‘Green’ Billionaires Behind Suppression Of ‘Planet Of The Humans’

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The Michael Moore-produced ‘Planet of the Humans’ faced a coordinated suppression campaign led by professional climate activists backed by the same ‘green’ billionaires, Wall Street investors, industry insiders and family foundations skewered in the film.

“We must take control of our environmental movement and our future from billionaires and their permanent war on Planet Earth. They are not our friends.”

-Jeff Gibbs, director of “Planet of the Humans”

It is hard to think of an American film that provoked a greater backlash in 2020 than “Planet of the Humans.” Focused on the theme of planetary extinction and fanciful proposals to ward it off, the documentary was released for free on YouTube on April 21. The date was significant not only because it was the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but because a global pandemic was tearing through America’s social fabric and exposing the human toll of the country’s globalized, growth-obsessed economic model.

Even before “Planet of the Humans” was released, however, the producers of the film had fallen under pressure to retract it. Upon the film’s release, a who’s who of self-styled climate justice activists proceeded to blanket the internet with accusations that it was a racist, “eco-fascist” screed that deliberately advanced the interests of the oil and gas industry. When “Planet of the Humans” was briefly yanked from YouTube thanks to a questionable copyright claim by an angry climate warrior, the free speech organization Pen America issued a remarkable statement characterizing the demands for retraction as a coordinated censorship campaign.

What had this documentary done to inflame so much opposition from the faces and voices of professional climate justice activism? First, it probed the well-established shortcomings of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power that have been marketed as a green panacea. “Planet of the Humans” portrayed these technologies as anything but green, surveying the environmental damage already caused by solar and wind farms, which require heavy mining and smelting to produce, destroy swaths of pristine land, and sometimes demand natural gas to operate.

While major environmental outfits have lobbied for a Green New Deal to fuel a renewables-based industrial revolution, and are now banking on a Democratic presidency to enact their proposals, “Planet of the Humans” put forward a radical critique that called their entire agenda into question.

As the director of the documentary, Jeff Gibbs, explained, “When we focus on climate change only as the thing destroying the planet and we demand solutions, we get used by forces of capitalism who want to continue to sell us the disastrous illusion that we can mine and smelt and industrialize our way out of this extinction event. And again, behind the scenes, much of what we’re doing to ‘save’ the planet is to burn the ‘bio’ of the planet as green energy.”

“Planet of the Humans” crossed another bright green line by taking aim at the self-proclaimed climate justice activists themselves, painting them as opportunists who had been willingly co-opted by predatory capitalists. The filmmakers highlighted the role of family foundations like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in cultivating a class of professional activists that tend toward greenwashing partnerships with Wall Street and the Democratic Party to coalitions with anti-capitalist militants and anti-war groups.

Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org and guru of climate justice activism, is seen throughout “Planet of the Humans” consorting with Wall Street executives and pushing fossil fuel divestment campaigns that enable powerful institutions to reshuffle their assets into plastics and mining while burnishing their image. McKibben has even called for environmentalists to cooperate with the Pentagon, one of the world’s worst polluters and greatest exporters of violence, because “when it speaks frankly, [it] has the potential to reach Americans who won’t listen to scientists.”

Perhaps the most provocative critique contained in “Planet of the Humans” was the portrayal of full-time climate warriors like McKibben as de facto lobbyists for green tech billionaires and Wall Street investors determined to get their hands on the whopping $50 trillion profit opportunity that a full transition to renewable technology represents. Why have figures like Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Michael Bloomberg, Virgin’s Richard Branson, and Tesla founder Elon Musk been plowing their fortunes into climate advocacy? The documentary taunted those who accepted these oligarchs’ gestures of environmental concern at face value.

For years, leftist criticism of professional climate activism has been largely relegated to blogs like Wrong Kind of Green, which maintains an invaluable archive of critical work on the co-optation of major environmental organizations by the billionaire class. Prominent greens might have been able to dismiss scrutiny from radical corners of the internet as background noise; however, they were unable to ignore “Planet of the Humans.”

That was because Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore put his name on the film as executive producer, alongside his longtime producer, Gibbs, and the scholar-researcher Ozzie Zehner. “Michael Moore validates this film,” Josh Fox, the filmmaker who led the campaign against “Planet of the Humans,” told me. “So if Michael Moore’s name is not on that film, it’s like a thousand other crappy movies.”

By racking up millions of views after just a month on YouTube, “Planet of the Humans” threatened to provoke an unprecedented debate about the corruption of environmental politics by the one percent. But thanks to the campaign by Fox and his allies, much of the debate wound up focused on the film itself, and the credibility of its producers.

“I had some sense that the film was going to ruffle some feathers, but I was unprepared for that response from what ended up being a group of people who are like an echo chamber – all related to the same funding organizations,” said Zehner. “It’s a pretty tight circle and it was a really strong, virulent pushback.”

The line of attack that may have gained the most traction in progressive circles portrayed a convoluted section of the film on the dangers of population growth and overconsumption as Malthusian, and even racist. Zehner told me he considered the attacks opportunistic, but “from a public relations standpoint, they were effective. What we were trying to do was highlight the dangers of a consumption-based economic model.”

The backlash to “Planet of the Humans” also related to its portrayal of renewables as badly flawed sources of energy that were also environmentally corrosive. Many of those attacks painted the film’s presentation of solar and wind to present the documentary as out of date and filled with misinformation.

Oddly, the professional activists who coordinated the campaign to bury “Planet of the Humans” glossed over an entire third of the documentary which focused on the corruption and co-optation of environmental politics by “green” foundations and “green” investors.

As this investigation will reveal, those climate justice activists were bound together by support from the same family foundations, billionaire investors, and industry interests that were skewered in the film.

“Censorship, plain and simple”

The ringleader of the push to suppress “Planet of the Humans” was Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of the film “Gasland,” which highlighted the destructive practices inherent to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fox launched the campaign with a sign-on letter calling for the documentary to be retracted by its producers. Then, in an incendiary takedown published in The Nation, he branded Michael Moore “the new flack for oil and gas,” a racist, and “eco-fascist” for producing the film.

As videographer Matt Orfalea reported, Fox’s crusade began the night Moore’s film was released, with an unhinged mass email to online publishers that blasted the documentary as “A GIGANTIC CROCK OF SHIT.” Fox commanded, “It must come down off your pages immediately.”

Hours later, Fox fired off another breathless email to a group of public relations professionals. “A number of reputable websites are hosting this abomination and I need your support in getting them to take it down,” he wrote. The following day, Fox took to Twitter to assure his ally, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, “We are on it.”

Next, Fox organized a sign-on letter demanding the film “be retracted by its creators and distributors and an apology rendered for its misleading content.” Among the letter’s signatories was academic and renewables advocate Leah C. Stokes, who proclaimed her wish in an article in Vox that “this film will be buried, and few will watch it or remember it.”

On April 24, Josh Fox claimed he had successfully pressured an online video library, Films For Action, into removing “Planet of the Humans” from its website. His victory lap turned out to be premature, as Films For Action re-posted the film and publicly condemned Fox’s campaign to drive it into oblivion.

The relentless push by Fox and others eventually triggered a striking statement by PEN America, the free speech advocacy group. “Calls to pull a film because of disagreement with its content are calls for censorship, plain and simple,” PEN America declared.

“Listen, nobody called to censor this movie,” Fox insisted to me. “We asked the filmmakers as part of their community to retract it, because it unfairly attacked people that we know are good, honest dealers and its premise was wrong and false.”

Fox likened “Planet of the Humans” to radio host Mike Daisey’s monologue on visiting the Foxconn factory in China where iPhones are made, and which was retracted by NPR after major fabrications came to light. “It’s clear to me that the filmmakers… put incorrect information into the film that they knew was incorrect. That thing was out of date,” Fox said of the Moore-produced documentary. “And many, many people from within our community reached out to them, which I didn’t know actually, prior to the release of the film and said, ‘This information is incorrect. What are you doing?’”

Fox was particularly incensed at Michael Moore for attaching his reputation to the film. He described the famed director as one of “the bad guys”; “a megalomaniacal multi-millionaire who craves attention unlike anyone I’ve ever met”; “the 800-pound elephant in the room”; the maker of a “racist” and “eco-fascist” film; and “a multi-millionaire circus barker” guilty of “journalistic malpractice.”

“The real bully is Michael Moore here,” Fox maintained. “It’s not me.”

Though Fox and his allies did not succeed in erasing “Planet of the Humans” from the internet, the documentary was momentarily removed from YouTube on the grounds of a copyright claim by a British photographer named Toby Smith. In a tweet he later deleted, Smith said his opposition to the film was “personal,” blasting it as a “baseless, shite doc built on bull-shit and endless copyright infringements.”

As the attacks on “Planet of the Humans” snowballed, director Jeff Gibbs attempted to defend his film. Following an article at The Guardian branding the film as “dangerous,” Gibbs emailed the paper’s opinion editors requesting a right of reply. He told me they never responded. However, just hours after Toby Smith’s politically-motivated copyright claim prompted YouTube to remove Gibbs’ documentary, he said The Guardian reached out to him for comment. “How’d they catch that so early?” he wondered.

A few left-wing journalists tried to push back on the attacks as well. But in almost every case, they were spiked by editors at ostensibly progressive journals. Christopher Ketcham, author of “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West,” was among those unable to find a venue in which to defend the documentary.

“I have come across very few editors radical enough to have the exceedingly difficult conversation about the downscaling, simplification, and the turn (in the developed world) toward diminished affluence that a 100 percent renewable energy system will necessarily entail,” Ketcham reflected to me. “You see, they have to believe that they can keep their carbon-subsidized entitlements, their toys, their leisure travel — no behavioral change or limits needed — and it will all be green and ‘sustainable.’”

Naomi Klein, perhaps the most prominent left-wing writer on climate-related issues in the West, did not weigh in to defend “Planet of the Humans.” Instead, the Intercept columnist, social activist, and Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University was an early participant in the campaign to suppress the film.

According to McKibben, “Naomi [Klein] had in fact taken Moore aside in an MSNBC greenroom” before the documentary’s release to lobby him against publishing the film. Klein later signed Josh Fox’s open letter demanding the film be retracted.

On Twitter, Klein condemned “Planet of the Humans” as “truly demoralizing,” and promoted a “big blog/fact check” of the film by Ketan Joshi, a former communications officer for the Australian wind farm company Infigen Energy.

Mining a green future and burying the cost

Like most opponents of “Planet of the Humans,” Ketan Joshi painted the documentary as “a dumb old bull in the china shop that is 2020’s hard-earned climate action environment.” And along with other critics, he accused the film’s co-producers, Gibbs and Zehner, of wildly misrepresenting the efficiency of renewables.

To illustrate his point, he referenced a scene depicting the Cedar Street Solar Array in Lansing, Michigan with flexible solar panels running at 8% efficiency – purportedly enough to generate electricity for just 10 homes. Because that scene was part of a historical sequence filmed in 2008, Joshi dismissed it as an example of the film’s “extreme oldness.”

However, this February, the solar trade publication PV Magazine found that Tesla’s newest line of flexible solar shingles had an efficiency rate of 8.1% – almost exactly the same as those depicted in “Planet of the Humans.”

While it is true that mono-crystalline solar panels boast a higher efficiency rate (between 15% and 18% in commercially available form), they were also on the market back in 2008. These panels are significantly more expensive than the flexible, less efficient panels, however. And their efficiency levels do not account for the intermittency inherent to solar energy, which does not work well in cloudy or dark conditions.

Yet according to Josh Fox, the most vehement opponent of “Planet of the Humans,” the planet-saving capacity of solar and other supposedly clean forms of energy was so well-established it was beyond debate.

“The premise of the film is renewable energy doesn’t work and is dependent on fossil fuels. And that is patently ridiculous,” Fox remarked to me. “And the reason why I got into this is because I had young environmentalists – young people who are steadfast campaigners – calling me in the middle of the night, freaking out, [telling me] ‘I can’t believe this!’ And I looked at them and I said, ‘Well, there’s a reason why you can’t believe this; it’s because it’s not true.’”

But was the presentation of renewable energy sources in “Planet of the Humans” actually false? Ecological economist William Rees has claimed that “despite rapid growth in wind and solar generation, the green energy transition is not really happening.” That might be because it is chasing energy growth instead of curtailing it. Rees pointed out that the surge in global demand for electricity last year “exceeded the total output of the world’s entire 30-year accumulation of solar power installations.”

Are there not reasonable grounds then to be concerned about the practicality of a full transition to renewables, especially in a hyper-capitalist, growth-obsessed economy like that of the United States?

A September 2018 scientific study delivered some conclusions that contradicted the confident claims of renewables advocates. A research team measured solar thermal plants currently in operation around the world and found that they are dependent on the “intensive use of materials,” which is code for heavily mined minerals.

Minerals needed to produce renewable energy (Source: International Energy Agency / IEA).

Further, the researchers found that the output of these plants was marred by “significant seasonal intermittence” due to shifting weather patterns and the simple fact that the sun does not always shine. 

The negative impact of massive wind farms on the environment and marginalized communities – an issue highlighted in “Planet of the Humans” – is also a serious concern, especially in the Global South. Anthropologist and “Renewing Destruction: Wind Energy Development, Conflict and Resistance in a Latin American Context” author Alexander Dunlap published a peer-reviewed 2017 study of wind farms in the indigenous Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca, Mexico, which has been marketed as one of the most ideal wind generation sites in the world. Dunlap found that the supposedly renewable projects “largely reinforced income inequality, furthered poverty entrenchment and increased food vulnerability and worker dependency on the construction of more wind parks, which cumulatively has led to an increase in work-related out-migration and environmental degradation.”

When wind turbines reach the end of their life cycle, their fiberglass blades, which can be as long as a football field, are impossible to recycle. As a result, they are piling up in rural dumping sites across the US. Meanwhile, the environmentalist magazine Grist warned this August of a “solar e-waste glut” that will produce “megatons of toxic trash” when solar panels begin to lose efficiency and die.

In response to my questions about so-called renewable energy, Fox referred me to a close ally, Anthony Ingraffea, who signed his letter calling for “Planet of the Humans” to be pulled. A civil engineer and co-founder of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, which advocates for renewables, Ingraffea is a former oil and gas industry insider who turned into a forceful opponent of fracking. In the past six years, he has produced scientific assessments for the governments of New York State and California on a transition to mostly renewable energy sources.

Ingraffea slammed “Planet of the Humans” as “way off base” and derided research by Ozzie Zehner, the co-producer, as “conspiracy theory shit.” He contrasted his credentials with those of Zehner, boasting that while he has earned 15,000 citations in peer-reviewed academic journals during his career as an engineer, Zehner had chalked up a mere 300.

When I turned to the subject of social and environmental damage caused by so-called renewables, Ingraffea argued that the burning, storing, and transportation of fossil fuels outweighed any of those costs. According to Ingraffea, when New York State makes a decisive transition to renewables, only about 2% of the state’s land would be occupied by solar and wind farms – which translates to about 1,100 square miles.

He pointed to the New York State Assembly’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act as an embodiment of the foresight of proponents of a near-total transition to renewable energy. The bill, which calls for the state to run 70% of its publicly generated energy off of “renewable energy systems” by 2030, also mandates that “35 percent of investments from clean energy and energy efficiency funds [be] invested in disadvantaged communities.”

“That’s wisdom speaking,” Ingraffea said of the legislation. “That’s telling you that yes, we are aware of the problem that you said we should be aware of. Yeah, we’re not all dumb. We’re not all crazy. We’re not all ideological. Not all technical nerds who just fall in love and want to make sex with solar panels.”

However, the communities (or their designated NGO representatives) supposedly compensated through the New York State bill are not located in the regions that will be most impacted by the extraction necessary to manufacture so-called renewables. Already devastated by coups and neocolonial exploitation, swathes of the Global South from Bolivia to Congo – home to massive reserves of cobalt hand-mined in “slave conditions” for electric car batteries and iPhones – are being further destabilized by the minerals rush.

Even mainstream environmentalists acknowledge that rising reliance on renewable energy “means a lot of dirty mining” to extract the minerals required for electric batteries and solar cells. This prospect has sparked excitement within the mining industry, with the editor of Mining.com, Frik Els, dubbing Green New Deal spokeswomen Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg “mining’s unlikely heroines.”

“Going all in on the green economy and decarbonisation requires siding with the greens against fossil fuels,” Els informed fellow mining industry insiders. “It means selling global mining as the solution to climate change because mining metals is the only path to green energy and green transport.”

The inevitable rush on minerals required to power the green revolution has not exactly delighted residents of the Global South, however.

Evo Morales, the indigenous former president of Bolivia, was driven from power in 2019 by a military junta backed by the United States and local oligarchs, in what he branded a lithium coup. With the world’s largest untapped lithium resources, Bolivia is estimated to hold as much as half of the world’s reserves. Under Morales, the country guaranteed that only state-owned firms could mine the mineral.

The ousted socialist leader argued that multi-national corporations supported his right-wing domestic opponents in order to get their hands on Bolivia’s lithium – an essential element in the electric batteries that provide the cornerstone to a digital economy dependent on smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. “As a small country of 10 million inhabitants, we were soon going to set the price of lithium,” Morales said. “They know we have the greatest lithium reserves in the world [in a space of] 16,000 square kilometers.”

Minerals needed to produce electric cars (Source: International Energy Agency / IEA).

Just before the military coup in Bolivia, a report (PDF) by the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance reported that the global demand for electric batteries will increase 14-fold before 2030. Almost half of today’s lithium is mined to produce electric batteries, and the demand for the mineral will only rise as power grids incorporate high levels of battery powered tech and the demand for electric vehicles increases.

Electric batteries are also heavily reliant on cobalt, most of which is mined from Congo, and often in illegal and dangerous conditions by child labor. In December 2019, over a dozen Congolese plaintiffs sued Apple, Google’s Alphabet parent company, Microsoft, Dell, and Tesla, accusing them of “knowingly benefiting from and aiding and abetting the cruel and brutal use of young children in Democratic Republic of Congo (‘DRC’) to mine cobalt.”

This July, Tesla CEO and electric battery kingpin Elon Musk appeared to take partial credit for the 2019 military coup that forced Bolivia’s Evo Morales from power, asserting that big tech billionaires like him could “coup whoever we want.”

The payoff for all the dirty and deadly mining required to manufacture the solar panels, wind turbines, and electric batteries required to power the new industrial revolution is supposed to be a planet no longer faced with a “climate emergency” – and nevermind the damage to the Earth and its non-human inhabitants. But with the demand for electricity constantly growing, is it even possible to power an economy like that of the US with entirely renewable sources of energy (excluding nuclear)?

A scientific projection by one of the closest allies of Josh Fox and Anthony Ingraffea was supposed to have answered that question and put all doubts to bed. Instead, it resulted in acrimony and embarrassment for its author.

The 2050 transition goal: real science or a murky crystal ball?

In his piece hammering “Planet of the Humans” in The Nation, Fox touted “the proliferation of 100 percent renewable energy plans put forward by Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson” as one of the most important pieces of evidence refuting the film’s grim narrative.

Jacobson’s study, according to National Geographic, was “a foundation stone” of the Green New Deal proposal put forward by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It was also central to the energy plan advanced by the  presidential campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who co-authored an op-ed with Jacobson that called for a full transition to “clean” energy by 2050.

Jacobson, like Ingraffea, is an environmental engineer and political partner of Fox. The Stanford professor helped Fox found the environmental advocacy organization the Solutions Project, alongside actor Mark Ruffalo and the banker and former Tesla executive Marco Krapels in 2011. (More on this group later.)

Besides his working relationship with Jacobson, Fox failed to acknowledge that the professor’s all-renewables projection was strongly challenged by 21 leading energy scientists in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. The scientists concluded Jacobson’s paper was rife with “invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions.”

A survey of the debate by Scientific American scoffed at Jacobson’s remarkable assumption “that U.S. hydroelectric dams could add turbines and transformers to produce 1,300 gigawatts of electricity instantaneously… or the equivalent of about 1000 large nuclear or coal power plants running at full power.”

Jacobson retaliated against his critics by filing a $10 million defamation lawsuit, which he was forced to withdraw in 2018. Legal commentator Kenneth White described the suit as “clearly vexatious and intended to silence dissent about an alleged scientist’s peer-reviewed article.”

This April, a DC Superior Court judge invoked anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) legislation that reportedly ordered Jacobson to pay the defendants’ legal fees.

“Planet of the Humans” co-producer Ozzie Zehner saw Mark Jacobson’s flameout as a symptom of a wider problem within mainstream climate activism. “When Big Greens talk about ‘facts,’ they often aren’t talking about what most people understand to be facts,” he explained. “They’re usually talking about models, which attempt to predict the future based on estimations of physical conditions, projections, and assumptions. Greens industrialists claim they can accurately model a renewable energy future and its effects on the global biosphere. But our best science can’t even model a fish tank.”

Ingraffea insisted that Jacobson’s legal fight had only begun, and said the professor’s critics were “partially driven by Mark [Jacobson] having made a very famous name for himself in an arena with many other people working, and they’re not getting all the fame.”

Jacobson echoed this line in his own defense: “They don’t like the fact that we’re getting a lot of attention, so they’re trying to diminish our work.”

“Give the guy a break,” Ingraffea appealed. “You know, if he’s wrong, of course he’s wrong. No one’s going to be right. No one could possibly be right right now about what’s going to happen in 25 years. We’re all entitled to our projections. We’re all entitled to our crystal balls.”

That same courtesy was not extended by Ingraffea and his allies to the makers of “Planet of the Humans,” however. “We were unable to identify any factual errors in the film, and we’re open to the idea that we could be wrong about some things,” Zehner said. “But we’d like to have that debate and not be shut down.”

Among the wave of attacks on “Planet of the Humans,” a disproportionate number were churned out by renewables industry insiders, from an “innovation strategist” at the Green Power Energy firm that was criticized in the film for clearing a Vermont mountaintop to build a wind farm (“For me, this film was personal,” he stated), to Now You Know, a podcast by two mega-fans of Elon Musk who fawningly refer to the billionaire as “Elon” and have proudly declared that they are “long on Tesla stock.”

Missing from nearly all of the takedowns was the documentary’s scathing critique of the corruption of environmental politics by billionaires and elite family foundations.

“The conversation our critics really didn’t want to have was about the last one-third of the film,” Zehner remarked, “which dealt with the influence of billionaires and money in the environmental movement, and the divestment sham.”

The shell game of fossil fuel divestment

The tactic of fossil fuel divestment is at the heart of the so-called climate justice movement’s plan to defeat the fossil fuel industry. Launched by Bill McKibben’s 350.org and a coalition of professional activists soon after the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012, the campaign has resulted in institutions like Oxford University and Goldman Sachs supposedly divesting their holdings in oil and gas companies. Campaigners like McKibben simultaneously encouraged their constituents to invest in funds whose portfolios were supposedly free of fossil fuel companies.

“Planet of the Humans” raked this tactic over the proverbial coals, demonstrating how investment funds endorsed by 350.org have engaged in a shell game in which fossil fuel assets are simply replaced with investments in plastics, mining, oil and gas infrastructure companies, and biomass.

“The big issue with divestment is that it absolves the destructive power of extreme wealth,” Zehner explained. “It’s saying that family foundations can be forgiven and money can be moved into mining, gas and oil infrastructure, solar, wind, and biomass. They divest from the brand name coal companies while investing in infrastructure companies that support coal mining.” 

In one of the most controversial scenes in “Planet of the Humans,” Bill McKibben was seen inaugurating a wood-burning biomass energy plant at Middlebury College, where he has been a scholar-in-residence. The environmental leader praised the initiative as “an act of courage.”

Because the event took place in 2009, McKibben and his allies have attacked the scene as an unfair representation of his current position. In an official 350.org response to “Planet of the Humans,” McKibben claimed that his views on biomass have evolved, leading him to cease his support for the energy source in 2016.

Yet less than a week after The Nation published Josh Fox’s incendiary attack on Michael Moore and “Planet of the Humans,” Nation editor-in-chief D.D. Guttenplan hosted an event with McKibben that was sponsored by a fund with major investments in several wood-to-energy biomass companies.

Called Domini Impact Investments, the fund claims to hold investments in “68 companies… that both impact forests and depend on them, whether for forest derived products or ecosystem services.” One such Domini holding is a wood-to-energy company called Ameresco, which builds “large, utility-scale biomass-to-energy plants,” according to its website.

Domini Impact also features its sustainable “timber” holdings, including Klabin SA, a company with logging operations spanning 590,580 acres in Brazil. Klabin SA manufactures pulp and paper products and operates a 270MW on-site black liquor biomass plant. This May, just days after Domini sponsored McKibben’s talk, the company purchased a second biomass plant.

(Fabio Schvartzman, the former CEO of Klabin SA, was charged with 270 counts of homicide in Brazil this January, after allegedly concealing knowledge of an imminent dam burst to protect the share price of his current company, Vale. The 2019 Mariana dam collapse has been described as Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.)

While introducing the Domini-sponsored event with McKibben, The Nation’s Guttenplan stated, “By investing in the Domini Funds, you can help build a better future for the planet and its people, and be part of a movement working to address a wide range of social and environmental issues including human rights, climate change mitigation and forest stewardship.”

Neither McKibben nor Guttenplan responded to email requests for comment from The Grayzone.

Domini Funds was hardly the only investment fund that McKibben has partnered with to promote fossil fuel divestment – and which has engaged in the shell game exposed in “Planet of the Humans.”

In what was perhaps the film’s most devastating scene, narrator Jeff Gibbs detailed how McKibben has advised 350.org members to direct their money into the Green Century Fund, an investment portfolio that boasts of being “wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations,” and free of fossil fuel stock.

As “Planet of the Humans” revealed, however, the Green Century Funds’ portfolio has contained heavy investments in mining companies, oil, and gas infrastructure companies, including an exploiter of tar sands, the biofuel giant Archer Daniels Midland, McDonald’s, Coca Cola (the world’s leading plastic pollution proliferator), logging giants, and big banks from Bank of America to HSBC.

Asked about this section of the film, Josh Fox dismissed it as out of date. He claimed that “the entire idea of what constitutes a divested fund has changed really radically over the last eight years, starting at first from just oil, coal and gas investments, to then encompassing things like plastics and the meat industry and derivatives and all other options.”

However, a probe of the 2019 Securities and Exchange Commission filings by Green Century Funds showed the fund held thousands of shares in meat giant McDonald’s and Royal Caribbean Cruises, among other mega-polluters. The latter company’s Harmony of the Seas ship happens to be the most environmentally toxic cruise liner on Earth, relying on three massive diesel engines to burn 66,000 gallons of fuel a day. By the end of one voyage across the Atlantic, the ship has expended the same amount of gasoline as over 5 million automobiles traveling the same distance.

Green Century’s SEC filing boasted that it elicited a pledge from Royal Caribbean “to make its food waste management and reduction strategies more public.” It also claimed to have “helped convince McDonald’s, the largest purchaser of beef in the world, to restrict the use of antibiotics in its beef and chicken supply chains.”

It was a classic case of greenwashing, in which corporate behemoths burnished their reputation among progressives by embracing cosmetic reforms that did little to challenge their bottom lines.

When I informed Fox about Green Century’s ongoing investments in carbon-heavy industries, he said, “Well, I’m all for an investigation of those things on real grounds.”

In the same breath, Fox pivoted to another complaint about “Planet of the Humans”: “The film attacks Bill McKibben in ways that were unfair and untrue.”

Was that the case, though? One of the most provocative points about McKibben and his allies in “Planet of the Humans” – that they function as de facto public relations agents for the “green” billionaires seeking to cash in on the renewables rush – was never coherently answered. But as this investigation reveals, the climate warriors criticized in the film are sponsored by many of those same billionaires, as well as the network of family foundations that help set the agenda for groups like 350.org.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund incubates 350.org

In perhaps the most uncomfortable scene in “Planet of the Humans,” Bill McKibben was shown visibly squirming as an interviewer asked him about family foundation support for his 350.org.

“We’re not exactly Big Greens,” McKibben insisted during a 2011 interview with climate journalist Karyn Strickler. “I’m a volunteer, we’ve got seven people who work full time on this 350.org campaign.”

With a telling smirk on her face, Strickler asked McKibben how his group sustained itself.

“To the degree that we have any money at all it’s come from a few foundations in Europe and the US,” McKibben insisted.

He mentioned “a foundation based in Sweden, I think it’s called the Rasmussen Foundation that I think has been the biggest funder.”

After some prodding by Strickler, a visibly uncomfortable McKibben divulged that the “Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave us some money right when we were starting out. That’s been useful too.”

However, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Rasmussen were not observing the birth of 350.org from the sidelines. In fact, the Rockefeller Brothers were instrumental in establishing 350.org and guiding the organization’s agenda. It began when the foundation incubated a group called 1Sky with a $1 million grant. McKibben immediately joined as board member.

As documented by radical environmentalist Cory Morningstar, 1Sky’s launch was announced at a 2007 gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative by former President Bill Clinton, who stood on stage beside Rockefeller Brothers Fund President Stephen Heintz. Four years later, the Rockefeller Brothers announced “the exciting marriage of 1Sky and 350.org — two grantees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Sustainable Development program.”

Why McKibben was so uncomfortable about discussing his relationship with Rockefeller was unclear. Perhaps he was concerned that the organization he once described as a “scruffy little outfit” would be seen as a central node in the donor-driven non-profit industrial complex.

Whatever his motives were, since the testy exchange with Strickler, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has contributed over $1 million to McKibben’s 350.org.

Alongside a network of foundations and “green” billionaires, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and its $1.2 billion endowment serves as a primary engine of the network of self-styled “climate justice” activists that sought to steamroll “Planet of the Humans.”

These interests have cohered around the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), which is located in the New York City offices of the Rockefeller Family Fund.

The EGA enables elite foundations and billionaire donors to cultivate a cadre of professional “doers” during retreats in scenic locations. One first-time student attendee said the retreat experience was designed with “the intention of strengthening relationships between funders and build[ing] relationships within the environmental movement.” As soon as she arrived, she was “paired with mentor ‘buddies,’ folks who had been to past EGA Retreats to show us the ropes.”

These encounters take place in Napa Valley, California, or at the Mohonk Mountain House resort in New York’s Hudson Valley.

A report by the Threshold Foundation described the theme of the 2015 EGA fall retreat at Mohonk: “‘Fund the Fighters!’ That’s the rallying call from the stars. Not the celestial stars, but from well-known artists such as Mark Ruffalo and Naomi Klein.”

In accordance with its relationship with the EGA’s network of environmental cadres and outfits like 350.org, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund embraced their fossil fuel divestment campaign, shedding its stocks in oil and coal while increasing assets in other industries that can hardly be described as green. A look at the results of the foundation’s move offers another disturbing case study in the divestment shell game.

The Rockefeller Brothers go “green,” invest in Halliburton

In 2014, following consultations with 350.org, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced that it was divesting from fossil fuels. “We were extremely uncomfortable with the moral ambivalence of funding programs around the climate catastrophe while still being invested in the fossil fuels that were bringing us closer to that catastrophe,” Rockefeller Brothers Fund President Stephen Heintz said.

At a December 2015 side session of the UN climate conference in Paris, 350.org executive director May Boeve joined Heintz to celebrate the foundation’s decision to divest. “A growing number of investors representing a growing amount of capital do not want to be associated with this industry any longer,” Boeve stated.

A look at the most recent publicly available financial filing of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, from 2018 (PDF), offered a clear glimpse at the shell game that divestment has entailed.

According to the filing, while the Rockefeller Brothers freed itself of fossil fuels, the foundation remained invested in companies including the oil services giant Halliburton, the Koch-run multinational petroleum transportation partnership Inter Pipeline Ltd, and Caterpillar, whose bulldozers are familiar at scenes of deforestation and Palestinian home demolitions. (Several NGOs that advocate divestment from companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, such as +972 Magazine and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, have also received support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund).

The foundation padded its portfolio with stock in financial industry titans like Citigroup and Wells Fargo, as well as Newcrest Mining, Barrick Gold, Wheaton Precious Metals Corporation, and Agnico Eagle Mines.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund listed at least $20 million of investments in Vision Ridge Partners, which was itself invested in a biomass company called Vanguard Renewables under the guise of “renewable energy.” In December 2019, Vanguard Renewables forged a partnership with Dominion Energy – the energy giant whose Atlantic Coast Pipeline was defeated this June thanks to grassroots environmental mobilization – to convert methane from farms into natural gas.

Since the Rockefeller Brothers Fund answered 350.org’s call to divest from fossil fuels in 2014, the foundation’s wealth has increased substantially. As the Washington Post reported, “the Rockefeller Brothers fund’s assets grew at an annual average rate of 7.76 percent over the five-year period that ended Dec. 31, 2019.”

The outcome of the Rockefellers’ widely praised move established a clear precedent for other elite institutions: by allowing organizations like 350.org to lead them by the hand, they could greenwash their image, offload stocks in a fossil fuel industry described by financial analysts as a “chronic underperformer,” and protect their investments in growth industries like mining, oil services, and biomass.

McKibben, for his part, has marketed fossil fuel divestment as a win-win strategy for the capitalist class: “The institutions that divested from fossil fuel really did well financially, because the fossil fuel industry has been the worst performing part of our economy… Even if you didn’t care about destroying the planet, you’d want to get out of it because it just loses money.”

Blood and Gore make “the case for long-term greed”

In another move apparently intended to burnish its green image while padding its assets, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund invested over $100 million in Generation Investment Management’s Generation Climate Solutions Fund II and Generation IM Global Equity Fund.

These entities are jointly managed by Al Gore, the former US vice president who negotiated a notorious carbon offsets loophole at the 1997 Kyoto Climate Protocol that has been blamed for the release of 600 million tons of excess emissions. Gore launched the fund alongside David Blood, the ex-CEO of asset management for Goldman Sachs, in order to promote a climate-friendly capitalism.

In a 2015 profile of Blood and Gore’s Generation Investment Management fund, The Atlantic’s James Fallows described their investment strategy as “a demonstration of a new version of capitalism, one that will shift the incentives of financial and business operations” toward a profitable “green” economy – while potentially saving the system of capitalism from itself.

Blood was blunt when asked about his agenda: “We are making the case for long-term greed.”

The banker Blood and the green guru McKibben shared a stage together at the 2013 conference of Ceres, a non-profit that works to consolidate the mutually beneficial relationship between Big Green and Wall Street.

The event featured a cast of corporate executives from companies like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and GM. Sponsors included Bank of America, PG&E, Bloomberg, Citi, Ford, GM, Prudential, Wells Fargo, TimeWarner, and a collection of Fortune 500 companies.

During their conversation, the investor Blood pledged to mobilize “something in the order of $40 to $50 trillion of capital” in renewables, underscoring the massive profit center that a transition to “green” energy represents.

“It’s entirely dependent on what kind of political will we can muster,” McKibben proclaimed, pledging to work toward Blood’s goal.

The unsettling sight of McKibben discussing multi-trillion dollar profit possibilities with a former Goldman Sachs banker was featured prominently in “Planet of the Humans,” and undoubtedly helped inspire the ferocious backlash against the documentary by the 350.org founder’s network.

McKibben was far from alone among climate justice warriors in his dalliance with the billionaire class, however.

A foundation-supported “ragtag bunch”

Before Josh Fox launched his media blitz against “Planet of the Humans,” he directed a full-length documentary vehicle for 350.org, titled “Divest.” For the 2016 film, Fox followed McKibben and allies like Naomi Klein as they embarked on a cross-country road trip to promote fossil fuel divestment.

Fox’s ties to the professional activists extend to the funding network centered around the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Between 2012 and 2017, Fox’s film company International WOW reported grants totaling $2.5 million. Much of that funding came courtesy of the Rockefeller Brothers Cultural Innovation Fund and Rockefeller MAP fund, as well as the Ford and Park Foundations. 

In 2012, the year Fox and his allies launched their campaign promoting fossil fuel divestment, he co-founded an environmental advocacy group called the Solutions Project. He conceived the organization alongside celebrity actor Mark Ruffalo, former Tesla executive Marco Krapels, and Stanford University’s Mark Jacobson – the professor behind the dubious 2050 all-renewables projection.

The four founders gathered seed money from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation of the eponymous film actor, and from the 11th Hour Foundation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, according to Fox. Fox said that after a power struggle and an attempt to force him out in order to raise several million from the Sierra Club, he, Krapels, and Jacobson eventually left the organization.

Krapels has since launched an electric battery company in Brazil – another country that happens to hold a massive reserve of lithium and other minerals necessary for his products. Brazil has experienced a rush on lithium mining in recent years thanks to the roaring demand for lithium-ion batteries.

Krapels’ former partner at Tesla’s disastrous Solar City project, Elon Musk, announced plans this year to build an electric car factory in Brazil. Musk has even reportedly sought an audience with the country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, to further his business interests.

Today, the Solutions Project is “100% co opted and sold out,” Fox acknowledged. Indeed, the group’s board members currently include Brandon Hurlbut, a former Obama Department of Energy official who founded Boundary Stone Partners – a lobbying firm that represents the nuclear industry. Also on the board is Billy Parish, the founder of Mosaic, a financial firm that declares its “mission to revolutionize two of the biggest industries in the world: energy and finance…” Mosaic’s website states. “We focus on the integration of doing good (for the planet) and doing well (financially).”

According to its website, the Elon Musk Foundation is among the Solutions Project’s funders. The organization describes Musk as “the guy who is trying to save humanity in like four or five different ways,” comparing him to a Marvel Comics superhero.

In reality, Musk is a ferocious union-buster who recently fired workers for staying home as the Covid-19 pandemic hit – but not before deceiving them into believing they had permission to safely quarantine.

Other Solutions Project supporters include the Skoll Global Threats Fund, run by eBay billionaire Jeffrey Skoll. Skoll funded Al Gore’s film on climate change, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which went into production soon after Gore launched his Generation Investment Management fund – an inconvenient truth pointed out by “Planet of the Humans.”

The 11th Hour Project foundation of Google CEO Schmidt and his wife remains a supporter of the Solutions Project after ponying up the seed money to launch it. Asked in 2014 about the inequality and displacement that start-up tech businesses bring to the Bay Area, where Google is located, Schmidt responded, “Let us celebrate capitalism. $19 billion for 50 people? Good for them.”

When I challenged Fox about the co-optation of climate justice politics by tech oligarchs like Skoll, Schmidt, and Musk, he grew defensive. “You have to see these things in a time continuum of us trying to take off big, something bigger than anybody’s ever tried to take on in the world,” he stated, referencing his and his allies’ fight against the fossil fuel industry. “They’re bigger than Nazi Germany, bigger than America. Bigger than all of them combined. We’re a ragtag bunch of extraordinarily committed people who are willing to put our lives on the line to stop the fossil fuel industry.

“Yeah, that’s that’s really laudable,” Fox continued, referring to his own efforts, “and for a multi-millionaire circus barker, as Bill McKibben calls Michael Moore, to take potshots using flawed science, dishonest techniques, misrepresentation of the timeline, and 1,000 other things that are journalistic malpractice and that was called out by an extraordinary number of people – that’s the real story here. The real bully is Michael Moore here. It’s not me.”

The Producer

This year, Josh Fox launched a one-man show and film called “The Truth Has Changed.” According to promotional material for the performance, Fox narrated his experience as “an eyewitness to history” who “was the subject of a 100 million dollar smear campaign from the oil and gas industry.”

“Josh Fox was the beta test for the types of propaganda and smears the gang that created Cambridge Analytica is now known for world wide,” the film’s website stated. “And Josh is telling his story in an uncompromising way like never before.”

The performance was supposed to have enjoyed a lengthy run this January at one of the most renowned venues for political theater in the country, The Public Theater in New York City. But the show was abruptly canceled after the Public accused Fox of violating the theater’s code of conduct through “a series of verbal abuses to the staff.”

Fox, who is Jewish, retaliated by accusing the theater’s directors of anti-Semitism. According to the New York Times, Fox “said he had been told that he was too passionate, too loud and too emotional.”

“To me that is distinctly cultural,” Fox told the paper. “That’s a classic anti-Semitic trope.”

Behind the drama over the monologue’s cancellation, a more salient issue lingered. The executive producer of Fox’s “The Truth Has Changed” was Tom Dinwoodie, a wealthy “cleantech” entrepreneur and engineer who owned dozens of patents on solar technology, and therefore stood to reap a massive windfall profit from the renewables revolution that Fox and his allies were campaigning for.

Dinwoodie, who signed Fox’s letter calling for the retraction of “Planet of the Humans,” was a top donor to the Rocky Mountain Institute, a so-called “do-tank” where he serves as a lead trustee. In 2014, Dinwoodie helped oversee the merger of his think tank with billionaire Virgin CEO Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, which was founded with “a mission to stimulate business-led market interventions that advance a low-carbon economy.”

“Increasingly, the solutions for climate change are those policy measures that drive economic growth,” a spokesman declares in a video announcing the strategic partnership between Branson’s non-profit and Dinwoodie’s Rocky Mountain “do-tank.”

In the same video, billionaire former Democratic Party presidential candidate and Rocky Mountain Institute donor Tom Steyer emphasized the profit motive behind the renewables transition: “Changing the way we generate and use energy is the largest industry in the history of the world. There is no time to waste.”

This July 9 – the day after the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force released its policy recommendations – the Rocky Mountain Institute launched the Center for Climate Aligned Finance in partnership with four of the biggest banks in the world: Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase.

The initiative, according to Rocky Mountain, will serve as “an engine room for the financial sector to partner with corporate clients to identify practical solutions through deep partnerships with industry, civil society and policymakers to facilitate a transition in the global economy to net-zero emissions by mid-century.”

The partnership represented an obvious boon for green tycoons like Dinwoodie who profit from renewable energy. And for the big banks that continued to top the list of the world’s most prolific investors in the fossil fuel industry, it was another opportunity to greenwash their public image.

Given the economic interests represented by Dinwoodie and his “do-tank,” it was easy to understand why he signed Fox’s letter calling for “Planet of the Humans” to be retracted. The documentary had not only hammered his political partner, Richard Branson, as a PR savvy oligarch exploiting environmental politics; it took aim at the ethos of Big Green outfits that comforted their ruling-class funders with the promise that they could do good while continuing to do well.

When I asked Fox why he thought big tech tycoons and their family foundations were plowing their fortunes into climate activism, he responded, “Probably saving the planet.”

The Danish connection

While wealthy green businessmen like Dinwoodie and Elon Musk furthered their commercial interests by underwriting green advocacy, the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation and its closely affiliated KR (Kann-Rasmussen) Foundation have strategically directed their resources into nurturing a who’s who of professional climate warriors – including several that played a role in the campaign to suppress “Planet of the Humans.”

Brian Valbjørn Sørensen, the executive director of the KR Foundation, was a former special advisor to the center-left Danish government that lost power in 2015. KR’s chair, Connie Hedegaard, was the ex-minister for climate and energy for the center-right Danish government of Anders Fogg Rasmussen, who went on to serve as secretary general of the NATO military alliance. As the European Union’s first climate chief, Hedegaard argued that renewable energy could strengthen NATO’s soft power against Russia by reducing natural gas imports from the designated enemy state.

KR’s support for groups like 350.org surfaced in “Planet of the Humans” during the cringe-inducing scene in which journalist Karyn Strickler grilled Bill McKibben about his organizational funders. According to the KR Foundation, it donated $2 million to 350.org in 2019.

Toby Smith, the photographer who filed the copyright claim against Planet of the Humans on explicitly “personal” grounds, happened to have been the media outreach director of a KR-funded non-profit called Climate Outreach. As the Rasmussen family’s KR Foundation stated in a recent financial filing, it initiated grants totaling nearly $2 million to Climate Outreach in 2019 alone. 

When British columnist George Monbiot published a vitriolic condemnation of “Planet of the Humans” in The Guardian, he neglected to mention that he had been a board member of the Rasmussen-backed Climate Outreach.

The V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation has also supported Naomi Klein’s environmentalist outfit, The Leap, according to the foundation’s website.

Klein, a longtime critic of elite family foundations and the billionaire class, was among the most prominent figures to join the campaign to censor “Planet of the Humans.” As her ally McKibben acknowledged, she unsuccessfully pressured Michael Moore to retract “Planet of the Humans” before it was even released.

Klein has celebrated the Danish government where KR Foundation leaders have served for advancing “some of the most visionary environmental policies in the world.” At the same time, she has denounced the “autocratic industrial socialism” of the Soviet Union and the “petro-populism” of the socialist government of Venezuela, where Denmark has recognized US-backed coup leader Juan Guaidó.

Klein’s recent broadsides against Venezuela contrasted strongly with her signing of a 2004 open letter that proclaimed, “If we were Venezuelan… we would vote for [Hugo] Chavez”; and a 2007 column in which she wrote that thanks to the Chavez government, “citizens had renewed their faith in the power of democracy to improve their lives.”

From Big Green critic to “Planet of the Humans” opponent

Naomi Klein’s opposition to “Planet of the Humans” was surprising given the views she has expressed in the past on mainstream environmental politics. In 2013, for example, she bemoaned the “deep denialism in the environmental movement among the Big Green groups [on how to fight climate change]. And to be very honest with you,” she continued, “I think it’s been more damaging than the right-wing denialism in terms of how much ground we’ve lost.”

In her widely acclaimed 2008 book “The Shock Doctrine,” Klein documenting the Ford Foundation’s role as a CIA cutout that helped establish the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago.

The Ford-funded academic department nurtured the infamous “Chicago Boys,” a group of neoliberal economists led by Milton Friedman who conceived the disaster capitalist “shock doctrine” that inspired the title of Klein’s book. They applied their program to Chile as General Augusto Pinochet’s economic advisors following his CIA-backed military coup to destroy the leftist government of Chilean President Salvador Allende.

Klein also surveyed the Ford Foundation’s support for the “Berkeley Mafia” at the University of California that advised the hyper-repressive junta of General Suharto, which toppled Indonesia’s socialist government in 1965.

“The Berkeley Mafia had studied in the US as part of a program that began in 1956, funded by the Ford Foundation…” Klein wrote. “Ford-funded students became leaders of the campus groups that participated in overthrowing Sukarno, and the Berkeley Mafia worked closely with the military in the lead-up to the coup…”

Henry Kissinger, the Nixon foreign policy guru whom Klein identified as the mastermind of the dirty war in Chile, had previously served as the director of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Special Strategies Project, which helped conceive US national security strategies for countering the spread of communism.

Today, the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund support an array of liberal causes, from diversity and racial justice initiatives to the network of NGO’s organizing for fossil fuel divestment. At the same time, the Ford Foundation backs organizations that push regime change in Latin America, partnering with the US government to fund Freedom House, a DC-based NGO which supported the failed coup to oust Nicaragua’s elected leftist government in 2018. For its part, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has supported The Syria Campaign, a public relations outfit that clamored for US military intervention to remove the UN-recognized government of Syria.

In 2011, when Klein was appointed to 350.org’s board of directors, she joined forces with an environmental organization incubated by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and supported by the Ford Foundation. “As 350.org founder Bill McKibben puts it: unless we go after the ‘money pollution,’ no campaign against real pollution stands a chance,” Klein wrote at the time.

Klein’s 2015 book and documentary film on climate change, “This Changes Everything,” was initially launched as a project called “The Message.” It was supported with hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants from a who’s who of major family foundations that help sustain McKibben’s political apparatus.

In one of several grants to the book and film project, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund contributed $50,000 to “The Message” via a non-profit pass-through called the Sustainable Markets Foundation. [PDF]

Susan Rockefeller served as a co-executive producer of the documentary version of “This Changes Everything.” Her husband, David Rockefeller Jr. is the son of tycoon David Rockefeller, a US government-linked cold warrior who co-founded the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and helped back the US-managed coup that put Pinochet and the Chicago Boys in power in Chile. Rockefeller Jr., a major supporter of conservationist causes, is a former chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and board member of Rockefeller Financial Services.

In 2014, the Ford Foundation chipped in with $250,000 to Klein’s project. [PDF]

Klein’s “The Message” also benefited from $140,000 in support from the Schmidt Family Foundation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy. The Schmidt Family Foundation is an ongoing contributor to McKibben’s 350.org, kicking in $200,000 in 2018 [PDF].

In April 2019, Klein released “A Message From The Future,” a video collaboration with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and artist and pundit Molly Crabapple, which promoted the Green New Deal as a pathway to a renewable-powered economic utopia.

Crabapple, a vehement supporter of Washington’s campaign for regime change in Syria, is an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at the New America Foundation, a Democratic Party-linked think tank substantially funded by Google’s Schmidt, the Ford Foundation and the US State Department.

In a recent The Intercept column, Klein took aim at Schmidt, describing him as one of the billionaires exploiting “a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine” to begin “building a high tech dystopia.” She noted that Schmidt is closely aligned with the national security state as chair of the Defense Innovation Board, which consults for the Pentagon on the military’s application of artificial intelligence.

Schmidt also happens to be a proponent of a “smart” energy grid, which he says will “modernize the electric grid to make it look more like the Internet.” Such a model would not only benefit tech companies like Google which make their money buying and selling data, but the U.S. national security state, whose partnerships with big tech companies increase the capacity of its surveillance apparatus.

The Senate version of the Green New Deal calls for the construction of “smart” power grids almost exactly like those Schmidt imagined. Klein and other high-profile Green New Deal proponents have neglected to mention that this seeming benign component of the well-intentioned plan could represent a giant step on the way to the “high tech dystopia” of Silicon Valley barons and their national security state partners.

In May 2018, Klein became the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. The position was created “following a three-year, $3 million campaign…including a dozen foundations.” Among the “early and path breaking contributors,” according to Rutgers, was the Ford Foundation.

Contributions also poured in for the endowment from tycoons like Sheryl Sandberg, the billionaire chief operating officer of Facebook and advocate of corporate “Lean In” feminism; and Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul who was sentenced this March to 23 years in prison for first degree criminal sexual assault. According to Rutgers, Weinstein provided “a gift of $100,000 in honor of his late mother, who shared Gloria Steinem’s hopes for female equality.”

I had hoped to have a conversation with Klein, a former colleague at the Nation Institute, about her reflexive opposition to a documentary that advanced many of the same arguments that appeared in her past writings. Was the exclusive focus on carbon emissions by professional climate warriors not a blinkered approach that ignored the environmental damage inherent in producing still-unproven renewable technology? Did “cleantech” tycoons not have a vested interest in advancing a global transition to the renewable products their companies manufactured? And when she had clearly articulated the problems with billionaire-backed Big Green advocacy, why had Klein cast her lot with a political network that seemed to epitomize it?

My emails were met with an auto-reply informing me Klein was “off grid,” and referring me to her personal assistant.

According to Fox, high-profile climate warriors like McKibben and Klein had no interest in speaking to me about their opposition to the film because “it’s like four months ago, man, everybody’s moved on.”

Seeing green in Biden

By August, members of the professional climate advocacy network that saw its interests threatened by “Planet of the Humans” was preparing for a much more elaborate on-screen production that promised new opportunities.

In the weeks ahead of the Democratic National Convention, climate justice organizations like the Sunrise Movement 501 c-4 which emerged in the shadow of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run and condemned former Vice President Joseph Biden as a tool of the establishment suddenly changed their tune.

Flush with dark money from Democratic Party-aligned billionaires, Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash stated on July 14 – the day Biden released his clean energy plan: “It’s no secret that we’ve been critical of Vice President’s Biden’s plans and commitments in the past. Today, he’s responded to many of those criticisms: dramatically increasing the scale and urgency of investments… Our movement, alongside environmental justice communities and frontline workers, has taught Joe Biden to talk the talk.”

While it brands itself as a grassroots movement that has organized anti-establishment stunts putting centrist figures like Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the spot, the Sunrise Movement was incubated with a grant from the Sierra Club, the Mike Bloomberg-backed juggernaut of Big Green organizing. Today, offices of the two organizations are located a floor apart in the same building in downtown Washington DC.

Ahead of the DNC, the Biden campaign introduced a $2 trillion plan pledge to invest heavily in renewable technology to achieve “a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” The plan promised to erect 500 million solar panels in the next five years alongside 60,000 new wind turbines.

With the demand for solar plummeting due to the coronavirus pandemic, the prospect of gigantic government subsidies was music to the ears of the “cleantech” tycoons who sponsor Democratic Party-aligned climate advocacy organizations.

Many of these green millionaires and billionaires had feasted at the trough of Obama’s stimulus package, which was directly responsible for powering the rise of America’s solar industry. After promising upon his inauguration to invest $150 billion in “a new green energy business sector,” Obama doled out an eye-popping $4.9 billion in subsidies to Tesla’s Elon Musk and a $1.2 billion loan guarantee for Tom Dinwoodie’s SunPower US to construct the California Valley Solar Ranch. In June 2019, an “avian incident” caused a fire at the SunPower Solar Ranch project, impacting over 1200 acres and knocking out 84% of generating capacity for several weeks.

“Planet of the Humans” presented viewers with the disturbing story of the Ivanpah solar plant, a signature initiative in Obama’s green energy plan which was co-owned by Google. Gifted with $1.6 billion in loan guarantees and $600 million in federal tax credits, Ivanpah was built on 5.6 square miles of pristine public land close to California’s Mojave National Preserve. In its first year, the massive plant produced less than half its of its planned energy goal while burning over 6000 birds to death.

Because of the intermittency inherent to solar power, the gargantuan energy project has had to burn massive amounts of natural gas to keep the system primed when the sun is not shining. Despite its dependence on fossil fuel, Ivanpah still qualifies under state rules as a renewable plant.

“The bottom line is the public didn’t expect this project to consume this much natural gas,” David Lamfrom, California desert manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, told the local Press-Enterprise. “We did not have full knowledge that this was what we were signing up for.”

Even after the Obama administration poured billions of dollars into solar projects, solar energy output increased between 2008 and 2016 by a mere .7% as a total of American energy production.

Meanwhile, across the country, many new wind projects remain stalled due to community concerns about land destruction. In the home state of Green New Deal advocate Sen. Bernie Sanders, the only remaining wind project was canceled this January.

For raising questions about the efficacy and environmental cost of renewable projects like these, and proposing an explicitly anti-capitalist solution to the corporate destruction of the planet, the makers of “Planet of the Humans” were steamrolled by a network of professional climate activists, billionaire investors and industry insiders.

Now, with the Biden campaign promising a new flood of renewable subsidies and tax breaks under the auspices of a “clean” energy plan, the public remains in the dark about what it is signing up for. Even if the ambitious agenda fails to deliver any substantial environmental good, it promises a growing class of green investors another opportunity to do well.

  • tttbnr

    Great reporting. Thanks for the information about how Green leaders are co-opted by capital.

  • Alice X

    Know your enemy

    Sun Tzu – The Art of War

  • iowapinko

    I often find it difficult to parse out the truth in this era of all-hype-all-the-time. But the Watergate adage, “Follow he money” seems to have lasting cred; as it does in this case.

    Good and courageous work Michael Moore, jeff Gibbs and Ozzie Zehner.

  • Calgacus

    Except that this article completely inverts things. Planet of Humans is a shoddy piece of crap, filled with falsehoods as documented by dozens of independent people. There was a blog keeping track of all the damning critiques. And it is Planet of Humans that is supported by the billionaire class, Planet of Humans got rave views from the right wing, from the fossil fuel industry. It got so many attacks from the green and left because it insanely paints fossil fuels as greener and nicer than renewables, than solar etc.

    “Wrong Kind of Green” viciously attacks every other environmental group there is. I would be very surprised if some of their staff are not agents provocateurs paid by the Koch Brothers. Many comments to that effect on their site until they took down the page. Cory Morningstar of WKOG signed onto a pretty nasty, rather absurd attack on Noam Chomsky, John Pilger etc for being sellouts effectively aiding the coup in Bolivia. Yeah, right. Really, who you gonna believe. Morningstar and groups that came out of nowhere? Or veterans fighting the good fight since before almost everyone here was born. I know who I trust.

    In my view, the “explicitly anti-capitalist solution” of WKOG, Planet of Humans amounts to – kill all the humans, especially the poor ones. The people who spread the meme that overconsumption is the enemy – who fund population control etc – are the great overconsumers, the ultrarich. Who want to terminate the consumption – aka eating food – of billions, so that they can continue to poop on the rest of us. The way to end capitalist destruction is to remember and understand what capitalism is and how to fight it- what a Revolution IS. Bernie Sanders and the Green New Dealers do. Many socialists and the opponents of the GND don’t.

    Of course there is greenwashing, hijacking of causes etc. That’s life. But we very likely need to do something fast, do a Green New Deal – which did NOT come from mythical “Green Billionaires” but from longtime politicians, activists, radical economists and environmentalists. WKOG etc’s imputation to the contrary is simply a bald-faced lie. Which again brings up the question of why these lies? Cui bono?

    Kevin Zeese iirc saw through the kind of crap and smears and McCarthyesque Gish Gallops of “guilt” by association that Planet, WKOG and now Blumenthal & Grayzone
    are spreading. One more reason to miss him.

  • Alice X

    Planet of Humans is a shoddy piece of crap, filled with falsehoods as documented by dozens of independent people

    Who?

  • cechas vodobenikov

    cocktail party liberal pastoralists–amerikans live in the future and wish to live in the past–climate change idiots: environmentalism…”a crude counter-revolutionary issue ‘ Alain Badiou

  • Mensch59

    You couldn’t be more wrong. “Green” capitalism has now become a religion and you (plus many others) are North American devotees.

  • Calgacus

    The Green New Deal is a socialist proposal, not a capitalist one. Very, very obviously so. In fact, it is quite anti-capitalist (the New Deal part especially) – So why should one not expect a capitalist backlash at socialist proposals? – WKOG, Planet of Humans etc. Or attempt to further befuddle people so like most socialists, they cannot even tell what is socialist, what is capitalist.

  • Calgacus

    I wrote a very long reply to you above, which unfortunately is being held up for approval.

  • Jeff

    Nice to see that someone gets it. Calgacus is exactly the kind of person that the movie complained about.

  • Alice X

    Thank you.

  • Mensch59

    The Green New Deal is a socialist proposal, not a capitalist one.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. FDR’s New Deal saved capitalism. It didn’t replace capitalism with a socialistic economy. The Green New Deal is the same. It’s this type of rationalizing which is why you reject (1) the WKOG (2) Cory Morningstar’s & Max Blumenthal’s reporting (3) exposés like “Planet of the Humans” in favor of your brand of environmental billionaires (aka “green capitalism”) which is pushing for a great economic reset/transformation and the fourth industrial revolution.

    This is like arguing religion. You’re a true believer that the Green New Deal is socialistic instead of capitalistic. There’s no way that I’m going to change your mind, because I have no influence on your mind. And I certainly have no leverage on what you believe and no ability to aggressively coerce you to believe differently.

    As long as you reject Cory Morningstar and Max Blumenthal in favor of a pair of resolutions, House Resolution 109 and Senate Resolution 59, sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), by political power players; there’s nothing I can write to dissuade you from your faith.

    Later.

  • Calgacus

    Things like the GND or FDR’s New Deal are socialistic because they embodied, contained, aimed at classical socialist proposals. They fit the classical definitions. Their aim of full employment – crucially by a right to work, for socially beneficial projects directed democratically – is a classical socialist proposal that in Marx’s words – gives the working class power over the ruling class etc. In Trotsky’s lingo it is a “transition demand” – something that capitalism cannot accept, as it would make capitalism into something else. Many people saw the New Deal that way at the time, especially with distance, people like France’s socialist Prime Minister Leon Blum who unsuccessfully modelled his adminstration on the New Deal, but above all, the capitalist fatcats did quite accurately.

    This is a matter of logic. If I were the only person on the planet to say it against every “socialist” in the world – well then they’d be wrong and I’d be the only socialist in the world. 2 + 2 makes 4, even if everyone says it makes 5. Other people are changing definitions to suit their misguided purposes, have turned themselves into socialists against socialism – not I.

    I reject WKOG and particularly the very suspicious Cory Morningstar who calls Chomsky, Pilger et al sellouts and tools ( in a letter on the Bolivian Coup published at Counterpunch)., Planet, etc because their “reporting” here is just mudslinging a a la McCarthy and Assange’s persecutors. What is there? There ain’t no there, there.

    I have never had a single person QUOTE WKOG etc- and say here is the damning piece of evidence that proves it. Quite similar to the Mueller Report and Russiagate – people just SAY the Mueller Report proves Russiagate blah blah blah – but when I say, no it proves Mueller is a liar who rounded up the usual suspects, they just repeat themselves, never extracting anything from the Report itself. That’s because like this “reporting” it is just a pile of junk that seeks to convince people by slurs and intimidation with an incredibly long and boring pile of — Nothing.

  • Mensch59

    Capitalism is the ownership and control of the means of production by private for-profit interests. FDR’s New Deal didn’t end that political-economic system. Neither will the Green New Deal.
    Socialism is the ownership and control of the means of production by the general public or by the State for the purpose of meeting universal social needs, not for the purpose of generating profit. FDR’s New Deal didn’t establish such a political-economic system and neither will the Green New Deal.

    Here’s a quote for you from Cory Morningstar from an article on Dissident Voice by John Steppling “Connecting the Dots”:

    You are about to get slammed by 2 globally orchestrated campaigns 1. #GlobalGreenNewDeal 2. #NewDealForNature & People
    And when I say slammed – I mean slammed. Like a hammer over your head. Another campaign to assist both is #SuperYear2020.
    Goal: obtaining the social license required to re-boot / save the failing global capitalist economy. To usher in a new unprecedented era of growth. The monetization of nature, global in scale (new/ emerging markets)(see past posts). That is, the corporate capture of nature. Those with money – will literally buy nature.
    The pitch: The ruling class, corporations, capital finance – all those that have happily destroyed the planet in pursuit of relentless profit have learned their lesson.They have magically changed. Those that destroyed the biosphere will now save it. And save you. All they need is your consent. Forget that capitalism devours everything in its path. They can work around this inconvenient truth. But it’s going to take everyone. There are no class divisions, we are all in this “together”. Yesterday’s capitalists are today’s activists. Accept. Join hands
    .

    Maybe you can “connect the dots”. Maybe you cannot. Maybe you are a true believer in the “green capitalism” which the documentary “Planet of the Humans” seeks to expose as fraudulent.

  • Calgacus

    FDR’s New Deal didn’t establish such a political-economic system and neither will the Green New Deal.

    Yes. It. Did. To a very real extent. The New Deal and postwar Social Democracy, largely made in its image, “gradually” but significantly changed the political economic system into one more “socialist”, more under democratic control – a path Marx himself projected was possible in the USA. There was more progress in the 60s. The 70s-80s aborted that. But take the improvements from 1933-68, project them in a straight line, instead of partially reversing them, and by 2020, after another 52 years – we would be in a society that most would call socialist. A few generations when the working class can say “take this job and shove it” – and we ain’t in capitalism land any more, Toto.

    The historiography of the New Deal is garbage, from Right, Center and crucially, the Left. Not because they are not tendentious in the manner I would like. But because it is filled with people copying the same mangled quotes from each other, fake statistics, insane standards of judgments, time-travelling reverse causality etc. All with the purpose of slandering Roosevelt and the New Deal. Very similar to the slander of Lincoln and the Civil War until the 50s or 60s. And for the same contemptible purpose.

    What you quoted is just rhetoric and irrational smears from another dupe of plutocracy, John Steppling, not evidence. It doesn’t really say anything at all, but me good, others bad. There are no dots to connect.

  • Mensch59

    There is no influencing true believer who has such strong convictions on how socialistic FDR’s New Deal was.
    I’ll take John Steppling’s voice over yours any day.
    He resonates with me.
    You don’t.
    No offense.
    The film “Planet of the Humans” was made to help people like you see the light.
    You’d rather not see.
    Your choice.

  • Calgacus

    We agree, as usual. The Green New Deal is something for the benefit, the needs of the many – the only practical plan out there. It comes from socialists, environmentalists and radical economists. Not billionaires – which is a recent and breathtakingly bold lie.

    So who are these people who attack and lie about those who are trying to do something for the benefit of many? Cui bono?:

    If I can plant a seed of well-merited doubt that they are tools of those malicious conspirators at best, paid agents provocateurs at worst, I am happy.

    I mean haven’t people met such agents at demonstrations? Developed a sense about them? One who led a very successful and historically important disturbance tried to get me arrested at that site – but the cop knew the jerk, witnessed that I did not throw a punch at him- and plainly disagreed with the orders he had been given to let him and his mob disrupt the ongoing political, governmental function.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    FDR saved corporate capitalism –his programs were designed to coopt the eastern European Jews that were communists…hippie green is corporate capitalism—described by marxists—Zizek/Badiou as crude, counter-revolutionary
    Lincoln fully supported slavery–the civil war had zero to do w slavery—I care less what your 4th grade teacher said
    improvements? all derived from war, imperialism and stealing patents from Europe …more than 100, 000
    the only mildly progressive US president was Nixon

  • subcomandante Felix

    Yes, PoH was flawed. Yes, it took some cheap shots at the environmental movement’s
    misleadership class. But, anyone who has worked for one of the big enviro groups knows that it’s central message was spot on. As Albert Einstein said, “You can’t solve problems using the same thinking that created them.”

  • Nylene13

    First of all, if Michael Moore says it-I tend to believe it.

    I can’t think of a time he was wrong about anything, and more important, he has our best interests at heart.

    Second of all-The real issue here is how do we stop Environmental Pollution and Destruction without giving up any of our Capitalist Created Goodies?
    The answer is-we can’t.

    We need to change the way we live. And replacing oil and gas and such power with wind and solar is not going to do it. I recently went to one of the major garbage dumps here in Nevada.

    I could not BELIEVE the amount of things being thrown away. Endless Trucks full of Good lumber, lots of it, some NEW, and all kinds of Computers and TV’s and Broken Appliances and Furniture and on and on….

    Why are these things not being repaired and re-used? Because it is cheaper and easier to go buy new things— the Capitalist System makes sure that is so.

    All this stuff being buried in the Earth with big bulldozers, and we wonder why the Water is no good?

    FORGET PROFITS. THE ENVIRONMENT MUST BECOME OUR PRIORITY.

    There is nothing else we can say that would make the Sociopath Rich who own everything more angry.

  • Nylene13

    I am surprised at you.

  • Nylene13

    Well said Alice X.

  • Mensch59

    The lie — as exposed by the documentary — is that billionaires don’t stand to benefit from the Green New Deal, the great economic reset/transformation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
    I’ll chalk up your ignorance to optimism bias and the political delusions baked into the myth of unending human progress.
    If you cannot see the devolution of the global economy from (A) industrial capitalism and the power of governments to regulate finance to (B) a neo-feudal order dominated by financial elites & debt slavery; then you cannot accept the Green New Deal, the great economic reset/transformation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution as anything but “progressive”.

  • John Chadwick

    Capitalism’s greatest achievement is creating the largest number of millionaires and billionaires of any other economic system… at the expense of the Common Good…

  • chetdude

    Michael Moore’s genius is the ability to create extremely entertaining AgitProp.

    He uses a brilliant combination of humor and “one-sided”, heavily slanted propaganda to promote the best ideas: gun control, Health Care, Economic equality, the evils of Capitalism and now to get people thinking about the fact that trying to fuel a consumption machine for 7 1/2 billion humans (predicted to grow to 10 billion soon) using only “alternative energy” is probably impossible – more likely insane.

    The elephant in the living room is too many humans using too many resources and destroying too much of the environment in the process. As they have said in subsequent interviews (the few times that Moore and Gibbs have been allowed to speak for themselves) that’s the discussion Mr. Moore and the producers of the film wanted to trigger but instead, as usual, it’s Kill the Messenger to bury the message rather than discus it.

  • chetdude

    WHICH “green new deal” are you talking about?

    The empty rhetoric of the democrat House version is entirely capitalist. Biden’s (if he really has one) is also going to be heavily, entirely capitalist.

    The Green Party Presidential Candidate’s EcoSocialist Green New Deal? Ronnie Cummins and OCA’s Regenerative Ag?

    The Billionaires mentioned in the film and their desire to OWN the means of production that they see running the massive capitalist consumption, exploitation and pollution machine designed to run on fossil-fuels with wind and solar?

    Which one are you talking about?

    Of course, the real problem is that thanks to all of the heat from some bruised egos the actual POINT of the film was buried.

    When they were allowed to speak, Moore and Gibbs made it clear that their major intention was to get people thinking about the fact that trying to fuel a consumption machine for 7 1/2 billion humans (predicted to grow to 10 billion soon) using only “alternative energy” is probably impossible and more likely insane.

    The elephant in the living room is too many humans using too many resources and destroying too much of the environment in the process. As they have said in subsequent interviews (the few times that Moore and Gibbs have been allowed to speak for themselves) that’s the discussion Mr. Moore and the producers of the film wanted to trigger but instead, as usual, it’s Kill the Messenger to bury the message rather than discus it.

    (PS: Of course, Moore is a polemicist — that’s his gift.)

  • chetdude

    Socialism is Worker and Community (THE PEOPLE’S) OWNERSHIP of the means of production coupled with democratic processes for decision making that allows the people to achieve consensus about where, when and what to produce, how much and how to do it along with how to fairly and equally distribute what’s produced.

    Sustainability must be our new goal. By sustainability I mean:

    1. The integration of human social and economic lives into the environment in ways that tend to enhance or maintain rather than degrade or destroy the environment;

    2. A moral imperative to pass on our natural inheritance, not necessarily unchanged, but undiminished in its ability to meet the needs of future generations;

    3. Entails determining and staying within the balance point among population, consumption and waste assimilation so that bioregions, watersheds and ecosystems can maintain their ability to recharge, replenish and regenerate.

  • Nylene13

    I don’t know if I would call it propaganda if it is True.

    Other than that I agree with you.

    Michael Moore uses humor to try and get people to THINK.

    I have not actually watched this movie yet. I am going to do so today, as it was posted here. After lunch.

    Good time, don’t want to go anywhere, the smoke from the Forest Fires is in the danger zone here today.

  • chetdude

    Take care, stay safe.

  • Bill Rood

    …the show was abruptly canceled after the Public accused Fox of violating the theater’s code of conduct through “a series of verbal abuses to the staff.”

    Fox, who is Jewish, retaliated by accusing the theater’s directors of anti-Semitism.

    As Shulamet Aloni said, “Well, it’s a trick, we always use it.” But anti-Semitism isn’t just for Israel anymore, nor was it ever. Some Jews trot it out whenever they suffer a setback.

  • Calgacus

    WHICH “green new deal” are you talking about?
    The empty rhetoric of the democrat House version is entirely capitalist.

    Plain falsehood. That is what THEY want you to think. The cure is to read and compare them. All the Green New Deals are photocopies of each other. That’s why the Green Party’s Pres candidate Howie Hawkins supported Bernie Sanders GND plan and Sanders supported AOC’s.

    But THEY want everyone to split up into big-endian vs little-endian, People’s Front of Judaea vs Judaean People’s Front infighting. DIVIDA ET IMPERA. And so many fall for it.

    thinking about the fact that trying to fuel a consumption machine for 7 1/2 billion humans (predicted to grow to 10 billion soon) using only “alternative energy” is probably impossible and more likely insane.

    That is not a FACT. When people tell you X is a “fact” – there is a good chance it is a lie. It’s a scientific statement. Again one can only know whether it is true that we can get that much energy from renewables or not IF YOU TRY. We aren’t trying now. That’s what a GND is- TRYING – as was FDR’s New Deal – an attempt to build a decent and livable future for the USA and the whole world. I don’t think that is insane. I think fighting that is insane.

    That’s what the suckers or plants like Planet of Humans, WKOG and now Blumenthal are doing. Fighting socialism. Fighting environmentalism. Serving an insane plutocracy.

    So you want to stop fueling the consumption machine? You volunteering to stop eating? That’s what the anti-GND forces mean and have always meant by limiting consumption: MAKING POOR PEOPLE DEAD. Here they are playing on a puritanical streak in the Left, the fear that somebody somewhere might be enjoying himself, as well as a proclivity to think in and spout simplistic slogans and avoid doing the hard work of understanding what they mean.

    Real environmental thinkers like Herman Daly doing this stuff when we were all in diapers, or Kenneth Boulding (d. 1993) don’t think in this simplistic and highly misleading way. Of course more consumption is good, everything else equal. There is a difference between “using” and “using up”. We want to limit the “using up”, the throughput and accentuate “using” the reusable. That’s what the GND is all about.

  • Bill Rood

    Margaret, thanks for re-publishing this.

    One thing that needs to be emphasized is that the World Economic Forum’s “global reset,” and the Gates agenda, is for the former to “reset” the Western world’s economy at a much lower but “sustainable” standard of living, and for the latter to drastically reduce the world’s population. Haven’t yet watched the film, but from what’s said here, part of the message is that relying solely on renewables will require one and probably both of the above.

    A “sustainable,” no growth economy is by definition a zero or negative sum game, but the elites will want to maintain their current standard of living and control for themselves and their progeny. Thus, there will be no social mobility, a caste system. This will result in unrest among the lower castes, which will be held in check through totalitarian top-down surveillance and violent control mechanisms, unless you submit to Elon’s implantable interface to the hive mind.

    The Covid-19 Planpanic, with it isolation and compliance training through mask mandates is intended to prepare you. Unless you all wake up, realize you’ve been manipulated by fear and quickly put a stop to this, resistance is futile, and you will be assimilated.

  • Calgacus

    Hey everybody else. See what came up? You really want to be in the company of this guy?

    Spreading the insane lie that Lincoln supported slavery.

    No, the classical leftie / socialist idea is TRUE. Lincoln hated slavery. The US Civil War was about nothing else but slavery. Everybody knew it at the time AND SAID SO many, many times. – James Loewen & Edward Sebesta’s “The Confederate & Neo-Confederate Reader: The Great Truth about the Lost Cause”- Mississippi (2010) has hundreds of pages of documents that said so.

    The classical lefty idea that FDR’s New Deal was on the side of the poor and working people against the plutocracy – was absolutely TRUE.

    So of course, the plutocracy, the Slave Power, does everything they can to falsify history, to falsify the periods when the Good Guys —– won some real things!

    Look at the NYT’s slimy 1619 project – that fooled even Noam Chomsky, but was exposed by the WSWS / Socialist Equality Party. They stop at nothing, twist everything, twist people’s honest sentiments – to divide and conquer. That’s what the 1619 project is about. That’s what the attacks on Assange are about. That’s what the attacks on the Green New Deal from self-styled “lefties/ greenies” are about – neutralizing the opposition by every means possible.

  • Calgacus

    Et tu? Why? Why surprised I denounce anti-socialism and anti-environmentalism, denounce plutocracy and their catspaws or accomplices?

    Why believe these people: Planet, WKOG, Blumenthal etc when they attack just about ALL veteran environmentalists and socialists – all serious plans to solve environmental problems without killing billions- while posing as leftier, greener than thou? And whose attacks add up to one giant nothingburger of lies, smears and .. nothing.

  • mwildfire

    Post #32…which will I be–one claiming that the film is perfect and everyone attacking it is an evil slithering secret agent of the billionaires…or one of the (minority here) pointing out the flaws of the film and claiming that AOC’s GND or Mark’s Renewable Solutions for All 50 States will solve all our problems? NEITHER. This film has sure stirred the bullshit. I watched it the day it was released, and thought its central message was important, but saw some serious flaws–a crying shame because it COULD have done so much good, released at a time when everyone was a captive audience because of COVID19, and on pause from the ratrace, thus able to stop and think and ponder possibilities. I don’t know much about McKibbin’s funders (and have little respect for him anyway), don’t know much about wind energy, but I do know enough about solar to know that what the film said or implied was sufficiently misleading as to be outright false. People may not realize that to say the stuff was dated, in the case of solar, is like–well an example I saw somewhere is to take a 90’s cellphone and say “Cellphone technology is crap.” I will again use my own experience to illuminate this: We got our small off-grid solar system in 2009, four 220-watt panels at a cost of six hundred some dollars apiece. Last year my husband decided to add another pair of panels. These are the same size, but rate at 330 watts, and the difference is more than that as they are more efficient in low light conditions. These cost $200 apiece. Yes, you can find one type of panel, those flexible ones which are useful in some specific applications, with an 8% efficiency–but the film implied that that was a typical rate, which is DISHONEST. It used footage from a solarfest in Vermont that used brought-in power—from 2005.
    But this is not the only flaw. I think it’s a mistake to allow three people to state the inconvenient truth that a lot of the problem is just plain TOO MANY HUMANS–and not immediately and explicitly tie this to the other half of the equation, too many humans consuming and wasting too much.
    Then there is this: the film as much as says solar, wind and biomass are no more solutions than fossil fuels are, but never mentions nukes. Is nuclear power the answer? I don’t think so, but the failure to mention it makes me wonder if nuclear proponents might be behind POTH.
    But the biggest flaw was this: the film spent 100% of its time illuminating the failures and falsehoods (sometimes unfairly) of the big greens, of renewable energy, no mention of nuclear–and zero percent discussing real solutions. Is that because there are none, the answer is mass suicide, or more practically a rash of mass shooters with planes and bombs or germs? What is the TYPICAL reaction of a viewer of this film who hadn’t known all that much about these issues, in terms of behavior? Probably–to change nothing, to continue using fossil fuel power at the same rate, continue driving to the same job because the film tells you THERE IS NO ANSWER.
    Which is horseshit. Solar and wind are good technologies, but we cannot use them to Unplug/Replug–to continue the same wasteful, destructive lifestyle only substituting wind and solar for coal and gas and oil. Perhaps we could have if we’d made the transition in the 80s but we embraced Reagan instead. We need to radically change our city layout, our economies, our farming practices, and yes, we in the rich world need to tighten our belts. For example, we need to get over the idea that we MUST generate every desired watt of electricity at all times, or that our cars must be able to go 60 MPH, that it’s reasonable to live 20 miles from our daily work, that we’re entitled to a higher income than our parents, that a woman should have closets full of clothes she rarely wears. It’s true this idea is not popular, not only among the most privileged but pretty much across the board.

  • Calgacus

    Of course billionaires stand to benefit. Who says otherwise? Billionaires stand to benefit from not having a nuclear war that kills all life on Earth too.

    Is that a reason to have a nuclear war?

    You and most people here are being played by the billionaires into fighting on THEIR side, opposing what they hate and fear the most – a real Green New Deal.

    Y’all don’t understand what capitalism is all about. It isn’t about the billionaires having more, having more benefits. They already have it all. They don’t give a damn about that. Capitalism is about YOU having LESS. Strangling you, weakening you, driving you insane. Because they fear you and know that if they ever stopped – there wouldn’t be no billionaires no more, in short order.

  • mwildfire

    PS And I’m a bit disappointed in Max Blumenthal for this rather slanted piece–it’s the first thing of his I’ve ever read that turned me off.

  • Mensch59

    I think that you are delusional * self-deceived thinking & writing that what the billionaire class hates and fears the most is a real Green New Deal. Because you think that the Green New Deal is some sort of socialist solution to all the problems which ails society, you are not willing to entertain any other ideas about it — regardless of their expertise at critical analysis. You (and those who you choose to have faith in) are the only true bona fide experts.

    I guess you are some sort or (religious) true believer that the Green New Deal is about everyone having more, since “capitalism” is about everyone except the billionaires (because they already have it all) having less. Liberal progressives are the most outrageously deceived political animals on the planet. Pollyanna’s.

  • Mensch59

    Anyone who can watch the documentary and read this article by M. Blumenthal and conclude that they are “attacks [which] add up to one giant nothingburger of lies, smears and .. nothing” is seriously demented. Where Calgacus has gone is precisely where ideology minus critical thinking will take anyone.

  • Mensch59

    The “attacks” on the Green New Deal are warranted, as M. Blumenthal’s article makes clear.

  • Mensch59

    Billionaires stand to benefit from not having a nuclear war that kills all life on Earth too.
    Is that a reason to have a nuclear war?

    Seriously?!?! This is how you reason?!?!

  • Calgacus

    Mensch, I was demonstrating a flaw in your reasoning with that. Billionaires benefiting from a GND in a way they really don’t care about is not a sane reason to oppose the GND. They oppose it because it is an attempt by their victims to break from the rule of these sadists.

  • Calgacus

    OK, then quote from them. Quote anything damning, that isn’t a lie, smear or nothing. Just like the Mueller Report. Supporters cannot point to smoking guns, only at best ridiculously long chains of guilt by association.

    So Naomi Klein is EEEVVVIIILLLL – I guess she sexually assaults herself
    every day – because her university accepted a donation from Harvey Weinstein to help endow her chair. That’s critique? No that’s a joke at best, a feeble McCarthyite smear against someone fighting Bad Guys.

  • Calgacus

    How is this a reply to me? Do you think I oppose that? Almost all socialists and environmentalists the world over supported the New Deal and support the Green New Deal because they were/are steps on that path.

    So the billionaires support a fake nonsense history of the New Deal & the US Civil War, smear Lincoln & FDR. And support dishonest attacks on what they fear as a second or third coming – the Green New Deal. They love it the mostest when these attacks on their foes come from those who fancy themselves as on the Left. But without more fraternité in the Left/Green, there ain’t gonna be no liberté or egalité – or a comfy planet.

    They are filled with glee when they successfully divide and conquer and when their lies create apathy and cynicism in fractions of their opponents. That’s what WKOG, Planet & Blumenthal are doing, whether they understand it or not. Serving the billionaire class.

  • Nylene13

    Wow. That is some movie.

    Thank you Michael Moore. Thank you all the people who made this movie.

    Thank you Popular Resistance for posting this move here.

    “Desperate Measures-Not Too Save the Planet – But To Save Our Was of Life”.

    What way of life? The Rich Owned Capitalist Military Industrial System.

    “LESS MUST BE THE NEW MORE”

    Capitalism will NEVER understand that.

    There are now two kinds of people. People who have watched this movie and people who have not.

  • Nylene13

    I just watched the movie. See my comment at the top of the page.

  • Nylene13

    Perhaps you need to calm down, and watch it again.

  • A flaw in Mensch’s “reasoning”??? Pshaw!! Surely you jest!!…/s

  • Nylene13

    From the movie-Less must be the New more.

    I think you are defending your way of life.

    Becoming a vegetarian is one way to have more food for everyone.

    But meat lovers SURE DON’T WANT TO HEAR THAT!
    They fight to defend the lifestyle they are accustomed to.

    What you call a “decent and livable future”-is your dream that you won’t have to give up anything- New Cars -New Computers-A Big Fancy Home-and still have a sustainable planet?

    It is not so bad to have a small home and small vegetable garden, and wear old clothes.

    Really, I know.

    Right now my family is in the middle of a Dangerous Air Alert here in Nevada. We have to stay inside, and the air is not great inside either.

    -From all the wildfires in California and here in Nevada.

    Today I am living that movie. It is not fiction.

  • Nylene13

    Don’t worry about this guy. Someone here suggested he might a CIA plant-and I would not be surprised.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    are you employed by the CIA?

  • cechas vodobenikov

    Marx was wrong about a great deal—it was Lenin that understood revolution, not Marx

  • cechas vodobenikov

    utter nonsense…fully refuted by the Marxist, Gonovese, Willard Gatewood, David Potter and Morris Berman, ‘Why America failed?’
    I could care less what ignorant fascist US academics–“technicians that serve power with a thin understanding of everything”. Richard Hofstadter, tell you…Boorstin is correct:: “amerikans live in a thicket of illusions; amerikans demand illusions about themselves”

  • cechas vodobenikov

    another insecure amerikan robot…Koestler compared u to 5th century Romans: “a similarly contactless society populated by automatons…a similarly soulless politically corrupt everybody for themselves society”
    I suspect that you have never lived in a civilized nation–u ignorant fascist

  • cechas vodobenikov

    Clearly you do not comprehend Marx, Marxists such as Mezsaros, Horkheimer, kautsky, Stalin
    Adorno, Marcuse, Martov, Zinoviev, Walter Benjamin, Ernest Mandel, etc
    Who were Marx’s most admired philosophers? His favorite literary figure?
    Your fatuous reductive nonsense is farcical…don’t pretend to be radical; u r corporate monopoly capitalism enshrined

  • cechas vodobenikov

    fake green is corporate capitalism—anyone that requires a film to comprehend this is stupid…solar is more damaging to the environment than all sources except coal…advanced nuclear is the least damaging—this explains why China, India, Indonesia, Sweden, Russia, Iran, Hungary, etc are building nuclear power plants

  • Calgacus

    No, I am trying to defend rational, socialist, environmental measures that would improve things for all. I have no big screen tv, large home, etc. The decent and livable future I mean is – improving the lives of the worst off first. Many people say that this movie, WKOG etc is not pro-environment, but part of a right wing, pro-capitalist, anti-environment backlash that panders to fossil fuels with a do-nothing message, basing itself on fake “facts” and shameful slurs against real people, covered with a thin facade of exposing minor “greenwashing”. I agree.

    They are tricking you and most people here, except for newestbeginning and the CIA plant guy. For his sake, I hope he is a CIA plant – otherwise he is a very far gone lunatic who must have a very unhappy life. Tried to reply to AliceX again, but they held up a message again with the supporting links she asked for.

    Again, all I am hoping for is that people get a seed of doubt in their mind that these people are not doing what they pretend to be doing, but fighting for the billionaires. And that the overwhelming majority who sees the Green New Deal as positive, as liberation – as they saw the New Deal and Lincoln before – might be right. Not those who want to lure you into cynical apathy that serves only the murderously insane billionaires.

  • Calgacus

    Thanks for the upvotes and support here and elsewhere. I wasn’t expecting any at all, I appreciate it.

    The “Left” & “leftists” have been terrified for decades of seeming to be not revolutionary enough- so everyone always pretends to be leftier-than-thou and take the most extreme positions to the point of insanity. Is it surprising that the Right, the Billionaires take advantage of this fear, self-doubt and posing on the left? They do, to the utmost.

    This lunacy goes to the point of say the WSWS or almost the entire Left writing apologetics for the most blatant betrayals and traitors. To the point of attacking most successful social movements in the past. To the point of attacking the poor – in the name of socialism! That’s what “overconsumption” is code for – “poor people don’t eat no more.”

  • RickW

    How about immediately ration power use, instead of attempting to provide enough power (by whatever means) that we can consume as much as we want? I would suggest immediately consumption to 50% of what we are used to – and expect….

  • Nylene13

    All the progressive work that Michael Moore has done in his life, and you think this of him?

    I do not.

  • You’re welcome. I try to encourage thoughtful people to think about what they see going on in the world, and present their analysis for others to read.

    It’s not that I agree with everything you say, in fact in the above I disagree about your assessment of Left and leftists. It seems that many who claim the leftist mantle invest all their time attacking and discrediting the anticapitalist left – from the right. In doing so, they are simply performing the function of the house slaves in service to the owners.

    The Right, the capitalists and Billionaires take advantage of every chink in the armor, every social phenomenon, every natural and human resource – to keep extracting wealth.

    The “over population” people are carrying the racist water for the rulers in a diversion from the actual source of social disfunction, which they avoid like the plague.

    Keep writing Calgacus and hope you will visit over at Leftist Politics again.

  • RickW

    Michael Moore uses humor to try and get people to THINK.
    The only problem being that, by and large, Trump’s base doesn’t think. So the question might well be, is what Michael does simply an elaborate way of “preaching to the choir”?
    To me, what Michael says is gospel, and the nitpickers cannot tear apart the basis of his thesis. In short, all these billionaire “emperors” have been exposed – but none of them care!

  • RickW

    At least the bio-mass companies won’t get the trees.
    Well thought, Nylene!

  • chetdude

    My point is that you can label legislation a “Green New Deal” that is neither green enough nor necessarily provide a New Deal.

    I suggest that public/worker’s Ownership of the Means of Production is the essential feature of Socialism whereas “Democratic Socialism” is capitalism wearing a happy face mask. Maybe it can lead to Socialism but the devil is in the details of the legislation.

    For instance, ACA – NOT Socialist, HR1384 – Socialist-leaning.

  • chetdude

    The GND will be about the details.

    I DO NOT trust corporate-owned creatures who occupy nearly all elective offices to write the legislation and will not provide cover for them.

  • chetdude

    “So you want to stop fueling the consumption machine? You volunteering to stop eating?” That’s an egregious strawman. C’mon – fight fair…

  • Calgacus

    Yes, it is a strawman applied to you – of course I consider you one of the Good Guys. But Good Guys have no immunity to being tricked. I consider myself one of course, and I know I can be tricked and will be tricked. Just not very often, I hope.

    I’m just trying to point out the company one is keeping when one praises the people saying this. When one proposes simplistic fake “personal” “solutions” like “cut consumption”, “stop fueling the consumption machine” instead of rational and thoughtful, socialist/Green plans like any of the Green New Deals.

    For that’s what eugenicists and their billionaire supporters, the Rockefellers have been saying for a long time. The real problem to them is not their personal fantastic waste consumption and the infinitely larger waste of the way they direct societies, economies for their insane and repellent purposes. No, the real problem is all the poor people, the population problem. Who they want to starve and kill.

  • Calgacus

    Sure, Moore’s done a lot of good work. But not this, which he wasn’t so deeply involved in. Moore isn’t infallible. He was fooled or fooled himself. I don’t hold it against him. Moore can be fooled. I can be fooled. You can be fooled. It WILL happen.

    In a shooting war, sometimes soldiers on the same side hit each other with “friendly fire” because they don’t understand what they are doing. That’s what this film is. But they’re the fratricidal ones starting the division with an indiscriminate, carpet-bombing attack on people ON THEIR SIDE – with suicidal recommendations – spit on renewables, but fossil fuels, hey burn baby burn. Who can this help but the enemy?

    They didn’t check their facts – as many, many people proved – which is why this movie disappeared until Blumenthal foolishly dug up a dead controversy. And insinuated that a legion of people who saw the movie and pointed out its inaccuracies and craziness are puppets of billionaires.

    Wrong Kind of Green also ballyhooed by Blumenthal- that outfit seems, much, much more suspicious to me than Planet and Moore – who just seem to be not very sharp and .It has a few genuine scientists that seem to be used as window dressing. Cory Morningstar in particular smells like an operative to me. But she might simply be another dupe, though a particularly nasty and crazy one.

  • Calgacus

    “Democratic Socialism” is capitalism wearing a happy face mask.

    That’s what THEY want you to believe. Marx, Engels, Lenin were social democrats = democratic socialists – they said so.. They’re all a bunch of words for the same thing.

    My point is that you can label legislation a “Green New Deal” that is neither green enough nor necessarily provide a New Deal.

    Yes, but that simply is not the case here. Since all the Green New Deals are essentially the same – which anyone can check by reading and comparing them – how can one support one and not the other?

    Rational politicians like Sanders, Howie Hawkins, Ocasio-Cortez support each other, support each others plans.. “The masses” understand this and don’t see imaginary differences. See who is on their side and who is not. Ed Markey – Senate sponsor of the GND just defeated a Kennedy in Massachusetts – first time ever. Activists and intellectuals should follow them. Not fall for traps laid by an enemy promoting fratricide.

  • chetdude

    fake green is corporate capitalism — which is why most aware USAmericans promote REAL Green New Deal.

    “solar is more damaging to the environment than all sources except coal” <– is NOT true.

    "advanced nuclear is the least damaging" <— ALSO not true.

    This IS an article about "greens" financed by billionaires killing a movie questioning the corporate approved view of "green" – not an article about USAmerican Imperialism…

  • chetdude

    Folks who bothered listening to Moore and Riggs know that the major difficulty they see is overpopulation — the massive elephant in the living room — and that no amount of “alternative energy” sources can power a massive consumption and pollution machine “supporting” 7 1/2 billion humans (and still growing rapidly).

  • chetdude

    There IS another alternative — a classless system…

  • chetdude

    The argument I would make is that Moore tries to nudge the choir into singing the right tune.

  • chetdude

    Herman Daly (and CASSE – Steady State) is one of the major sources for the scientific fact I quote.

  • chetdude

    The real problem is too many humans with the worst being too many “affluent” humans exploiting the global poor.

    The only real, sustainable solution I see is an epiphany that results in global birth control and empowerment of women to use it along with fair distribution of necessary resources while powering down that would peacefully bring the population down to a sustainable level within 3 or 4 generations…starting with the most affluent, wasteful nations.

  • chetdude

    Moore and Gibbs are NOT “fighting for the billionaires”.

  • chetdude

    Moore is an ASSIDUOUS fact checker.

    And of course this movie is not being attacked on the basis of inaccuracies or “fake facts” but for pointing out potentially inconvenient truths by selectively using real facts.

  • chetdude

    But doesn’t the history of the last 75 years prove that USAmerica is far from being a “socialist democracy” as it sinks into fascist capitalism…

    And the People have NO SAY in any of it.

    I’d have to admit that the 1930s New Deal co opting a few crumbs from the Agenda of the Socialists, Communists, Progressives and Militant Trade Unionists to save capitalism didn’t transform capitalism…it saved it.

  • chetdude

    You’ve read and compared them?

    Funny, I didn’t notice any change in the ownership of the means of production, significant redistribution of wealth and power or systemic changes in the House or Senate non-binding resolutions.

    They’re basically — “gee, wouldn’t it be nice if we talked about this to get Sunrise, AOC and Bernie off of our backs”, aren’t they?

  • chetdude

    No, one thing we’re saying is that if capitalist billionaires are FOR a particular “GND” (and of course, I know of only ONE capitalist minor billionaire who has come out for a REAL effective Green New Deal), we must carefully examine the DETAILS about what they’re “supporting”, why they’re pretending to support it (mainly lip service, greenwashing with full knowledge that the “greens” they support are economically and politically impotent?) and the potential results from allowing them and their employees in Congress and the White House to craft the details if they ever get around to it.

  • chetdude

    No, the “overpopulation people” are those who notice that we hit Earth Overshoot Day on Aug 22nd this year — sorry, even with half of the population of Earth essentially living in abject poverty, we can’t continue consuming the muscle of the Planet forever.

    “Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.”

    Birth Control, power down and Socialismo!

  • Nylene13

    How about you just state a simple example of WHY you think this movie is inaccurate. Just one simple example.

    Do you the people stating that the ‘alternative power’ is actually being powered by fossil fuels- are lying?
    That all those trees shown being cut down for Bio-Fuel is fake?

    It sounds like you are just defending people that you like.

  • Calgacus

    The “over population” people are carrying the racist water for the rulers in a diversion from the actual source of social disfunction, which they avoid like the plague.

    Right.

    It seems that many who claim the leftist mantle invest all their time attacking and discrediting the anticapitalist left – from the right.

    Sure, though I’m not sure who you mean right now. Mainstream politicians like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Howie Hawkins etc don’t really do that. But the attack the other way is far more insidious and sets up a dynamic of moving to a “left” which is so insane it becomes the right. Starts attacking any socialist program now or historically which has the defect of dealing with reality and benefiting real people rather than promising them endless misery – and delivering it.

    By traitors I meant say Francois Mitterrand in 1980s France, Alex Tsipras in 2015 Greece. They were probably not conscious traitors – as say Lenin Moreno of Ecuador is – but they were so brainwashed or stupid that they had real power – and used it to attack their people and surrender to an enemy they had defeated. But unanimously the Left – the more “radical” it paints itself as being – serves up preposterous nonsense apologetics that they were forced to perform their treachery by the omnipotent capitalists. When the facts and figures unequivocally show that this was the opposite of the truth. It was as if Grant surrendered to Lee at Appomattox and then the abolitionist press said he and Lincoln were forced into re-establishing slavery in the North. Huh?!

    I don’t expect anyone to agree with me on everything. I was going down to LP and reply to something you said when I saw this. Again, thanks though.

    But in my book anybody who calls themselves a socialist is one, especially in the USA. Unless I use the word “traitor”, all of my criticisms are meant to be to friends, whose problem is almost always being deceived by masters of the craft. Michael Moore is a good guy – he just didn’t do his homework, but so he got fooled into helping make a pro-fossil fuel, pro-billionaire, anti-environment “documentary”. That’s all.

  • chetdude

    The major problem with our friend is that he confuses the non-binding democrat resolution passed in the House and what happened in the Senate:

    “The Senate voted 0-57 on taking up the resolution, with 43 Democrats voting present. The measure was widely expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the procedural hurdle.

    “Most Democrats were expected to vote present, a move that llowed them to avoid taking a formal position. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Angus King (I-Maine) voted with Republicans against the measure.”

    as constituting a Green New Deal. Alas, he even calls them equivalent to the Green Party EcoSocialist Green New Deal — which is even MORE unlikely to be honestly proposed by Biden and democrat majorities in Congress next year.

    Grow Sunrise!

  • Nope, not at all Chet. That is a really ugly and “blame the poor for their poverty” type of comment – in service to the ruling class.

    Your comment ignores where the preponderance of resource use happens – and it isn’t the masses of poor people. It is a tiny sliver of capitalists at the absolute top of the pyramid who use and waste most of it. Get rid of those few, and resource use would plummet without broad elimination of poor people.

    On the other hand, sure, EVERYONE should have access to birth control if they want it, healthcare, education, food, a safe home – and time to actualize their potential.

  • chetdude

    It’s not “blame the poor” – goddamn, read my posts!

    I’m fully aware of how and why domination hierarcies (the Ruling Class) implement and benefit from planet-killing vulture capitalism.

    And this movie (remember the movie) is suggesting that the systemic problem of overpopulation of the Planet with over-users of energy and resources in a socioeconomic system that demands constant growth to exist can’t be cured by merely using solar and wind to power it…

    And I’m pretty sure that McKibbin and Moore and Gibbs could find common ground — not too sure about Fox though…

  • Calgacus

    So it’s a plan that “failed”? Big deal. Of course it did. You really think anyone expected it to succeed at the first attempt? Ha!

    The Bad Guys want you to see imaginary differences between the Green Party EcoSocialist Green New Deal and the AOC EcoSocialist Green New Deal. They want brothers and sisters to fight each other, not them.

    Divide and conquer. Divide and conquer. And so many fall for this.

    In reality, they’re near photocopies with minor differences. Some ways the Congressional one is better, some ways the Green Party is better.. The Congressional one is more adapted to getting actually passed, to squeezing a few extra votes; the Green Party is more adapted to “go home and put pressure on me” from the Left/Green – what a surprise.

  • Calgacus

    To say this is to not understand
    (a) how fantastically wasteful and destructive current capitalism is. Get rid of the fantastic waste – it’s been done before, can be done again – and there is far more elbow room. The gigantic consumption of the rich is a minor part of the problem. The main problem is the psychotic way they manage economies and the psychotic uses they make of vast resources.

    Most “critiques” are from a viewpoint of prevalent economic illiteracy and assume the efficiency of capitalism – and so ignore the biggest and most easily solved part of the problem, technology-wise.

    (b) to minimize how advanced our technology is right now, how it could be used for socialist ends –

    (c) and this is when we aren’t even TRYING to do anything – that’s what the GNDs are – trying to start solving environmental and social problems.

  • Nylene13

    Well, I would of course rather have the Trees left standing.

  • Nylene13

    Trumps base may be hopeless, but hopefully their Kids are watching the movie.

  • chetdude

    The EcoSocialist GND is from the Green Party.

    The House and Senate NON-BINDING RESOLUTIONS were IDENTICAL. (And where were the HOUSE hearings, hmm?)

    Neither version will pass the corporate/Plutocrat owned Congress or be signed by a neoliberal capitalist pResident unless a massive Popular Movement reaches critical mass that can force them.

    Crapping on allies because they wish to stimulate conversation that may be uncomfortable (and alas, pretty much true**) is counter-productive to that end. I would have preferred seeing reasoned, civil discourse instead of a knee-jerk resort to censorship.

    **You CANNOT power a socioeconomic system and excess population created and enabled by cheap fossil-fuels using just sun, wind and nuclear.

  • Nylene13

    I think Calcagus, who is usually on our side of things, is defending someone in the movie who is being shown in a bad light, perhaps someone he knows personally or who is a personal hero of his.

  • Mensch59

    I think that “our friend” is enamored with ideas — including the ideas associated with fake environmentalism and fake sustainability and the idea that powerful people (i.e. politicians & celebrities & foundations) touting themselves as “green” really are.
    He and I have a difference conception of reality.
    Nothing can bridge that gap.

  • chetdude

    a) define “rich”. The top 1% of the population? The top 5% of the population? Eliminate them without changing the underlying systemic disease and more will take their place.

    b) There is no techno-fantasy that can deal with the twin problems of over-exploitation of resources and over-production of wastes produced by billions of humans living at ANY reasonable “standard of living”.

    c) I see some (like most politicians) using empty rhetoric to protect their major campaign donors, a small number who honestly desire solutions, many groups working on solutions from different directions and NO CONSENSUS ON WHAT GREEN NEW DEAL ACTUALLY MEANS. This film was designed to contribute some inconvenient truths to the deliberation.

  • chetdude

    Well, I’ll admit that many of those politicians, celebrities and foundations touting “green” may be sincere about doing “something” about AGW/Climate Change but alas, most are seriously under-informed about the underlying systemic disease that needs to promote environmental damage to exist at all and the fact that USAmerican politics is the tail, not the dog. And that tail is being waved by the Planet-Killers.

  • Nylene13

    As I just stated in another comment here, I think Calgacus is reacting as if he personally knows someone in the Environmental Movement who was portrayed in a bad way in this movie.

    He is usually a pretty level headed fellow.

  • Nylene13

    What is this quote from chetdude? ** You CANNOT power—-

  • Calgacus

    Funny, I didn’t notice any change in the ownership of the means of production, significant redistribution of wealth and power or systemic changes in the House or Senate non-binding resolutions.

    Then read them. If you don’t see that, you don’t understand the economics of it. You don’t know your Marx. You don’t know socialist history. The plutocracy does – and hateses the army of GNDs, all clones of each other.

    I’ve already explained in this thread how Marx said the key “New Deal” part of the GNDs – a right to work, a guaranteed job for public service – amounts to great power over the bourgeosie. It’s a very important passage in “The Class Struggles in France” that Engels highlighted 50 years later as the first expression of Marx’s mature theory.

    The Green Party GND doesn’t explicitly say those things that way. Neither GND was written in Russian, either. But both New Deal plans contain basically the same wording, that means that!

    They’re basically — “gee, wouldn’t it be nice if we talked about this to get Sunrise, AOC and Bernie off of our backs”, aren’t they?

    No, not at all. Sunrise, Bernie, AOC support it, helped create them of course.

    Getting “Sunrise, AOC and Bernie off our backs” makes no sense at all. How could the Congressional Green New Deal – usually called the AOC Green New Deal after the prime mover of it – be about getting AOC off her own back?

    It can be depressing how effective pro-billionaire propaganda is in dividing and conquering. But once it is countered, people usually wake up.

  • Calgacus

    Yes, sorta. But the real change -and it was worldwide – came in the 1970s, not before. There was significant and substantial real world progress until then – say from 1933 to 1973. The 70s were OK times, but sort of a holding pattern. The true onslaught of the Right came with Reagan and Thatcher, and their puppets and followers. Take the 1933-73 progress, extend the progressive victories to the next 47 years – and we would be living in a very different country and world.
    What we had was a slow revolution, followed by a slow counter-revolution.

    Thanks for the serious and productive conversation. If I’m ever too sharp or unfair, I apologize.

  • Calgacus

    I’ve tried to a couple times. Dozens of independent people pointed out many inaccuracies. Gave a couple of links to a site with many, many links and summaries.
    But one post here rejected as spam, one that is still pending.

    Do you the people stating that the ‘alternative power’ is actually being powered by fossil fuels- are lying?
    Yup. If they’re saying fossil fuels use less fossil fuel than alternative power – and they suggest that – They’re either lying or insane.

  • mwildfire

    First of all, I don’t know as it’s clear that the makers see overpopulation as THE issue. But anyway, it isn’t accurate to say it’s all about population. Eight billion humans all living like Bangladeshis would be sustainable; conversely, a couple million living like American billionaires would probably be okay. What can’t go on is seven and a half billion humans, of which one to two billion live highly wasteful “first world” lifestyles, about three billion live reasonably, and a couple billion live in desperate poverty. This issue gets raging arguments because it happens that the places where population is still growing are the poor places, mostly nonwhite people, and so as soon as you say “It’s all about population” you get people screaming that you’re a racist classist pig who wants genocide of their kind of people. The screamers will point out that it takes 80 people in the poorest countries to equal the impact of a well-off American or European (never mind the even more extreme impact of the obscenely rich). And often these people want to pretend that population isn’t part of the equation. You said yourself, “no amount of ‘alternative energy’ sources can power a massive, capitalist consumption and pollution machine ‘supporting’ 7 1/2 billion humans…” I completely agree. But solar and wind power could allow a slowly declining population to live decent lives, with no premature deaths…IF we had enormous and immediate changes to practically everything about how we live. Toss capitalism, toss wealth, toss war–we can’t afford any of those things anymore. Relocalize and downsize the economy, Many more people working on zillions of small farms supplying their localities with most of their food; people accepting that if they have enough clothes to stay warm and adequately shod, that’s good enough (toss fashion and recreational shopping too). Ban large vehicles, and replace them with a variety of options: walking, biking, e-bikes, public transit, and microcars–tiny vehicles that keep the rain off and get elderly or handicapped people where they need to go, allow people to go farther than they can on a bike, with cargo–but go maybe ten or twenty MPH. Another thing to toss–bullshit jobs.

  • Calgacus

    Daly never says things like “just cut consumption.” He says cut bad consumption – and pioneers and promotes rational accounting systems and thinking. See his book “Beyond Growth” He likes to say “degrowth is a slogan in search of a program” – and in a recent interview in Real World Economic Review says:
    “The Green New Deal and Extinction Rebellion are encouraging signs of an awakening to the urgency of the problems that growthism has created…”

    Oh, but WKOG and to a lesser extent Planet say or imply that the GND & ER are capitalist plots. But I trust Daly, not them.

    I agree very much with Daly on his general viewpoint and philosophy, but do disagree with him on being so worried about this or that resource. The only real scarce resources are energy, labor and a healthy general environment.

  • Calgacus

    Thank you for the compliments. I know nobody in the movie. But who started the fratricidal attacks?This Blumenthal article has sleazy and ridiculous attacks on Naomi Klein. Why is it OK to attack her, but not Michael Moore? Whose movie commenced this division – and as many people have shown is filled with errors?

  • Calgacus

    They finally let my second rejected comment through – a reply to AliceX below – links to a blog page that summarizes and links to dozens of independent critiques of the many factual errors in the movie.

  • RickW

    Much more generous than am I!

  • RickW

    Can we wait that long though?

  • RickW

    I’ve been advocating for the complete cessation in British Columbia of commercial logging…..

  • Nylene13

    I don’t know much about Naomi Klein, but I LOVE Michael Moore.

    I have all his movies and books, went to see him in person when he came to Nevada, listen when he has something to say.

    I think he is a Genius.

    If you feel that way about Naomi Klein, I can understand wanting to defend her.

    But if you leave her out of it, what do you think about the movie then?

    PS -Guess who is in Nevada right now? Trump. I would not bother to go see him, but I must say that on the TV -he looked really tired when he got off the plane. No smiles. Tired waves, walking slowly.

    He will probably look happier when he gives his talk in an hour or so.
    I suspect he may be tired of all this President stuff, and wants to go back to just being an ordinary Billionaire.

    Wish someone better than Biden was running against him….

  • Nylene13

    Good LUCK! Is that were you live?

  • Nylene13

    No. Our Planet is out of time.

  • Nylene13

    Do me a favor- pour a nice cold drink, sit back and watch the movie one more time.

  • Mensch59

    Calgacus is clearly wrong about the Green New Deal being a plan in harmony with the political-economic principles of socialism — just as he was clearly wrong about FDR’s New Deal having been in harmony with the principles of socialism.

    Many liberal reformers — and that’s what I believe Calgacus is — confuse liberal reforms of the excesses of the rule of the lords of capital with social revolution to destroy the power of the lords of capital. Liberal reformers are not socialists, but liberal reforms are better than the illiberal rule of the plutocratic oligarchs & technocrats.

    Right now, I’d settle for some liberal reforms, but I think that’s hopium. Radical social revolution is what’s required, but I think that’s hopium too, because the people aka the masses aka the body politic are too effectively propagandized & pacified/resigned & impotent & immature & incompetent & un-intelligent (both emotionally & intellectually) to effectively rebel against the rulers.

    I think that things are going to get orders of magnitude worse prior to the people finding their power and their intelligence. Technocracy is too dystopian and too profoundly depraved for words. And I think that technocracy is where humanity is heading.

  • sabateur

    agree!

  • sabateur

    why in the world would they benefit from life on earth being killed? fewer useless eaters [ in their opinion] cluttering up the place, but enough slaves to compete serving them would be ideal.

    make the planet a pleasant resort for the rich!

  • sabateur

    reason ?! LOL

  • Nylene13

    Good points.

    As Bernie said, the Environment must become our Priority.

    But how many people realize that?

    Things have gone too far-insanely too far.

    Read the article about the Oregon Wildfires in today’s PR.

    We need to bring our soldiers and helicopters home from the Mid-East to fight the wildfires here at home….but that is not a priority to the U.S Government and its Military.

  • Mensch59

    Taking away the power of the FIRE sector of the economy (finance, insurance, real estate) to dominate government and industry ought to be the priority. Government, which still theoretically depends on politicians being accountable to the people (prioritizing the working class), is the only political entity powerful enough to regulate finance capital. But government has essentially given finance capital carte blanche, to the detriment of both the environment and the working class/the people.
    Does the (proposed) GND do anything to regulate financial interests? Or does the GND give these financial interests even more power?
    My contention is that, because these are the points which Cory Morningstar makes (which is probably why Calgacus disparages Morningstar), the GND green lights the financialization of nature. From Cory Morningstar’s commentary on the Max Blumenthal article from her Wrong Kind Of Green blog:

    As part of “the great reset”, in 2021, the ruling class intends to implement the financialization of nature. Those with money will own nature. The very corporations that have brought us to the precipice of ecological collapse – will now be appointed as the new stewards of nature. This has been dubbed by John Elkington (Extinction Rebellion Business signatory, Volans) as the “biosphere economy”. This represents the largest transformation of the global economic system in modern history. Assigning monetary value to nature (“natural capital”) will replace GDP, with nature “valued” at 125 trillion vs. GDP at 85.9 trillion (2018).

  • Nylene13

    We are at War with Mother Nature.

    Capitalism VS Mother Nature.

    And Capitalism is winning.

    Elon Musk talks about human colonies on Mars. He says they should call themselves Martians.

    I guess we just abandon one Planet and start to plunder the next.

  • Mensch59

    There’s going to be a lot of collateral damage, but I’m actually looking forward to the destroyers of living nature (i.e. the earth, the biosphere) being destroyed.

  • Nylene13

    Ah, well, ….if they don’t take everything with them.

  • Mensch59

    I guess that will depend on how much cooperation the destroyers receive from those being destroyed. If the slaves don’t revolt….

  • Michael Falk

    Capitalism and morality are by their very nature incompatible To expect anything different is ludicrous. The rub with environmentalists is that their ostensibly moral movement to save the planet by divesting from fossil fuel and instead pursue clean energy now provides a popular opportunity for exploitation by the capitalists class. They never fail to find new opportunities no matter what the cost.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Where did you get the idea that the Green New Deal is about everyone having more?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Not much to plunder on Mars.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I am a big fan of Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben, and I guess they have to get funding from somewhere. I don’t see this article as presenting sleazy attacks on her. She has attacked the film and thereby contradicted much of what she has said in the past. One has to wonder why.
    Josh Fox too. An organization I belong to even brought him here to speak and we screened Gasland I and II. He has no need to feel threatened by Moore’s film, unless the contentions are true, namely that he has sold his soul to what one might call “Big Green”.
    In what way do you think that Michael Moore should be attacked?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    What has Marx got to do with the movie, the article, or the discussion?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    It certainly is a powerful movie which I plan to watch again this afternoon. The clear message is that capitalism has to go.

    In my opinion, all energy production and all extraction should be nationalized. Remove any possibility of profiteering.

  • Mensch59

    Riiiiight. Let’s not oppose the technocrats just because the billionaire class stands to benefit the most from technocracy, as the billionaires promise that technocracy will benefit all.

  • Mensch59

    From @disqus_AX6SWYiYwF:disqus

    You and most people here are being played by the billionaires into fighting on THEIR side, opposing what they hate and fear the most – a real Green New Deal.

    Y’all don’t understand what capitalism is all about. It isn’t about the billionaires having more, having more benefits. They already have it all. They don’t give a damn about that. Capitalism is about YOU having LESS. Strangling you, weakening you, driving you insane. Because they fear you and know that if they ever stopped – there wouldn’t be no billionaires no more, in short order.

    Doesn’t this imply that the GND is about stopping the capitalists from making sure that all the underclasses have less?

  • Mensch59

    Troll much?

  • Not at all. You?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes, absolutely that is what it implies, but Calcagus talked about the GND meaning more for everyone. I guess they are pretty much the same, but I don’t like “everyone”. The haves do not need more.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I find that statement incomprehensible. Who here is not opposing technocrats?

  • Constantly.

  • RickW

    Capitalism = dog eat dog;
    Socialism = dogs frolicking with dogs.

  • Nylene13

    Oh, you have not talked to Elon Musk.

    Just imagine what he could do with all those new raw minerals and things to play with. And no pesky Environmentalists.

    Maybe there was life on Mars once. Dinosaurs and trees and things.

    What does that mean? Oil.
    Our Mid-East Deserts looked like nothing much too-until we found Oil.

    Mars has potential of Plenty to Plunder. Musk wants to have Earth’s Moon not owned by Earth, but by Mars. Now why would he think of something like that???

  • RickW

    Capitalism VS Mother Nature.
    And Capitalism is winning.

    Good ol’ Mom Nature (Gaia) has infinite patience. Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Yet (so far) there are still millions in existence. While it is “nice” to lend a little anthropomorphism into the mix, the human race is but one of them. Humans receive no special status. At this juncture, we appear to be “over grazing” the pasture allotted us, what with consuming the equivalent of five planets of resources.
    So far, we’ve managed to “fiddle” a little to skew things “in our favor”, on the celestial “score card” it means nothing. Earth (Gaia) will survive – but until we can get 8 billion people to begin cooperating, we will “run out of pasture” at some point – and risk becoming just another of the 99.9%.

  • Nylene13

    Which is why Elon Musk is so interested in Mars -I would assume.
    He already has a group of trained female astronauts.
    Why specifically females? —He must be thinking of babies.

    Already he has said that the Martian Astronauts should not call themselves Earthlings-but Martians.

  • RickW

    Whose movie commenced this division – and as many people have shown is filled with errors?
    So you are saying that the (for instance) the manufacture of solar panels doesn’t require mining of materials?

  • RickW

    Yup!
    But I am more inclined to think my “quest” is more along the lines of Don Quixote “tilting at windmills”. The current government got into power in large part by promising many things environmental that it quickly reneged on (figures), and because we up here have decided that actually making things gets us nowhere (except self-sufficiency) we have elected to cut down, dig up, pump all of our resources to sell to the most convenient bidder, in the hopes that some few of us will make a grand living – until the last tree is cut and the last shovelful of dirt is sifted through……

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Because he’s nuts. Suffering from megalomania and delusions of grandeur. He will never see humans living on Mars.

  • Nylene13

    Well- Nuts is relative.
    Musk says we will have a human colony living on Mars within 10 years.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Very unlikely.

  • Nylene13

    We shall see.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I doubt it, but I guess anything is possible.

  • RickW

    Cannot see the “logic” behind his thinking, considering the trillions a “Mars Mission” would cost. However, I watched a program on the secretive “hi jinx” the US military is doing with it’s “mini-space shuttle”). Then there is the very real possibility of China actually establishing a base on the moon. So who knows if this “enemy of democracy” is actually an enemy – or if there is some “collusion among thieves” happening right under our noses……

  • Nylene13

    They laughed at him until he built Tesla and Space X.

    Guess who NASA is using for their primary space travel?

  • chetdude

    Tomato – tomato.

    Potato – potato…

  • Nylene13

    See my other posts about this down a ways.

  • chetdude

    The “economic growth” in USAmerica during the period from 1933 through 1971 was powered by cheap fossil fuels burned with no regard for the damage done.

    We CAN project the progress from ’73 on and now we have about 10 years to reverse course or reach tipping points we cannot recover from.

    Search “Powell Memo of 1971” – the counter-revolution of the Plutocrat Class was kicked off by that document financed by a billion dollars of corporate/Plutocrat money.

  • chetdude

    It’s my own paraphrasing of the concepts in my friend’s book.

  • Nylene13

    OK. Well he is right. Forgot why I wanted to know.

  • Nylene13

    The only way we will lower the human population is to first get rid of Capitalism.

    Capitalism requires lots of cheap and easily replaceable labor.
    Oh, and customers.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes NASA is using him. But this is not the moon, it is Mars we are talking about. How many missions will it take just to get the wherewithal there for just a couple of people to live and begin building a colony? How many more missions to develop a colony. How will they feed themselves? Biosphere II housed 8 people but they had the resources of the earth – its climate and soil to work with. Mars has none of that.

  • Starfire

    Can’t seem to help herself;)

  • Starfire

    Yep, sure does.

  • Nylene13

    How would I know? Ask Musk.

  • Calgacus

    Chetdude – I did not speak of “economic growth”. There are very serious problems with the concept. If fossil fuels are the be all and end all, then why were the 20s, Hoover, not even better – after all they had more fossil fuels then. No, what we had was a better system that embodies social progress. Of course I know of the Powell Memo – and a lot more.

    Again, in that Herman Daly book, he accurately points to that era as the turning point. Using Daly’s more sensible measures of growth – there WAS genuine economic growth and rising living standards for the working class, even when you subtract the environmental damage. Our ability to deal with the problems we caused was increasing. But since then, Daly says – there has been ZERO economic growth rationally understood. So the true fossil fuel waste era has been after the 70s, not before.

    Glad you speak of that era as the counter-revolution it was. But for there to be a counter-revolution, didn’t there have to be a revolution before that? 🙂

  • Mensch59

    [snort}Yeah, it’s just a coincidence that you feel the need to post “A flaw in Mensch’s ‘reasoning’??? Pshaw!! Surely you jest!!…/s

    Both you and @disqus_AX6SWYiYwF:disqus are probably too stupid and insane to see his commentary as ultimately and essentially system-serving leftism which supports the billionaires who are influencing such compromises as the Green New Deal to favor the billionaires, i.e. the billionaire class loses none of its power with US Senate’s and the US’s House of Representatives versions of the GND.

    You two are a couple of clowns writing about “reasoning”.

  • Mensch59

    You are welcome to provide quotes from @disqus_AX6SWYiYwF:disqus where he specifically addresses (1) the technocracy (2) his/her opposition to technocracy (3) specifics on how to oppose technocracy.
    Specifically, technocracy is being implemented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Who are the ones on this thread writing in opposition to 4IR? Not even Max Blumenthal utilizes the language of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in order to expose the agenda of the WEF. One of the few who is writing to expose and oppose the WEF’s 4IR is Cory Morningstar and Calgacus treats C. Morningstar like a pariah.

  • Yeah… EVERYONE who disagrees with you – about anything or nothing – is
    “stupid and insane”, says the liberal who is defending the status quo, fascists of all stripes, and business as usual with every post rather than making the most modest effort to make a lucid point.

    ((rolling eyes))

  • Calgacus

    Does the (proposed) GND do anything to regulate financial interests?
    Yes, all the Green New Deals do.

    Or does the GND give these financial interests even more power?
    No, they all hurt the financial interests.

    Read them. Not what other people SAY about them. Read them.

    I disparage Morningstar because she calls people like Noam Chomsky & John Pilger sell-outs. I disparage her because she and WKOG attack every other green group and program out there. Extinction Rebellion. The Green New Deal. Movements that real environmentalists like Herman Daly praise.

    So imho, she is either a very nasty and crazy person – or a police / billionaire spy on a mission to wreck environmental movements.

  • Calgacus

    You don’t think linking Naomi Klein to Harvey Weinstein is a sleazy attack? Where has anyone attacked Michael Moore in a similarly sleazy way? I haven’t – I’ve said all along that he is a good guy, that people are being manipulated by people who are much more cunning than they are. I’ve thrown suspicion on one person – one who calls Chomsky and Pilger sellouts and attacks every other Green group without any exception I know of.

    As any con man knows – when they hear people praising themselves for their “skepticism” and “critical thinking” – the con man hears “I am a sucker, rob me!”

    She has attacked the film and thereby contradicted much of what she has said in the past.
    That is what is at issue. So it cannot be assumed in a reasonable debate. I am saying Klein is consistent. Moore et al are not.

    I’ve linked to blog with dozens of critiques of the numerous factual errors in this movie, which basically promotes fossil fuels, and therefore was welcomed with open arms, got rave reviews from the fossil fuel interests and right wing.

    Thanks for the intelligent and serious reply and question.

  • Mensch59

    This isn’t about “disagreement”. This is about authoritarianism.
    “Your reasoning is flawed because I say so” w/o pointing out the flaw(s) is specious and authoritarian.
    Try again, troll.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I have not read all the comments in this thread. Why should Calgacus have to specifically address opposition to technocracy? Have you?

  • Calgacus

    Are you saying that solar etc require more environmental harm than fossil fuels? Which in my opinion and many others’ is the essential message of this film.

    The whole earth is not covered by deposits of whateverium that can be mined. Only a very small fraction of it. Spend the money, labor etc on doing it in the most environmentally sound way. Which is of course NOT what our lovely capitalists do. Thinking it is a problem on the scale of global warming is just plain weird. I’m getting on in years, but if we do a GND, I promise to help in the tree planting etc.

  • Mensch59

    Yes, all the Green New Deals [regulate financial interests].

    Prove it. Provide evidence that the architects of all of these Green New Deals are specifically regulating finance capital instead of accommodating finance capital. After all, you are the one setting yourself up as some expert as to how “socialistic” all of these GND’s are. Demonstrate your expertise. Shoulder the onus. I’ll be happy to wait for you to gather your evidence.

    No, all GND’s hurt the financial interests [by taking power away from financial capital].

    Prove it. Provide evidence that the architects of all of these Green New Deals are specifically regulating finance capital instead of accommodating finance capital. After all, you are the one setting yourself up as some expert as to how “socialistic” all of these GND’s are. Demonstrate your expertise. Shoulder the onus. I’ll be happy to wait for you to gather your evidence.

    As for you “honest or humble opinions” about Cory Morningstar, they are about as worthy as one’s opinion that purple unicorns live on Uranus or that the World Trade Center buildings were disintegrated using a particle beam weapon stationed in outer space.

    I’m not going to accept your word on the matter, as if you are some sort of expert on the architects of all of these GND’s and how these architects are socialists committed to regulating finance capitalism.

    Fair warning: “Google it yourself. Do your own research. Read all of these GND’s” is NOT shouldering the onus. It’s your claim. Support your claim with more than your assurances.

  • No, this is about people disagreeing with you – and then not even necessarily that. Instead of listening to and trying to understand their position, you go off on constant rants and adolescent personal attacks and constant punching left.

    Obviously it is only “some” authoritarians you have a problem with as in recent days you claimed support of authoritarian and violent cops. You can’t even make up your own mind WHAT your position is. But damn it you are going to scream about it anyway.

  • Elizabeth Hayes

    Don’t you think it would be a tad expensive to transport oil from Mars?

  • Mensch59

    I note well that you were unable to specifically point out the flaw(s) in my reasoning about various New Green Deals. I have loads of more confidence in a person like Cory Morningstar than I do in a person like you.

    I actually do support various instances of law enforcement on a case-by-case basis, instead of making blanket assertions about all cops being fascists and all people who support various aspects of LE being fascist sympathizers, and all people shot while resisting arrest as being “victims of police brutality”. I consider all of this plain and clear common sense — which doesn’t seem to be all that common with idiotic leftists such as yourself.

    If you knew how to read with comprehension — instead of taking such a reactionary stance based on hysterical over-reaction — you would know that I stake my positions on case-by-case bases, such as on the question “Does Cory Morningstar have a better understanding of various Green New Deals or does @disqus_AX6SWYiYwF:disqus?”

  • RickW

    Do you mean Matt Damon, Nylene?

  • Stop personalizing political discussions. It makes you appear impotent, developmentally arrested and weak.

  • CB

    Indeed! There’s a reason the fossil fuel industry began promoting Mr. Moore’s movie the second it came out.

    It’s propaganda. It was intentionally designed to scare people away from their competition.

    Maybe you’re on the fossil fuel payroll as well! Who knows…

    “Fossil Fuel-Backed Climate Deniers Rush to Promote Michael Moore Documentary”

    www.desmogblog.com/2020/05/01/fossil-fuel-backed-climate-deniers-rush-promote-michael-moore-planet-of-humans

  • RickW

    Are you saying that solar etc require more environmental harm than fossil fuels? Which in my opinion and many others’ is the essential message of this film.
    Fossil fuel extraction is a given – until it is no longer required. Unobtainium proved to be difficult to extract in Avatar, even more so than whateverium. Now, if the total sum of whateverium cannot begin to offset the total production of oil, then there is no point in extracting it al all. IMO, that is the point Moore is making.

  • Mensch59

    The idiotic leftist doesn’t even know what “personalizing political discussions” means.

  • Calgacus

    Maybe I accidentally did somewhere ( I am replying to many people at high speed – but show me where), But I think it is clear from the totality of what I wrote that I did not mean more for everyone including the billionaires – whose insane consumption I denounced.

    But what many people don’t understand is that this lunacy is not the biggest one. The bigger waste is the way they mismanage the economy doing things which should not be done at all, in an insane way, while they rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. Do I really have to point this out in the Age of Trump? They are all mini-Trumps, insane buffoons, but with scads of low animal cunning. But if something real came along, a pandemic, a war, a catastrophe – they display how totally inept they are.

    Ending the reign of these lunatics gives a great deal of room to solve the large problems confronting us. People grossly misunderestimate how much unused, spare capacity there is that can be used without genuine or environmental cost. It has happened before. In essence, the New Deal and WWII well-organized spending OUTSIDE plutocrat hands far exceeded even the rosiest projections.

  • Mensch59

    What’s the difference between appearing “impotent” and appearing “weak”?
    You are welcome to point out specifically how calling an idiot “an idiot” or calling a racist “a racist” or calling a spade “a spade” is turning a political conversation “personal”.
    Even your own comrades disagree with you about there existing some well demarcated line between the personal and the political.
    So your command that I “Stop” makes no rational sense, apart from your own claim to personal authority to know the difference.
    If you have a specific complain about an ad hominem fallacy, note well that “It makes you appear impotent, developmentally arrested and weak” is an example of the informal ad hominem fallacy too, no?

  • Collectivist

    “Obviously it is only “some” authoritarians you have a problem with as in recent days you claimed support of authoritarian and violent cops.”

  • Mensch59

    I’m unsure as to how to answer you since you have not reviewed the comments in this thread about technocracy which caused you to raise the question about technocracy with me.

  • Calgacus

    just as he was clearly wrong about FDR’s New Deal having been in harmony with the principles of socialism.

    Basically every socialist in the world AT THAT TIME would have disagreed. It has been a tremendous achievement of billionaire propaganda – abetted by the Right, the Center and above all most of the moronically-deluded “Left” to convince people of the lunacy embodied in the above with incredibly bad “history”. Quite comparable to Civil War history when the choice was between neo-Confederate Lost Cause trash on the right and Dunning School on the Left – though Lincoln was never quite as slandered and distorted as FDR is now. Only internet-lunatics like the one here say Lincoln was pro-slavery. But many have been deluded into the equally insane idea that FDR was for the rich.

    When FDR died, he was mourned by tens, hundreds of millions of socialists worldwide, from Joseph Stalin on down. Was just reading last night the memoirs of Carl Marzani, the first person to be jailed by the Truman/McCarthyism purge, the first “revisionist” writer to accurately put most of the blame for the Cold War on the USA. He mentions that of course when he was doing Communist Party work in 40s NYC, he knew that the prime political beneficiary was FDR. A very sensible, realistic fellow. He joined the CP on the day of the Hitler-Stalin pact; it is famous how many left it on that day.

    Please be careful anyone, if they tell me to read book X, Y or Z from some modern “Marxist” peddling a different story about the New Deal/WWII era – that would have been laughed at by any socialist of that time. I already have read that book. I’ve read the footnotes too. I’ve looked up the references and seen how the author grossly distorted them, used well known fake statistics, proves his points with Alice-In-Wonderland logic and thrown the damn book across the room.

  • Calgacus

    So there is no point at all in replacing fossil fuel usage with renewables, if we don’t get a guarantee in flaming letters from GOD that it will succeed – though plenty of experts say there is a real chance of success. In fact let’s never do anything. After all, GOD helps those who refuse to help themselves.

    That isn’t pro-billionaire fossil fuel propaganda? – inculcated partly by a movie that the fossil fuel industry and the right welcomed and applauded?

    And we should believe what a movie producer baldly asserts about a complex matter that nobody truly knows or can know, involving technology, changing supply, changing demand. Fossil fuel extraction isn’t a given. Our requirements are dramatically reduced when we move toward Socialist Earth – the first and very important step being a Green New Deal – from Capitalist Maniac Earth. By the less important step of reducing Capitalist Maniac consumption and the more important step of stopping them from running the world doing insane and disgusting things, murdering and bombing and droning, just because they like seeing all the pretty blood.

  • Calgacus

    Nobody here except maybe the crazy guy who says Lincoln was for slavery is possibly on the fossil fuel payroll. Everybody else here that I am disputing with is a longtime advocate on the side of what is Right & Good. I’m just saying they’ve been fooled, as we all are at times. Thanks for the link supporting some of my statements.

  • RickW

    So there is no point at all in replacing fossil fuel usage with renewables, if we don’t get a guarantee in flaming letters from GOD that it will succeed – though plenty of experts say there is a real chance of success.
    So – we’re talking about a function of time. Softly, softly, catchee monkey? How much time do these “plenty of exports” think we need? a year? A decade? A century? Do we have the luxury of infinite time? Certainly sounds as though no one believes in some sort of deadline – quite possibly a “tipping point”. So why go “pseudo-green” at all? Why not go straight into something like thorium reactors and be done with oil (most of which is burned for energy anyway)?

  • Mensch59

    Maybe the assertion that FDR was a socialist is as subjective as Hitler was a socialist.
    FDR saving capitalism — by way of the social welfare state (i.e. creating a social safety net largely financed by taxing the wealthy), instead of allowing the working class to seize the means of production from the power of the industrial capital — might be considered false propaganda or it might be true. It’s not like your perspective is the correct one.

    There is certainly a very watered down version of socialism, which version replaces social revolution with liberal reform. There is a whole body of literature — not that I think that you are well-versed in it — which differentiates liberal reform from “the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.”

    FDR’s New Deal didn’t transform the whole immense superstructure from capitalistic to prioritizing the universal social needs of the masses. FDR’s New Deal created a temporary truce. I tend to think that transformations, by their very nature, are (more or less) permanent. FDR’s New Deal wasn’t.

    Anyway, you and I simply perceive reality differently. There will be bridging that gap.

    I note well that you failed to provide actual evidence. Yours was the informal logical fallacy of an appeal to popularity, namely “basically every socialist in the world at that time”. As a contradiction to your claim:

    Norman Thomas was the most prominent spokesperson for the Socialist Party of America in the 1930s and 1940s. He ran six times for president on the Socialist Party ballot line. Recently, an article by Seth Ackerman of Jacobin magazine argued that Thomas acknowledged that President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs had socialist aspects and this, essentially, is why Bernie Sanders isn’t wrong to invoke the New Deal legacy when he uses the term “democratic socialism.” Nevertheless, the pamphlet from 1936 that we partially reproduce here makes it clear that Thomas didn’t think that the New Deal equaled socialism and that Roosevelt was no socialist.

    “New Politics”, 20 June 2019, “Is the New Deal Socialism?” by Norman Thomas

  • Calgacus

    Yes. I’m arguing on a number of fronts simultaneously and not all my comments are getting through! I’ve said nothing of those things.

    Labeling any Green New Deal proposal out there as “technocracy” is foolishness. Of course they involve “technology” and “science” – and they should be guided by informed advice. But they all design the benefits to be bottom-up, public and broadly spread and to be decided by politicians and administrators and ultimately you and I – not “technocrats”.

    I’ve given reasons why I distrust Morningstar. People who denounce Chomsky & Pilger etc as working for the other side – are likely working for the other side.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I had never heard of Morningstar until today. I looked her up and don’t like what I saw. I’d say that any distrust is more than justified.

  • Calgacus

    Really? I guess that’s why Bernie endorses the Congressional GND – and of course AOC endorses her own GND. Bernie & Howie Hawkins have their own GNDs. But Hawkins expresses appreciation to AOC for putting it on the agenda, endorses Bernie’s GND and even offered to give up the Green Party nomination to Sanders. That’s opposition? Hah!

    What they are all doing – beyond everyone tautologously loving their own plan best – is exactly what FDR meant when he said “You’ve convinced me, now go out and put pressure on me.” Here AOC & her Congressional New Deal is FDR, and Bernie & Hawkins understand that. They give political cover by presenting, or purporting to present a more “radical” plan. They enlarge the movement, making it a broader front. But they never criticize each other in the terms used in these internet forums. Of course they are all for any of these plans as an enormous improvement.

    Second, is the GP GND more radical?
    A flaw of the Green Party GND is that it neoliberally pretends that taxes finance government spending, not the correct New Deal / Keynesian spending comes first, then taxes order.

    The first neoliberal neoclassical and crazily incorrect order terrifying oneself over deficit spending promotes financialization, not the correct order. That’s why the loony order retook economic education when the postwar era ended. If there is plenty of solid government money floating around for the working class – why on earth would people take out loans from banksters? They don’t.

    This is not of minor importance. Left government after government sabotaged their own working class supporters and fell before WWII and helped Hitler because of this economic mythology.

    Sure there are facets where I like the GP GND better. But it’s a wash overall. They are both two very similar ecosocialist plans, all against the rule of finance where it counts.

  • Nylene13

    No. What do you mean?

  • Nylene13

    Well-don’t you think it is insane to transport oil in big ships across our oceans?
    Yet we do it all the time.

    At least transporting it across space would be safer.

    I would think the plan is to have the Mars Colony to be self -sufficient.

    But would assume that Musk is thinking way beyond oil.

  • Mensch59

    They are both two very similar ecosocialist plans, all against the rule of finance where it counts.

    Except you cannot or will not produce actual documentation that there is legislation with teeth (i.e. political power to aggressively coerce) to force the dis-empowerment of finance capital. You are merely making an argument based on your political beliefs that AOC and Sanders and Hawkins and their combined supporters have the political power to take on the interests of finance capitalism. The words that you write sound very hopey-dopey — not like Obama’s words — but they are merely words.

    You have failed to make a case for the power — which is what politics is really all about — of the ecosocialists to wrest control of the global economy from the financial capitalists.

  • CB

    Maybe! I would put nothing past them, though. This is one of the most unethical industries on Earth. I see no reason why they wouldn’t create fake environmental characters to try to mislead the public. They’ve had decades to practise which lies work best…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c58854362cf0cdca773fa00371243349d97d13367baa42610e8ca15356c22fde.jpg

  • Nylene13

    I knew BC well. Grew up going there.

    The last time I went-many years ago-

    I took my mother up to Vancouver for lunch.

    That used to be common. Vancouver people would come to Seattle for a day or a Weekend and Seattle people would go to Vancouver. We would just be waved through at the Border.

    We were like the same people.

    But that changed after 911.

    We were stopped at the Border coming home, and the Canadian Border Patrol searched my car. They went through the dishes my mother bought in Chinatown and demanded to know what they were for.

    My mother started to cry.

    They said you just can’t come to Canada for lunch anymore.

    I said Don’t worry-I won’t be back at all.

    I have not been.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    It’s quite simple. Are you n favor of a technocracy or not?

  • Mensch59

    Not. I think that only the most deluded or stupid (or both) people on the planet would be in favor of a technocracy.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I’m glad to hear that.

    How do we stop it happening?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    It was not really an attack. It was pointing out a fact that Harvey Weinstein contributed to her cause.

    I ask again, what is there about Michael Moore that deserves attack.

    I don’t see factual errors in the movie and I certainly do not see any promotion of fossil fuels. Far from it. Jeff Gibbs is making the point that bad as fossil fuels are, current renewable energy is far from perfect. And that money and greed affect both.

  • Calgacus

    A. I gave some evidence. Two communists, one famous, one not.
    B. The fact that the question even arose proves my point. Roosevelt was for the poor and against the rich. Was there any question, were there any pamphlets “Is Roosevelt a Hindu?”
    C. Thomas was running against Roosevelt and trying to get votes! Trying to push him more to the Left. Rival candidates criticize each other, but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt and common sense For instance, who was Biden’s sharpest critic in the debates – Kamala Harris, now his VP nominee. Of course the various GND politicians are all saying MINE is the best. But of course, they all support each others plans. Only billionaire propaganda convinces people to see imaginary differences that the proponents themselves don’t! See a recent reply to you on this point.
    D. FDR told his friend Norman Thomas “The difference between you and me is that I’m a better politician”. Didn’t say that to anyone else; don’t think Thomas disagreed.
    E. As I’ve posted before, at the late lamented Truthdig, and as I think you might have seen, why not take a look at the Norman Thomas’s or any other article in Rita James Simon- As We Saw the Thirties: Essays on Social & Political Movements of a Decade- Illinois (1967) available at the Internet Archive. for more measured assessment of that era from radicals. The pro-poor, pro-socialist New Deal FDR era was the water they swam in! Find one saying that FDR was for the rich. Thomas lamented the flood of comrades leaving his party – to go to work for the New Deal putting some of their program into practice.
    F. As often, right wing literature is saner and fairer than putative “Left” literature. Consider Hoover’s biographer Gary Dean Best’s- Peddling Panaceas: Popular Economists in the New Deal Era- Transaction (2005) – which incidentally provides a number of Roosevelt speeches which he accurately enough says were no different from socialist “rabble-rousing” – which I would say are socialist explanations of simple logic and human morality.
    G. creating a social safety net largely financed by taxing the wealth – Baloney. That’s Hoover – or Blum – or the British or German socialists. Not FDR, who understood finance and economics much better. Economics just doesn’t work that way. Governments create money when they spend. They destroy it when they tax. Governments don’t need money from rich people. FDR taxed rich people for two reasons – to deflate, give value to government money spent. And so that the rich people would have less money, less power to oppose him. NOt to finance a welfare state – that’s a joke.

    I. tend to think that transformations, by their very nature, are (more or less) permanent. FDR’s New Deal wasn’t.
    The death of the New Deal is far oversold by those who don’t really understand much economics and politics, that is most of the left, particularly the kind who call people like Sanders or Corbyn or Jacobin or DSA pseudo-left. A book by a nitty-gritty and insightful economist, called by Randall Wray the best book about today’s USA – is James Galbraith’s The Predator State. One chapter in it is “The Enduring New Deal.” Speaks for itself.

    Also, in one of the many obvious sources never read by so-called historians of the New Deal, one of Rexford Tugwell’s memoirs, he relates how FDR explained his own strategy – he was trying to make long term, enduring structural changes, and he did. So he tried to be aloof and secretive and cryptic and never show his hand, keep even his closest advisers guessing what he was for, let alone his enemies. The enduring changes made then, the very name of the Green New Deal are a testament to his success. Did he do everything possible or desirable? Was he and the New Dealers always right? Do their DEEDS fail if measured by the standard of the DAYDREAMS of comfortable latter day “socialists”. Of course. Is that a sane standard?

    J. If you think that transformations are by their nature permanent, then you disagree with Engels. In his famous and controversial preface to Marx’s Class Struggle in France shortly before he died, he says that the gains of a revolution usually only become truly secured and permanent the SECOND time they are fought over. American history has shown that to a tee – revolution and then counterrevolution then second revolution that expands and finalizes the first. The current era is to expand and go far beyond the FDR era, to defeat the counterrevolution of the last 40 years. The capitalists have been struggling with FDR’s ghost for decades; with partial, but only partial success. They know their enemy even if the dopey young lefties don’t. They think they won – and then the ghost resurrects a Green New Deal instantly supported by billions worldwide. Ha ha! Boo hoo for them, losers.

    [My favorite edition of Engels is from Daniel De Leon’s Socialist Labor Party, from the 20s, because you also get their incredibly prescient comments about what the whole next decades – even century of socialism would be like. They had criticized the German SDP for a long time, so the great betrayal in 1914 was no surprise. They loved Lenin and his revolution, who modeled his own thought and party after De Leon’s. But they saw it would completely imbalance socialist thinking and it did (in the West), looking for quick fixes, becoming infantile cheers for tantrums. So now most Western “revolutionaries” couldn’t tell a revolution if one bit them in the ass and it’s about even money whether they fight for or against revolutions. OK it’s a bit better than even. But still far too many anti-social socialists and anti-Green Greens.]

    K. I have to repeat it again. Don’t people have parents and grandparents? Everybody of that era would be horrified (or if they were right wingers, overjoyed) at the lunatic beliefs on that era that pass for “common wisdom” on the Left these days.

  • Mensch59

    Hmmm. I ought to take the most prominent spokesperson for the Socialist Party of America in the 1930s and 1940s as a grain of salt, but take your points as authoritative, because FDR was the better politician.
    Yeah, the “better politician” opted for a liberal welfare state which preserved capitalistic forces of production and relations of production (i.e. capitalism), instead of allowing for the working class to seize control of the means of production (socialism).

    Anyway, it’s water under the bridge. The capitalists have amassed almost absolute power, but there’s still hope (or hopium) for Green New Deals, for the visions of ecosocialists.

    { begin sarcasm} Your wall of text is thoroughly convincing. Max Blumenthal and Cory Morningstar are of the devil. Happy?
    /s

  • Calgacus

    I don’t understand your reply. I didn’t mention “time” at all. Who do you mean by “pseudo-green”? That label fits WKOG, Planet etc more than people like Naomi Klein or Herman Daly, Bernie Sanders, Howie Hawkins, AOC, Noam Chomsky or Green New Deal supporters. I do not accept grossly inaccurate characterizations of them as pseudogreens if that is what you are saying. My whole point is that is a lie that only serves the billionaires.

    If thorium reactors are the only way to maintain civilization and not kill millions or fry the planet, then go thorium. Unless one is insane, one understands that not burning fossil fuels uses less fossil fuel than burning fossil fuel. These are technological, scientific questions, not really social ones. My position here is identical to Noam Chomsky’s for instance.

    I’m for doing something. Those opposing a Green New Deal are for sitting in their own poop, praying for divine deliverance, climate rapture at best. Ending at all with a giant fossil fuel blowout at worst.

  • Calgacus

    Well someone else just provided links to fossil fuel promoters, the right wing loving the movie. They and many others see fossil fuel promotion.

    I provided a link to a blog – that I had contributed a few links to myself – with many, many people pointing out many errors.

    See how successful smears can be!: “It was pointing out a fact that Harvey Weinstein contributed to her cause.” IS NOT what this article said, not a fact. What Blumenthal did say was still a cheap smear. And he should know that things get distorted and exaggerated in retelling.

    Where has anyone criticized Moore that way? Where have I launched a similar and irrelevant personal attack on him? You are asking me a loaded – when did you stop beating your wife? – type question about Moore, that makes assumptions I deny.

    Is pointing out that ANYTHING is not perfect, that money and greed affect everything necessary? Sane people look at the relative benefits and costs. There are never any perfect choices. But Blumenthal, Planet, and rather worse, WKOG systematically and indiscriminately attack the plainly better choice.

    Many people here are spouting nonsense about this form of the Green New Deal being wonderful, while this other one, which is basically the same! – is a diabolical capitalist plot – when nobody involved in either says anything like that, but rather supports each other.

    This isn’t “divide and conquer” only benefiting the right and the billionaires? IMHO one has to be inexperienced in the ways of the world to believe that.

  • Calgacus

    Thanks! Sincerely, that independent judgment really cheered me up. I know I am very fallible. She has been very effective in dividing and discouraging people who once agreed and were enthusiastic, at least on the internet. Not so much elsewhere. As has the unrelated decline in and purge at Counterpunch even more.

    Blumenthal & Grayzone had some good pieces on how spooks seemed to be infiltrating the DSA. Standard Modus Operandi since the early days of the Cold War. To be expected, and actually a tribute of the fear of the malevolent Powers That Be. Checked out one of the people they questioned the credibility of and they seemed spot on about this pseudo-human rights activist, actual imperialist, to me.

    So I really wish they would think better on and be similarly suspicious of everyone without a long record like Moore or Klein when they write about the GND and environmental matters. It’s a big and popular thing that threatens the vested interests. So why wouldn’t they try to divide and conquer it? Unfortunately, it seems to me that Planet and its makers like Moore are completely innocently contributing to that. I question their judgment, not their good intentions. I apologize to anyone if I hastily implied otherwise.

  • RickW

    Aka The Martian (when he’s not busy being Jason Bourne) 🙂

  • RickW

    Last time I went to the States, no passport needed. Amazing just how many “tin pot hitlers” crawl out from under the rocks, given half an opportunity – like they think their jobs are important…..
    My apologies on behalf of rational Canadians everywhere…

  • RickW

    Your previous answer implies the luxury of time, as though we have the luxury of fiddling here and fiddling there – and not getting anything done before the tipping point. And those who accumulate wealth on green advocacy are pseudo-green, because wealth always takes precedent, until proven otherwise. And because people like Naomi dissed Moore, THAT plays more into the hands of the billionaires.

  • Calgacus

    My point was that you should take any campaign statement of anyone about an opponent with a grain of salt. They were running against each other! Compare it to the rather nicer things the same person said 30 years later. And occasionally during the 30s too. Glad you saw it. Disqus has erased it as spam. Some of my other replies to you haven’t come through at all.

    Yeah, the “better politician” opted for a liberal welfare state which preserved capitalistic forces of production and relations of production (i.e. capitalism), instead of allowing for the working class to seize control of the means of production (socialism).

    “Allowed”? “Opted”? 🙂 Roosevelt was not a dictator or a deity. He did do more “socialism” than any Socialist leader in the entire world, though. More than could reasonably be expected. Only Stalin could conceivably be excepted. But there were no bloody purges and all the not very nice things Stalin did then.

    Anyone who thinks or thought there was the slightest possibility of the working class seizing control of the means of production in the 1930s USA is or was stark raving mad. Contrary to the New Yorker cartoon, Manhattan’s Lower East Side is not a very large part of the USA. Why not condemn Roosevelt for not stopping – or rather helping – the invasion from Mars – the RED planet – that his pal Orson Welles broadcast too?

    If you look at that Thomas piece I recommend, he does say this [somewhat backhanded and not absolutely accurate comment]:

    “Only in the Tennessee Valley Authority (really Senator George Norris’s brainchild) and in rural electrification did he seriously challenge and abridge along socialist lines the capitalist system of private ownership and operations for profit…. ”

    But FDR did do that much, that Thomas says was “along socialist lines”, which would fit your strictures. Butif one wants to start judging the New Deal by their plans, not their actual deeds – a fairer comparison here, … Take a look at the Evelyn Burns report to the National Resources Planning Board, sometimes called the American Beveridge Report then, or other New Deal plans or even failed bills. The plan was (had actually been from the beginning) to have the whole USA covered by similar “TVA” authorities and the report was filled with many other socialist goodies; carefully and thoughtfully laid out. Still a good model for today’s socialists and GNDers to copy. Roosevelt wanted to do it but he couldn’t. Congress defunded the NRPB. FDR tried to purge the Southern racist legislators from Congress. He failed. They won, his candidates lost. He was not a god, but a man, like you and me, which most critics seem to forget.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    There are at least two separate issues here. First is the unwarranted glee with which the fossil fuel industry has presented the film as an endorsement of their products. It is not. Criticism of A does not imply that B is good. And pointing out that renewable energy can also be harmful to the environment is not the same as saying we should not pursue it.

    The second issue is the money. Although the movie alluded to corporations getting on to the green bandwagon, it is this article that really goes into the matter in depth. You see the mention of Harvey Weinstein as an attack on Naomi Klein. I don’t. Blumenthal clearly stated that Weinstein made the contribution to her endowment fund to honor his mother’s support of Gloria Steinem. Did he need to include this fact, given Weinstein’s profile? Perhaps not.
    But this article – which I thought was as good as the film – makes clear that corporate control of the US is pretty much complete.

    A separate issue is that of population control which you have mentioned elsewhere. Although the film did include the topic, what follows is completely my opinion.

    It is more about consumption. Humans are consuming considerably more than the planet can provide. Yes, the bulk of that consumption takes place in the prosperous countries with the US leading the way by a mile. (5% of the world’s population, 30% use of resources). That must stop. But the sheer number of people on the planet also contributes. We need to get to the point – through education and making contraception universally available – where no child is born to a mother who cannot support it. It will take time to reduce the population, but we absolutely must stop it from growing.

  • sabelmouse

    they#ll be slaves on mars 😉 elon musk style liberation of human bondage :)))

  • sabelmouse

    O M G G !

  • Mensch59

    Allowing the working class — aka giving the working class the liberty — to seize the means of production — aka wresting control of the means of production from the capitalists — wouldn’t require a dictator or a diety. I’m singularly unimpressed with your use of rhetorical hyperbole.

    [FDR] did do more “socialism” than any Socialist leader in the entire world, though.

    If he really was a “socialist leader” and a champion of the poor, then FDR would have nationalized the banks, declared the Federal Reserve unconstitutional & disestablished it, and had the US Treasury issue its own currency & set its own interest rates.

    As I wrote about you earlier, yours is an extremely watered down version of “socialism” and you confuse liberal reformers like FDR with revolutionary socialists. I think that you lack a foundational understanding of the capitalist social forces of production and the capitalist social relations of production which form the base of a capitalist society. There cannot be “socialism” built on top of a capitalist foundation. To establish socialism, there must be socialistic forces of production and socialistic relations of production. I think that you further confuse the superstructure with the substructure/base/foundation.

    “At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.”

    Maybe you can try to bring your knowledge into the present and attempt to convince your audience how these various New Green Deals are going to legally change property relations to put universal social needs before profit. What you consistently fail to understand (according to my reading of your optimistic ideas about Green New Deals) is how handsomely the billionaire class looks to profit from this great economic reset/transformation — this Fourth Industrial Revolution — of which “environmentalism” and “sustainability” are major (false) propagandist talking points.

  • Mensch59

    I think it’s a totally ridiculous & laughable notion that humans could colonize Mars.

  • Mensch59

    It’s already happening. It’s called “technological progress”, but there’s nothing politically progressive or benign or socially advanced about it.
    How to throw a monkey wrench in the works of/obstruct technocracy’s “progress”? It all depends on one’s physiological health and worldview/life stance. You do what you can and you join with those who are like-minded. It starts with education. How many people are even aware of what Dmitry Orlov calls “the technosphere” and how Orlov suggests the technosphere can be shrunk? If Dmitry Orlov turns you off, one of the best educators online imo is Darren Allen who blogs at expressiveegg [dot] org. I especially enjoyed his 27 August 2020 essay “Against Conspiracy Theories”.

  • Elizabeth Hayes

    No, it’s not insane to transport oil in big ships across our oceans.

    Comparing this to colonizing Mars is frankly totally insane and inane.

  • Calgacus

    What rhetorical hyperbole? You and many others do speak of Roosevelt as if he were a dictator or a deity, whose least wish magically came into being, who should be denounced if he didn’t solve all problems for all time and tuck everyone in at night too. I guess you don’t realize that. He was a man, like you and me. Lincoln was too. Marx and Engels and Lenin too. They all did some good, less bad. Said and did extremely smart things more often, but made big mistakes once in a while. But they tried, not whined. Tried.

    [FDR] did do more “socialism” than any Socialist leader in the entire world, though.
    If he really was a “socialist leader” and a champion of the poor, then FDR would have nationalized the banks, declared the Federal Reserve unconstitutional & disestablished it, and had the US Treasury issue its own currency & set its own interest rates.

    Ha! To all intents and purposes – he did all those things!

    There is no practical, macroeconomic difference between the post-1933 Rooseveltian “boring” banking system of my youth and a nationalized one. But huge ones between them and today’s. He did what he thought was realistically needed and politically expedient. Sure, might have been nicer if banks were officially nationalized. But that could have been reversed too after his death, just as his regulated one was eventually. But took decades for the New Deal banking system to be wrecked. And still, just by the nature of things, it is always the US government that is in charge, NOT the banks – whose monetary “power” rests on nothing but fraud and deceit. So why disestablish the Fed? Should he have disestablished the Bureau of Weights & Measures and the Coast Guard too? All were branches of government that took his orders. Your recommendations here seem to come a bit from monetary cranks and conspiracy theories, of which there are legions. Some of them are basically – wheels should be round, not square, and squares should be rectangular. All well and good, but that’s the way it’s always been.

    With knowledge of the period, one would recall when Roosevelt & the New Dealers did “Allow the working class to …. wrest control of the means of production from the capitalists”. The 1936-37 Detroit sit-down strike – on which Chomsky frequently and rightly points to – e.g. “I mean the reason the sit-down strikes struck such fear in the hearts of management was that they knew that a sit-down strike was just one step short of taking over the factory.” The New Dealers did nothing against it, unlike previous administrations, like Cleveland’s in similar situations. The pressure was even more on Michigan’s governor Frank Murphy, who became even more hated by the rich than Roosevelt and whose political career was destroyed by his not sending in troops to kill strikers. So what did Roosevelt do with Murphy?: Appoint him to the Supreme Court!

    What you consistently fail to understand (according to my reading of your optimistic ideas about Green New Deals

    My optimistic ideas are derived from – – reading them. From studying economics and history. Yours are derived from not reading them and believing lies spouted by liars who never use footnotes, never quote. If they say X is not in the GND, but should be, you can be sure X IS there. If they say diabolical Y is in this GND, you can be sure Y ain’t there. The burden of proof is on you, a critic, to say what you think is bad – and quote, quote, quote.

    I hope I continue to fail to understand why fabrications and lies and divisive, implanted paranoia that only serves billionaires – should displace truth that is out there in black and white.

    Finally, here is the work I referred to earlier containing Engels preface & much else:

    Frederick Engels, Henry Kuhn, Daniel De Leon- The Revolutionary Act: Military Insurrection or Political & Economic Action? (1895)- Socialist Labor Party (1922). It’s at the internet archive and the University of Florida too. Not linking, to help this comment go through the spamfilters. Their title speaks for itself. Most modern Western “socialists” spurn the latter for a “military insurrection” “Revolution” that lives only in fantasy. Bernie Sanders, the DSA etc have faults, but they’re realer socialists, worth a dozen of such revolutionary-rhetoric-spouting socialist do-nothing know-it-alls always calling other socialists “pseudo-socialists”, instead of “friend” or “comrade.” The saddest part is that all of these people do mean well.

  • chetdude

    Burning and eating fossil-fuels, especially from the early 30s on enabled the global population to grow well beyond the carrying capacity of the Earth.

    The Steady State guys are also aware that unlimited population growth can’t be sustained either.

  • Calgacus

    Your previous answer implies the luxury of time
    Not in the least. The side you’re defending is the one delaying things. Oh we gotta wait on things until we have THE PERFECT PLAN that ensures that nobody, no nobody every makes a buck.

    We must wait for Environmental Godot, even though the GOOD PLANS on the table right now manifestly, intrinsically and obviously benefit the poor and disadvantaged and socialism much much more than the rich. And the PERFECT PLAN may very come too late to do anything. But we know the GOOD PLANS ain’t good enough without reading them, because they are real – and the BAD GUYS are all powerful.

    If Moore helps make a film that the right wing and fossil fuel interests love and welcome – that isn’t a blunder? You really think that they’re dummies? If y’all are so smart, why ain’t you rich? With enemies like these, the BAD GUYS don’t need friends. 🙂

    Indiscriminate critics with dopey, nasty and sometimes slimy criticism of people like Klein are the ones sowing division. As I’ve said in my first comment here – you and the other defenders of the film are reversing things.

  • Mensch59

    The Federal Reserve system was instituted prior to FDR and FDR could have ended it
    Anyway, there is no communicating with a true believer.
    You have a true belief, not in evidence, but in future expectations — i.e. various Green New Deals will usher in the “Socialism” — along the lines of “[FDR] did do more ‘socialism’ than any Socialist leader in the entire world” — you true believers in ecological socilaism have faith in. Nothing anyone can write or speak to you will dissuade you from that true belief, even billionaires backing (so-called) “ecosocialism”.

    Exercise the prerogative to have the last word if you must.

  • Mensch59

    Your usage of the terms “dictator” and “deity” is rhetorical hyperbole, used to attempt to discredit those who dare argue with you about your beliefs about FDR.

  • RickW

    If Moore helps make a film that the right wing and fossil fuel interests love and welcome – that isn’t a blunder?
    Precisely the opposite. There was no hoo-ra-ra until the “environmental honchos” began making noises – which happened a micro second after the movie was shown. So quick to jump with nothing more solid than “well it can’t be”..

  • tomonthebay

    Why?

  • Nylene13

    Colonizing Mars would be BETTER!

  • sabelmouse

    apparently many prefer fantasy of all kinds.

  • Is he gonna build you a birch bark canoe? 😉

  • Mensch59

    Oh yes. We humans have a propensity for fantasy, narrative, myth, fiction, imaginative stories of all varieties. But what’s fictive about the billionaires financing various “green” new deals for people and nature, the billionaires profiting from the great economic transformation to “green” capitalism, the 4IR, the great reset of financial capitalism to value the biosphere at “x trillions of dollars” in order to set up a central bank digital currency based on every human’s social credit score?
    “We must take control of our environmental movement and our future from billionaires and their permanent war on Planet Earth. They are not our friends.” ~ Jeff Gibbs, director of “Planet of the Humans”

    But Gibbs is the enemy for the documentary “Planet of the Humans” exposing how the billionaires have co-opted the environmental movement. Weird.

  • Nylene13

    Well it was after 911. I imagine it was just as bad for the Canadians coming home from Seattle.

    I remember one Canadian guy who was arrested for getting gas on the American side of the border.

    “But that is my house!”-he said-pointing to a house just up the street from the gas station-a block away.

    “If you let me go-he said from jail-I promise to Never set foot in the United States again”
    I knew how he felt.

  • RickW

    Jeez! Could have been my brother, who lived in Tsawwassen for a few years – and always bought gas in Point Roberts…….

  • RickW

    which basically promotes fossil fuels
    Only by default. If the replacement technology emits pollution similar to that of fossil fuels, then why oh why go that route?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Perhaps the blunder was not to make clearer that fossil fuels are bad, the idea of renewable energy is good, but what we have so far is not as green as we might hope.

  • Moore is very good. But he has been overcome by some great new minds that he does not study. This leaves him in yesterday. But for the masses this is a good thing.

  • Kapricorn4

    Moore was vey good years ago, when he took on GM. Now he does not know his ass from his elbow.

  • RickW

    If there was any “short coming” Elizabeth, that would be it! But some people need it laid out to the nth degree, covering all the minutia…..

  • Capitalism attenuates all life. Capitalism is a DEATH socio/economic system. Now in its late days it is visible to those who can see.

  • Idiot.

  • Just a male fantasy from childhood redo.

  • I cant believe adults are having a disagreement about this topic of living on Mars.

  • I am also. So more species can survive. I read #StationEleven and I approve that message.

  • Calgacus

    If the replacement technology emits pollution similar to that of fossil fuels, then why oh why go that route?

    Fossil fuels pollute far more than their proposed replacements. The “if” isn’t true. That idea is utterly preposterous, it shouldn’t deceive a child. And it doesn’t – younger people don’t fall for this foolishness. It’s a Big Lie, which are usually easier to push than small ones, because most people cannot imagine how dishonest people can be.

  • Calgacus

    That’s just not true. Immediately after the film came out, I found and linked to a number of right-wing & fossil fuel hoorays. Because despite the good intentions of the film, the real world effect is and was to promote fossil fuels. As you do yourself in a comment above

  • RickW

    Fossil fuels pollute far more than their proposed replacements.
    Agreed! But if the sum total of “alternative energy” cannot replace in total that of fossil fuels, what’s the point of mining these alternatives? We are at a point right now that zero sum isn’t good enough. We require “negative” emissions, considering that what exists in the air, ground and water today will continue to pollute for 100+ years, even if we immediately stop all forms of pollution. Do we have that luxury?

  • RickW

    Neck and neck with the “it simply can’t be true” crowd.

  • Calgacus

    Again, a big and dubious “If”. What’s not an “if” is that if you sit around in your own poop and do nothing —- Then nothing will be done. That’s what the fossil fuel and righties want. That’s what Planet and worse WKOG etc are promoting. Doing nothing. And too many here are falling for it.

    That’s why most people support the Green New Deals. Have a problem? Then do something about it. God helps those who help themselves.

    But if the sum total of “alternative energy” cannot replace in total that of fossil fuels, what’s the point of mining these alternatives?

    Less pollution is the point. Less pollution is better than more pollution. Like I said, Big Lies. They get people to believe in and say things that a child can see are crazy. Pretending an absurd omniscience that says anything we will do must fail is a good way to make people think this crazy way.

    Nobody really knows what point we are at right now. I trust the standard story – have been concerned about global warming for 50 years – but it’s not high-school physics with a cut and dried answer. Anybody sane hopes the right wing etc are right – but has a strong and rational fear that they are not. Strong enough that the obvious correct course is to DO SOMETHING – and not listen to the right wing, or sadly deluded people on the green / left – who propose doing nothing, or mass suicide, with no rational basis. The deluded green / left has no plan. All they have is emotion, “revolutionary” posing as “more radical” and rhetoric.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    If you mean that it is a ridiculous topic for adults to be discussing, I am with you 100%. Let’s figure out life on earth before contemplating life on another planet.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Can you expand that idea? How is capitalism in its last days? Who is pushing it towards a much needed extinction?

  • potshot

    Amazing reporting. Twilight of the Idols indeed. Say it ain’t so Naomi. Is there a members’ page at Greyzone? That’s rhetorical. I will find out anan.

  • Better to read the original minds on this. #Zizek for one. Lots of him on youtube and his interviews and a few debates and discussions with others of academic ilk. Impossible for me to soundbite all I’ve read and studied. Do it as it will change your WAY of thinking, not what you think, but the way you think about it. Puts you in overdrive.

  • Good place to ship unwantabees like #Australia once was.

  • I imagine Mars was once fertile and ended up like we are going to end up. Have you read #CormacMcCarthy’s #TheRoad? But some elites took a chance and spaceshipped themselves to Earth so they could start the same all over again.

  • Sci-Fi.

  • Original work was already done. Just replicate.

  • What is the point of arguing or discussing nonsense like this when we are standing at the abyss of death?

  • Well just another place to begin dumping your trash!

  • Nylene13

    Oh please. You can say about about anyone, about anything.

  • Nylene13

    Maybe, maybe not. Who knows what is top secret today?

  • Nylene13

    I have not. Sounds interesting.

    I am not suggesting that I think this is a good idea.

    I am suggesting that this is what Elon Musk is planning.

    He has said so.

    “In 10 Years we will have a human colony on Mars”.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    That is an idea. But pretty damn expensive.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Exactly. There is plenty that needs to be done here on earth.