A beardy fellow I know, who is often seen in these parts out running in his yellow pyjamas, brought this film by Michael Moore to my attention. I watched it with my wife and we were both affected by it in different ways, we came to different conclusions. The next day I found this article in the Guardian.
I now notice other articles have appeared in the Guardian perhaps reflecting the seriousness of this subject to us, but I haven’t read the others, and I’m all fired up and ready to go.
Graham Readfearn’s main issue with the film appears to be that it is very out of date, perhaps 10 years out of date, and that alternative energy technology has moved on far enough in the mean time to make Moore’s claims unwarranted. Readfearn does not deal with the allegation that big business is making mega money from “alternative technologies” and that the real motive is to offer new investment ponies and not to save the planet.
The rift that is likely to open up in the green movement here might be seen as corrupt verses pure, right verses wrong, science verses fairy people, but I am going to leave all that aside. To me the offence caused by the film is that it attempts to massacre the hopes of the green movement.
If there is no free fuel, and along with that, free food, then everything that has been improved in the last 200 years is in jeopardy. Aid to the third world, social security in the west, right down to me not needing to keep an armed guard over the veggies on my allotment.
Moore’s claim, that I followed, emotionally, before I saw his film, is that you can’t have infinite resource on a finite planet, that you can’t make something out of nothing. My wife commented the lack of women interviewed in the film, but it was a women scientist who pointed out that when we use technology to get out of a problem of scale, the result is an exponential increase in the scale leading us to an exponentially bigger problem. These were the words that spoke most strongly to me.
I can understand the revulsion that will be felt among those who have devoted their lives to solving this problem, I don’t believe the corruption is of their souls, rather their science or logic. I think people want to believe too hard in the offers of science and technology, they are bamboozled by the maths, but it takes an idiot like me to see through the haze to the simplicity of pure logic.
There is, and always will be, a limit to our wealth.
Alternative technologies may help us to eke out a little more, but, if climate science is to be believed, (and the alternative technology lobby would struggle now to argue), any further investment in cement infrastructure will mean more debt to be repaid in our carbon deficit. The same would apply to the solar panels despite the greater efficiency that has been achieved in the last 10 years.
So the conclusion is the same as where I started my blog; humans are spoiling the planet, and it is still all we have. The sad fact is that the clever people who have been trying to find a tech fix have been corrupted by the cleverer people who are trying to protect their status quo. We are a ship bound for hell and the devil is on the bridge. Perhaps, just perhaps, the realisation of this will help us to change course, but it won’t be easy, and we won’t find our way back to El Dorado, if we were ever even there. But yes we should all see Michael Moore’s film and we should not leap to conclusions, but we should understand that we are being fooled.