Michael Moore is a trailblazer when it comes to finding creative ways to capture the attention of his audience.
He literally revolutionized the documentary form, transforming it from a genre that only intellectuals and schoolkids watched to a mainstay of entertainment media.
Offering it free on the internet during the COVID-19 lockdown has helped attract more than 7.4 million views since the film’s Earth Day release.
It has attracted a wave of outraged criticism, not from the expected anti-environmental crowd, many of whom seem to quite like it, but from committed environmentalists themselves.
Writing for Newsweek, climate scientist Prof. Michael Mann writes:
“We may never know the motives behind this ill-premised, intellectually dishonest stunt by Michael Moore & Jeff Gibbs. What we do know is that their misguided polemic furthers the agenda of fossil fuel interests and their tactic of denial, delay, distraction, and deflection by feeding misleading and false narratives about renewable energy.”
Writing on his blog, Ketan Joshi says:
“The challenge [of climate change] is so complex, involving alliances between so many natural enemies that only cohesion, tolerance, and kindness can sustain a response. The people who made this film dropped a grenade in the middle of a fragile coalition at the worst possible time, and they’re beaming with pride, oblivious to the carnage.”
And Guardian columnist George Monbiot asks “how did Michael Moore become a hero to climate deniers and the far-right?”
He adds: “The filmmaker’s latest venture is an excruciating mishmash of environment falsehoods and plays into the hands of those he once opposed.”
“Planet of the Humans” maybe Moore’s most provocative project yet, because the film questions the flawed thinking and self-congratulatory activism of the environmentalist left rather than the usual targets of right-wing corruption.
Other critiques simply avoid engaging with the core issues raised in the film—a sign that it has indeed struck a nerve in the green movement.