Wednesday, December 07, 2011

America will see all episodes from epic Frozen Planet series

I've just watched the seventh and final episode of the BBC's series Frozen Planet, and what a wonder it has been. David Attenborough (officially a national treasure) has for most of my life been presenting great natural history programs and this must rank as one of the best.

It has humbled as it has amazed and fascinated, leaving us the viewer awestruck, and every week has been a gem, especially when seen in the HD it deserves. I'm glad I managed to see every single episode, and will feel its absence next Wednesday.

But not everyone will see all seven, for some countries will only see six episodes, rejecting the final one, the one that talked about the polar regions warming.

Warming is an observation, what the team (and others) have seen. Such as the difference between the picture above of a glacier in Shackleton's days and the same one more recently, below:

Other observations are again just that, such as that military in their submarines have noted that the Arctic ice is in places half the thickness it was in the 1980s. Another is that the polar regions are heating many times - up to 10 times - that of the rest of the planet.

It is also a simple fact that the Larsen B ice shelf collapsed in 2002 and afterwards glaciers sped up six times.

But initially the Discovery channel in America said it would only transmit the first six, reluctant to broadcast those facts - or maybe it was those two dangerous words that David Attenborough said, namely "global warming".

Fortunately its been announced just in the last few days they will after all show the final episode, so Americans can decide for themselves, but its crazy it was even an issue.

Earlier this year I reviewed Simon Winchester's Atlantic including the catastrophic over-fishing of the Newfoundland Grand Banks which I described as "rather stupid".

I fear that we humans are about to be "rather stupid" on an epic scale.


Noodle said...

They see things that aren't there when they wanna bomb someone. They refuse to see things that are there when they wanna keep their ugly big cars. Eye condition? Maybe that's why they supersize everything. To be able to see it?

JP said...

Unlike the failure to manage the Newfoundland Grand Banks, which was just the one country that made a mess of things, this seems a general human decision making failure.

The most important messages I got from that disaster (and others, such as Easter Island) is that it is possible for us humans to destroy our environment, and we are vastly the worse off as a result.