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Michael Moore: changing sides?

By Keith Antonysen

Michael Moore has just released a film on Earth Day about renewables, and alleges that some icons working to slow down climate change are making profits from the sale of renewables.

In relation to solar panels, the example of panels created years ago breaking down was amplified. Since the examples given in the film, solar technology has improved out of sight. There was no attempt to find out about the efficacy of modern solar technology against what had been shown in the movie. Premium solar panels have a guaranteed life time of 25 years; they are significantly more efficient than those described in the film. But, solar technology does rely on mining and harsh chemicals, it is a choice that is somewhat questionable, against use of fossil fuels. We know that ultimately using fossil fuels is one way to destroy a liveable planet.

Michael Moore’s film also pushed against bio-energy, in my view a strength of the film. Rather than just forest residue being used to create energy forests are cleared. This is where environmental icons such as the Sierra Club, Bill McKibbon, and Al Gore were attacked.

The theme of the film I believe suggests that over population is a main issue we are facing, there was no assessment in the film about the relative use of energy by the rich and poor. I pushed myself into watching all but the last 10 minutes of the movie. Another theme was that belief in renewables has been a con.

The Australian has an article published today about the film; it will get promoted very heavily by anti-climate science advocates.

Recommended reading: B.C. giving millions to transform rainforest into wood pellets for export, new report documents.


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  1. Shane Mortimer

    The solar ideal is inspiring, so too are other “renewable” initiatives. Most such endeavours consume more carbon than they will ever abate and combine this with no decommissioning guarantees, give such industrial developments have a shelf-life of around 25 years and comprise large amounts of rare earth minerals, their future is uncertain. Presently, ‘dead’ solar panels are going to the tip-face. Approving bodies have not addressed such issues and need to be held accountable.

  2. nonsibicunctis

    Keith, I find your piece somewhat confusing. What is it that you are attempting to say?

  3. nonsibicunctis

    Shane, would you care to give some detailed evidence for your claims regarding renewables?

    It seems that you are suggesting that we should just blithely continue to dig up and utilise fossil fuels until either the planet dies, becomes uninhabitable or there are none left to mine. Oh and bugger the mess we make and species we destroy along the way.

    Thankfully, at 73 it is unlikely I will be around when all collapses but, sadly, my children and grandchildren may be.

  4. Shane Mortimer

    Your response is appreciated. We need to hasten slowly. Present renewable power provides less than 5% of grid capacity and it is expensive, which is why your power bill has gone skyrocket high in recent years.

    The destruction of land to install their so-called renewable power methods and mining of rare earth minerals has not been thought through. It seems there is a huge money-grab going on.

    The Australian Capital Territory, for example, should be looking at total carbon reduction, but they prefer their
    spin and political dogma. The truth be known, the Australian Capital Territory is not 100%
    renewable and the electricity delivered to Canberra is still 80% supplied from coal-fired sources.
    As Dick Smith clearly articulated, the ACT is being disingenuous about being 100% renewable
    energy. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/5998894/dick-smith-slams-act-renewable-energy-target-inscott-

    So if the ACT had a gas-fired source of solely un-fracked Bass Strait supply of its’ own, there
    would be a massive 50% reduction in carbon. They would be more self-sufficient, have a revenue
    stream and be able to hit the coal-fired generation where it hurts – in the hip-pocket.

    Similarly, the ACT Government should follow the British model and look at total carbon savings
    and phase out gas economically rather than raising spin by simply saying it is a fossil fuel. The UK
    now has no coal-fired generation.

    The UK’s Baroness Brown spoke at ANU recently and said they are hoping to mix biogas and
    hydrogen to meet their 2050 zero-carbon, that it was completely impractical to phase out gas so
    early as there are 29 million subscribers.

    The ACT promoting new builds to be 100% electric would be OK if they were 100% renewable in
    their delivery.

    Unfortunately, to match carbon to gas at present, the electrical heat pumps need to
    have an efficiency COP (coefficient of performance) of at least 3 to break even with gas. The
    economics of changing out units is not there for carbon savings. The ACT Government should
    realise that energy efficiency is still extremely important as the ACT is still sourcing electricity
    from the grid which is majority coal-fired and not pretend to the public it is now 100% renewable.

    These are the sort of sensible approaches that can make n immediate impact of C02 emissions and transition to more genuinly renewable power sources as technology develops.

  5. Ken Linder

    Shane Mortimer

    Your assertions on the low quantity of renewable energy uptake and assertion that renewables have a far higher carbon footprint that they can ever offset are both false and have been know to be false for some time. They echo ideas that come from Heartland (the propaganda company hired by oil companies) not those from the actual energy sector.

    In 2019, Australia met its 2020 renewable energy target of 23.5% and 33 terrawatt-hours (TWh) for the nastion.

    In 2018 Australia produced 378.7 PJ of overall renewable energy which accounted for 6.2% of Australia’s total energy use.

    You might want to look things up before you post.

  6. Keith


    I did mention that renewables are somewhat questionable, the alternative is less palatable. Moore certainly did promote the view that solar use more energy than is created, that is no longer true. We have just placed solar panels on our home, we have had 12 panels placed which are far more efficient than the 20 we had on our previous home.

    On balance, I’d rather be contributing to try and reduce our carbon foot print than be contributing to reaching the edge of a cliff. Climate change has been in the background lately, it is the cliff; and it is arguably far more dangerous than the coronavirus. Literally every day there are several articles published either quoting scientists or are about research which has been just been published.

    Quite frankly the science published is very frightening.

  7. guest

    Chris Kenny in The Australian today is highly excited by this film “Planet of the Humans” which kind of reminds us of the film “Planet of the Apes”, which has in it the discovery of the Statue of Liberty buried in sand.

    “Planet of the Humans” is partly derived from a book “Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism”, written by Ozzie Zehner, published in 2012. Zehner features in an interview in the new film.

    One point made in the film is that renewables – cars, turbines – need coal energy to make them. Another is that solar panels do not last and will make a lot of rubbish. So we might ask:”What happens to discarded cars, of the fossil fuel kind?

    And what are we to make of a newspaper proprietor who claims to be carbon neutral but publishes denialist scribbles in the newspaper and claims there are no denialists in that company?

    The Guardian review (theguardian.com/film/2020/apr/22/planet-of-the-humans) has this to say:

    “This says Gibbs [film director and producer], is the squeasy merger of environmentalism and capitalism. But it takes it further, suggesting that unfettered capitalism and its insanity of eternal growth on a finite planet is also what is leading us to the cliff edge.
    “Most chilling of all, Gibbs at one stage of the film appears to suggest that there is no cure for this, that, just as humans are mortal, so the species itself is staring at its own mortality in the face. But he appears to back away from that view in the end, saying merely that things need to change. But what things and how?”

    Shades of Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything” (2014).

    I wonder why Chris Kenny did not see these meanings when he wrote his opinion piece.

  8. John

    I quite like the Counterpunch essay by Michael Donnelly titled The Meltdown of the Careerist Greens.
    Unfortunately of course all of the usual right-wing suspects will be wetting their pants with joy in response to the film, and subsequently calling for let-it-rip turbo charged growth.
    Never mind that such a scenario is impossible on a finite planet.

  9. Shane Mortimer

    It is hard to know what to believe these days but one thing is for certain, no matter what method of power generation is used, none of it is totally carbon neutral and all of it creates a waste problem that is not being addressed and the amount of money involved is obscene. Where is the decommissioning plan for wind and solar and regeneration of mining sites? Like every aspect of colonisation, this country is taken for granted.

    Take responsibility for your actions!

    As for me being right wing or pro corporations..what a crock..

  10. Phil Pryor

    What an area bombing scene here, the comments.., all over the place like an acrobat’s diarrhoea. Renewables are essential, even if flawed at this stage. No-one gave up on car engines in, say, 1910 because they weren’t “right” or going well enough. But, steam cars died out…so let us continue to make renewables, and lower if not eliminate pollution, carbon emissions and worry, for we must do better, bit by bit, year by year, to control our stupidity. We have threatened the existence of our home, this planet. Too many people, some greedy, rich, imperious, powerful, too many political perverts, press pricks, Murdoch maggots, money grubbing misfits, traitors.

  11. guest

    John, a very interesting reference to Michael Donnelly’s essay at Counterpunch, The Meltdown of the Careerist Greens.

    It is a lengthy essay, firing off in every direction. He seems to know everyone remotely connected with opinions on Climate Change. He attacks Greta Thunberg for sailing in a yacht with an engine just in case; and attacks Naomi Klein for flying to conferences. He must keep files on all this.

    He is angry because there has been all this talk about doing something about lowering consumption and reducing emissions etc etc and nothing is happening. And the film “Planet of the Humans” offers no solution. Gibbs, in the film, also says things must change. But as the Guardian writer asks, but what and how?

    Donnelly, too, also poses the question: “How do we lower our collective oversized footprint to sustainable levels?”
    He replies to his own question: “It’s up to us to come up with and act on sensible solutions.”
    And his suggestion to get the ball rolling is: “…how about every household gets a coupon for ten LED light bulbs for filling out the Census?”

    It is all a bit like suggesting that we turn off lights around the world for one hour and expecting some dazzling result. Some cynicism here.

    That Donnelly includes only “careerist Greens” in the title is revealing. Does he mean genuine Greens or fake-Greens or both?” And why only Greens of any kind? Why not rampant denialists? Or “careerist” IPCC scientists? And of course “all of us”?

    There have been many people working hard to fudge the discussion about Climate Change. Just this weekend, Chris Kenny, who is so excited about his interpretation of “Planet of the Humans”, tells us in an essay about what Turnbull is supposed to have left out of his memoir. Kenny was chief-of-staff for Turnbull in 2009. It was the year of Utegate, but also of Labor’s CPRS, about which Turnbull was willing to make a deal with Labor.Turnbull lost out to Abbott, which destroyed everything.

    In 2016, Turnbull, back as PM, devised his National Energy Guarantee which Labor would have supported. Turnbull lost out to Morrison. And Kenny was delighted that the Coalition had no carbon policy.

    Here we are in the middle of COVID-19 with all sides of politics cooperating and the Coalition government having instituted a very Leftish economic stance to deal with it. But afterwards, a ‘snap-back’ to “normal” if that is possible.

    Cooperation with other parties and governments in the science of the pandemic, but in the science of Climate Change, not so much.

    Look at the right-wing arguments about Climate Change and so much of it is about economics rather than science. And all the denialists have their own individual slant on what Climate Change is about. Some of it fanciful, some of it contradictory, much of it just plain wrong. Plimer says CO2 has nothing to do with warming; Carter says CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas. And so it goes.

    And the next thing, Oz will be continuing to ship coal, coal, coal. It’s the money, stupid.

  12. Andrew Smith

    Moore, like other lay experts with good intentions, they can be unwittingly used to promote pseudo science, including the niche PR and astro turfing round population.

    ‘The theme of the film I believe suggests that over population is a main issue we are facing,..’

    Like climate science denialism, tobacco, anti vaccination movement, opposition to renewables and of late scepticism and outright conspiracy theories promoted towards COVID-19 social isolation measures, in the background are fossil fuel etc. oligarch funded think tanks, PR and influencers.

    DeSmog blog has highlighted this phenomenon:

    ‘The response among many American public officials and the public at large to the COVID-19 pandemic has, in many ways, paralleled the response to the climate crisis’


    Regarding ‘population’, it has been promoted as an issue since Malthus and reemerged in the ’70s via ZPG’s Paul ‘population bomb’ Ehrlich and now deceased white nationalist John ‘passive eugenics’ Tanton, supported by Rockefeller Bros. Foundation (Exxon Mobil), Ford and Carnegie Foundations, when fertility rates had already started tanking while most growth now is due to longevity and accumulating in the data (Prof. Hans Rosling did great work on showing this).

    The Guardian’s Jeff Sparrow wrote how Australia, like the US and UK have mainstreamed and followed this niche view of population in article titled ‘Eco-fascists and the ugly fight for ‘our way of life’ as the environment disintegrates’….

    ‘(on Ehrlich) Today, his influence – and that of population theory more generally – has waned considerably, not least because the rate of world population growth has slowed substantially while his predictions of ever-worsening famines in the 1970s proved spectacularly wrong…….. But progressive environmentalists also recognised the succour populationism provided to the extreme right. The attribution of ecological destruction to demographic growth obscures the social relations through which, for instance, a mere 20 fossil fuel companies can be linked to more than one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era. Worse still, arguments that (in theory) blame all people often (in practice) target particular people: usually the poor and the oppressed.’


    Meanwhile credible quantitative and qualitative research has emerged via Canada from Bricker & Ibbitson who not only rebutted the niche white nativist view of population promoted by Ehrlich and Tanton, including sub-optimal inflated forecasts by the UNPD, but synthesised credible research which forecasts a global peak mid century followed by decline…

    ‘Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline. From the authors of the bestselling The Big Shift, a provocative argument that the global population will soon begin to decline, dramatically reshaping the social, political, and economic landscape. For half a century, statisticians, pundits, and politicians have warned that a burgeoning planetary population will soon overwhelm the earth’s resources. But a growing number of experts are sounding a different kind of alarm. Rather than growing exponentially, they argue, the global population is headed for a steep decline.


    Beware of ageing white men worried about the decline in people like them and their malign influence in this world.

  13. Keith

    Chris Kenny et al might be overjoyed by Moore’s film, but the climate is not producing any joy. We are exceptionally close to breaking the 1.5C goal above pre-Industrial times set by the the IPCC. In the past I have often referenced a study of permafrost thawing in caves by Anton Vaks et al … 1.5C was the temperature that permafrost begins to thaw quickly. Caves are relevent in permafrost areas as they display what has been occuring in past times. Over the last couple of years there has been much commentary about thawing happening.

    Browse the graphs shown in the reference, a real worry. They are surface temperatures and do not account for warming oceans.


    Richard Muller was commissioned by Koch to show how official temperatures were enhanced, he and his team found them to be accurate (2011). Subsequently, Richard Muller created Berkeley Earth. Berkeley Earth has delved back into temperature of the Industrial Age further than other Agencies, the results are not good.

    “Berkeley Earth has just released analysis of land-surface temperature records going back 250 years, about 100 years further than previous studies. The analysis shows that the rise in average world land temperature globe is approximately 1.5 degrees C in the past 250 years, and about 0.9 degrees in the past 50 years.”


    Deniers believe they have been given extra ammunition to fight those dastardly “warmists”, they just push us closer to the frying pan.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Fertility rates by country’s income (2.1 is considered replacement rate)

    1 Low income countries 4.6
    2 Lower middle income countries 2.7
    3 Low and middle income countries 2.6
    4 Middle income countries 2.3
    5 Upper middle income countries 1.9
    6 High income countries 1.6

    If you want to address overpopulation, address poverty and war


    And religions should shut up. Make contraception and abortion easily available. Euthanasia should be an option for terminally ill people. Educate girts and employ women – then they have fewer babies later.

  15. Roland Flickett

    Kaye Lee

    When the last Philippine President was asked by the senior cardinal of the RC church ‘When are you going to do something about unemployment?’, he retorted ‘When you do something about birth control.’

  16. Kaye Lee

    Great response Roland. Religion has a lot to answer for.

    Philippines fertility rate is 2.6 (above the world average of 2.4)

    OECD countries are 1.7 and EU countries 1.6 – both below replacement rate, as is Australia at 1.8 and China at 1.7. India is at 2.2 so still increasing. The African continent is where the highest fertility rates are.

  17. Egalitarian

    I don’t think Michael Moore has changed sides.There just doesn’t seem to be checks and balances for any company in the US,apart from ticking all the boxes.

  18. Jack Cade

    The only reason I could think if for voting for a hopeless case like Biden is the fact that there will be a replacement necessary for an appointment to the US Supreme Court for the retiring ‘swing’ voting Justice Kennedy. Despite being a Republican, Kennedy was the deciding vote on the Roe v Wade legislation, which Trump’s far right religious nutter supporters want him to repeal. The Democrats – who are only marginally more acceptable than the Republicans – have decided to block the new appointment until after the November election using the GOPs own spurious grounds for blocking an appointment under Obama.
    This morning I watched Rachel Maddow (autocorrect insists on changing it to Maddox) on youtube, and she revealed the stunning fact that Kennedy was also the deciding vote to block legislation allowing the death penalty for children. Death penalty for children!! The DECIDING VOTE!
    Ffs, as my children say. Ffs indeed.
    And most of you wonder why I am anti-USA…
    A country settled by deeply unpleasant people, whose descendants haven’t changed.

  19. Andrew Smith

    Forbes came out with similar too, some claiming/blaming the producer Jeff Gibbs of being out of date, while Moore did not seem so directly involved; strong whiff of fossil fuel, Koch et al. disinformation….


    Always taken Moore’s films with a grain of salt, often good or entertaining narratives, and like Pilger can be something of a polemicist while lacking clear expertise in the subject (Pilger became something of an apologist for Putin).

    Of course Andrew Bolt, with an army of btl commenters and NewsCorp have latched onto it claiming it proves the ‘left’ and ‘environmentalists’ are wrong…..

  20. New England Cocky

    “The theme of the film I believe suggests that over population is a main issue we are facing, there was no assessment in the film about the relative use of energy by the rich and poor. ”

    Well, over-population, recognised in early 1960s by Paul Erich as major concern for the future of the planet, is a cause of energy demand, just as increased manufacturing in first world countries provides jobs for the ever expanding national population processing raw materials purchased elsewhere and supplying the created markets in the country of origin for rate profits to the manufacturers rather than the producers.

    To maximise the advantages of our natural resources, Australian policies should demand at least primary and secondary processing in Australia with tax benefits provided for a vertically integrated mining, processing, manufacturing complexes.

  21. Terence Mills

    An academic referring to Morrison’s introduction of a lump of coal into our parliament observed that if he wanted to demonstrate the future role of minerals in our energy mix he may have been better advised to introduce sand. Silica sand from which silicon is made and from which solar panel energy is generated together with most modern hitec devices.

    As regards Chris Kenny’s reporting on SKY and the Australian he has failed every benchmark of journalistic standards by failing to ask questions or to maintain impartiality. Whilst he undoubtedly makes good money from promoting the Murdoch line, he will never be classed as a journalist of record and that’s a shame [for him].

  22. Kaye Lee

    “Kenny is a staunchly neo-conservative, anti-progress, anti-worker defender of the status quo. He is an unrelenting apologist for the Liberal Party. He was one of Alexander Downer’s senior advisers at the time of the Iraq War. He’s been known to argue for stubborn, sightless inaction on climate change. He spits at anyone concerned with such trivialities as gender equality, environmental issues or labour rights from his Twitter account on a daily basis. Recently, he characterised criticism of the lack of women in Tony Abbott’s Cabinet as a continuation of the Left’s “gender wars”. He is a regular and fervent participant in The Australian’s numerous ongoing bully campaigns against those who question its editorial practices and ideological biases. ” – Liam Kenny, Chris’s son

  23. Zathras

    People should be aware there are a lot of errors in this “documentary”.

    The script is a summary of what the director has been personally blogging and campaigning about since 2010 so it’s the culmination of a personal agenda and I’m amazed and disappointed that Moore would associate himself with this effort.

    A lot of the film footage dates from pre-2012 and many allegations are no longer technologically relevant.

    The notion that all greenies support biomass is false because many have been loudly protesting against it, including the prominent chap shown in the film who actually turned against it some time ago. Biomass is predominantly used in China and the USA plus a number of developing countries, otherwise it’s a non-issue.

    That solar farm that could power only “ ten houses” was from 2008. The site generated then around 64 MWh a year but a more recent nearby installation generates around 436 MWh. Technology has moved on considerably and continues to do so.

    That Solar Energy Generating System that is now a dusty field of sand in the desert was odd because apparently the latest 2020 satellite imagery shows a site full of solar arrays and it is generating electricity.
    The footage seems to have been conveniently taken mid-way through a routine replacement and upgrading programme and it has been rebuilt a number of times.

    Those rusty old wind turbines shown were from Hawaii and had been removed in 2012 leaving only the concrete pads and any old bits left over had been retained by the farmer landowner for some unknown reason.
    There was no mention of other options or what some other countries have been doing – just a direct campaign specifically attacking solar, wind and biomass.

    The graph showing the percentage of renewals used in Germany refers to the total energy it generates (including heating oil and gas and petrol etc) and not just electricity. Very misleading.

    Likewise the graph showing the total batteries needed to store renewable energy refers to the global electricity requirement and not for just for the USA which was the topic under discussion.

    I’m sure there would be more examples of misleading information.

    The only thing I got from it was confirmation that corporate interests have infiltrated the renewables sector and are trying to control both sides of the argument, and this from a country that considers science as “an opinion”.

  24. Andrew Smith

    I’d disagree on ‘overpopulation’ as an issue and would post that Ehrlich too has been a central media player of a very clever planned long game by old ‘fossils’ i.e. then Rockefeller Bros.(Standard Oil/ExxonMobil), Ford and Carnegie Foundations support for ZPG Zero Population Growth in the ’70s deflecting from fossil fuels and supporting eugenics or white nationalists such as Ehrlich’s collaborator, infamous white nationalist John Tanton; also ties in the junk science PR construct promoted by the Club of Rome, ‘Limits to Growth’ as a reason to restrict immigration, population etc..

    Nowadays it’s clear the influence of ‘Dark Money’ via Koch’s ALEC, Heartland etc., Scaife Mellon (via Colcom) etc. supporting now global influence (e.g. IPA in Atlas Network), selected academia and media such as NewsCorp to lobby politicians and influence public perceptions on fossil fuels vs. green, libertarian vs. Keynesian economics etc.

    Too easy, rather than focus upon policy, regulation, environmental protection, renewables and corporate responsibility simply blame brown immigrants and claim they are breeding like rabbits, yet fertility rates are only high, for now, in sub-Saharan Africa while global population is expected to peak within a generation, then decline.

    Prof. Hans Rosling of Gapminder, amongst many other health, human development and population experts whom are ignored in the Anglo world, give a far more accurate and less alarming picture.

    Rosling’s presentation is here, ‘Don’t Panic the Facts about Population’, explaining how we are seeing growth mostly due to the outcomes of higher fertility rates in past generations with improved education and health outcomes increasing longevity (and now lower fertility in the developing world), hence, seemingly high population, is nearing its peak.

  25. Andrew Smith

    Further to the above, following is an article by Malcolm King in Green Left Weekly summarising the ‘population’ movement and its roots, including influencers in Paul Ehrlich and John Tanton (admirer of the white Oz policy), while King was trolled and attacked constantly round this time.

    Curiously, Australia is where the negative obsession about population growth and immigration has been most successfully mainstreamed aka ‘the Great Replacement Theory’….. and goes much deeper than simply upsetting support for the Greens, but deflecting from fossil fuels, nobbling Labor, allowing aggressive neo-liberalism and neo white Oz policy to flourish…

    ‘Rise of the populationists greenwashes racism

    Malcolm King August 16, 2013

    The Australian environmental movement is under attack by populationist and anti-immigration forces in a calculated attempt to divide the Green Party vote at the federal election.

    The Stable Population Party (SPP), the Stop Population Growth Now (SPGN) Party in South Australia and their mother organisation, Sustainable Population Australia, are “green washing” their anti-immigration policies to make them more palatable to the electorate.’


  26. paul walter

    I am trying to recall a more vile and silly commentary from people I previously regarded as being brighter than usual.

    It is an absolute misrepresentation of the environmentalist stable populationist spirit and agenda, with its desire to see, after so many decades, a responsible response from governments and capitalism to issues of optimum resource use, protection rather than vandalising of the resources base such as has happened along the Murray Darling, gas fracking and water basins, land clearancing and for god’s, at last some forward planning that has material and social infrastructure of quality in step with pop growth.

    The horse for once must be BEFORE the cart.

  27. paul walter

    For once the horse must come before the cart. For generations, the opposite has been true.

    To claim environmentalism is racist is Murdochian in its dishonesty. Se the REAL message re population and sustainable economics and enviro as a base for properly planned growth rather than just a deluge of cheap offshore labour the politicians and bosses want to see, to cover up for their lack of imagination and intent as to quality products.

    The catchall of “racism” is totally misplaced as to this conversation- think of what sustains a population.

  28. Andrew Smith

    Regarding statement ‘To claim environmentalism is racist is Murdochian in its dishonesty’ (what does that mean?), maybe extrapolating and jumping to conclusions regarding (genuine) environmentalists.

    When Murdoch media, e.g. Sky after dark, Herald Sun, The Oz etc. blame or encourage idea of immigration led population growth for many of society’s ills, often citing Sustainable Australia, Dick Smith, Bob Birrell, MacroBusiness etc., one is simply warning those of us who care for the environment, not to blame (without clear evidence of correlations let alone causation) the glib and easy catch all of population and/or immigration, while allowing fossil fuels, automotive, related corporates and politicians off the hook.

    If you have a clear counter, issue or challenge to my comments I’m happy to respond, with evidence, but Ehrlich for one has well documented form on his views about other types, his collaborators (whom are even worse), corporate sponsors in an orbit round fossil fuels and litany of errors in his supposed scientific pronouncements round population and limits to resources etc…….

  29. corvusboreus

    Speaking as a genuine environmentalist (in the biological and ecological sense), I reckon anyone who can’t see the direct link between the recent explosion in numbers of human beings and the concurrent escalation in environmental degradation and destruction is either willfully myopic or seriously stupid.
    Statisticians reckon the human population will probably level out at around 12 billion by the end of the century.
    Environmental scientists reckon the collective weight of 8 billion people has already unbalanced the planetary climate and caused an ongoing mass extinction event.
    In the end, the piper will be paid.

  30. Andrew Smith

    I would never question anyone’s commitment to the environment here at The AIM, including commenters. However, as an educator, I also have a commitment to research, science, credible data analysis and transparent communication on any given field or issue.

    Accordingly, I would choose to be informed on population, data and analysis by a wide cross section of credible researchers and experts, who do not have a political and/or prejudiced barrow to push.

    One of the best has been Swedish Prof. Hans Rosling medical doctor, expert in human development (in developing world on female emancipation, decreasing poverty and lowering fertility rates) and statistician, who has the ability to communicate research and data analysis well, for anyone to understand.

    https://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/ (includes video)

    From Wiki a brief overview:

    ‘The documentary combines a lecture by Rosling, showing Musion 3D infographics in front of him, with film sequences featuring exemplary stories in different regions in the world. One film section is about a family planning worker in Bangladesh, where the life expectancy increased from less than 50 years in 1972 to over 70, while the number of children per woman declined from more than seven to less than 2.5 in average, and is still falling. Rosling states that this number is representative worldwide, the reason why the total number of children globally is now at a stable level of 2 billions. According to him, the so-called population explosion has already been overcome, the human population will peak at eleven billions, and stabilize at this level by the end of the century.’


    However, more recent research, especially the synthesis of more recent research by Bricker & Ibbitson in Empty Planet (counters and dismisses contrarian Ehrlich’s view of humanity*), claims peak population estimated by the likes of Rosling is way too high…. they also expect a sharp decline in population, which could be an issue.

    Many in the first world seem to have issues with the less developed world catching up economically, and in influence too e.g. China, India, Africa etc.

  31. corvusboreus

    Beyond dry statistical projections based on current trends, manifest realities of our biospheric environment intrude.
    There will probably be a sharp decline in human populations in the very near future, possibly within the next half century, due to ecological depletion and evermore rapid climate shifts causing critical crop failures, combined with drastic reductions in the area of arable land available due to ever-increasing sea rise as the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continue their accelerating collapse.
    Violent conflict and unprecedented levels of population displacement will likely ensue.
    Children born today look set to live in very interesting times.

  32. Andrew Smith

    Issues with the source or platform Quillette:

    ‘Quillette is a right-wing “academic”[note 1] online magazine that tries to present itself as centrist and libertarian when in reality it serves to legitimise many views shared by the alt-right. For example, it regularly publishes articles from a strong conservative viewpoint that are anti-feminist, anti-immigration, Islamophobic and anti-transgender, with some articles more controversially supporting racialism and HBD (“human-biodiversity”) pseudoscience, popular among white nationalists.’


    In short, the author has a background in industrial management (and seemingly invisible online biography?) shoots the messenger while declining to offer any cogent argument, position or thesis, giving a whole scattering of issues while moving across various fields (and data sets) i.e. beyond population, and cites the UNPD (Population Division I guess?) and Global Footprint Network etc.

    The UNPD has been criticised or found out by more recent research i.e. using inflated fertility rates for China, India etc. hence, inflated population forecasts, while the Global Footprint Network is linked to and uses the ‘Limits to Growth’ constructs (masquerading as science) promoted via the Club of Rome…. used by Ehrlich et al. to promote their ‘overpopulation’ message.

    My turn for a question, what is the common link between the UNPD and the Club of Rome? Hint, a family with a strong whiff of fossil fuels wealth and penchant for eugenics, while masquerading as ‘liberal and environmental’.

    Theologian of the left Chris Hedges warns of this, i.e. liberals and left being used or duped into promoting issues for the right or conservatives, including corporates.

  33. corvusboreus

    And down the rabbit hole we go (again).
    Marine environmental issues like oceanic carbonification, acidification and vertebrate depletion (far fewer fish) are completely irrelevant, as are all observations and forward projections regarding accelerative searise and oceanic warming.
    On land, the well documented rapid decline in quantity and diversity of vegetatively symbiotic terrestial invertebrates and microbiae can also be arbitrarily dismissed from all consideration.
    The notable correlation between human population levels and greenhouse gas emissions, biospheric heating and the decline of species and ecosystems is purely coincidental.
    Programmes offering access to birth control and family planning in less developed areas with high birthrates (eg Africa) are merely implementing an agenda of racist eugenics on behalf of the Rockefellers / club of Rome.
    Oh yeah, almost forgot, David Attenborough is a closet white supremisist.
    It’s all there in the ‘green agenda’ (if you are too lazy to LOOK IT UP!!!, Andrew will happily provide a link).

  34. Alex

    Andrew and corvusboreus, on target – Club of Rome, Rockerfellers and eugenics in regards to tying it all together. A year ago I watched a video on James Corbetts channel that exposed the oil agenda. I forget which video it was but one of these at this site: https://www.corbettreport.com/bigoil/ Re the green agenda, Rosa Koire has some interesting things to say in her book ‘Behind the Green Mask’ or if you prefer YouTube – Rosa Koire. UN Agenda 2030 exposed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PrY7nFbwAY

  35. corvusboreus

    Fun fact: in a credible survey of the overall biomass weight of all terrestrial vertebrates, it was found that humans comprise around 32% & human-owned domesticates comprise about 67%, leaving 1% for the weight of wild animals.
    *Note that these wild ‘one-percenters’ include human vectored ferals and non-domesticate human associates (eg Rattus rattus).

    Anyway, the state of the biosphere matters not, so I’ll leave Alex and Andrew to discuss the dangers of sustainability.

  36. Jack Cade

    On the youtube series of old an unusual photographs, there is a picture of an electric motor car re-charging it’s batteries from circa 1925-1930. I understand the technology was acquired and trashed by General Motors.
    That’s assuming the photo is genuine, of course.

  37. Lambchop Simnel

    As Alex says…

    This is the piece missing from Andrew Smith’s analysis.

    No use blaming the frustrated oiks when the those who run things aren’t doing it honestly at the very base and substance of the problem.

  38. Ken Fabian

    Arguing against solar and wind is pointless by now; if they were really that crap they wouldn’t be the most built sorts of new electricity generation globally. They really do work and they quietly crossed below crucial price thresholds that are more like tipping points than just growing in proportion to their cost. Within the production costs of those cheap as chip wrapper solar cells is the electricity to make them; it just isn’t that much or they would cost a lot more than they do. In Australia early projects may have pushed electricity costs up but now large scale solar and wind being added to the grid are pushing costs down. Nothing will be the same because of that.

    Solar and wind make serious amounts of electricity now and AEMO that runs Eastern Australia’s electricity network says accommodating variable wind and solar that max’s out at 75% of supply with supply reliability will be possible as soon as 2025 – and progressively more than 75% – as long as the recommended National Energy Market rule changes are made to support it. Manufacturing that gets 75% low emissions electricity make things, including solar and wind components, with less emissions in them even without specific corporate commitments such as Tesla has for sourcing low emissions.

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