Jeff Gibbs is the director of Planet of the Humans, a feature-length documentary released in 2019 which generated controversy because of its full-throated criticism of alternative energy, and even led some academics — including Michael Mann. Leah Stokes, and Mark Jacobson — to demand that Michael Moore, the executive director of the film, issue an apology. In this episode, Gibbs talks about what has happened since the film was released, why “green energy is delusional energy,” why he believes we are “in denial that we are reaching” the limits of the planet to sustain so many humans, and why he sees climate activist Bill McKibben as the “environmental Jesus.” (Recorded on January 26, 2023)
Robert Bryce 0:04
Hi, everyone, welcome to the power hungry Podcast. I’m Robert Bryce. On this podcast we talk about energy, power, innovation and politics. And I’m pleased to welcome Jeff Gibbs, who is a new acquaintance of mine. He is the director of Planet of the humans. Jeff, welcome to the power hungry podcast.
Jeff Gibbs 0:20
Thanks for having me, Robert. Really, it’s a it’s a pleasure to be here and to meet you, you know, face to face, at least virtually face to face at last. And I think we’re at a time when it’s great for people that may not agree on everything to actually talk to each other. So thank you for inviting me.
Robert Bryce 0:37
Absolutely. Now, I didn’t warn you. So this is something of an ambush. But guests on this podcast introduce themselves. So imagine you’ve arrived somewhere you don’t know anyone and you have about 60 seconds, please introduce yourself?
Jeff Gibbs 0:50
Well, first of all, I’m a human. I’m a member of a species that I think is in some trouble. That’s probably why I’m doing this. Sure. But my background is, you know, I’ve original hippie homesteader, exploring new ways to live trying to find a way out of this. And I wound up, you know, I was gonna begin writing about the environment. And I want to pick you up with my friend from Flint, Michael Moore and producing, never having worked on a film before Bowling for Columbine. Many the famous agency like the bank that gives you a gun, the dog shoots your center, Michigan militia, I’m from that very neighborhood in Flint. I didn’t ruin my friends film. So they invited me back to work on Fahrenheit 911. And that turned out well to both awesome Smashbox off its records by multiple orders of magnitude, and won an Oscar in the palm d’Or. And then, meanwhile, instead of getting like a spiffy film career, I have really been obsessed with the environment and just really spent the last two days decades in addition to making and scoring, producing the scoring some other films, really doing the research that underlies plant of the humans and the filming. So my passion is, I think, you know, I think we’re in that in the time of climate change, but in a time of overshoot, and I think we’re in also the time of delusions leading us astray. I think illusions are a human superpower. So sure, I think the common thing we’re going to have a conversation about is the delusion that there is such thing as green energy and the delusion that it’s going to save us from whatever we’re fearing. So that’s, that’s my life.
Robert Bryce 2:31
Good. Well, that’s a good introduction. And I want to talk about those delusions, because we chatted the other day. And you said that Planet of the humans was I’m quoting here are delusions, told through the lens of green energy. But I want to come back to that. And tell me about bring us back up to date. Now, it’s been almost three years if memory serves, since I think you’ve planted the humans came out April of 2020. It’s almost three years. What’s happened since then? Because it was when the film came out. And we got a lot of press. And it was very controversial. A lot of people tried to some high, high academics from elite universities tried to get the film banned. I mean, there are some things that are just truly remarkable that I want to discuss, but bring us up to date in terms of what for you has happened in the three years since the film has come out?
Jeff Gibbs 3:17
Well, you know, to recap what you’re talking about. And to be clear, there’s a great piece in the gray zone, about the billionaires that attacked the film. And really, pretty much every one that attacked us has had funding from the very giant foundations and billionaires that were kind of skewered in the film are showing up to be not, you know, what we think not, not the climate or environmentally friendly folks that we’ve been led to believe. So
Robert Bryce 3:50
names, names, names, names, they’re the billionaires who you’re talking about.
Jeff Gibbs 3:55
Sure. Well, Josh Fox, you know, you mentioned as one of the attackers, he received funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. BILL MCKIBBEN is probably the most notorious of the attackers who are long piece filled with lies that just baffling lies in the Rolling Stone. I don’t even think he saw the movie. But he, of course, was shown in the film, to be asking for a green to raise $50 trillion for the green energy billionaires. And, of course, his three fifty.org His organization. I don’t know what his personal situation is with investments. People have asked him and he has given a coy answer. But the rock three fifty.org was basically a startup of the Rockefeller Brothers, this giant hedge fund, right? Foundation, and also he he’s when he stumbles over and can’t quite remember who gets he gets his funding from one of these was a giant Swedish Foundation. There was also he, you know, he happens to mention making it sound like a small family front. So a lot of the groups that you think are grassroots are actually either startup concepts or their love being launched by these these billionaires and or their foundations, the Sierra Club. I just happened to look up the Sierra Club’s current net worth, I think it’s at least $300 million. And maybe that’s just their income for this year. I have to look at the details.
Robert Bryce 5:29
I think it’s I just had a piece in substack today, and it was 180 million for is their latest annual report. But let me ask the question this way, Jeff, I guess, because I think all of what you’re saying is interesting. And I forgive me for interrupting. But why were they so threatened by this film? I guess that’s the part that to me is intriguing. And there was the there were several academics that as you mentioned, you mentioned Josh Fox, who wrote, oh, that will I forgot to name that he’s an anti Gas, gas land. And he bragged on Twitter that several people including Michael Mann from University of Pennsylvania, Mark Jacobson, from Stanford, Leah Stokes from University of California, Santa Barbara, we’re not only asking that the film be pulled off of for broadcast, but demanding an apology from Michael Moore. Why this is the question, I think more than any other I wanted to put to you. Why do you think these people and these, these groups were so threatened by your film?
Jeff Gibbs 6:25
Again, Mark Jacobson, the pictures and some of the details have been removed. But Mark Jacobson is the prime bandleader for this concept that we’re going to run the world on hypertens renewable energy, right very early on. I forget which billionaire it is. But he actually as he was formulating this concept, he actually formed a group with Josh Fox and some billionaires to actually promote the idea that they’re going to profit from this. So I don’t know Leah Stokes, or Michael Mann as well. But clearly, for many of the people involved in the attacks, they got they got in bed with the billionaires now, for Leah, and for Michael Mann. Again, I’m not sure. But all of these people have staked their reputations and their careers on the idea that climate change the carbon dioxide molecule that is the threat to humanity into life on earth of our time. And they stake their, basically their reputations on the idea that if only we invested in renewable energy will be saved, and that the planet will be saved. So here’s a film that is saying that the green emperor has no clothes, everything you’ve been telling people is going to save us from impending doom is a mirage. And worse than that, it’s just a way of enriching the 1% the billionaires, and keeping us all kind of in this, this haze of like, it’s all going to be okay. So
Robert Bryce 8:07
if it only if only we change course, and adopt more wind and solar, that that’s the salvation that we as humans, I think of it in religious terms a lot of times because there is a lot of overlap between the climate catastrophe is and Christianity, right that we’ve sinned, and we seek redemption, right. And the way we are going to get redemption is reducing our carbon footprint and getting back in tune with Mother Nature that there’s a very similar, there’s a lot of overlap there. Does that rhyme with how you see it in terms of kind of just human beliefs?
Jeff Gibbs 8:36
No, go ahead. I think the climate activists are basically a bunch of babies who can’t face how bad things are.
Robert Bryce 8:45
Explain how do you mean?
Jeff Gibbs 8:49
So first of all, the way I summarize what they’re trying to say, is climate change, plus renewable energy equals were saved. Right? So the commonality with religion is I believe that the pro nuclear people have the same religious tendencies. I believe that people that are pro fossil fuels have the same religious tendencies. I believe that people that think that we’re gonna just have regenerative agriculture, some new magic agriculture. I think we, as humans, as you see in the film, are in denial that we’re reaching, we’re hitting multiple limits. So the climate movement has over simplified the situation and boiled it only down to one thing. So we live in a time when 97% I know that you’ve read the studies of mammals have been displaced by humans and farm animals. So 97% of the mammals and this is not, you know, really in question. It’s just the way it is. Only 3% of the wild animals that were here when humans arose still exist. Half of those have went extinct or been not extinct, but would have been wiped out in the last few decades. So 90% of the fish in the ocean are gone. 90 Do you know there’s different studies that show the insect Apocalypse that we’re currently living with? There are other reports from the UN that show that we’re in a toxic planet nightmare. In other words, toxic chemicals alone could spell the end of life as we’ve experienced it. So all of these, let’s just think about the decline of nature. Or, you know, the fish being gone in the sea, don’t have anything to do with climate change, even though they’re trying to climb it in. To connect it furiously. That’s because we ate them. That we have gone
Robert Bryce 10:35
over we over fished so. So your argument, so So what I’m hearing you just repeat back, Jeff, because you’re saying that there is a there’s a real religiosity around this? And is that and this is these ideas? What do you say that we’re in denial that we are reaching our limits? I think I’m quoting you directly, directly there. So was that your motivation then for telling me let’s go back a step back a little bit to when you started working on the film, so the film has been out roughly three years, it’s had 3 million views. 13 million? Forgive me 13 million views on YouTube, which is more like 20 million? Oh, more like 20? Okay, right. Well, I just looked at one. Go ahead. Yeah, sure.
Jeff Gibbs 11:16
Yeah, there. The movie was so popular. That was the other threat threatened? Is it 10 or 20, people cloned the movie and put it up for free on YouTube. It was, it was being put distributed on BitTorrent. Since then, we’ve got it on Amazon Prime, it’s on iTunes. It’s on YouTube studios, multiple platforms. So the the one channel, you see, is just the tip of the iceberg. I actually was thinking I actually asked the other people to take off their YouTube clowns, they did. But people have been doing it anyways. And some of them have hundreds of 1000s of views. So sure. And by the way, we before you get to your next point, just to be clear, there are 10s of 1000s of comments on our main YouTube channel. 90% Plus are either positive, or just stunned, like, What the hell, you know, this movie really floored me. So very few attacks from civilians, the attacks have all come from people with either a financial or reputational interest in the climate change plus green energy equals were saved narrative.
Robert Bryce 12:21
And to be sure, If I could interject, so people can watch it on YouTube, obviously, but it also your website planted the humans.com is another place where they can watch it and so I just want to make that very clear. So 20 million views now. So by any standard metric, I think in terms of documentaries, that would be considered a very successful rollout now, we’ll talk about the economics later but walk me back then Jeff, to where you you spent something like I think your recall you worked on it for eight years on on your own and then you have your then you called on your friend Michael Moore and his name helped me you know, get some momentum is when did you start filming the project?
Jeff Gibbs 13:02
Okay, just to be clear, Michael came in when the film was almost completely done. Sure, just gave some tips and advice and then helped get get it out there. But, ya know, I probably solidly was filming for eight years. But, you know, I’ve been actually probably filming and researching for 20 years. The, you know, I was just in that phase of life where I was, you know, had been really concerned about the environment when I was younger and kind of let it go and did the normal things of, you know, having a career. I was I was trying to drop kind of drop out and live in the woods built a log house. But I was just starting to notice. Hmm, why is it that the ski resorts are closed? Why is the golf course people are still sticking on the golf course in northern Michigan? In January? The trees don’t look right. There’s, you know, the trees that I’ve been seen in Michigan, all my wife appears to be dying everywhere. And then I read about sudden oak death in California. I see these invasive zebra mussels that are razor sharp come into Lake Michigan, and within a few years, take over the entire lake and invade inland lakes and in one in two seasons. This lake I used to swim and went from you couldn’t walk into the lake without stepping on the freshwater clam. To the next year, no clams and you couldn’t walk into the lake without stepping out a zebra mussel which are razor sharp and you had to wear shoes, while other shoes. So I just decided, is this the time that we’ve been here fearing or hearing about our entire lives, where things are beginning to snap and why are they snapping. And I began with the trees. I actually flew out to California and interviewed the guy who discovered Sudden oak death. And we together discovered Sudden oak death spreading to the redwoods. I had a contract with Sierra magazine to write this big story on dying trees. I was you know writing for alternate and puff posts and I was really going to get into writing but then my friend Michael started making Bowling for Columbine. So as I got involved with Bowling for Columbine, I said, I’m going to use what I’ve learned to make a film about the environment that might shake people up. Now, the thing that led us down a similar path was, I really found a whole film on what I would call the stress or even the downfall of nature on the signs of collapse that were not noticing. But I slowly became convinced that that wasn’t what was in the way what was in the way of people seeing that the environment is in some trouble. Was this weird thing where keep people kept saying, solar, solar, solar? And I’m like, how our solar panels gonna make the fish come back into the sea? I don’t quite get that. How are they going to bring the forest back that we’ve, you know, 70% of the original forests have been logged on this planet. If you’re concerned about the trees being logged, what a wind turbines have to do with it. And then I discovered that not only you know, like right now, the number one source of deforestation in Virginia, is to install solar panels. But then I discovered right in the middle of this, that this thing called biomass, that the environmentalist were now endorsing us cutting down trees and burning them everywhere. And these plants are everywhere. As you see in the movie, you just don’t notice them because they look like little fossil fuel power plants. Sure. And then I discovered that it’s the number one source of green energy in Germany, and nobody talks about that. And it just blew my mind that a so called environmentalists, you know, who grew up, you know, I grew up with, you know, save the rainforests saved the whale, right? But now we’re going to be burning the forest. And then I even found a clip where some people were burning leftovers from whaling, as biofuel that’s like, that’s when I realized we’ve lost our minds. That’s what’s in the way, not just making people aware that the environment has some problems. It’s the environmental movement has lost its mind. And
Robert Bryce 17:06
let me interrupt because I just want to repeat back your what your timeline is there, because I just looked at Bowling for Columbine came out in 2002. So you were formulating your ideas for a planet of the humans then we’ll something like 20 years and it before a planet of the humans actually was made. So this was something ideas around your worldview and ideas that you wanted to cover, biomass, the rest of it really had percolated for you. So this is a 20 year project before it actually hit that mean, is that fair that this is something that you had been ruminating on and collecting string on? I understand that because I just published a piece on cutting string on for more than a year. But tell me about that. Why, how much how much what was your budget? And let me let me ask a specific question. How much did you
Jeff Gibbs 17:49
budget? But, but see, one of the things people need to know about filmmaking? And maybe this is true of your book, somebody might ask you, how long did it take you to write that book? Well, it took me six months or a year or three years. But the book is a result of 10 years, five years, 30 years, a lifetime of research. And so
Robert Bryce 18:10
yeah, that rhymes with that rhymes with what I know that, that we’re the sum of our lives, right that we our lived experience allows us to do this. Right. So you know, I’ve written a few books. And yeah, but it’s my it’s the some of my experience that comes together the actual writing, well, that’s only a fraction of the time that I’ve actually put into the project. So I’m sorry to interrupt. But I think that that
Jeff Gibbs 18:29
that’s exactly like when I was a homesteader. It’s briefly in the film, but my move to the woods, and I cut out some lines that maybe will be the next one. But, you know, so I’m young hippie, I moved to the woods, what’s the first thing I have to do? You know, it’s I want to be close to nature, and live in a little pocket. Well, the first thing I have to do is chop down the trees. Right, the next thing I have to do is build bringing a bulldozer to clear a path, then the next thing I have to do is cut down some more trees for my firewood so it’s slow. And then I was asking myself questions like, well, if civilization falls apart, where am I gonna get a woodstove? I guess I could have on a piece of glass, right? So it’s a lifetime of
Robert Bryce 19:09
care or kerosene for when the stove is out, or you know that those other things that are essential to keep you safe and warm. But so we’ll let me just back up if you don’t mind. So you mentioned you’re from Flint, and you’d known Michael Moore since you were kids. It sounds like is that? Is that right?
Jeff Gibbs 19:26
Yes, I was from the neighborhood. By the way, it’s the 20th anniversary of Bowling for Columbine winning the Oscar for Best Documentary. Next in March this March so
Robert Bryce 19:39
and your role on that film was what I’m sorry, what did you do for you? Were you shot producer,
Jeff Gibbs 19:43
and then that was awesome. The composer but I tend to downplay the composer part because I was after working on setting up all these scenes that you see in the film for a year and a half or two. They came in, Michael Collins said Oh, we lost our deal with our composer you think you can come and help us? And I, oh, by the way, you’ve got five days. So I went to New York and asked you to compose the original underscore music, you know, and five days and then I stuck around and did some other things on the film. So and you’re
Robert Bryce 20:17
it’s kind of a throwaway line you’re tossing and these are your pianist. What do you play? What instruments do you play?
Jeff Gibbs 20:23
I can’t even play Happy Birthday on the piano, but I do improvisational keyboard stuff. And the drums. So I just went there and did it by feel. And
Robert Bryce 20:34
no kidding. Around stuck around. Hmm. So But you knew Flint? You mentioned you’re from Flint. And so how long have you known? Macklemore?
Jeff Gibbs 20:43
Yes, since 1971.
Robert Bryce 20:47
So that’s a long time. And then you started you. So you made several films with him including Bowling for Columbine fair. Vote Bowling for common Columbine, Fahrenheit 911. And then you started making? Well, you were making plenty of the humans. It sounds like all that, you know, through a lot of this time. And then you get toward the end of the film. And then that’s when you went back to Michael and he came in you mentioned that he came in at the very end of the film. How did that how did that work? What how did that come about? And what was his value to you in and getting the film seen and heard and the rest of it because he’s arguably will maybe with Alex Gibney, the most most famous, most successful documentary maker in America.
Jeff Gibbs 21:28
I think far more than Alex good. Okay. On the street, every city and stop 20 people I don’t think one one have heard of Alex give name? Maybe three. But everybody would have heard of Michael. Sure. Yeah, he he and I have always been friends. So we were, you know, he’s the first person I ever mentioned the title plan of the humans too. And he was like, that’s great. Before I even knew it was going to be about what it’s about. So he’s always been we’ve been commiserating. We do this about all our work, informally, and then right towards the end. You know, we had you know, I was working in isolation here in northern Michigan. So I met somebody who could help with the editing, you know, I edited most of it, but I need, you know, you got to have somebody else involved. Just, you know, you got to have other eyes on it. Ozzy came here. Michael was here. So we all
Robert Bryce 22:23
kinds of just add, you’re talking about Ozzie Zaner, who is one of the people who’s in the film. And as he does as he doesn’t live in Michigan, he’s in Where does he live?
Jeff Gibbs 22:34
He’s in the San Francisco area. Okay, but he’s from Michigan,
Robert Bryce 22:37
right? But you’re you’re now living in Beulah, Michigan, if I recall, is that right? Just south of Traverse City South of Traverse City. So anyway, I interrupted, so forgive me. But then So you started talking with Michael and then you’ve done most of the editing on the film, and then you he came into the project
Jeff Gibbs 22:55
didn’t really come into the project. I think you’re you know, I again, I’ve done this on my house. Okay. So, you know, so, you know, he was in Traverse City watching cops, you know, came out here a few times to watch things. So, yeah, it’s, that’s the nature of it. Basically, the best way to look at the film is, every single thing you see in the film, the set in the film, every cut in the film, is basically is 100% mine with some input from other people. Okay, so that’s, that’s the unfortunate thing in their attacks is that Michael deserves much credit for supporting me and giving this film out here. But, you know, like the I’ll give you an example like the how solar and wind scene are made. Yeah, how solar winds electric cars are made that scene. I think that idea came up, you know, after I had interviewed Ozzy, and we were all tossing around some ideas here. But I spent probably two years I knew would take a couple years, just to get that seen there are, you know, dozens, if not a couple 100 archival clips, and that and I had to sync it up to the music, and then work for almost a year to get the rights to the music that are under that, that that piece so? Yeah, it’s been, it was quite the journey to get to this point. And that’s one of the disappointments is that we’re, I’m so happy that we got out to 10s of millions of people but it’s just the response of people that we thought would be allies or at least want to have the conversation is just a huge disappointment.
Robert Bryce 24:40
You know what occurs to me Jeff, is you’re saying that is a friend of mine. Dick Revis wrote one of the best books about the Branch Davidians. It’s called the ashes of Waco and Revis was a dyed in the wool Marxist and I’ve lost touch with him, but he lives in Dallas now and was one of the people who encouraged me to look into the Branch Davidian issue and I covered that trial of the civil trial in Waco back in 2000 or something but Revis wrote that book and he he was a guy from the, from the, from the left. And he said, Well, I put the book out and I didn’t have any allies. On the left, he said, the only people that wanted to talk to me were the people on the right. And so that I’m only bringing that up, because, you know, you made a film that’s very provocative. It got a lot of attention. And rather than getting any love from the left, which are is, if I’m hearing you, right, you think those are your net, those are your people who you thought those were your people. And yet they disavowed you, am I am I misreading what, what you’re saying?
Jeff Gibbs 25:40
Again, we’re talking about the leadership of the left. And those allied with corporate and, you know, banker and billionaire, and funding, including their foundations. But again, those 10s of 1000s of comments that are supportive, that are on our YouTube channel, which people can see themselves, or, you know, that are not attacks, we have a profound impact on grassroots environmentalists, and citizens. And I dare say, both left and right, I, you know, when I, I actually fought biomass plants from coming to Traverse City, and we wound up organizing, you know, after I got things rolling a group, but it was, it was kind of fun. And these discussions can be fun, because I went on the college radio station, and I went on the right wing talk radio station. And I love that because the fox guys didn’t know what to do, you know, the Clear Channel, it didn’t know what to do with me. It’s like, We’re just two guys talking. Right now. We’re not like, you know, Republicans or Democrats. And we each have something to learn. So I feel like I hear weekly, if not daily, from people that this film changed their lives from so
Robert Bryce 26:57
well, that’s got to be that’s got to be gratifying.
Jeff Gibbs 27:00
And that’s why they wanted to leave the impression that this you shouldn’t watch this film. You know, we went through to the Senate,
Robert Bryce 27:07
they were afraid that they were afraid people would be indoctrinated, or that they changed their mind or wouldn’t be on their side or that there’s some of the fear was it fear, they were afraid of the film,
Jeff Gibbs 27:17
because the film was so powerful, you know, Michael Morris executive produced a couple other films that he didn’t make. But you’ve never heard of them. I don’t even know I can find that by a couple other people, you know, he loaned us endorsement to in the films went nowhere. So the film is what they’re afraid of, because it actually can change hearts and minds. And when we went been through this before, you know, the thinking, think about the Oscar, what Michael went through after winning the Oscar, I mean, he was, I think the boons were a lot of them were piped in, but he was the microphone was cut off. You know, when he spoke up, just so people don’t know, instead of like, thanking all of us for helping to make the film, he said, you know, that we’re in a time of war and a time of lies. And, you know, basically, shame on you, you know, President Bush, and he was kind of booed off the stage. People told him his career would be over. The very, I only remember one of our Hollywood liberal friends coming directly to his response that to his defense. But now, at least on the left was controversy and Bowling for Columbine. It’s like, one of the iconic films documentaries of all time, the same thing with Fahrenheit 911. He started being you know, getting threatened, his career threatened me, we actually sort of made that thumb some ad hiding. So much was controversial. But what’s controversial Fahrenheit 911 Now, you know, the drive to war to make people rich. And it is upside down world because we live in a time and MSNBC and CNN are not having any anti more in Ukraine voices. But Fox is it’s like, okay, it’s just it’s that’s an interesting
Robert Bryce 29:11
point. And I want to build on that because when we talked the other day, when we in advance of our conversation today, I wrote this down you said it can’t be conservatives talking about these issues. It’s important for liberals and progressive to point all the, at all the problems, because we have to bridge this divide. If we’re going to make any headway. We need to get out of our silos. Both sides are equally insane. So you mentioned the local activism around biomass I’ve seen this myself in in terms of opposition, I’ve documented many times land use conflicts and that in small towns and counties, rural counties that in talking to people who are fighting these projects, and they don’t get any outside money, despite all these absurd claims that oh, yeah, there’s oil money or the cokes I mean, it’s all baloney. I was just bullshit from the beginning. But what I’ve heard over and over from these mostly women In middle aged women working from their kitchen tables is that we organize the community around this one issue. We’re fighting this solar project providing this wind project. And these we may be Republicans or Democrats, but we’re united on this one thing we’re trying to protect our neighborhood. Is that does that ring true? You? I think you hinted at that before about some of the projects that you’ve covered that it brings people together in a way they hadn’t been united before, and probably won’t be united again. But they had a common foe and that that was uniting. Is that does that ring true to you?
Jeff Gibbs 30:34
Yeah. And that’s, you know, when I usually it was a corporate it was a corporate
Robert Bryce 30:37
fo right. I mean, that was almost always the case. Right? It’s some big huge, oftentimes a foreign corporation, right, trying to push these projects through. Anyway, I interrupt. But is that doesn’t ring true to you?
Jeff Gibbs 30:48
Right after. So, you know, it’s only a couple years after making Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 911. You know, I live in this community. I’ve done presentations on the dying trees. I’ve written for the local media, on issues with trees on issues with these zebra mussels on, you know, energy issues. So but Keisha Snyder, who happened to be right for the New York Times, and happened to be working for this local environmental group, but he got hired by Van Jones and that member, the Van Jones, had all these these green initiatives, he was actually in San Francisco, working for Van Jones as communications director or something. But he actually was flat hired to fly back here and fight us local people on this.
Robert Bryce 31:44
And he wrote a fight on a biomass biomass project.
Jeff Gibbs 31:47
Yeah, they hired four different consultants to fight us. They brought in people from several universities, they bought it brought in some people from biomass people from Canada, and I happened to look it up in the biomass people were the same people that were their investment group has been investing in the tar sands. But he that’s when I first heard the accusations right. After I just finished working on Fahrenheit 911 that I was being funded by the Koch brothers 15 years ago, it’s like
Robert Bryce 32:17
I was and is that true? You’re getting checks from the Cokes?
Jeff Gibbs 32:20
I’ve been looking for my check? It’s just it hasn’t? No, yeah,
Robert Bryce 32:24
must have been lost and lost in the mail somewhere.
Jeff Gibbs 32:27
I put, I wouldn’t take money from anybody with any energy interest. You know, because, rightly or wrongly, it’s a conflict of interest. And I think, even if you support green energy, you know, all of us. Look, all of us would be shudder to think that somebody had a grassroots group funded by the oil companies that relentlessly pushing oil and attacking every other energy source. You know, that’s, that’s just almost a catechism on the left. Right, that that was, that’s horrible. But yet, if you’re taking money, you know,
Robert Bryce 33:03
from, from the solar wind powered, or the biomass crowd, that it’s different. What
Jeff Gibbs 33:08
do you think? What do you think the Rockefeller Fund is invested in, they’re not invested in snowmobiles, and toilet paper. And while they might be, but they have a vested interest if we were to be able to take a deep dive. So all of these even foundations that are pushing the, the fake green agenda are profiting from two things are, they’re almost certainly directly invested in these technologies, and, but they’re also invested in profiting from an economic system addicted to growth. So even if they’re not invested directly, they have to keep this machine going. Or they’re going to fall off a cliff. And by the way, when I say that, I believe that I think all humans have a belief system, including belief systems that we’re unaware of that protect us from our fears of death, and our fears, you know, our fears in general. And that’s basically passes quickly, but it’s at the heart of the movie. I just want to be clear. As I approach my next work, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t think we can just pull the carpet from from underneath everything and just watch it fall apart. I don’t think we can continue on as we are. I don’t think that there’s any technological miracles that are going to avert catastrophe. I think green energy is the least likely thing to do anything to avert catastrophe. Because it basically green energy is just everything that’s destroying the planet. What’s what’s the right word? It’s that everything destroying the planet rebranded as carbon free in order to keep doing more of it. So but I have
Robert Bryce 34:53
a tomorrow, tomorrow well, I’m sorry interrupt but Meredith Angwin says she calls renewable marketing term I don’t call it renewable anymore. I call it Alta energy, alternative energy. Because I think green or clean energy is delusional. That’s that’s a, that’s, that’s a sharp adjective. But I think alternative,
Jeff Gibbs 35:14
delusional because the difference between and again, I’m not a fan of nuclear. I’m not a fan of fossil fuels. I’m not a fan of hydro or anything else. But the difference between solar and wind and the other technologies is they nowhere on planet Earth do they freestanding, run anything? You know, because you can’t run anything. Intermittent energy. And that’s just, it’s a stunner than they’ve been able to get away with. Oh, well, we’re gonna have batteries. Yeah. Okay. In Michigan, the sun has barely shown for the last two months. Even in Germany, their solar output in winter is 10 times less than it is in this at the peak in the summer. So what, how many batteries? Would I need to store the energy from when last September last July? You to get us through? It’s an impossible. That’s it. It’s the height of delusion. That’s why, you know, we were Ozzie wrote green illusions, but I think it’s just an outright delusion, but. But we’ve got some really difficult things, I think, to work out as to how we’re gonna get out of this bottleneck of what I see as overshoot, as opposed to climate, which is just a subset.
Robert Bryce 36:34
Well, so then let’s you mentioned those different you’re not a fan of nuclear, you’re not a fan of hydrocarbons. Well. So what do you what do you propose that Jeff, I mean, that’s one of the things, I’ll put my cards on the table. I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time. 13 years, Indian natural gas, nuclear, if we’re serious about decarbonizing to serious about reducing emissions, those are the two sources that have the lowest carbon footprint, they’re abundant that they’re well known that the resources are widely available, what are you in favor of?
Jeff Gibbs 37:03
Not in favor of anything?
Robert Bryce 37:06
Well, then how do we run the world? Then? How do we run the global economy in
Jeff Gibbs 37:10
favor of us? The general outline of this is I’m in favor of a plan that leads to less of everything we’re doing, and not introducing new worst things, you know, in the process, because
Robert Bryce 37:26
that means degrowth, then, because that’s one of the ideas that’s put forward by a lot of people on the left we need, including Bill McKibben, that we need to shrink our economy, we need to use less everyone should use less. And that economic growth, should we should reduce economic growth. Does that is that your your stance?
Jeff Gibbs 37:44
Yeah, yeah. Although, again, the reason I don’t say that directly is because everything gets perverted the other degrowth movement, soon as they get started getting funded conferences, it got all watered down. And and so they they went degrowth with solar, and wind, and hydro and electric cars, it’s like that just as that’s, that’s just like, again, you know, to me, that’s they’re shooting themselves in the foot. And that’s what I’ve been noticed about this movement forever, is that they, they’ll say something that has some truth to it, and they shoot themselves in the foot. So the degrowth movement has kind of been perverted to me, and I don’t. That’s why on this next journey than sexual I actually going to talk, hopefully, to people like you, you know, to people who believe what Bill McKibben does, if not him, people who think that we can go back to tribal ways, you know, people who think that will, you know, maybe they believe in the singularity and think that’s, you know, I, I’m kind of just going to see where this goes, because I don’t think we have a plan. And, you know, in fairness. I think the nuclear pronuclear movement has latched on to the carbon issue. That’s not my issue. I don’t know why it’s not being used as an excuse to say nuclear is better than everything else. That’s why, you know, you know, I’ll be upfront with you about my questions. When sure, you know, down the road, we talk about nuclear. But just to give you one example, in researching the latest delusion, which is called Fusion, complete delusion, I mean, delusional compared to solar, it’s delusional times, you know, 100, I mean, for many reasons, but one of the basic things that gets ignored by solar and wind, fission, nuclear, and fusion, is that there are extraordinarily complex technologies. So one of the critiques of fusion and by the way, you often get the best critiques of other energy sources from the people who oppose it, because the people pushing it, kind of block them out. So it was as it’s estimated that you may need 20,000 people to run a fusion facility.
Robert Bryce 39:57
Well, fair enough. And I’m not I’m not here to promote free Usually, because I think that, you know, I’m 62, I’ve heard about fusion since I was a kid, it’s always 50 years away, you know, maybe now 40 years away. But, but so just to be clear about fission, which I think has great promise, and I
Jeff Gibbs 40:12
finish my sentence, okay, sure. So, fission takes about 2000 people to run a nuclear plant, according to this article on fusion. But it takes a huge number of experts, you may know that have number at the top of your head, but a large number of experts, each supported by an academic institution is supported by a discipline to make a nuclear fission plant work. So there are aspects of each energy source that the people promoting, you know, as the answer, kind of that those 2000 people that have to be involved, including the perhaps hundreds of experts that have to exist on each aspect of each metal, you know, and that those people have a huge footprint and forget, not only the carbon part that never gets calculated. So that’s, again, switching back to renewables, when you tell me that, oh, when it’s not sunny out, we’re gonna have wind. And then we’re gonna have transmission lines and inverters and converters, and Trent, you know, infrastructure for those two, now you’ve doubled it, oh, but those two alone won’t do it. So we’re gonna have batteries, the batteries have way bigger footprint than solar, and wind. So now you’ve basically quadrupled it, plus the power infrastructure, oh, well, that might be not enough. So we’re gonna fill it in with hydro, we’re going to fill it in with nuclear, we’re going to fill it in with gas. Now you’re talking about five or six systems. So that’s just one of the things to be explored down the road is all these systems are extremely complex. And one of my lines is not in the movie is neither nuclear. Solar as we know it, wind as we know it. Giant hydroelectric plants, none of these technologies existed before fossil fuels, and the giant fossil fuel based industrial civilization that underlies all this. So our assumption that any of this will survive a fossil fuel based civilization, with this basically burning through a million years of stored ancient sunlight per year, to enable all of the mining all of the smelting all of the construction, all of the humans that are alive, the idea that any of these technologies will survive the demise of this fossil fuels, and industrial civilization is just an interesting conjecture, how we believe that somehow we burned through these 100 million years of fuels and 100 or 200 years, they’re gonna go away. And we’re just going to have a soft, happy landing and to some other energy source. I I think that’s just an interesting speculation. I’d like to talk with a lot of people about how they see think that’s going to actually work.
Robert Bryce 42:48
Sure. Well, so let me press you on this a little bit, Jeff, because, you know, I think this what you’re talking about is interesting. And I and as I you know, I’m I’m an optimist in the late one, in the words of the late Molly, Ivan’s. I’m optimistic to the point of idiocy, and rate are, by the way, folly? Yes. late, great. And Molly, Ivan’s. You
Jeff Gibbs 43:06
saw George Bush, as the real person that he was before the Democrats had a clue. And that’s why he won. But go ahead. Well, she
Robert Bryce 43:13
and she blurbed, my first book on Enron now 20 years ago, so I’ll always have her in high regard. So I’m an optimist. But when I hear you talk about how you see the world, and I’m just hearing it, I’m just feeding it back to, you know, bring you on to insult or offend you. But it seems like you have a religious view as well. Right? The religious view of I mean, it’s it’s a strong, strongly held one and I you know, I respect that. But is that is your worldview as it is? We all have our own biases, our own worldviews. Can you critique your own worldview and see, you know, because I can, hearing you talk, I can think well look at me, and I’m thinking, well, Bryce, maybe you’re just deluding yourself to that we’re going to run out of hydrocarbons, we’re going to family, we’re going to shit in our own nest, and it’s all going to you know, things could fall apart. And I see that very clearly. So I can entertain that idea. But can you also entertain the other idea that well, maybe things would work out that we’re just we’re stumbling along, but everything’s gonna be okay.
Jeff Gibbs 44:12
Can you describe for me what you think is going to work out?
Robert Bryce 44:15
Well, you know, I guess I’ll put it this way that that Malthus was has been, you know, him Malthusians had been around for a long time and that we were going to, you know, Paul Paul Ehrlich, you know, estimates we’re going to run out of food. And over time, he’s yet to be proven right now, if we wait long enough, he might be proven right, but so far, Malthus and Ehrlich have been proven wrong. So is it possible I’m just posing this to you, as opposed possible that you’re wrong, that maybe your outlook is too grim?
Jeff Gibbs 44:44
I don’t think in terms of grim or optimist I think both of those are mistakes. I think being an optimist is a is a mistake and being a pessimist is a mistake, I think
Robert Bryce 44:53
so you see yourself as just an absolute realist, then is it am I am I I don’t try to put words in your mouth. So you see yourself as an absolute realist looking at the world through with with unvarnished eyes or unvarnished view is that, is that fair? Well,
Jeff Gibbs 45:08
that’s the goal, we, you know, we’re always working to get there. And, you know, when I was when I completed the humans, every time I would hear some new bit of hopium come out, you know, even though I knew it couldn’t be raced to the computer, start looking up the actual science behind this and the physics and what’s actually happening and, you know, but I kind of I do have a constant need to check the math. So, you may not know this, I had a long career as a therapist as a social worker and I was doing a PhD in systems theory. So a sense of my life before doing this or
Robert Bryce 45:44
in the for the for the for filmmaking,
Jeff Gibbs 45:49
was deconstructing human illusions, our self defeating behaviors and so so I’ll just give you a little twist, how I see things differently, I think, I think it’s really so we see our human existence a too small of a frame. So Malthus, Paul Ehrlich, these these are, these have all occurred in the blip of an instant geological and biological time. So okay, that they didn’t come true instantly it meat is meaningless. So Malthus and Ehrlich underestimated our ability, what these the fossil fuels we tapped into, we’re going to do in terms of increasing everything. But so that’s one thing. And there’s a chart and plan of the humans where you see our population increase. And I don’t know if this is on camera, but literally, it’s, you know, if you charted for the last 10,000 years, it’s just like a spike that goes up into outer space, we almost couldn’t graph it. Sure. So again, I’m challenging everyone to ask our assumption that that’s going to stay up there somehow and not collapse when no other species could or would ever do that. But here’s, here’s the twist I would make. And this is the twist the environmental movement, they’ve conflated what’s good for us with what’s good for the planet. So I’m talking about what’s unsustainable is that at some point, that 97% of the mammals are gone. At some point, the insect collapse is going to get us at some point overfishing. I think that points now arriving as we see the degradation of the forests all across the planet. You know, so climate change, the things that are happening, that are labeled climate change are a result of this long human effort to where agriculture comes in. The climate, the climate gets drier. Drought is often ensued, deserts have often been created. So if you get away from the reality, okay, I’m okay. Right now we are supporting a billion people and look at nature is not okay. You know, I want to come down to to Texas, if anybody’s listening, they just cleared one of the last patches of tall grass prairie. I think it’s called black grass prairie in Texas, where you live for a solar panel array. And I was just doing a little research on that 99.9% of the tall grass prairie in Texas has been eliminated already. Yeah. So we’re betting our lives and our futures on the this pushing nature, beyond its limits, like this isn’t going to result in our own demise? If so, I whether this happens in 10 years, or 1000 years or 100 years? We don’t know. But that’s basically, my focus is that, you know, we have to short term have a view of humans and our rise in the built in assumption that what is shall continue to be? What exists? And we have, do you see now where I’m going with environmental if they just
Robert Bryce 48:57
fair enough, so then let me ask you another, push a little bit more. So if I appointed you king, then Jeff, I mean, I’ve suddenly can can wave a wand and I put you in charge of things, you know, in charge of, you know, the handling social society now, what would you do? What would be the things that you would mandate? What would you require people to do? Use less drive less? Well, I mean, what would you what are the prescriptions that you’d put out there?
Jeff Gibbs 49:24
I would begin with the assumption that the only way out of this, this limits to growth that we’re experiencing, and again, that’s human centric, and the what I call the human overshoot, and the collapse of humanity has not yet begun. We’re right on that rough edge, but the collapse of nature is way far along. And I would want people to understand that that is the thing, the issue of our time. Is it in the last 65 million years no other species has done this annihilation. You know, the natural world and depletion of resources? You know, since the demise of the dinosaurs. Sure, and
Robert Bryce 50:06
I hear what you’re saying, but I appreciate, I just want to press you to what we
Jeff Gibbs 50:10
would do. So that baseline assumption, okay, I would get we, together, I would get people together to make a plan to get from here, this extreme overshoot to where we’re going to wind up. And my working assumption is we are going to wind up with far fewer humans and far less consumption. If we get there in an unplanned way. Probably it’s game over. So I would add that we’re
Robert Bryce 50:37
going to have mass extinction or mass or what mass mortality events of some caused by plague or famine or something that those are the that are you saying that you think those are inevitable?
Jeff Gibbs 50:49
Every civilization has gone through that? Fair enough to think that we’re not. But again, if I was the leader, the Dear Leader, I would not
Robert Bryce 51:00
need another title besides dear leader Kim Jong Hoon already has that when that was a little tarnish? My
Jeff Gibbs 51:07
name was Bill McKibben, you know, I think we need to get together and put our heads together and hash this out. And I would bring my data and my experiences, and you would bring yours. And I mean, that’s what I was triggered by the phone. It’s a discussion where we all we have to all own what happens next. I gotcha. And
Robert Bryce 51:27
so let me jump back to the Okay, so fair enough that we’d have a meeting of the minds and formulate some kind of plan. But let me go back to the film here, because what you’re talking about is provocative, Jeff, and, um, you know, and I’m saying this respectfully, is provocative. And I think, you know, we need to want to, it’s one of the reasons why I do the podcast, what’s my, what’s my hurdle for the podcast, who’s an interesting person Mckibben has agreed to be on the podcast, by the way, I’m gonna record that in April. So that’ll be fun. You know, I want to hear what he has to say, what’s his plan? But back to the planet of the humans and your What was your role? I guess, that the left broadly right, I’ll say the left to the environmental left the NGO climate NGOs, that they saw you as the heretic and that they attacked you and Michael Moore’s is that an apt way to think about how you were viewed by them as her as a heretic who had to be had to be stopped who had to be stifled because I was, frankly stunned that some of these academics would say, this film should be should be prohibited that we cannot have this kind of speech. And that, to me is very dangerous, but that they saw you and Michael Moore as heretics who had to be silenced, and that maybe more than anything, even around the film, to me is very troublesome. Because that we need, we need free and open debate. So did you see yourself as a heretic and a modern heretic? And in that kind of debate? Or how do you had it? Why do you think they saw you this show is so threatening?
Jeff Gibbs 52:55
Again, it’s, you know, as you can’t bite the hand that feeds you, and I think it comes down to funding and, and fame and I think, follow them.
Robert Bryce 53:06
It’s about the money.
Jeff Gibbs 53:07
It’s about follow the money, but it’s also if somebody appoints you a role that allows you to consider yourself, you know, the academic or environmental Jesus of the planet, you know, you’ve got this plan, how we’re all going to be saved. Yeah, that’s a pretty heavy thing to come down from and universities, you know, I’ve heard from more than one person that if you question green energy, good luck getting, you know, your tenure track position, you know, a university. And there’s, you know, and I’ve heard of people being actually told by their advisor, that they couldn’t get their PhD, that they were going to whatever you call that when you but they were not going to, to proceed because they just couldn’t do it, because they’re questioning green energy. It’s like so
Robert Bryce 53:56
so who’s the environmental? You mentioned, I liked this term, the environmental Jesus, Are you identifying someone as the environmental Jesus? It is you have someone in mind, because that’s, that’s an I haven’t heard that term before. i It’s interesting one.
Jeff Gibbs 54:08
Well, yeah, I mean, I think Bill McKibben fits that kind of pious, you know, and the smart thing he does is he’ll drip he’ll throw enough stuff out there. He has talked occasionally about growth must end. And, and guess what? I have Bernie Sanders on tape, saying that he doesn’t think we can deal with climate and environmental catastrophe without any growth. I have Van Jones on tape saying the same thing. So I, you know, you know, maybe you can tell me what you think, but they just didn’t want to let somebody that was questioning the Holy Grail, you know, into into the church. And so
Robert Bryce 54:53
well, so what I hear you saying is that you do I mean that you see just the way that you’re? They see you brand new branding you As the heretic, then the heretic must be punished. The heretic must be excluded, banished, sinned to live in the woods in Beulah Michigan or simply
Jeff Gibbs 55:09
the heretic. It’s weird, though, because what are we saying? The environmentalists have not been saying in different ways, for forever, except that the green for has no clothes.
Robert Bryce 55:23
So you’re calling out prescriptions, you’re calling out their, their, their, their, their recipe for redemption, would that be a fair way to think about it?
Jeff Gibbs 55:32
calling that out. And I was very careful to introduce the concept of population. But if you go back and watch the film, I never mentioned population without consumption. So I have so much to say about the population movement making mistakes, because you can’t separate the two from each other. They’re really the same sides of the same thing. I mean, what’s the sustainable number of Elon Musk’s? Based on this topic?
Robert Bryce 55:57
That would be one to many? Yeah. That would be Jetson houses and whatever. Much lithium, I look at, you know, I live in Austin, and they have a new Tesla giga factory out. It’s out by the airport out east of town. And it’s an enormous facility. I mean, just enormous. I mean, he is I don’t know how long it is, it’s just huge, three stories or four stories I and I look at it, I think, you know, the entire structure is just a very long and expensive bet on lithium, the price of lithium availability of lithium, copper, you know, cobalt, you know, steel, aluminum, it’s a it’s an incredible investment in just a handful of commodities, so that they can make their cars. But let me get back to the film, if you don’t mind, Jeff, because we’re coming close to an hour. And I’d like to keep our podcast to about an hour. And again, my guest is Jeff Gibbs. He’s the director of Planet of the humans, which has been a very successful documentary over 20 million views. You can find more about that on Planet of the humans.com was the film of success. I mean, we’ve talked a lot about things you know, kind of more your view, and how but you you obviously put a lot of your own life and a lot about your own money and effort and blood, sweat and tears, I’ve made only one film and making another I know how hard it is. When you look back at it, do you think it was a success?
Jeff Gibbs 57:10
In some ways, it was a success to be under our wildest dreams, because how so sad and painful as well. As painful as this is the only attack our films because they threatened somebody threatens because they make a difference. And when I I often tell filmmakers, if nobody’s attacking you, you probably didn’t make the right film. I didn’t make the best possible film, right, you know, on these topics. And the so the discussions have been stirred up. If you were to ask me before the film was released, if millions of people would see it, I would have been thrilled. Unfortunately, between the censorship and the pandemic, I was not able to tour with the movie and have the discussions, right. I’m still in I might have mentioned that to you, when we talked before, I’d love to get out and have this discussion. And I love to listen, you know, I would, when I come and talk with you, I would just I will show up and listen to your best case for everything that you believe in. And why how you why you feel that way. And just like you’re listening to me. Yeah. And so but in another way, you know, we know we the nightmare that green energy will save us that’s now being used to double down on environment, metal destruction, that battle they’ve quadrupled their efforts. So in that way, I haven’t succeeded. And I must get back out. You know, right now as we speak, there have been there’s a mass whale die off, which is not that unusual, but it’s from North Carolina to up to New England. And, you know, it just so happens to coincide with the installation of offshore wind, which they’ve been giving a permit to harm or injure or disturb up to 50,000 sea mammals, including up to I think it’s around a dozen endangered North Atlantic right whales. Now. Well, which there’s only a few 100 left. You know, right now in in Nevada. There are a couple tribes and some environmental activists are fighting a lithium mine that’s going to destroy a pristine area. Two summers ago, they moved hundreds of rare endangered desert tortoises and cut down Joshua trees to build another solar array and lo and behold, many of the tortoises died in Quebec. They’re talking about they’ve been threatening to put in a rare earth mine, which you see in the film is one of the most in between two First Nations communities with pristine waters all around and, you know, hydro, we can talk about some time. I think there’s if it’s still going there’s a Site C dam in British Columbia, that the Canadian government, their environmental impact report said that this dam was more environmentally destructive than the tar sands. This So much habitat and landscape, it’d be nice, right? So, so in some ways, we got a lot of work to do. And, you know, and just, there’s so much potential, you know, one guy in Canada who does speaking tours and was kind of bored. He says, Let me get you on a virtual speaking tour in Canada. I think we sold like 20,000 tickets to that to a few little events. I mean, so yeah, they want to keep a lid on the monster because that one guy helped us get around to, you know, probably millions. You know, I mean, there were newspaper articles all over Canada. So that’s what they fear is a fear of voices getting out there. They fear people like us talking. They, they fear, Michael Mann and Josh Fox and us actually having to discuss these things. So, so they
Robert Bryce 1:00:49
fear the fears of this open debate, which is really unfortunate. But But what I hear you say is that when I asked you what the film’s success, what I’m hearing you say that yes, you thought it was a success that it reached more people than you ever thought that it would. So that’s great. And it’s that’s gratifying. And that’s gratifying. I must be gratifying for you, because you put a tremendous effort into it. Well said, we’re right at about an hour, Jeff. So I’d like to keep these podcasts at about that length. I have a few standards that I do. In my podcast, I asked people introduce themselves and then at the end, I asked them what they’re reading. What books are you reading today? What what’s on the top of your bookshelf, book list? Book pile?
Jeff Gibbs 1:01:28
By one? Well, that’s a good question. I just recently read the painted bird, a novel and I’m reading a book about the black grass prairie in Texas. And BLACK BLACK
Robert Bryce 1:01:46
BLACK land prairie. I believe it’s a tall grass. Very. Yeah. Okay.
Jeff Gibbs 1:01:52
Thank you for correcting me. So I’m just I just started that.
Robert Bryce 1:01:56
In the paint and painted Bert, the painted bird. Do you know the author on them? I can get up. You said it’s a novel to really? You? Yeah. Yeah. Oh, Jersey, Kaczynski. Is that right? Or is he
Jeff Gibbs 1:02:14
Robert Bryce 1:02:15
Yeah. Okay. 1965 novel.
Jeff Gibbs 1:02:21
Yeah. And a few other books. But I can’t remember right now. But yeah, that’s that’s basically what I do in the evening. No problem.
Robert Bryce 1:02:29
So then the last question, Jeff, and this one, again, is when I asked everybody what gives you hope?
Jeff Gibbs 1:02:39
The end of hope. Sorry. I’m not heading. Yeah, I think we’re in the time and only doom and gloom can save us. No, neither extreme is good. I think. You know, I spent a couple of hours talking with Chris Hedges, the author, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Chris. But the great writer, he wrote a book wars, the force that gives life meaning. And what he learned from being in living and working in war zones was that the optimists wind up dying. And the pessimists Of course, wind up giving up. But it’s the people who make a realistic assessments of the weapon systems down the road, and what’s around them and what’s happening. Look with clear eyes, they’re going to be the survivors. So
Robert Bryce 1:03:26
that’s great. You said, Chris, Chris Hughes. Right. I hear you correctly. Chris. Hedges, hedges. That’s right. I know who you’re talking about. He used to write for the New York Times, if I recall, yeah. Chris Hedges,
Jeff Gibbs 1:03:36
New York Times, yeah, another person has been marginalized for the bid for his anti war views on the he was fired from the New York Times for opposing the war in Iraq, you know, so.
Robert Bryce 1:03:48
So what gives you hope I can hold it as the end of hope that we need a more our
Jeff Gibbs 1:03:54
opportunity. You know, we’re the species that has used our magic powers of technology, and what I would call delusion as a magic power, you know, we can imagine and we can think that we’ve we’ve used that only to serve ourselves deserve perpetual growth. I think we can use that awareness, to really examine what we’ve done, who we are, and how we’re where we’re gonna go next. And we, even though, it might seem hopeless, we have to dismiss we have to work out what all the FOSS solutions are. But, you know, I think we were capable of changing in surprising ways. And being stubborn as hell and never changing. So which will come to the fore. Stay tuned. And that’s what’s exciting, is that we still have the chance to figure all this out and have these discussions and determine what happens next. But it ain’t gonna be a world powered by, you know, solar panels, wind turbine, wind turbines that gets us out of this.
Robert Bryce 1:04:59
Well, that’s good. Alexa, stop. Jeff, I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. You know, I’m glad we connected now a few weeks ago and, you know, look forward to talking more, as I said, you know, what I, the reason I do this podcast is I get to scratch my own itch. I get to talk to people who I think are interesting. And that’s the only the only hurdle I have. My guest has been Jeff Gibbs. He’s the director of the Planet of the humans, which of course was wildly successful documentary. You can find out more about it on planet to the humans.com. It’s also available on a lot of different streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime, YouTube, and many others. So Jeff, thanks a million for coming on the power hungry podcasts been great fun.
Jeff Gibbs 1:05:35
Thanks, Robert. You’re good. And
Robert Bryce 1:05:39
all you out there in podcast land. Tune in for the next episode of the power hungry podcast. Until then, see you