Michael Moore: Planet of the Humans available for free

How could you mistake this Good Boy for a cold-blooded dinosaur? He’s clearly an early form of doggo!

Um… How big is this guy? Asking for a friend…

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He’s definitely closer to being a doggo than a dinosaur.

Don’t worry, he’s not really all that big.

dimetrodon-size

I mean, compared to:

Human beings: bipedal apes roughly half the size of a T-rex cloacal pouch.

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:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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This seems to need that shocked Ferengi gif…

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The reading list on the Communalist subreddit is a good starting point

https://www.reddit.com/r/Communalists/wiki/readingguide

The most prominent example of it being used in the world is Rojava/North East Syria. It isn’t perfect, but they have shown that the ideas can work.

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I’s odd for this to be coming out at a time when the energy grid is greening all over the place.

Coal is quietly vanishing as carbon pricing and the tumbling cost of renewables push it out of the energy mix:

Here’s the situation in the UK:

Even in the notoriously cloudy UK, solar now satisfies around a quarter of electricity demand during the middle of the day: With nuclear providing a steady chunk of the base load, and gas and wind ramping up and down to cover the bulk of the rest of the demand, with hydro available for peaking, including the UK’s idiosyncratic power surges:

(Yes, I have found another reason to post this video. It’s relevant to the thread, dammit)

France is also an interesting case, having committed fully to nuclear back in the 1960s (Relevant quote from de Gaulle at the time- “We have no coal, we have no oil, we have no choice”). There, nuclear makes up about 80% of the supply, with extensive hydropower in the mountainous regions making up the remainder. France also sits at the centre of a network of energy trades with its neighbours, generally exporting when renewables are scarce, and importing or dialling back production when they are plentiful.

As I understand it, the USA is also undergoing a shift away from coal, as fracking has resulted in a glut of cheap natural gas, allowing them to emulate the UK’s 1990s “Dash for Gas”, which is in itself greener than coal (and is also how the UK managed the first part of its reduction in CO2 emissions in the 1990s).

Of course the big issue with renewbles is intermittancy, which can be partially compensated for by distance- as renewable generation is spread across a country, the fact that the local wind turbine isn’t turning right now is less of an issue. In Europe, the existence of extensive energy trading between countries is also a compensating factor here. In addition, there’s a bunch of different approaches that are all going to have to work together to resolve the issues that intermittent renewables bring.

  • First is actual storage- There are already a few means of power storage, like the massive pumped storage hydro-power stations that can use surplus energy to fill their tanks when demand is low, and give it back in a rush at peak times, but we’re also going to need all the other ideas, like local battery storage, converting excess power into compressed air or hydrogen at peak times, and taking it back when needed.
  • Another is meteorology. Increasingly accurate weather prediction telling us when our peaks and troughs of renewable power generation are going to be is a vital part of short term planning for these peaks and troughs, and balancing energy demand.
  • Then you have smart demand management- which is why utilities are increasingly trying to install smart grids everywhere, and get large consumers to work with them to time shift their consumption of power. Two examples that are already happening- refrigeration and water utilities. Refrigeration is energy hungry, but generally, a cold storage warehouse or air conditioning doesn’t need to be running at this exact second, as large thermal masses take time to heat up or cool down, therefore, cooling can be time shifted away from peak energy demand (and conveniently, places that need air conditioning will generally need it on a similar curve to the availability of solar). Water utilities are another big consumer of energy, because water is heavy, and moving, treating and supplying it takes lots of energy. This can be time shifted as well, topping up supplies and running treatment off peak, and allowing gravity to maintain pressure in between.
  • Another issue is the electrification of the transport system. If large numbers of electric cars take to the roads, these are collectively a large reservoir of batter backup that the grid will have to charge, so varying the charging rate of cars on slow charge to match renewable output is another way to smooth and match demand

Finally, and most importantly is Investment. Things are improving, but we need a huge investment in upgrading energy grids and new renewable power generation now now now. If we’re going to move society as a whole to renewable power, then we need to move a lot of the industry and transport that relies on carbon fuel to run on electricity, and that means a lot of new capacity is needed. Greening current electricity supply is just step one.

This bears repeating. Once you start looking into them, it’s clear that Deep green blends very quickly into off the deep end, with an almost gleeful fetishisation of suffering and primitivism, a disdain for democracy (because people aren’t going to choose being cold and hungry, so we’re going to have to force them), before rapidly descending into making the human population fit their low-tech carrying capacity for the planet by “any means nessecary”

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Did we really just derail the derail? with talk of dinosaurs? Great job, us!

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Thanks for that reply. It’s a terrific amount of information.

The documentary is totally US-centric. IIRC it only mentions Germany once. I think it fits in with the slow motion apocalypse that the US has been experiencing for the last decade or two. The erosion of truth and democracy, the destruction of the middle class, the ascendancy of billionaires and all that. It’s part of that narrative.

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It’s not often that a link is this appropriate and still not on topic:

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:joy: :joy: :joy:

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Do you mean these guys?

They seem nice… /s

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I think I’ve put up links about “revenge pollution” elsewhere, but at the very least coal isn’t going anywhere, so that’s a step up, and you can’t build new power plants against a 4-month oil price dip. In fact I imagine this shock will cause serious production shutdowns which will, when things get moving again, probably go on to cause oil shortages and huge price hikes within a year.

Coversely, energy utilities are huge users of water. One nice thing about PV solar is that is uses none.

I call the general behavior “hairshirting”, like the guy who forced his mother in law to take a bicycle to the emergency room with a 103° fever because it was only five miles away.

Forget what column I saw it in, but the Agony Aunt’s advice was “get a divorce lawyer”.

Here I think there’s an added layer of “Oh, shit, what if they fix this, but not in the way I think they should? I have to stop them from succeeding with a plan I didn’t come up with.”

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It’s more the philosophy they follow. It goes beyond just that one group and it doesn’t take much extension before you end up with groups who are actively ecofascist and believe that people in the developing world need to be exterminated to save the planet.

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I watched it. Appreciated certain aspects but found overall that it fell into a trap lots of environmental arguments seem vulnerable to; a certain mixing of philosophical, moral and aesthetic critiques with technical and strategy ones - (each important topics no doubt, but the muddling does a disservice all around).

The exposé focusing on the co-option of green energy initiatives with biomass burning generation is totally on point though, imho. Honestly this seems like a complete no-brainer in that it’s effectively “catch-and-release” when it comes to carbon, when we need to be catching and burying that shit. From the looks of it the only reason it’s popular is that it’s an easy pivot for established energy and extractive industry interests.

Found the criticisms laid at PV solar to be a bit specious - the filmmaker highlighted an installation of 8% efficient panels - currently there are ~23% panel available, and the tech is improving at a decent rate (raw efficiency isn’t all that critical anyhow). That said - his revelations might come as a disappointment given that in many regards solar has been oversold as a panacea when it needs to be one of the tools in the box.

Given the situation currently, I tend to view atmospheric carbon pretty single-mindedly as the primary issue that we need to resolve, while trying to retain what bio-diversity and habitat can be saved in the process. The film does pose some food for thought though, without deep changes in our collective ways efficiency gains can wind up making consumption cheaper and faster.

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https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/28/climate-dangerous-documentary-planet-of-the-humans-michael-moore-taken-down

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I took a 2000 ft² uninsulated adobe brick house with single paned windows and a 30-year-old AC unit off the grid a little over two years ago now. The panels should function close to advertised for 20 years. I can’t fathom how that would begin to approach the same carbon footprint of running this house on coal-based electricity unless they were made out of artificial diamonds.

And if they’re burning all these fossil fuels to make the panels…well…wouldn’t someone have to buy them? And then pass the costs along to me?

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An additional kicker is, the machines used to harvest, process and transport the trees are using more energy in fossil fuel consumption than the energy gained from burning the trees. So we’re essentially destroying our forests for a net energy loss.

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Rave reviews piling in:

There is an entire field of science dedicated to what is called “Life Cycle Analysis”—estimating the cradle-to-grave impacts of mining for, manufacturing, using, and disposing of things like solar panels or electric vehicles. That science makes exactly zero appearances in Planet of the Humans . Instead, we are treated to a series of “revelations” that most people should be well aware of. Fossil fuels are still used to manufacture and bring us wind turbines! Raw materials are mined to make electric vehicle batteries! Solar panels don’t last forever and are eventually replaced! Although Tesla says its Gigafactory is generating renewable electricity to cover 100 percent of usage, it’s connected to the grid by power lines !

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AFAIK, nuclear power plants and renewables do not mix well.

There have been some efforts on ideas such as hydrogen electrolysis as an up-take mechanism (that’s a lot of H2 :thinking:) or other such processes that can be set up on the grid to take up base load when they have to. Even pumped storage would be a decent fit, though with Lake Erie (as well as Huron and Michigan) at their all-time maximum we’re in a bit of a pinch in Ontario as to where to usefully pump water.

If you want to get into serious infrastructure projects, pump upstream to the dry parts of the prairies… :smile:

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I pine for the Western Interior Sea…

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