Has David Attenborough Become A Propaganda Mouthpiece Promoting Climate Fear?

atmos_bullhornGuest essay by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University.

David Attenborough was my favorite wildlife cinematographer and each year I fed my students numerous clips to make biology and ecology come alive. Researching the plight of the polar bears, I began to worry that “my hero” had decided to use his spectacular wildlife videos to promote catastrophic climate change.

The first example that raised my suspicions was his portrayal of polar bears feeding on walruses, with a narration suggesting it was a new behavior desperately driven by climate change. But for us ecologists who know better: shame on you David Attenborough. He ignored documented wildlife history, and cherry-picked a dramatic scene to promote climate fear.

First view this older BBC video pitting polar bears against walrus. Notice how many bears are converging on the walrus herd and that they are coming from the land. Then view Attenborough’s “new and improved video” that puts a very misleading slant on polar bears and walruses.

If you want to read historical facts about walruses and polar bears, I suggest reading Francis H. Fay’s 1982 “Ecology And Biology Of The Pacific Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, Divergens Illiger.” In the 1950s Fay was concerned that the walrus was headed for extinction due to overhunting for ivory and blubber, so Fay set out to document everything there was to know about walruses.

In his tome, Fay published early 1900 observations by Russian researchers who admired the polar bears’ varied and clever tactics for hunting walrus.

“The walruses on Peschan Island are frequently bothered by bears, which creep up to them under cover of uneven terrain and of driftwood, of which there usually is an abundance along the shore. Sometimes the bears dig pits in the sand or make a pile in front of themselves, in order to hide from the walruses. We saw a bear in a pit dug in the driftwood within 50 m of the herd, where it watched for a long time. Suddenly, it leaped from its concealment and plunged along the flat terrain toward the walruses. The animals, upon seeing the running bear, rushed into the water, and when the bear reached those on shore, only a few large males remained, and these gradually pivoted into the water, threatening with roars and swinging tusks. The bear in his misfortune was unable to decide whether or not to enter the water and only brandished his paws helplessly and growled in discontent. Not infrequently, in the confusion, the adult walruses crush some young; possibly, at the time of the attack, the bears hope to profit from such accidentally crushed or abandoned young.”

Anyone familiar with the scientific literature knows polar bears have been hunting walruses since recorded history, and most certainly before that time. More recently researchers reporting to the Polar Bear Specialist Group meeting, speculated that hunting walruses on land was likely to be a behavior that has allowed bears to survive the lack of sea ice that was far more common through out the Holocene Optimum.

For example Wrangel Island is both home of one of the largest known polar bear denning areas in the Arctic, as well as the location of several traditional walrus land haul-outs each summer. Because walruses often get trampled at these haul-outs, bears eagerly supplement their diet by feeding on the trodden carcasses. In addition polar bears will wait at these haul outs anticipating the summer wave of walrus herds that typically come ashore, and then dine on weak or young walruses. Seasoned bears know to avoid a healthy bull.

In 2007 the 2nd greatest decrease in Arctic sea ice was observed in the waters surrounding Wrangel Island. That summer researchers observed the greatest number of polar bears on the island. However contrary to the less ice­­-means-starving-bear theory, there were no signs of increased nutritional stress. Quite the opposite.

Anticipating the seasonal haul-out of walruses, the bears concentrated along the beaches where they were easily observed by researchers who determined that less than 5% of the Wrangel Island bears were designated skinny or very skinny. That compared very favorably to the 7 to 15% of skinny bears observed in previous years with heavier ice. Furthermore researcher determined that not only did 29% of all bears look “normal”, the remaining 66% were fat or very fat. Those polar bear experts wrote, “Under certain circumstances, such as were observed on Wrangel Island in 2007 (Ovsyanikov and Menyushina 2008, Ovsyanikov et al., 2008), resources available in coastal ecosystems may be so abundant that polar bears are able to feed on them more successfully than while hunting on the sea ice.

With that scientific background, view Attenborough’s rendition and ask yourself if he is objectively narrating the video. He ignores the bears and walruses’ natural history to suggest polar bears have only recently attacked walruses out of desperation. Attenborough suggests the lone bear had been desperately swimming for days, trying to reach the island. However without a radio-collar on the bear, one must wonder if Attenborough is using creative license. And why is Attenborough “serendipitously “ set up in this location to film this event??? Is it a traditional walrus hunting spot, and not the rare event his video suggests?

Researchers have documented instances of younger bears who have not mastered hunting walrus that resulted in injury, but it a matter of a younger bears evolving experience. Attenborough marries an uncommon hunting failure to climate change. Playing sad music, he suggests that bears only attack walruses as an unnatural last resort, suggesting that in essence it is a climate change driven act that is suicidal and doomed to increase.

To my increasing dismay, my former wildlife hero seems to be plunging more deeply into climate propaganda. Attenborough has a new series on Discovery called Africa but it might as well be called “Let’s Push Climate Fear“.

Take for instance his video segment shown below on Green Turtles. He accurately tells us that unlike humans who determine gender via the X and Y chromosomes, Green Turtles (as well as several other reptiles) determine the next generation’s gender based on the temperature of the developing eggs. Researchers realized this when trying to save endangered sea turtles from depredation and dug up their eggs to “safely” incubate them. Fearing that buried eggs at the bottom of the pile had not benefitted equally from the sun’s warmth, the eggs were laid out evenly on trays so all could incubate at the same temperature. The result was uni-sex baby turtles.

However turtles have been around since the dinosaurs and their temperature-gender system has been completely successful throughout monumental periods of climate change, massive extinctions, and epochs with far warmer temperatures than today. Attenborough should tell his audience that microclimates a far more critical to their success as well as informing the public that temperatures drop off dramatically with depth in the sand. Nonetheless he warns that due to global warming, female turtles will soon have great difficulty finding a male. Shameful propaganda Sir David!

Video: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/africa/videos/sea-turtles-face-climate-change.htm


Literature cited

Fay, F. (1982) Ecology and Biology of Odobenus rosmarus the Pacific Walrus, divergens. US. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, North American Fauna, No. 74.

Ovsyanikov N.G., and Menyushina I.E. (2008) Specifics of Polar Bears Surviving an Ice Free Season on Wrangel Island in 2007. Marine Mammals of the Holarctic. Odessa, pp. 407-412.

Segments of this essay are adapted from Jim Steele’s Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

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May 29, 2014 2:15 pm

Jeesh – I guess they didn’t expect people to see the original video, like out of sight out of mind?

May 29, 2014 2:16 pm

Yes. Next questions?

May 29, 2014 2:17 pm

I’m sad about him also. Could it be the diesel particulate pollution in greater London causing changes in the brains of its notable inhabitants? Don’t ask the EU regulators that ordered it.

May 29, 2014 2:17 pm

Attenborough has been a Believer for decades. He is widely believed to be responsible for the blanking out from the BBC of naturalists who don’t buy the Thermageddonite Narrative. A popular naturalist, David Bellamy, some years ago had the temerity to mention that increased atmospheric CO2 made plants grow better. Bellamy hasn’t been seen on the BBC since.

May 29, 2014 2:26 pm

The old adage “follow the money” was never more appropriate. Hey DA have you tried Crowd Funding?
If they really love what you do or say, they will pay – or not.

Joe Public
May 29, 2014 2:30 pm

And there’s this, from Feb last year:-
“The BBC has backed down over Sir David Attenborough’s widely contested claim that parts of the world have warmed by 3.5C over the last two decades.”

May 29, 2014 2:35 pm

Agreed – can’t even watch his old docos without blood pressure rising so have given up entirely.

Chris P
May 29, 2014 2:35 pm

He’s just a [trimmed] old duffer, one of the useful idiots.

May 29, 2014 2:38 pm

“Has David Attenborough Become A Propaganda Mouthpiece Promoting Climate Fear?”
Sadly yes
Sir David made the assertion that ‘some parts of Africa have become 3.5C hotter in the past 20 years’.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2276888/BBC-climbdown-climate-change-claims-David-Attenboroughs-Africa.html#ixzz338scSOyu
The television presenter describes wind turbines as “elegant structures in harmony with nature”.
A legendary broadcaster….. but not a scientist.

May 29, 2014 2:48 pm

 “I guess they didn’t expect people to see the original video,”
And that is exactly what the alarmists and global warming propagandists rely on.
Older inconvenient truths are buried and replaced with newer not so inconvenient “truths” to indoctrinate the young.
Attenborough would have his documentary tone dictated to him by the global warming bent of the BBC.

May 29, 2014 2:56 pm

All documentaries are basically fiction. Nature documentaries especially so. There is no way that the film makers managed to film whatever set piece you see in a film. It’s all done with smoke and mirrors – or in modern words “editing”. Producers will typically come up with a plot and find the film to match or put snippets of film together and build an emotional sob story around it.
The BBC has been caught out twice recently for not telling viewers that documentaries had some extra “dramatisation” added for effect.

James Ard
May 29, 2014 2:57 pm

I wonder how much money Big Oil has spent funding Attenborough’s exploits over the years. My guess is he’s earned a fortune from Exxon and BP sponsorships.

May 29, 2014 3:07 pm

To be fair (and answer your question about “becoming a mouthpiece”) consider that people like Attenborough are not climate scientists. They are told — by a large fraction of the reputable climate community — that by 2100 temperatures will rise by some 4 to 5 F worldwide, that this will melt polar land ice and cause the seas to rise by anywhere from half a meter to five meters (the latter thanks to James Hansen, ex-head of NASA GISS himself, as a presumably reputable scientist spouting nonsense on TED talks), that this will be accompanied by violent storms, horrific droughts, incredible floods, more tornadoes and hurricanes and pretty much any “bad” sort of weather one can imagine and no “good” weather at all, and what else can they do but extrapolate the effect of all of this catastrophe on their personal favorite scientific or ecological niches? They are neither capable nor inclined to look at the details of the origin of the pronouncements of doom. If they realized the extent to which those predictions relied on unproven, probably erroneous climate models trying to solve a grand-challenge mathematical problem at an absurdly inadequate resolution and with missing and broken basic science galore in the middle, they might — become skeptical, and even be shocked. But they don’t realize this, because it is a carefully kept secret.
Kept by the best possible method — the Purloined Letter, left in plain sight (so nobody can ever say it was hidden) but in a single place and couched in the esoteric terms of statistics-speak so that it will only rarely be read and even more rarely understood. It’s right there, in AR5, in plain English. But nobody notes the contradiction between what it says in plain English in chapter 9 and what they assert in the Summary for Policy Makers, which is the only thing anybody like Attenborough would ever read, if even that. The same problem permeates the literature — the research all publishes conditional extrapolation — “If the temperature rise is thus and such, then the following horrors will occur in the population of white-footed mice in Western Colorado”. They do not consider the rise in temperature to be something known only as a probability, and haven’t the foggiest idea how to assess the probability that it will be X, or Y, or Z, except to read the assertions in something like AR5, and they will never, ever read the lines in Chapter 9 that basically say “there is no foundation in the theory of statistics for any of our assertions of results or degree of confidence in our assertions of results, anywhere else in this Assessment Report where results conditional on the correctness of the climate models are presented or discussed”.

Dave N
May 29, 2014 3:08 pm

I’m sad also; I had a huge amount of respect for Mr Attenborough, which has now all but vanished.

May 29, 2014 3:10 pm

Change the last name to Suzuki, you have same BS

May 29, 2014 3:20 pm

He is a Global Warming alarmist for at least 7 years (see video).
I no longer watch his documentaries ever since I saw it.
Too bad, because I liked his work. But not anymore.

May 29, 2014 3:24 pm

The first example that raised my suspicions was his portrayal of polar bears feeding on walruses, with a narration suggesting it was a new behavior desperately driven by climate change.

He has admitted to cheating in an exam when he was a 17-year-old pupil at Wyggeston Grammar School. This is just one step away to making stuff up.
Sometimes Warmists will tell you that polar bears are becoming cannibals due to global warming. Oh yeah! How hot was it in 1985?

Abstract – 1985
Observations of Intraspecific Aggression and Cannibalism in Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

May 29, 2014 3:27 pm
May 29, 2014 3:31 pm

….resources available in coastal ecosystems may be so abundant that polar bears are able to feed on them more successfully than while hunting on the sea ice.”

Think about it. Wait for ages for a sea to pop up for air or charge a large group of walruses. The charge reveals weak, young or injured animals who the bears can pile on.
Polar bears don’t only eat seals and walruses.

Estimating the Energetic Contribution of Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Summer Diets to the Total Energy Budget
The analysis indicated that it is possible for polar bears to maintain their body mass while on shore by feeding on arctic charr and seal blubber. Polar bears of body masses up to 280 kg could gain sufficient energy from blueberries to match the daily energy loss.
Food habits of polar bears on land during the ice-free period in western Hudson Bay were examined between 1986 and 1992. In contrast to previous studies, feeding on vegetation during the ice-free period was common……
Analyses were made of 233 scats collected from islands in James Bay and 212 scats gathered on the southwest coast of Hudson Bay. Birds, primarily Anatidae, were the most commonly used summer and autumn food of bears in James Bay. Marine algae and grasses were the foods most often eaten by bears on the mainland….
Bears which fed in the dump were significantly heavier than those which did not. There was no evidence that bears using the dump gained either reproductive or survival advantages….
…During spring and summer, polar bears in some areas increased predation on migratory harp seals and beluga whales. In Western Hudson Bay, bearded seal consumption declined between 1995 and 2001 for both male and female bears and continued to decline among females up to the most recent sampling (2004)….Overall, our data indicate that polar bears are capable of opportunistically altering their foraging to take advantage of locally abundant prey…
“Predation of Svalbard reindeer by polar bears”
Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are believed to be obligate predators on marine mammals, and particularly, on two species of seals. This paper reports on observations of polar bears preying (n=7) and scavenging (n=6) on Svalbard reindeer…
M. G. Dyck et al – November 2007
Observations of a wild polar bear (Ursus maritimus) successfully fishing Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and Fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis)
….Here, we document observations of a young male polar bear catching Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and Fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis) by diving in Creswell Bay, Nunavut. …
Polar Biology – Volume 30, Issue 12, pp 1625-1628
Predation of Belugas and Narwhals by Polar Bears in Nearshore Areas of the Canadian High Arctic
Thomas G. Smith et al – 2 August 1989
On 18 August 1988 we found four narwhals and two dead belugas stranded on a low beach at Creswell Bay, Somerset Island. All of the narwhals and two of the belugas had been attacked and partially eaten by polar bears……..The potential large summer food resource for bears represented by odontocete whales in the High Arctic Archipelago seems to be underutilized. The timing and location of beluga concentrations are known and dates of probable strandings are somewhat predictable, which might allow us to assess the extent of bear predation on whales in the future.
Arctic – VOL. 43, NO. 2 (JUNE1990) P. 99-102
Lech Stempniewicz et al – 28 February 2013
Unusual hunting and feeding behaviour of polar bears on Spitsbergen
Prolonged chasing of an adult reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) by a polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was observed both on land and in the sea, in Magdalenefjorden, northwest Spitsbergen. Polar bears were also observed catching black guillemot (Cepphus grylle) in the sea in northwest Spitsbergen and feeding on chicks in the arctic tern (Sterna paradisea) colony in Hornsund, southwest Spitsbergen. While feeding on seabird species is unsurprising,…
Polar Record / FirstView Article pp 1-3

May 29, 2014 3:31 pm

Thanks, Jim, for another wonderful post. Attenborough’s older specials are still available to be enjoyed on YouTube.
Unfortunately, all wildlife documentaries are now tainted with politics…which is not and has never been based on reality.

May 29, 2014 3:34 pm

Attenborough suggests the lone bear had been desperately swimming for days, trying to reach the island. However without a radio-collar on the bear, one must wonder if Attenborough is using creative license.

Desperate? Swimming for days? Well here is a polar bear that wore a radio-collar and swam continuously for NINE DAYS. LOL.

George M. Durner et al – July 2011
Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme sea ice retreat
…..Between an initial capture in late August and a recapture in late October 2008, a radio-collared adult female polar bear in the Beaufort Sea made a continuous swim of 687 km over 9 days and then intermittently swam and walked on the sea ice surface an additional 1,800 km. Measures of movement rate, hourly activity, and subcutaneous and external temperature revealed distinct profiles of swimming and walking……
Polar Biology – Volume 34, Issue 7, pp 975-984

May 29, 2014 3:43 pm

“The result was uni-sex baby turtles.”
That scene in Jurassic Park makes sense to me now.

Paul, Somerset
May 29, 2014 3:46 pm

Thirty seconds in and Attenborough stands on a graph derived from climate models which convinces him the planet is doomed and we are responsible.

The man is smug, superficial, and unable to come to terms with the rest of humanity aspiring to even the most fleeting glimpse of his own, privileged lifestyle.

May 29, 2014 3:47 pm

still watching old attenborough docus online – they will have repeat value forever…not so David’s recent work, which is a shame.
a different Jim taking on another media icon, NYT:
29 May: Forbes: James Taylor: Global Cooling, Not Global Warming, Doomed the Ancients
Global cooling rather than global warming or “climate change” doomed ancient societies, despite the New York Times’ latest efforts to invent a new global warming alarm. The Times published an article Tuesday claiming “climate change” doomed ancient societies to famine and collapse, but those societies thrived while temperatures were significantly warmer than today. It was only when temperatures cooled that shorter growing seasons and less favorable climate conditions doomed crop production and the food supplies of ancient civilizations…

jim Steele
May 29, 2014 3:50 pm

Watch the Ninja Polar bear video to appreciate just how at ease polar bears are in the water.

Peter Miller
May 29, 2014 3:56 pm

Unfortunately, the concept of ‘sell by’ date applies here,
In the case of the once great Attenborough, it was probably around 3-4 years ago.
The BBC Establishment probably made it a condition of future funding that the had to include at least 60 seconds of drivel on ‘climate change’ in each and every episode of his nature programs.

Chad Wozniak
May 29, 2014 4:07 pm

I noticed an alarmist tone in Attenborough at least 30 years ago. Not surprising he’s gone off the deep end.

May 29, 2014 4:08 pm

In broadcasting Voice first,appearance second,Intelligence??– Well don’t worry,we have a script.

May 29, 2014 4:10 pm

No he has always been one.
Remember the Frozen Planet.
He has been a believer for decades! Fits in to the BBC meme

May 29, 2014 4:22 pm

Sad that a guy who makes such great wildlife documentaries would be just as proficient at agitprop.

Billy Liar
May 29, 2014 4:25 pm

He can probably afford to retire but like all luvvies he doesn’t know his own sell-by date.

Robin Hewitt
May 29, 2014 4:26 pm

The BBC usually saves the Global Warming disaster bit for the last few minutes. I used to think this was because the programme maker had to include it to get his funding but didn’t want to put you off watching it and lose his ratings. I now wonder if it is so the programme can be easily truncated and rebroadcast after the CAGW bubble has burst without making them look foolish.

May 29, 2014 4:36 pm

Yes, I was brought up on Attenborough and as a teenager, loved his documentaries.
However, this alarmism crap from him is not new. Last time I saw something from him I was so disgusted I turned off after a few minutes.
It’s a real shames, he did some great work at one time. Whether he’s dumb enough to believe at the CO2 propaganda or he just knows which side his bread is buttered, is another question.

May 29, 2014 4:49 pm

Carl Sagan is in the same boat, his cosmos series is full of the same drivel.

May 29, 2014 5:02 pm

Very good call-out Jim. I doubt that Attenborough will read this, which is a pity, but many others will. An earlier commenter noted that he and Suzuki were peas in the same pod.

May 29, 2014 5:35 pm

N.B.: Animals, including humans, come in two sexes, not two “genders”. French nouns come in genders. OT, but largely the same liars who perpetrate the global warming – climate change mislabelling also push this other dishonesty in another context. (In brief, just as “climate change” is dishonestly defined to be other than a change in climate, similarly “gender” isn’t which sex organs you possess or which chromosomes you have, it is defined to be how you were socialised in infancy to perform a male or female role. So, just as misleading statements about “climate change” tell a lie without actually telling one, so comparable lies are told about the male and female “genders” which would be howlingly untrue about the male and female sexes.) Both “climate change” and “gender” are tools of deceit.

James (Aus.)
May 29, 2014 5:42 pm

Rabbitburrow has been at it for some time; his ear is bent by the same old suspects who “inform” the likes of Charlie “Headless Chickens” Windsor and numerous other scientifically illiterate celebrities.
Unfortunately, Rabbitburrow has a wider audience of starry-eyed believers.

May 29, 2014 5:56 pm

Follow the money
Just like researchers film makers put forward proposals that will get funding
Attenborough is a narrator, the people who write the scripts for him write those scripts in the way that they do because that is what will get them the money to make the film.
If you have two scripts- one that follows the line and one that doesn’t, which one gets the funding?

May 29, 2014 5:58 pm

Attenborough does for the BBC what so many of the MSM do daily:
29 May: NYT: Paul Krugman: Cutting Back on Carbon
Although we don’t know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don’t believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy…
The Pentagon has warned that global warming and its consequences pose a significant threat to national security. (Republicans in the House responded with a legislative amendment that would forbid the military from even thinking about the issue.) Currently, we’re spending $600 billion a year on defense. Is it really extravagant to spend another 8 percent of that budget to reduce a serious threat?…
Third, the U.S. economy is still depressed — and in a depressed economy many of the supposed costs of compliance with energy regulations aren’t costs at all…
Saving the planet would be remarkably cheap.

May 29, 2014 5:59 pm

Is Attenborough a climate alarmist? Yes. Moreover, he is a brown-noser who kept his job, while his more honest colleague lost his. Brown-nosers often climb the greasy pole of advancement, quicker than honest people.
The colleague was, of course, David Bellamy, who mentioned he did not believe in Global Warming, and disappeared overnight. Where did he go to? Some people were afraid the Russians had packed him off to the gulags. Alas, it was just the BBCs propaganda maintainment department at work, clensing the corporation of heretics….

May 29, 2014 6:00 pm

time to lighten up! add this to the Common Core Curriculum:
29 May: HuffPo: The Power of Poop: Using Humor to Inspire Kids About Climate Change
by Denis Thomopoulos, Cartoonist, Hippo Works
Here’s a comic I drew about Suzanne, a bird and fortune teller, talking about global warming on a hot day…
When cartoon characters talk about their problems, kids hear them – and discover that they can do something to help. I like to think of this as eco-tainment, part of the eco-lution process…
It’s my big hope that kids will love my new half-hour cartoon musical, The Power of Poop (and other ways to save the world!). For all its poop jokes, the cartoon gives a science-based lesson on the powerful effect on climate change of methane and carbon dioxide. The music, the humor, and the jungle animals keep the fun going. Along the adventure, kids learn what they can do to make a difference…
Henry, pictured below, is a kid who really loves The Power of Poop. After seeing the premiere, he was inspired to throw a climate change bake sale to save carbon-absorbing jungle (which is still disappearing at an alarming rate despite Henry’s efforts). Henry and his family have raised $280 so far — and they’re just getting started! …
***NASA, as concerned about climate change as any federal agency, has hosted several screenings of the cartoon at their Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA…
Here’s an eco-taining clip that explains how the power of poop effects climate change. Enjoy with your friends and family and let’s preserve our incredible world for today’s kids – and tomorrow’s too!

May 29, 2014 6:00 pm

Robin Hewitt says:
May 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm
“The BBC usually saves the Global Warming disaster bit for the last few minutes. I used to think this was because the programme maker had to include it to get his funding but didn’t want to put you off watching it and lose his ratings. I now wonder if it is so the programme can be easily truncated and rebroadcast after the CAGW bubble has burst without making them look foolish.”
Reminds me of the Nova episode “Earth From Space” (watch here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/earth-from-space.html ) where they show in detail how satellites have revealed the various machinations of the dynamic systems that drive climates on Earth. They cover all these natural processes for like 95% of the show then proceed to throw in human-induced climate change at the very end, proclaiming that it’s somehow responsible for what’s going on right now. They have the gall to do this when the natural processes they’ve just detailed explain changes in the Earth’s climate past and present. It’s enough to make any rational person’s head spin. It’s like it’s an absolute requirement to include human-induced climate change/global warming in these types of programs, even if it’s an afterthought and contradicts everything else in the show.
‘Tis a sad state of affairs.

Neil (aus)
May 29, 2014 6:07 pm

After reading all the comments, I for one am glad I have never watched one of his programs! Which makes me ask, was he any good? and if you cannot believe him now, why would you believe anything he had to say in the past, once a proven non truth teller, then everything they have had to say in the past must be questioned.

May 29, 2014 6:34 pm

In Canada we have the CBC, home of David Suzuki, our version of the BBC, There is what used to be great science program called Quirks and Quarks hosted by Bob McDonald on CBC. He pushes CAGW any chance he gets using no science just blind faith.
I used to listen, but no more.

James Ard
May 29, 2014 6:53 pm

Neil (aus) says:
May 29, 2014 at 6:07 pm
Neil, he was good. If you are into watching a guy climb, crawl or crabwalk his way up close to an occupied bird’s nest or animal den week after week after week.

May 29, 2014 6:57 pm

Attenborough lost me when in his plant series from Cue Gardens he listed the needs of plants as water, sunlight, minerals from the soil… and somehow forgot to mention CO2.

May 29, 2014 7:15 pm

nc says:
May 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm
In Canada we have the CBC, home of David Suzuki, our version of the BBC, There is what used to be great science program called Quirks and Quarks hosted by Bob McDonald on CBC. He pushes CAGW any chance he gets using no science just blind faith.
I used to listen, but no more.
Me three. Pity.
But like the BEEB, the whole of CBC is infected with this disease.
Not only in Canada, eh? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAtDXOnmqiM

May 29, 2014 7:29 pm

in Canada, u have:
29 May: CTV: Alexander Panetta: Climate change ‘Super Bowl’ expected over
new energy regulations
The United States is just days away from a clash over climate change being
compared to the Super Bowl, a high-stakes contest destined to draw in
attentive viewers from around the world…
“We see this as the pivotal battle on climate change,” said David Goldston
of the Natural Resources Defence Council, one of the big environmental
groups the White House consulted during the drafting process.
“This is really the turning-point battle for epochal change.”…
Peter Altman, also speaking at an NRDC media briefing this week, called it
the Super Bowl of climate politics.
Unlike the big football game, however, this one will be played out on a
variety of fields.
One is the court system…
The issue will also play out in the voting booth, starting with this fall’s
congressional elections. Democrats fear they could lose both chambers in
Congress, and face attacks about a job-killing “war on coal.”
A pair of newly released polls, however, might steel some left-leaning
spines: About two-thirds of respondents, including those in key electoral
swing states in one survey, told pollsters for Yale University and the
NRDC-commissioned Harstad Strategic Research that they favoured action —
even if it increased energy prices…

May 29, 2014 7:31 pm

VIDEO: 29 May: WaPo: Philip Bump: Every number you need for the upcoming
political fight over climate change
97 percent of peer-reviewed papers link global warming to carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gas emissions, as NASA points out…
FIRST COMMENT by TFCFM: There are two GLARINGLY omitted numbers that I see
off the top of my head:
1) How many more $ Americans will pay as a result of the new EPA regs.
2) How much the new EPA regs will impact climate change.
Aren’t those two numbers KIND OF important?
COMMENT by jmiles1749: When you lead with the dubious 97% number, the rest
of the “what you need to know” post suffers. Sigh.
28 May: WaPo: Greg Sargent: The coming political explosion over climate
In a speech last night, embattled Senator Kay Hagan blasted GOP challenger
Thom Tillis over his climate denialism, arguing that North Carolina “needs a
Senator who believes climate change exists.” Hagan added: “Unlike my
opponent who flatly denied the existence of climate change, I know the EPA’s
ability to responsibly regulate greenhouse gas emissions is key to
protecting our environment for future generations.”
However, Hagan has also called on the EPA to delay the introduction of
pending new rules on carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants,
something Tillis has tried to turn into an issue.
The two moves aren’t necessarily contradictory – Hagan says we need a longer
public comment period for those who will be impacted, not that there shouldn’t
be any new rules – but they do underscore that embattled Senate Dems may
find themselves in a tricky political position when Obama rolls out the new
rules next week…

May 29, 2014 7:32 pm

a final laugh:
29 May: Boston Globe: John L. Allen Jr: Markey meets pope to make common
cause on environment
Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey met Pope Francis Wednesday as part of a
delegation of politicians from around the world hoping to enlist the pope’s
help in framing the fight against climate change as a “moral imperative.”
“The pope has the potential to elevate this issue to a whole new level of
importance,” Markey said. “I think we’re just at the beginning of his
Markey spoke to the Globe in Rome on Thursday before his return to
“Francis has the moral authority to galvanize a political will to act,”
Markey said, “which will help legislators in countries around the world to
pass the necessary legislation.”…
Markey said he used his minute of face time with Francis to tell him that
“the planet is running a fever, and there are no emergency rooms. We have to
engage in preventive care to avoid the worst and most catastrophic impacts
of global warming.”
Markey said the pope nodded and thanked him, but did not otherwise
The Vatican confirmed in January that Pope Francis is preparing an
encyclical letter on the environment, considered the most developed form of
papal teaching. Markey said the legislators were asked by Turkson to
contribute recommendations for that encyclical, and he focused on what he
described as the disproportionately negative impact of global warming on the
poor and on the working class.
Assuming it appears, this will be the first encyclical issued by a pope
entirely devoted to the environment…
***Markey has long been an outspoken advocate of environmental protection,
even suggesting in 2010 that those who deny climate change should be exiled
to a massive iceberg to “start their own country.”…

May 29, 2014 7:48 pm

Great post! Thank you Jim Steele.

Colorado Wellington
May 29, 2014 8:00 pm

Leni Riefenstahl was also a talented filmmaker. She was loved and respected by her countrymen and as an actress, dancer and photographer she had an artistic scope broader than Sir David. He comes a distinct second in such comparison.

May 29, 2014 8:28 pm

Sad but true about David Attenborough going off the deep end. About 25 years ago, I also liked to watch David Suzuki before he became a leader of the Thermageddonites. Do they really believe that crap?

Neil (aus)
Reply to  Ghandi
May 29, 2014 8:46 pm

Hi Ghandi,
No they absolutely do not believe, what they believe in is the publicity, money, travel, prestige, glory they get out of it.
If they truly believed what they say, they would not live in huge houses (by the sea no less in the case of the gorical), they would not have 7 or 8 kids like Suzuki does, even though he tells everyone to stop breeding (can you say hypocrite much), they would not fly all over the world, when they can just as easily use video conferencing (think of all the co2 they could save if they did this, seeing as co2 is so bad and evil), they would drive electric cars (even though a recent environment minister said that he does not drive one himself, but wants them mandated for the peasants).
As a really wise man once said, by their fruits you shall know them. And looking at their fruits, they are foul, corrupted and poisoned to the core.
But what they do believe in whole heartedly is control over others, they will sit up in their smoke belching towers while the rest of us are forced to live in dung huts with no clean water, no sewage, no lighting, heating or health care, bowing down to the new demi gods of molech (gaia) and their high priests (gorical, suzuki, big govt).
But apart from that, they are really harmless you know and just want what’s best for everyone.

May 29, 2014 9:05 pm

Jim, my thoughts exactly. Used to have great respect for the guy, but now I can’t stand to see him. Such a mess this whole “climate science” thing is becoming. I’ve never seen such a body of work where even the common layman can see through the BS.

May 29, 2014 9:07 pm

It saddens me to see this type of thing in the end…….
What is his age again?

May 29, 2014 9:10 pm

Just another sell out. I have no sympathy for these types… They should bear the judgement of the misery and deaths they have caused

May 29, 2014 9:17 pm

The BBC and Attenborough were exposed for shooting polar bar footage in a German Zoo and representing it as a natural stalk and camera shoot.

May 29, 2014 9:19 pm

Same with the new Cosmos series, which I had really looked forward to.
The moment they started talking about climate and catastrophe I turned the channel.

May 29, 2014 9:57 pm

Hi Jim,
Thanks for another well-written, thoughtful and, above all, biologically accurate essay. I wish Anthony Watts would shanghai you into moderating the posts on CAGW malarky about species and ecosystems. It would save me a lot of teeth grinding.
Have you seen Daniel Botkin’s submission to the HCSST? Interesting and maybe another domino falling.
As for Attenborough, I wouldn’t be too hard on him. He’s always been good at exploiting scientists, naturalists and nature photographers and, while I usually enjoyed his productions, I often found him rather pompous and rather a parody of the worst major professor – all you work am mine.
He’s an old duffer, surrounded by other old duffers who probably do their best to suck up to Charles and his like. Too bad the BBC hasn’t the licence or ingenuity to produce a new Monty Python. There is a lot of fruits ripe for the picking.

May 29, 2014 10:06 pm

Of course it is fair to say Attenborough is really only a pretend greenie, probably for the money, & driven by a huge ego.
I started losing interest when one show had him in frame in 11 segments produced in 9 different widely distributed countries around the world. A number of these segments he was in frame for less than 60 seconds, then gave us a lecture about our carbon footprint.
It was totally unnecessary for him to appear in these segments, & I started wondering how much jet fuel had been burnt just to give us his mug shot in each.
It is a pity we find so many icons have feet of clay, & are really nothing but carpetbaggers.

May 29, 2014 10:46 pm

Wayne Delbeke says:
May 29, 2014 at 7:15 pm
nc says:
May 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm
In Canada we have the CBC, home of David Suzuki, our version of the BBC, There is what used to be great science program called Quirks and Quarks hosted by Bob McDonald on CBC. He pushes CAGW any chance he gets using no science just blind faith.
I used to listen, but no more.
Me three. Pity.
But like the BEEB, the whole of CBC is infected with this disease.
Not only in Canada, eh? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAtDXOnmqiM
Me four! Quirks and Quarks is on at noon on Saturdays on CBC Radio here in the BC southern interior. I used to enjoy it, but Bob McDonald does the CAGW thing at least once per program. I invariably turn the radio off as soon as he starts that garbage.

Rhys Jaggar
May 29, 2014 11:04 pm

I guess the point is that he now has a reputation and therefore, if you are a programme maker/commissioner, you look for people with previous to make the case you wish to be made.
Would you commission Attenborough to do a skeptical piece or are there others who would be higher up the list??
I suspect there is an element of economic reality in this, although I have little doubt Attenborough is a ‘true believer’ in himself…….

May 29, 2014 11:09 pm

The tail end of rgbatduke’s comment above, in regards the lacking awareness of content buried deep within AR5, piqued my interest and suggest that bit might be worth a post of its own.
“… and they will never, ever read the lines in Chapter 9 that basically say “there is no foundation in the theory of statistics for any of our assertions of results or degree of confidence in our assertions of results, anywhere else in this Assessment Report where results conditional on the correctness of the climate models are presented or discussed”.”

May 29, 2014 11:10 pm

Attenborough has said that the reason he was converted to alarmist global warming, was the IPCC graph that showed that without human activities, temperatures since 1950 would have fallen, whilst with c02 etc the temperature matches observations. Of course, the graph has been curve fitted to fit the IPCC models.
Pity he isn’t much if a sceptical scientist, he was fooled by just another hockeystick type fudge.

May 29, 2014 11:26 pm

I stopped looking at his wildlife documentary years ago because of him crapping on about global warming and brain washing our children

Bertram Felden
May 29, 2014 11:51 pm

Of late the BBC, or Guardian Broadcasting Corporation, has felt the need to get a global warming propaganda piece into almost every show: so called comedy shows are the worst, but it is is particularly irritating in the middle of dramas, I just stop watching anything of theirs at the fist mention of the subject.
There was a reasonable low brow science programme called Bang Goes the Theory, aimed at a family audience, which in one edition actually tried to explain how incredibly safe nuclear power was compared to other energy sources. By the next series they had started banging on about global warming like all the other output does. We stopped watching at that point.

May 30, 2014 12:24 am

I underwent the same transition from regarding Attenborough with great respect, to finding him almost appalling (while still making great film) – have you heard his views on global population and the need to reduce it? There are simply too many of us on the planet. Why is it, when I hear this, I actually hear “there are simply too many of YOU…”

May 30, 2014 12:28 am

Attenborough used to be my hero too. I loved his early work, which started my interest in animals and the environment many, many years ago.
As a member of the Club of Rome, he supports depopulation, which appears to me to be simply racism dressed up as saving the world. Why else would their depopulation plans need most depopulation in non-white countries?
Attenborough no longer deserves any accolades

May 30, 2014 12:31 am

Neil Oliver has now gone the same way – a couple of days ago on a prorgamme about the coast in Australia he pushed the “climate change and warming” alarmism several times.
A pity.

May 30, 2014 12:42 am

IMHO most/all wildlife documentaries are fraudulent to a greater or lesser extent. And how we love the famous “Attenborough whisper” now also espoused by other presenters of nature documentaries and how we snigger as we realise that the animals would be hardly likely to hear in any case as the voices are often dubbed on hours,days or weeks after scenes are shot.
Has anyone seen a BBC nature programme or documentary in the last few years, or listened to the dreadful BBC4 Today programme, without hearing some reference to CAGW.
And yes, DA is past his “best by” date.

Stephen Richards
May 30, 2014 12:51 am

Attenborough turned to the dark side many years ago. It was at the time that the BBC dumped Bellamy. Alledgedly, Bellamy said that Attenborough refused to decry the AGW scam in order to keep his BBC, job-for-life, travel credit card.
You can’t blame him, attenborough that is. It was and is a cracking job. Go where you like, film what you want, adored by the plonker prince and greenpiss.

May 30, 2014 12:55 am

Let’s face it: the people who make documentaries special are the photographers. You can still enjoy them by turning down the sound but black out the screen and then you realise what Rottenborough brings to the party. Rottenborough just sits in a nice, warm studio doing a voice-over. Now and again the producers tell him to get on a plane so he can be filmed on location for a few minutes. I’ve never bought into the hype surrounding him. His brother, Dickie, is a far greater creative talent although, being a luvvie, he’s probably a liberal progressive nut job as well. Still, he’s a loyal guy who has done an awful lot of work for charity so we can forgive him the odd indiscretion.

May 30, 2014 1:28 am

Attenborough that old school boy.
Ever the opportunist pay packet to obtain.
Takes pride to over heat.

May 30, 2014 1:30 am

You have to be ‘on message’ to get a gig with the BBC Natural History Unit…Attenborough has been a lost cause for decades…I saw 5 mins of one of his Docs last evening blaming the failure of the South African sardine run one year on rising sea temps…our fault of course. He never looked back once he decided the melting snows of Kilimanjaro were due to man made warming…..he was right in part..man made de-forestation seems to be the issue.

May 30, 2014 1:35 am

As a sometime wildlife biologist, I have long admired Attenborough’s work. For most of his time, he was sceptical of global warming claims. Something changed a few years ago. The problem does lie in those who brief him – for example, that glaciers along the Greenland coast are retreating – where he stood waving his arms, whilst just across the bay, Viking graves were being exposed by the retreating ice and permafrost. He would have been kept away from or ignorant of that fact by the missionary programme makers at the BBC, because of course, it muddies the message!
We can’t blame the man that much – he is not a scientist, and must perforce take advice from people he can trust. He cares about the planet’s wildlife – and hence, once convinced by such advice, we can’t blame him for the zealous exposition.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 30, 2014 1:45 am

I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but Attenborough is seen as a ‘scientist’ over here in England – which he is NOT. He’s a Naturalist. His degrees are all honorary. He’s simply a silly old man, nothing more, nothing less. Of course, he’s right up the BBC’s street.

May 30, 2014 1:53 am

David Attenborough has long been considered one of British television’s great eccentrics, with his frequent use of sweeping, and sometimes illogical, generalizations which he deems to be “scientific” (even while many such assertions are usually viewed strictly ‘tongue in cheek’ by trained and seasoned scientists), but – despite this – he has risen to the top of the BBC. On May 24th 2006 Attenborough actually made the following somewhat nonsensical comment, “Climate change is the major challenge facing the world. I recognize that the world has always changed. I know that. But the point is, it’s changing more extremely and swiftly than at any time in the past several million years…”
Since no data exists which covers “the past several million years” is Attenborough suggesting that he himself has been around for millions of years and can therefore provide evidence of his assertion? Of course not and, of course, no such data to back up such an exaggerated assertion could possibly be available. Reliable data only goes back a very few hundred years and this data confirms that the world has gone through both warmer and colder phases in the past – nothing odd about that.
Sir David is a skilled communicator but the error is always to mistake his charmingly boyish enthusiasm for the environment and “the scientific world” with genuine expertise and knowledge in the areas which he, perhaps naively, sometimes wanders into. As Attenborough himself once famously quipped, “You know, it is a terrible thing to appear on television, because people think that you actually know what you’re talking about.”
Lord Leach of Fairford, the Tory peer, has dismissed Sir David Attenborough’s views on climate change as “not worth listening to.”
“I don’t think what Attenborough has to say about climate change is worth listening to,” the 77-year-old former director of the British Library tells me at the launch of his wife’s Jessica Douglas-Home’s book, A Glimpse of Empire at Daunt Books, Holland Park. “He’s very endearing but I don’t think there’s any truth to what he says — he has no idea about it. The fact is you can be jolly nice to monkeys but it isn’t the same as knowing what you’re talking about on climate change.
Lord Leach adds that he is in support of the decision by the BBC to drop an episode focusing on climate change from the broadcaster’s Frozen Planet series to sell the program better abroad. The global warming episode has been relegated by the BBC to an “optional extra” which foreign networks can ignore. Climate campaigners have said the decision not to incorporate the episode as part of the main package was “unhelpful.”
“Attenborough, as a respected scientific commentator and naturalist in his own right, should know better than to take computer models as gospel while ignoring paleo-geographic evidence from the real world that today’s climate variations are well within normal limits.”
– Roy W. Spencer, “The Sloppy Science of Global Warming,” March 20, 2008.
I gave up watching Attenborough about 30 years ago when I realized he was salting his wildlife programs with anti-West, anti-industrial and anti-human propaganda. My good friends were at first astonished that I would abjure such a “national treasure” but after I explained why I could do without his persistent misanthropic spiel they also gave him up. Don’t be fooled by his courtly style and mannered exterior; “global warming” is just one part of his human-hating view of the world because he sees people as the most disgusting pollution on Earth, and regards humanity’s extinction as both inevitable and just.

May 30, 2014 2:07 am

Would David Attenborough be where he is if it was not for his brother Richard Attenborough?

Phil Ford
May 30, 2014 2:13 am

Sad to say, after some initial reluctance to board the CAGW bandwagon, David Attenborough eventually underwent the BBC’s CAGW Awareness Reprogramming & Indoctrination Course and emerged, of course, a happy convert to the religion of The Holy Consensus. It was an undignified fall from grace and one which has irretrievably damaged the once magnificent reputation of the BBC naturalist. At his age, staring forced retirement for non-compliance in the face, what choice did he have but to bend over and take it from the Politburo’s Climate Enforcement Unit?
As a result, I’ve never watched anything of his since.

May 30, 2014 2:25 am

Not only is he a fear monger he’s also a fraud. Showing a birth of a polar bear as being in the wild when in fact it was filmed in a zoo? The only reason he got a job in the first place at the BBC was because of his luvvie brother.

Charles Nelson
May 30, 2014 2:35 am

Attenborough is a pillar of the BBC establishment.
The BBC is rotten to the core and has somewhat lost the confidence of the British People.

Ray Downing
May 30, 2014 3:24 am

The late great Spike Milligan nailed him years ago in his TV series There’s A Lot Of It About, Episode 6. His take on Attenborough’s Life On Earth starts at 8m 22s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgXUkktd4Bk

George Lawson
May 30, 2014 3:25 am

I wonder what makes him and his cohorts still believe in the AGW myth when there has been no warming for 17 years: The sea is not rising: The Arctic ice is back, Polar Bears are healthy and growing in numbers: Antarctic ice is at record levels: Tornado numbers are down: etc. etc. etc.,and everything in the World is fine and the same as ever. They lie to suit their cause. I wonder how he and his GW friends can sleep easily at night. Perhaps Sir Richard might care tell us through a blog on this site!

May 30, 2014 3:31 am

Has David Attenborough Become A Propaganda Mouthpiece Promoting Climate Fear? If he weren’t, he would’ve been disappeared from the BBC many years ago. The BBC – Britain speaking with one voice (that voice being an anonymous, overpaid, trendy liberal arts graduate).

May 30, 2014 3:37 am

2) How much the new EPA regs will impact climate change.
In 2010 the EPA said: Temp – about .01C, Sea Level about .01cm
Top middle column
projected atmospheric CO2
concentrations are estimated to be
reduced by an average of 2.9 ppm
(previously 3.0 ppm), global mean
temperature is estimated to be reduced
by 0.006 to 0.015 °C by 2100 (previously
0.007 to 0.016 °C) and sea-level rise is
projected to be reduced by
approximately 0.06–0.14cm by 2100

May 30, 2014 4:26 am

the good thing about modern lifestyle being unsustainable is that when the collapse comes it will be people with guns who say what is truth rather than tax funded hockey stickers

May 30, 2014 4:30 am

Regardless of whether or not Attenborough is a scientist, he’s an intelligent man and should be able to make up his own mind on cAGW. Membership of the Club of Rome seems to have overridden his natural intelligence

May 30, 2014 4:43 am

I like this article but i have to say with no hint of sarcasm. Hello? Did you need to ask this question? He’s been unashamedly driving the BBC alarmist bandwagon for a decade at least. However he believes what he believes.

Kevin B
May 30, 2014 5:00 am

For those who say that Attenborough is in it only for the money or that he is just an old duffer who believes what climate scientists tell him, google ‘david attenborough population control’ and check out a few of the links including “David Attenborough – Humans are plague on Earth”
These views are not new either; he’s long been a misanthropic eugenicist follower of Malthus and Ehrlich.

Joseph Murphy
May 30, 2014 5:18 am

rgbatduke says:
May 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm
The Apology of Sir David Attenborough. Ignorance is not an excuse, it is a valid reason to be critical of someone.

Margaret Smith
May 30, 2014 5:30 am

At first, both David Bellamy and David Attenborough were sceptical but, while Bellamy maintained the truth and suffered, Attenborough quickly realized his status of National Treasure would turn to National Periah unless he changed his tune. His desperately wanted to do a series in the Arctic but only the BBC ccould fund that.
He knows rightly that it’s all a con but he has grown to hate humans, especially in the third world. I gave up on him a long time ago! My respect for Bellamy is sky-high.

May 30, 2014 5:57 am

The guys a talking head. Nothing to see here, move on.

May 30, 2014 6:22 am

deebodk says:
May 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm
“‘Tis a sad state of affairs”…
It certainly is deebodk, I feel that way too, along with many other commenters on this thread.
I can’t watch Attenborough anymore either, because of the lacing with propaganda.
But a number of commenters have another take on this, i.e. this is just an example of a more general problem in society. David Attenborough is an example of just one climate alarmist, and climate change is an example of just one issue, but the same deliberate control of public perception through the media and scientific/academic establishments goes on in many other areas of public life as well. When you well understand how it works with the climate change issue then you have to ask yourself “is this just one example of how the world is run”?
People need to read at websites like this (for this issue). WUWT has educated me (through the postings, comments and links) on this issue enormously over the last several years. After this education I can clearly see that that there is some serious malfeseance going on somewhere, between the aforementioned parties. Lying, graft, deliberately twisting the truth, you name it. I have similarly educated myself in a number of other areas and it seems to me the world is run like some huge, global criminal syndicate. Just my take.
I don’t watch TV and read 98% alternative news websites (such as this). When I speak to people who consume 98% television news it’s like we are on two different planets: our world views are just so far apart – what I can clearly see, they are oblivious to. If you push it with them, you risk alienating yourself from them. They don’t care anyway – they’re not interested – and, for them, Attenborough is still a darling and the ice caps are still melting.

Ron C.
May 30, 2014 6:25 am

rgbatduke says:
May 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm
Interesting, as always. Do you have a link to that Chapter 9 Disclaimer? I looked but could not find it. No wonder Attenborough and others haven’t seen it. Can we expose this to the light of day?

May 30, 2014 7:18 am

Here’s a quote for you, David:
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Ron C.
May 30, 2014 7:26 am

Re AR5 Chapter 9, the closest they come to a disclaimer is this from page 824, Ch. 9:
“Climate models of today are, in principle, better than their predecessors. However, every bit of added complexity, while intended to improve some aspect of simulated climate, also introduces new sources of possible error (e.g., via uncertain parameters) and new interactions between model components that may, if only temporarily, degrade a model’s simulation of other aspects of the climate system. Furthermore, despite the progress that has been made, scientific uncertainty regarding the details of many processes remains.”

May 30, 2014 7:30 am

David Attenborough talk on population
Introduced by Prince Philip
Cites Julian Huxley(the Eugenicist) as farsighted in co-founding the WWF
Approves of Malthus as farsighted
Climate Change propounded
The New Divinity
By Julian Huxley
Hardtalk – James Lovelock – Population reduction (max 1 billion)

May 30, 2014 7:46 am

Hasbeen @10:06 29th May 2014:
We have felt exactly the same and pretty well stopped watching Attenborough a long time ago. We did see some of the ‘flitting around the planet’ sequences and felt very irritated by them; especially when pious lectures about global warming catastrophe were also on offer. “Do as I say and not as I do” seems to be the mantra.
My other half and I switch off any nature ‘documentary’ now to avoid all the hushed, reverent tones of the presenter, the endless sequences of presenter walking around, the ghastly overloud muzak that drowns out commentary anyway, the endless lecturing about how it’s all our fault the planet is going to boil/fry/whatever. I remember an absolutely classic occasion on ‘Springwatch’ (I think it was, not ‘Autumnwatch’ presented by the same numpties a few years ago by the BBC in the UK) when our dear Kate Humble told us merrily about some rare bird and its wonderful song. Were we allowed to hear the bird in question? Were we, heck as light! Loud muzak was what we heard; certainly no beautiful birdsong.
It is a pity, when there are such talented cameramen/women producing marvellous high quality footage that it has to be tainted.

May 30, 2014 7:51 am

Two presenters on BBC of note, David Attenborough & Dr. David Bellamy, both at the outset did not believe in CAGW, Dr David bellamy got let go and David Attenborough changed sides. It was shameful to watch, I live in UK and have had to watch the steady decline of the BBC from integrity into BIAS.

Ron C.
May 30, 2014 8:03 am

Maybe this is what rgbatduke was reading:
“On the other hand many studies have failed to find strong relationships between observables and projections. Whetton et al. (2007) and Knutti et al. (2010a) found that correlations between local to regional climatological values and projected changes are small except for a few regions. Scherrer (2011) finds no robust relationship between the ability of the CMIP3 models to represent interannual variability of near-surface air temperature and the amplitude of future warming. . . The main difficulties are sparse coverage in many observed variables, short time series for observed trends, lack of correlation between observed quantities and projected past or future trends, and systematic errors in the models.”
AR5 WG1 Chapter 9, Pages 826-7

May 30, 2014 8:12 am

Spike Milligan – Attenborough’s Life On Earth starts at 8m 22s.
working copy. well worth the look.

May 30, 2014 9:20 am

Attenborough should tell his audience that microclimates a far more critical to their success as well as informing the public that temperatures drop off dramatically with depth in the sand.

We have been told endlessly that animals are moving north and south to escape the heat. Can’t the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) swim to cooler climes if it gets hot, hot, hot? There were hippos in the Thames during the Eiemian and cod swam further north during the 1920s to 1930s Arctic Warm Period. The Green turtle range is just past South Africa and north past Scotland.
National Geographic says :
“Green sea turtles are reptiles whose ancestors evolved on land and took to the sea to live about 150 million years ago. They are one of the few species so ancient that they watched the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct.”
Multiple inter-glacials covered here. Why the heck is Attenborough talking such sh!te? He should know better.
Green turtle range shows plenty of possibilities in in South America, Africa, Arabian Peninsula, India, Australia, China, New Zealand.
Cod during the previous Arctic Warm Period.

May 30, 2014 9:21 am

Further to my las post you can see that green turtles survived the Yucatan Peninsula impact event and other catastrophic events and crazy climate changes lasting thousands of years. Ice ages too.

May 30, 2014 9:29 am

brent says:
May 30, 2014 at 7:30 am
David Attenborough talk on population
Introduced by Prince Philip
Cites Julian Huxley(the Eugenicist) as farsighted in co-founding the WWF
Approves of Malthus as farsighted
Climate Change propounded…..

Even his pals at the BBC started asking questions about David Attenborough’s claims.

BBC – 28 September 2013
The respected broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, told the BBC recently that population growth was “out of control” – but one expert says the number of people on the planet could peak in 40 years. Who should we believe?
But this UN figure – contained in its World Population Prospects, published every two years – is considered by one expert, at least, to be much too high.
When I looked at them I discovered that they were almost certainly wrong,” says Sanjeev Sanyal, Global Strategist for Deutsche Bank, of the latest update of the World Population Prospects, released in June this year.

May 30, 2014 9:49 am

I once met him at the Royal Geographical Society. He was a lonely figure and could not hold an ordinary conversation.

May 30, 2014 10:07 am

david says:
May 30, 2014 at 9:49 am
?Really?? Ignoring his documentary voice, he always seems fairly ‘normal’ in interviews I’ve seen on TV (e.g. Parkinson and the like) but he is definitely getting on a bit nowadays and perhaps getting less mentally and verbally ‘able’.
I do think he is often just a BBC mouthpiece though – he certainly doesn’t seem to ever himself question the script/lines he is told to present, especially when he is ‘linking’ stuff to AGW in his docs.

May 30, 2014 11:06 am

“Become”, He’s been doing it for years.

May 30, 2014 11:46 am

This is why I don’t watch any of the BBC’s programmes on the natural world anymore. I’m heartily sick of the ‘climate change’ nonsense being peddled ad nauseum.

Steve Lohr
May 30, 2014 12:11 pm

Jim Steele, excellent article, this is a very valuable contribution to WUWT, thank you very much. I just bought your book Landscapes & Cycles, it looks like a good read and I am looking forward to it. As for David A. his remarks began to detract from my enjoyment of the filming quality, so I turned off the sound. That fixed it. Of course I am aware that photography always contains a certain amount of fakery too as your example proves, but I was always very impressed by the accomplishments of the filming.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 30, 2014 12:12 pm

Carbon500, you should play the game that my wife and I partake in:
Try and guess how many minutes into a BBC ‘nature’ programme that some twat with absolutely no intelligence will say either “climate change” or “warming”. Some programmes have gone for almost three quarters of an hour! But they always get there eventually. Amusing – watching twats.

Roger Welsh rosal.
May 30, 2014 12:14 pm

I must agree with the headline premise.sadly the bbc are to blame in promulgating the distortion of information against the basis of facts

May 30, 2014 12:41 pm

Lovelock, Ehrlich, Attenborough and Crispin Tickell are members of Population Matters, which used to be known as Optimal Population Trust.
They have suggested to dole out carbon credits to individuals who do not procreate.
” …under which individuals can offset their carbon emissions by funding family planning services in the developing world”

May 30, 2014 1:36 pm

ralfellis said @ May 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

The colleague was, of course, David Bellamy, who mentioned he did not believe in Global Warming, and disappeared overnight. Where did he go to?

Tasmania. And he’s doing rather well:

Santa Baby
May 30, 2014 3:18 pm

You can not be a scientist and a spokesman at the same time?

May 30, 2014 3:35 pm

David Bellamy: gone but not forgotten, and sorely missed. There are various reasons why I refuse Attenborough’s films, his endorsement of Climate Change madness being one of them. And these people have the effrontery to think themselves on the side of science. What will the reputation of science be when this nonsense finally falls in to the dustbin of history? what will the backlash be like? A new age of totally mystical irrationalism? God forbid!

Eamon Butler
May 30, 2014 5:38 pm

Yes he is indeed a huge disappointment. I always loved the great documentaries with spectacular views of our wonderful planet and it’s various inhabitants. His hypnotic voice, I always thought could make the most mundane things sound interesting.
But alas, it seems that he has sold his soul with the hope of extending his relevance with the BBC. What a shame!

May 30, 2014 7:04 pm

David Attenborough – a lifetime of work to create a reputation – a moment to destroy it.
Neil Oliver – never made the reputation in the first place
David Bellamy Society

Pamela Gray
May 31, 2014 8:00 am

The adult sad but equally mistaken version of the childish Bill Nye, the wrong way science guy.

May 31, 2014 8:22 am

Mr Attenborough is an exceptionally well-connected journalist and presenter who has in fact for many years now been promoting highly questionable assertions about the supposed catastrophic overheating of planet Earth.
Most of his reputation and a goodly portion of his income stems from the now provenly biased BBC.
Both he and Mr Oliver benefit considerably from the promotion of the hypothesis.
Britain is suffused with supposedly august Good People like Attenborough, whose reputations are built up by the organisations for whom they work, thereby benefiting each on the grounds that “one hand washes the other”.
He was always a good presenter, but let us not forget that that is all he is, a presenter. The only reason he is worth talking about is the power of the BBC and its global reach. Each of them only appears to be able to present the “argument from authority” and even that authority is spurious.

George Lawson
June 1, 2014 3:45 am

Sir David, As these blogs demonstrate, you.ve lost a lot of support by mixing your wildlife programmes with support for the mis guided few who are able to dominate the media with all the false facts on global warming. You are at retiring age now, so why don,t you recover your lost credibility by making a statement that you now believe that there are no grounds for believing in the GW mantra. You have little to worry about when the BBC do a Bellamy on you. More important for you is that you will regain your credibility on the world stage, and you will enjoy the rest of your retirement with a clear conscience, you will also be given a loud voice amongst the few sceptic publications, which will earn you an income through being able to express your true beliefs, and , more importantly, you will retire a very happy man.

June 1, 2014 5:16 am

As pointed out by Ben Pile, people like Attenborough refused to review, much less critically examine, the Ehrlich/Holdren claptrap. This means they are left repeating their deceptive narrative of human caused planetary doom dressed up as science. Reality is not enough for the Attenboroughs of the world. Like some sort of young earth creationists, they think there was a pristine sin free balance in the world until the last few years when sinful man showed up and wrecked the entire universe.
The idea that walruses were not seen as huge scoot along meals by polar bears over the hundreds of thousands of years they have existed in roughly the same geo-regions is preposterous on its face. To blame polar bears eating nice tasty walrus steaks on CO2 is delusional, if not deliberately deceptive.

June 1, 2014 9:09 am

‘The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley’ – I like the sound of your game when watching BBC nature programmes, I think it’ll make them much more enjoyable!
It sounds like ‘bulls**t bingo’ which I hear gets played at management meetings by those in the audience.

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