The Weekend Wonk: Attenborough in BBC’s “Climate Change – The Facts”

April 19, 2019

14 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: Attenborough in BBC’s “Climate Change – The Facts””

  1. jimbills Says:

    Watch now!

    This is likely going to be pulled due to copyright infringement – as if that’s really more important.

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    Despite a few shots of Greta and protests, doesn’t offer any cohesive (or even disjointed) view of change except the usual overwhelmingly emphasis on personal changes as the solutions. Buying better things. Even not buying some things… better, but soooooo not the point. Those actions are great and for my whole life I’ve lived in a way that the whole world could. But the only thing that will decide whether civilization and most or all life on Earth survives is political action. We need to take power away from those who are so insane they’ll destroy the world rather than feel unpleasant feelings.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      ie, how bout some videos on political change? Extinction Rebellion, the Sunrise Movement, Indivisible, the Climate Mobilization (aka the Green New Deal) the “movement” to get scientists elected to state and federal houses… It’s a perfect time for that with Sunrise touring the US with town halls, and many actions coming up all over.

      ORGANIZE to formulate and pass a strong, comprehensive Green New Deal.

      • jimbills Says:

        That change won’t happen without the support of far more people being far more worried about climate change, and the show exists as a platform to sway more people to want action.

        The handful of very committed activists, like the Extinction Rebellion, as the current situation stands will draw little additional support from others. They will draw more attention to climate change as an issue, but that might be a negative as easily as a positive response.

        Of course, very few people will take the time to watch this show except for the handful already committed to the issue. Additionally, it’s very hard to convince those that have taken a side already. Denies will think the video is being alarmist, propagandist, etc. But maybe it will get a couple of new people to stand up for change that hadn’t before.

        I don’t know where to go with your thinking that political change just happens if you personally want it enough. It’s weird, man. Don’t you understand that we’re in a tiny minority of the voting public?

        • J4Zonian Says:

          That is not what’s happening, and that last disinterpretation of my position is ludicrous. There’s no possible rational reading of what I said, say or think that could lead someone to that conclusion. I say what I say because I think precisely the opposite of that bizarre interpretation. I’ve been reading your posts for a long time and I know you’re smarter and better than that. Please try to avoid such silliness in the future.

          We’re in a race between the advancing damage of climate catastrophe and the increasing willingness to act based on increasing knowledge. I make no predictions about what will happen; I only talk about what has to happen for civilization to survive, and do what I can to further it no matter what others think of our chances. If that bumps up against your anger, despair, fear, or other emotions, projections, or expectations, I say with all sincerity and good wishes that there are plenty of places to deal with those that are more helpful and appropriate than political and scientific discussions. Letting ourselves be stopped by them is not helpful. Please try to avoid that in the future, too.

          • jimbills Says:

            It doesn’t bump up against my emotions, no. I just don’t know how to converse with you. It seems to me that your head is so far in the clouds often times that you can’t see the ground. I look at the ground and spend more time thinking about how things are in reality rather than how they should be.

            It doesn’t stop me or my own actions, but it does help me to perceive reality as best as I can personally manage it.

            You keep talking on multiple threads about how we need to get rid of all the Republicans. You mentioned on one thread about how all the Democrats that abstained on the GND vote were psychopaths. You often talk about how we need to change all our habits, and look, I actually agree with you. But you and I are the tiniest of minorities on this, and what should be doesn’t equal what actually is. The vast majority doesn’t care enough about our ecological and social issues. They don’t want to change to that degree, and few are even aware they need to do so. We can’t get rid of the Republicans. It’s never happened in the past, and it’ll never happen in the future. Life doesn’t work that way. Some people have different mindsets than ours.

            That’s why a program like this Attenborough one are important. I don’t think it will help enough, but it does help. It might convince some on the importance of climate change as an issue.

          • J4Zonian Says:


            Clearly it does bump up against your emotions. If you’re unaware of that, it’s a big problem.

            I say what has to happen according the laws of physics and ecology. Even now, with far less than the 12 years the IPCC suggested for half-assed change (45%-assed, actually) to essentially eliminate our emissions, our oligarchy’s representatives in every branch and at every level of government are offering changes that are pitiful imitations of completely inadequate failures. If we let either party have their way for even 5 more years, civilization will probably end in the next 50 years.

            Republicans and more than half of Democrats in Congress are changing fast enough that they’ll come around to the solutions we need to implement right now, sometime around the turn of the century, 50 years after there is not a single coherent nation left on Earth. So they either need to be outvoted, outnumbered, have their minds changed, or be removed from office. (Obviously not every one, only enough so they cease to have an effect on anything we do.) For my whole life Republicans have resisted reality and offered only irrational ideology when there were sensible solutions to every problem we had. (which also happened to be the compassionate solutions). Democrats have virtually always collaborated (while telling just enough lies to capture that part of the electorate that didn’t respond to the right wing’s lies.) I don’t know how many tories were in the government after the 13 colonies rebelled; or rich nobles were in the government of France after the revolution, or communists were there after Eastern Europe broke free, or White racists were still ruling after the revolution there. We need to achieve at least the same level of ouster as they did, to solve our immediate GHG crisis—more if we want to solve our longer-term survival problem.

            People who let themselves be stopped by political “reality” aren’t paying attention to any kind of reality, only the constant sniping by those afraid of change. If we do what is considered politically possible humans will become extinct along with most or all life on Earth. To accede to that is to collaborate with the denying delayalists and early despairers in attempting to guarantee that.

            Nowhere did I say when or what outcomes were likely or how much work we’d have to do. In fact, it’s precisely because it’s going to be very very very hard that I post–to get people to begin to put the necessary hours, days, months and years into organized political change that I suspect will be necessary. In fact, I suspect that because of the intransigence of the radical lunatic right, an actual revolution will be necessary. I hope it’s peaceful on our side; I know it won’t be on theirs—they’re already using violence, and somewhere between some and many people are almost certainly going to die. The sooner we start mass action and the massier it is, the fewer people that may be. People who argue with a few words as an excuse to continue to do nothing of consequence are going along with our gallop toward extinction.

            Changing personal habits means almost nothing now; it will not affect our survival. The habits we need to change are all political. Thinking that “political reality” means anything at all might be the first thing we need to change. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made that clear; why aren’t you getting behind that?

          • J4Zonian Says:

            Should have said: “or White racists were still ruling after the revolution in South Africa”.

          • J4Zonian Says:

            PS. We’re actually in overwhelming majorities on nearly everything important. 80% want more wind power, 90% want more solar power, an equal percent want more government help for both. Almost as many support the Green New Deal and that will only increase as people are exposed to more bad weather and news reports connecting it to climate catastrophe, which we have to start demanding of the media by placing bodies in the way of their profits. We do have enough people to do that now; they just need to be organized to do it, and that’s happening, with Sunrise, School Strikes, Extinction Rebellion. Are you a member? Have you contributed money to them? Time? If so, thank you. Your spring and summer should be busy. Mine will be.

            By the way, equal majorities support universal health care, a livable wage, etc. etc. etc.–necessary war measures for meeting this crisis, which is a crisis of 3 Cs (or 2 vowels, maybe). Climate, Corporate rule, and the Constitution, or Ecology and Inequality. However we look at it, we won’t solve one without making progress on all. And of course, psychological problems are at the root of all of them and need to be addressed. Mass, peaceful action to implement the Green New Deal (and a number of other programs) addresses all of those at the same time.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    One thing I found annoying and frustrating was their use of the Louisiana coast as an example of loss from sea level rise. Yes, that’s aggravating the problem, but it’s just another insult on top of (1) natural slumping of all that delta country, (2) subsidence from extraction, (3) decades of starving the swamps from Mississippi and other rivers natural silt flow, and (4) the gross overchanneling* of the marshes for the oil and gas industry. The problem with cutting new straight channels is most obvious from the catastrophic boondoggle east of New Orleans called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO or “Mr. Go”), with predictable accelerated erosion.
    *While governor, Jindal waived one oil company’s contractual obligation to refill one of the big channels, because rea$ons.

    • jimbills Says:

      Yeah, it bugged me at first as well. But then, they were looking for a human interest angle about sea rise told from an American (or at least Western) perspective. Those places don’t really exist (yet), but their stories in Louisiana are an example of what’s to follow. They do mention subsidence as it’s being covered, and it’s clear that that part of the country is only going to get worse from sea rise.

      I can kind of tell how they drew up the program in pre-production. They built a list of topics to cover, then they figured out where to go. The impacts of sea rise are tricky – how do you show that right now? I think they were looking for a different angle with the Louisiana delta than with footage of storm surges and so on.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        I think using the startling images of inundated Louisiana towns is…cheating. My go-to for US sea-level rise is southern Florida*, including the depressing tale of family neighborhoods around Miami with flooded septic systems that Peter has shown us, plus mentions of loss of wells to saltwater intrusion.

        Conversely, when I want to show people how all sea level is local, and ocean expansion is just one aspect of what local communities have to take into account, I find this description of the Maryland situation very educational:

        *Which, I will repeat for a certain numbskull, is on porous rock.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          That is an excellent video. I had forgotten about the Gulf Stream pulling water away from the east coast and what will happen if it slows. Thanks (not) for reminding me.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: