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EARTH DAY 2020 RELEASE OF 'PLANET OF THE HUMANS'

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"The takeover of the environmental movement by capitalism is now complete!"

Released for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on 22 April 2020, this documentary, produced by Michael Moore and directed by Jeff Gibbs, is hard-hitting and discomforting. This has made it highly controversial because it says the things nobody wants to admit – that less must be the new more and that to genuinely tackle climate breakdown, we have to change our way of life, not just roll out vast habitat-destroying wind and solar farms, burn biomass, use biofuels to fly our planes, and think we can keep driving as long as we transition to electric cars.

It also looks at false solutions and supposedly green technologies such as 'carbon offsetting' and 'clean-coal'. Disturbingly, the majority of mainstream environmentalists seem to support these less than adequate and often misleading ‘solutions’. Along with the over-consumption of the rich, the film also tackles the question of population, which many on the left either avoid or maintain that only the unequal distribution of resources is the problem – that there is more than enough for 7.8 billion humans to live well and sustainably providing no one is greedy.

Then there is the greenwash and mixed messaging that environmental NGOs and corporations use to side step these critical questions. Only Vandana Shiva was prepared to speak out loud and clear against the burning of biomass, although others now claim they no longer hold this position. Also of great concern is that apparently nothing is out of bounds, with the pursuit of so-called ‘renewable energy’ now targeting seaweed forests, animal fat, and how to combine solar and wind with nuclear power. 'Planet of the Humans' was initially intended for wider release later this year, but Moore and Gibbs decided to release it now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the hope of getting people to reflect on “the role humans and their behavior have played in our fragile ecosystem.” 

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"Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, 'green' illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end — and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars? No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs ... This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way — before it’s too late." Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors, 350.org, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla.

Reactions to ‘Planet of the Humans’

Bill McKibben's Response to Planet of the Humans Documentary 23 Apr 2020

Director Jeff Gibbs' Response to Bill Mckibben Regarding Planet of the Humans 30 April 2020

Review: Planet of the Humans By Richard Heinberg 27 April 2020

Meet the New Flack for Oil and Gas: Michael Moore by Josh Fox 30 April 2020

Michael and Me by George Monbiot 11 May 2020

Planet of the Humans Backlash by Yves Engler 11 May 2020

A Bomb in the Center of the Climate Movement: Michael Moore Damages Our Most Important Goal by Bill McKibben 1 May 2020

Flawed but vital, ‘Planet of the Humans’ poses several inconvenient questions by L. Michael Buchsbaum 15 May 2020

To understand why bioenergy is a false solution, read this article by Rachel Smolker, codirector of Biofuelwatch: Bioenergy: A Disaster for Biodiversity, Health and Human Rights 

 

Fake Forest Day 

The Timberwatch Coalition hosted a full-day side event on 4th December 2011, during the UNFCCC COP in Durban. The programme included speakers from well-known organisations from around the world who were in Durban for the COP17 climate change negotiations. See video report: Fake Forest Day – Durban December 2011

Speaker presentations on YouTube

Click on the following links

01 Winnie Overbeek (World Rainforest Movement) 

Winnie Overbeek of the WRM (World Rainforest Movement) speaks about the International Plantations Campaign, and how monoculture tree plantations impact on rural communities in developing countries.

02 Carlos Afana (La Via Campesina)

Carlos Afana of UNAC in Moçambique (Member of La Via Campesina) speaks on how tree plantations established on community land impact on peasant farmers' livelihoods.  

03 Simone Lovera (Global Forest Coalition) Simone Lovera of the Global Forest Coalition (GFC) describes problems arising from the confusing official definitions applied to forests and tree plantations.  

04 Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network) Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) speaks at the Fake Forest Day held in Durban on 4th December 2011 on how monoculture plantations impact on Indigenous Peoples.

05 Tsietsi Chabatsane Tsietsi Chabatsane from Lesotho describes the negative effects of tree plantations in his country.

06 Blessing Karumbidza (Timberwatch Coalition) Blessing Karumbidza of the Timberwatch Coalition in South Africa speaks on the establishment of monoculture tree plantations as a false solution to climate change under the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism).

07 Rachel Smolker (Biofuelwatch) Rachel Smolker of Biofuelwatch's speaks on the dangers of the large-scale demand for biomass as fuel in energy generation.

08 Bongani Mthembu (SDCEA) Representing the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), Bongani Mthembu describes how the processing of timber from industrial plantations into paper pollutes the environment affecting the health of local communities.

09 Helena Paul (Econexus) Helena Paul of Econexus describes the way in which large-scale tree plantations destroy biodiversity and undermine the livelihoods of rural people.

10 Anne Petermann (GJEP) Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) provides an overview of the state of play with the timber industry pushing of genetically engineered (GE) trees to meet anticipated demand for biomass based fuels.

11 Philip Owen GeaSphere) Philip owen describes how GeaSphere actively opposes the spread of timber plantations which destroy biodiverse grasslands and impact negatively on water resources. The certification of such plantations as "responsibly managed forests" by the Forest Stewardship Council is dishonest and must be exposed.

12 Larry Lohmann (The Cornerhouse) Larry Lohmann of the Corner House in the UK explores the links between tree plantations and colonialism.

 

Timberwatch Videos   

Timberwatch 2000 – Oh Deer! In June 2000 a documentary produced by Don Guy was launched at a plantations symposium to highlight the problems related to tree plantations

Illegal Timber Plantations – A Growing Problem in South Africa In 2005, with support from the Bateleurs ‘Flying for the Environment’ Rehana Dada produced a video focussing on the uncontrolled spread of illegal plantations in South Africa.

  

World Rainforest Videos

Green Invasion – Documentary on Forest Monocultures Green Invasion reflects local peoples' concerns about large scale tree monocultures and the social and environmental impact they entail. The aim of this video is thus to serve as a major tool for raising awareness about the serious threat of these plantations to forests and forests people and to support the worldwide struggle against them.

A Silent Forest - The Growing Threat, Genetically Engineered Trees This award winning documentary film explores the growing global threat of genetically engineered trees to our environment and to human health. The film features renowned geneticist and host of PBS' The Nature of Things, David Suzuki who explores the unknown and possibly disastrous consequences of improperly tested GE methods. The film includes the testimony of many experts on the subject and serves as a valuable tool to inform students and those interested in environmental issues.

For other videos relating to plantations go to the WRM (World Rainforest Movement) website. Go to: https://wrm.org.uy/?s=videos