In Defence of ‘Planet of the Humans’

Michael Moore Jeff Gibbs are adequately defended by Kristine Mattis. But her main point needs repeating:

The crux of Gibbs’ argument should not be discarded and deserves discussion: that we cannot achieve ecological sustainability without addressing the role of humanity’s overproduction and overconsumption.

Thank you Sandy Irvine for the Facebook link.

A couple of other passages are worth stressing:

“In addition to the outweighed attention to climate and energy, academic circles (as activist ones) tend to hold certain assumptions that are not founded on objective truth. One such assumption involves the inevitability of consumerism, taking for granted that our consumption will remain at current levels and/or grow. My peers and I posed the idea of reducing consumption to our professors about a decade and a half ago; it was summarily dismissed as an option. Of course, when we talked about reducing consumption, we were not talking about imposing austerity on those already in need. We were implying that most in the Western world consume to extravagant excess, and our ecological (not just carbon) footprints could be extraordinarily reduced, all while we attempt to help provide at least the basic necessities to those in the world who lack them

Do I need to draw attention here to the role of the (world) basic income?

This defence of population stabilization also needs repeating’:

“One of the major sore spots for critics of the POH film involved the topic of overpopulation. The term “eco-fascism” has been bandied around by critics regarding the mere mention of the issue. This hyperbole is a straw-man. Critical and thoughtful adults should be able to discuss human population without the use of such invectives. From what I saw, the film made no implications as to the whos, whats, whys, or hows of the topic. It simply mentioned that human population has exploded, which it has.

Population IS an environmental issue, insofar as we have an exponentially growing population that is also consuming ever-increasing amounts of natural resources. Does that mean we demean the Global South, whose numbers and birth rates exceed that of the Global North, but whose consumption is far, far less? Of course not. It means that we look toward educating and empowering women in the Global South to have autonomy and control in their procreation decisions. It means that the Global South should be assisted in obtaining the basic necessities of life, rather than be re-colonized and exploited yet again to extract the natural resources required for “green” consumerist technologies of the Global North. It means that citizens in the Global North, who already have more control over their own procreation, should consider their choices more in the context of overconsumption, environmental sustainability, and global equity. It means that the Global North, whose ecological footprint is roughly four times the size per capita as that of the Global South, and whose citizens, on average, enjoy the majority of abundance of natural resource use, be at the forefront of radical change

Did any critics give a figure for the technological improvements Michael Moore or Jeff Gibbs should have updated for them to be taken seriously? For comparison, to live car-free would reduce a person’s ecological footprint of CO2 by about 2½  tons.

To have one less baby would save 58.6  tons.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.