Political filmmaker Michael Moore’s new movie Planet of the Humans contains a refreshing bit of honesty: that wind and solar are not the enviro-panacea that greens, carbon-haters, climate catastrophists, and various other enviro-fetishists have long claimed. Honest people have known this for a long time. Wind and solar can serve as two of many sources in a broad “all of the above” approach to energy production that prioritizes efficiency over politics, but the world cannot (and will not) abandon all other forms of energy production, no matter how stridently the greens demand it and no matter how many trees the UN kills in publishing pseudo-erudite doomsday proclamations.

Moore’s assertion is refreshing only with an asterisk, unfortunately. As The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman reports, Moore’s claim is that those industries have been captured by “corporate interests” (as if solar and wind could come into existence by crunching granola and harvesting unicorn farts). The corporate structure is a fundamental part of any free nation’s economic reality. I suppose Moore et al engage in onanistic fantasies about state-run energy and the elimination of private enterprise, but the aforementioned honest people need only look at how such have fared in places like Venezuela to be warned off that path.

We are to conclude that solar and wind’s failing promise is the result of human misbehavior, not objective reality, that the people bringing wind and solar power onto the grid have sold out to greedy capitalists (no matter that rent-seeking behavior is “cronyism,” not “capitalism).

This line of thinking (to use the term very generously) matches up with the typical socialist’s attitude regarding history. I recently read someone declare “I’m a full-on communist but the Soviet Union was a terrible place” (or words to that effect), aka the “real socialism has never been tried” nonsense. The failures always lie in implementation, in human failure to live up to the rules and ideals of socialism, and in the bad people who end up in power. As if human nature can simply be written away, with enough education/inculcation/indoctrination.

Lenin believed this to be the case. “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” “Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.” “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

Lenin was wrong, obviously and spectacularly so. The Soviet Union was a murderous regime that killed tens of millions of its citizens, impoverished the nation for generations, offered no liberty, no happiness, and a dreary existence, and wrought havoc on the world stage, despite the attempts at inculcating the youth to Bolshevism.

Yet, today’s socialists and greens (how odd that so many of the latter are also the former) still embrace Lenin’s belief. The socialists are putting mighty efforts into brainwashing kids in college, helped along by the social justice crowd’s ambitious program of eliminating the principle of free speech and destroying even the idea of dissenting opinions. The greens do the same, insisting that catastrophic climate change is “settled science” while simultaneously asserting the only remedy is a wholesale conversion to wind and solar (not “non-carbon” energy, which would include nuclear power, an exclusion that’s a total head scratcher for any honest person).

Just as the socialists dismiss the past failures of socialism as the result of people selling out to their own greed and lust for power, the greens dismiss dissenters from their dogma with accusations of being in the pockets of Big Oil and other corporate shills. In doing so, they dodge the defense of their ideas and ideology, and they avoid having to admit that their ideas themselves are flawed. It’s a form of ad hominem fallacy, and it makes arguing with them from a rational perspective an exercise in futility.

It’s amusing to note some of the reactions to Moore’s film and assertions, and it would be wholly true to form for the dogmatists to accuse Moore himself of selling out, to his own fame and commercial interests, by leveraging his lefty bona fides in order to advance a controversial (to the left) and therefore profitable idea.

Better to accuse him of being a sell-out than to actually address the contention that wind and solar aren’t what they’re promised to be. That this isn’t a legitimate rebuttal of his assertion doesn’t matter. After all, if they were intellectually honest, they wouldn’t be backing the policies they are.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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