s and Gibbs’s; let’s defend our freedom and see their documentary.
Click here to watch the documentary.