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Milwaukie resident Elvis Clark: 'Planet of the Humans' ends up demonstrating that 'green' energy is not so green

"Planet of the Humans" is a limits-to-growth film and anti-capitalist film; but a funny thing happens on the way to it retelling the limits-to-growth story: It ends up demonstrating that "green" energy is not so green and probably has just as much, if not more, environmentally negative environmental effects than the fossil fuels it is said to be replacing.

Elvis ClarkNow I think it is obvious the limits-to-growth theory is demonstrably false as actual experience, since its modern-day inception in the 1970s, shows human ingenuity can make the seemingly finite resource, for example petroleum oil, continually abundant. But the film's executive director Michael Moore makes a comfortable living hocking the philosophical relics of our past (and it does not look like he misses many meals while bashing capitalism, too).

Interestingly, this recently released film was free for viewing online, but the video is no longer available.

The reason I find this film especially intriguing is it hits upon something I try telling my Milwaukie City Manager Ann Ober and her lead public-works director working on Milwaukie's Climate Action Plan with renewable energy sources also having significant environmental negative impacts. But for some reason they and the mayor seem to just ignore these trade-offs.  

I tell them this, having once worked with the Bonneville Power Administration on a mining project in northern Idaho, where a whole side of a mountain peak range is knocked down to extract these micro-size specs of molybdenum, which go into the making of renewable energy plants, among other things.

Well anyway, as Thomas Sowell the great economist says, public policy is actually about trade-offs — there are no truly free lunches. 

Elvis Clark is a resident of Milwaukie.


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