Reading George Monbiot’s critique of “Planet of the Humans” I appreciated his ability to sift through the many details, see where the errors lie and then state the ways in which the film is inaccurate, dangerous and damaging to the cause that it is supposedly trying to support. Environmentalists face so many challenges from the political right and those with vested interests who wish to undermine challenges to the continued degradation of the biosphere.
Perhaps I misinterpreted the film, or saw what I wanted to see in it. Or perhaps I’m right after all. It’s true that everyone experiences reality according to their individual tendencies. What dawned on me while watching it was that however careful we are to produce cleaner forms of energy, and however efficient those processes become, we will simply be encouraged to consume more, and it is built into the capitalist system and our own species’ nature to do so. We will not be able to reverse the destruction because the more we produce, the more we will use. I don’t see this as being a problem of the developing world and its burgeoning population (and growing needs), but a challenge to be addressed by those who are at the pinnacle of progress – who are also the heaviest consumers. They need to provide leadership in learning how to use less, not more.
But I don’t think they will do so.