Earth Day 2012: The Day the Tide Turned

Happy Earth Day 2012, everyone! One day we may look back on this as the time when the tide began to recede – that being the tide of Anthropogenic Global Warming hysteria.

The canary in this metaphorical mine is the Discovery Channel, long a mass purveyor of AGW porn. In its new seven-part series “Frozen Planet” Discovery confronts distraught polar bears and calving glaciers in glorious High Definition, but nary a mention of the Scientific Consensus that can best be summed up as “Aaaaargghhh! We’re All Going to Die!!”

Because their marketers have discovered that people don’t buy that. Either they don’t agree or they’ve tired of the subject, but Discovery just can’t sell that brand of compost any more.

The article in The New York Times tiptoes around that fact, blaming the lack of AGW hysteria on the “politicization” of the issue and the 10% (sic) of us Flat Earthers who are conflicted between Scientific Consensus and Our Lying Eyes.

No Place for Heated Opinions

The vast majority of scientists agree that human activities are influencing changes to the climate — especially at the poles — and believe that the situation requires serious attention. That scientific consensus is absent from “Frozen Planet,” for reasons that shed light on the dilemma of commercial television, where the pursuit of ratings can sometimes clash with the quest for environmental and scientific education, particularly in issues, like global warming, that involve vociferous debate.

Including the scientific theories “would have undermined the strength of an objective documentary, and would then have become utilized by people with political agendas,” Vanessa Berlowitz, the series producer, said in an interview.

The people who are dismissive of human effect on climate change make up about 10 percent of the American population, according to … research, but they sometimes drown out the broader conversation about the subject, making themselves seem more numerous than they are.

How remarkable that a bunch of nuts, whackos and bloggers (but I repeat myself) have been able to derail the whole AGW train despite the fact that their voice has been virtually shut out of the mass media outlets who have been dishing up a steady diet of AGW-flavored tripe for a generation or more. (Note that Discovery Communications is an independent company and component of the S&P 500, but it was formerly owned by NBC Universal, at the time a subsidiary of Geeneral Electric.)

Then the Times tacks on this coda, as if completely unrelated from their editorial decision to soften the AGW hard-sell of “Frozen Planet”:

Coincidentally, Discovery Communications — which owns the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, the Science Channel and others — announced in early April that it was shutting down Planet Green, a four-year-old channel that featured environmental programming. The channel floundered with low ratings and what executives said were a lack of entertaining eco-themed shows.

Planet Green has been swirling down the commode for a while. Best known for the compelling reality drama of “Living With Ed” (on the eco-extremism of Ed Begley, Jr.), the network of late has descended into warmed-over ripoffs of standard cable fare: “Born Dealers” (rummage sale mavens); “Dresscue Me” (the word “fashionista” is in the description); “Conviction Kitchen” (Iron Chef meets Leavenworth Prison); “Gutted” (in which hoarders get a chance to keep some of their stuff); and “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” (a reality show apparently based on the plot of “Green Acres”).

I can’t make this stuff up.

P.S. Don’t miss the “Frozen Planet” Marathon Earth Day Extravaganza, all eight episodes (David Attenborough, not Alec Baldwin narrates). 2-8 p.m. EDT. Sponsored by Marathon Oil. (Just kidding.)


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