Discovery Channel Discovers Testicles. Will Air Climate Change Doc in US

December 12, 2011


The Discovery Channel is set to air the documentary series, which is co-produced by the BBC, thoughout North America next March.

It will encompass all seven episodes, including the controversial program on climate change, which will be hosted by Sir David Attenborough.

On that seventh episode, the famed British naturalist will investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the planet and life on it.

After much debate about whether it would be shown in the US not, prompting concern American viewers will not learn about climate change at the Poles, the network announced Tuesday, that it would be screened.

The airing of the final episode of Frozen Planet will have a huge impact on the ongoing debate about global warming.

Media Matters:

The notion that a series exploring the Arctic, which is considered ground zero for global warming, would exclude the episode incited widespread questionsand concern, and today AP reports that Discovery has decided to air the series in full. It will premiere in the U.S. on March 18 with the first six episodes narrated by Alec Baldwin.

Discovery had previously said they would make sure to include some discussion of climate change in the other episodes, which trace the exceptional seasonal cycle in the Arctic and Antarctica. But Dr. Mark Brandon, who served as an academic consultant on the series, said that  it’s important to put climate change information in a separate installment to make clear “the difference between the largest seasonal change on the planet and the observations of longer term change.”

Expect a cautious treatment of climate change in the episode. In a May hearing of the House of Lords, Attenborough — previously a skeptic of manmade climate change — said of Frozen Planet:

I don’t believe it’s controversial, the only controversial element in climate change is to what degree it’s anthropocentric, what degree humans have been responsible, but the facts of climate change are scientifically established facts and I don’t think we go beyond that.

Dr. Brandon has also indicated that the episode will not focus on the human influence on climate:

If you were to imagine an episode where people just talked about, you know, humans are doing this, humans are doing that, that wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the story. What would make perfect sense if you’re telling the story of the polar regions is to talk about how they’re changing in the context of the animals and the environments that you’ve shown through the previous six hours of episodes.


9 Responses to “Discovery Channel Discovers Testicles. Will Air Climate Change Doc in US”

  1. mrsircharles Says:

    Testicles my balls. It’s more than overdue that Discovery is taking on climate change.

  2. rickstar27 Says:

    Sorry, I still see only tiny testicles here. That climate is changing rapidly is now beyond even the denialists to still deny. To talk about the existence of climate change is of little import if you don’t also show that it’s HUMANS who’s responsible and it’s only HUMANS who can do anything about it – immediately.

  3. corneliusbreadbasket Says:

    David Attenborough is probably my country’s greatest naturalist communicators – a kind of cross between Darwin and Sagan. Being from the UK and having seen the series I have been awe-inspired by Frozen Planet – but was horrified that a couple of countries, including the US, had decided not to show the final episode because they thought it may be politically difficult. This decision by the Discovery channel is the right one.

    I have now seen the final episode of Frozen Planet. Attenbourgh is now 85 years old (although he appears younger) and I have the impression that this is a message he’d like to give before he can no longer work. It is brilliant – gentle and understated as is Attenbourgh’s way. There is no blame laid for the melting of the ice, he simply examines the changes that are happening in the Arctic and Antarctic (with some stunning and beautiful footage) and with the help of the scientists working in the field outlines the effects on the natural world and on humankind. It is a seminal work – of huge importance. Do not – under any circumstances – miss it.

  4. Maybe the democrats could borrow a few of those balls and bring climate to the forefront of any debate about the economy, energy, foreign policy, or maybe even the environment (not that the environment is ever seriously talked about during presidential debates).

  5. Martin_Lack Says:

    Charles Zeller will be pleased – as he has alerted me to the fact that people outside the UK cannot view the programme on the BBC’s iPlayer.

  6. otter17 Says:

    >> “If you were to imagine an episode where people just talked about, you know, humans are doing this, humans are doing that, that wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the story.”

    Uh, it isn’t that hard just to mention the human element in the changes since there is ample scientific findings and scientific academy statements to back that up. I understand that it would be out of place to go into great detail concerning the specific things that humans do and their relative contributions, but leaving out any mention of the human contribution doesn’t do the coverage of the rapid changes in the polar regions justice.

  7. neilrieck Says:

    What kind of a world do we live in when a pop-science TV channel is afraid to show a program on one of the biggest science issues of our day? On top of that, people who usually see everything through the prism of politics are probably not the kind of people who would ever watch a science channel so its not like Discovery is ever going to lose these people as subscribers (in Canada, I have access to three different Discovery channels on cable and only one of them is free; I subscribe to the other two). But who knows; maybe if Discovery airs these programs they will increase their subscriber base.

    • otter17 Says:

      I wonder who Discovery is trying to appeal to these days what with shows like “Moonshiners” and in-depth analyses of the 2012 disaster scenarios.

  8. livinginabox Says:

    The Telegraph is censoring inconvenient comments in their forums. I made a number of comments replying to climate zombies. I soon started to realise that some comments never appeared. They just disappeared into cyberspace when the page was refreshed, never to reappear.

    It seems that the Telegraph known as the Torygraph for its alignment with the right wing Conservative or Tory Party, don’t want the facts to upset their readership. It’s certainly not a case of being offensive, it’s inconvenient truths.

    This is one of the posts that evaporated, a reply to someone who ‘gets’ it:

    It’s important to distinguish between the policy aspects of politics, as opposed to party-politics.

    What we do about climate change is about policy, not party-politics. However, the right-wing in the UK, US and Canada have chosen to make this a party-political argument and set themselves against taking remedial and corrective action. That’s their choice and it’s a huge mistake because they will lose. 

    Furthermore, since we’re in this together, recent news is bad and possibly very bad.

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