Sir David Attenborough has decided to ditch the finger-wagging and the doom-mongering from his next wildlife TV documentary series, Dynasties. Viewers, he has finally realised, find it a turn off.
Attenborough, 92, told the Observer (sister newspaper of the Guardian):
“We do have a problem. Every time the bell rings, every time that image [of a threatened animal] comes up, do you say ‘remember, they are in danger’? How often do you say this without becoming a real turn-off? It would be irresponsible to ignore it, but equally I believe we have a responsibility to make programmes that look at all the rest of the aspects and not just this one.”
This will come as a relief to the many viewers who respect Attenborough as the pre-eminent TV naturalist but are bothered by the relentless green propaganda.
Sometimes he raises important issues, such as the pollution of the oceans with plastics. Too often, though, his points are tendentious and unscientific: a regurgitation of fashionable green pieties which are unsupported by real world data.
One of the most egregious examples was his promotion in his last series Blue Planet II of the thoroughly discredited ‘ocean acidification’ theory.
Attenborough claimed: “If the temperature rises up by two degrees and the acidity by a measurable amount, lots of species of coral will die out. Quite what happens then is anybody’s guess. But it won’t be good.”
A lot of huckster activists on the climate alarmism gravy train have built tenuous careers promoting this nonsense. But no serious scientist believes it, for ocean acidification is just another environmentalist scare narrative.
As Matt Ridley noted:
The most dishonest sequence in the series was when Attenborough watched shells dissolving in a tank of acid, to a soundtrack of fizzing noises, and was told by Professor Chris Langdon that although this was “more dramatic than what’s happening in the oceans”, nonetheless “the shells and the reefs are really truly dissolving”.
This is highly misleading in several different ways. Was it carbonic acid, or another acid? The reduction in alkalinity will get nowhere near neutral, let alone actual acidity, even by the end of the 22nd century, so “dissolving” is false, let alone happening now. The changes in ocean pH expected even by the end of this century are minuscule compared with what was shown in that tank, and by comparison with the daily and seasonal changes that an average reef experiences. (Coral bleaching, a different issue, is more serious, but more temporary.)
A 2010 analysis of 372 studies of 44 different marine species found that the world’s marine fauna is “more resistant to ocean acidification than suggested by pessimistic predictions” and that it “may not be the widespread problem conjured into the 21st century”.
Attenborough also got it completely wrong about walruses, which he made out to be much more endangered than they are.