Polar bears precipitated Netflix walrus deaths, new Attenborough TV special shows

Reposted from Polar Bear Science

Posted on November 4, 2019 | Comments Off on Polar bears precipitated Netflix walrus deaths, new Attenborough TV special shows

Concerns I raised earlier this year – see here and here – regarding the Sir David Attenborough’s Netflix walrus tragedy porn episode have been vindicated by a new Attenborough BBC TV special called Seven Worlds, One Planet (Asia). It shows film footage of polar bears – taken by drones – driving walrus off the same Siberian cliff that was shown in the Netflix documentary film released in April.

BBC One Planet Asia vs Neflix screencaps

Few of the reporters who covered this story bothered to investigate further despite the evidence provided by myself and others that polar bears and drones were the likely triggers for these deaths: they simply took Attenborough and the film crew at their word.

Netflix director Sophie Lanfear and cameraman Jamie McPherson insisted there were no polar bears in the vicinity at the time they shot their film footage but this was clearly not the case. They knew that bears were involved because they filmed them menacing the walrus!

It is now evident that McPherson filmed the 20 or so polar bears stalking walrus at the top of the Ryrkaypiy cliff and driving them over the edge for the BBC episode only a few days prior to filming a few walrus falling with no bears present on the cliff top for the Netflix film in September 2017. The bears were close enough when the Netflix sequence was filmed to converge immediately on the rookery to feed on carcasses once the walrus herd left the beach.

Fat, healthy polar bears (not desperately hungry ones) were indeed involved in these walrus deaths and so were drones. Lack of sea ice was not a significant factor.

Press release from the Global Warming Policy Foundation: Falling Walruses: Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Deception (4 November 2019).

London, 4 November: Sir David Attenborough finds himself at the centre of another scandal over deceptive filmmaking.

Back in the spring, he was accused of deceiving viewers when he claimed, in his Netflix show Our Planet, that walruses were falling off Siberian clifftops as a result of climate change.

This was shown to be untrue by Canadian biologist and mammal expert Dr Susan Crockford, who described the abundant scientific literature, dating back many decades, showing that walruses have always taken to the land, and even fallen from clifftops. She also pointed out that the footage Attenborough used to make his case seemed to have come from a well-documented incident when walruses had been driven over cliffs by polar bears.

Yesterday, in his new BBC documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet, Attenborough again showed falling walruses, but this time making it quite clear that polar bears were driving them off the cliff. Remarkably, however, the footage he used appears to be from the same incident and shot by the same cameraman as shown in his Netflix documentary, despite the producers’ claims at the time that no bears had been in the vicinity.

Attenborough therefore seems to be tacitly admitting that the claims he made in the Netflix film, and the denials issued by the show’s camera team and producers, were untrue.

GWPF director Dr Benny Peiser welcomed Attenborough’s climb-down.

“We can only be pleased that Sir David has stepped back from the deceptive claims he made in his Netflix show. He and the producers should apologise for the trick they pulled and withdraw the Netflix film that has badly misled and unnecessarily traumatised millions of people and news media around the world”.

Folks in the UK can see the walrus sequence of the Seven Worlds, One Planet Asia episode here while those outside the UK can find the essence of it here (with lots of photos).

“100,000 of them, almost the entire world’s population are here”

[well no, actually: the US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that up to 283,213 Pacific walrus exist, see USFW Federal Register pg. 46643, 1st paragraph]

Walrus falling off cliffs are natural events: they are not caused by recent declines in summer sea ice.

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94 thoughts on “Polar bears precipitated Netflix walrus deaths, new Attenborough TV special shows

    • “polar bears and drones were the likely triggers for these deaths”.

      The ice meltage (a real word, honest) drove the Polar Bears to look elsewhere for food and they stumbled across the Walruseses. It’s global warming that did it still.

      As for the drones, if there wasn’t a catastrophic global ice meltage(s) cos of global warming then there wouldn’t have to be drones to capture the scoop of starving Polar Bears cos of global warming. So was still global warming that did it (I’m quaint in preferring the old language to describe things).

      I know it all seems rather circular….

      • “polar bears and drones were the likely triggers for these deaths”.

        Can’t we just take the drone controllers away from the bears?

    • They do feed when they get an opportunity. Usually carrion, bird’s eggs, cloudberries and (very occasionally) tourists. What they don’t do is to hunt actively on land, most likely because they would get heat stroke if exerting themselves. When you are insulated well enough to be able to swim hundreds of kilometers in freezing water losing excess heat is hard.

  1. I just wrote and posted on Paul Homewood’s site:

    Walruses know that if too many haul out on floating ice the cracking sounds hurt their tiny ears, and they get dumped into the cold salty water.
    Further, per Hank Johnson, the only land that will not support lots of Walruses is Guam. Thus, they know to stay away from Guam, and congregate on beaches farther north.
    They are smart and learn, unlike your “National Treasure” Mr. Attenborough.

    ~~~ Thanks Susan.

  2. I’ve been glued to WUWT for several months. The discourse here is much more agreeable when compared to the insults I received when I naively threw in a couple of posts to Desmogblog.
    I probably won’t post often – this site encompasses a lot of people better educated, and far more articulate than I. I deeply appreciate what you are trying to do to get through to the “thinkingly challenged” members of our society, and will support WUWT, as I’m able.

    • “The discourse here is much more agreeable when compared to the insults I received when I naively threw in a couple of posts to Desmogblog.”

      You found the right place here at WUWT, Peter. Desmogblog must have been a rude awakening. Don’t take their insults personally, that’s the way Alarmists deal with the world. They have no valid arguments, so their fallback is to insult people in hopes they go away, or ban them if they don’t. No dissent allowed.

      • Qualifications do not a scientist make. All you need is a clear, questioning mind, intellectual consistency, and logic.

          • PeterT:
            I’ll add to the already excellent suggestions above.

            Read! Read everything and then think about what you’ve read.

            Ask questions, frequently if need be. As Rocketscientist points out, as long as you are honest you will receive answers.
            A possible exception would be where people believe the answer is obvious or that trying to answer requires far too much of a respondent’s time. e.g. Why does sunlight warm the Earth?
            Turn to the Reference pages at the top of WUWT and see if you can find some of the answer then restate or better specify your question.

            Other blogs/web sites can be found in a list in the right column of WUWT.

            I recommend Jo Nova, Judith Curry, Dr. Spencer, Dr. Tim Ball, (Frankly, any of the Doctors), Climate Audit, though Steve has been a mostly quiescent blog recently, Dr. Crockford whose article is printed above, No frakking Consensus which has been renamed “Big Picture News” at the web site. After that, try the other web sites and blogs at your own speed.

    • “I probably won’t post often – this site encompasses a lot of people better educated, and far more articulate than I.”
      Peter, this is the perfect site for you to post. I have had numerous science courses but it’s more in the medical field. It’s enough to get the drift. Most of the posters here are very proficient in the sciences, yes, (some aren’t but think they are).
      I have been in awe of some here who explain complex subjects clearly and simply so the lay person can understand. This is the best all-round site on the internet for people who want to learn more about any number of subjects dealing with the climate as well as the politics of science. Anthony should get the Medal of Freedom from the President for his work which has helped so many understand the complex subject of climate change.

    • I agree

      Head over to the “Sciencealert” facebook page if you want to read insulting commentary

    • “Desmogblog” is a funded PR office.

      You know it is true, but of course, they will tell this site is a well-funded PR office. Anything they accuse you of is what they do.

      • I know I’m OT, but thanks guys for for the welcome. I don’t think Desmogblog liked it when I told them I continue to work in the oil industry (drilling and well completions) after more than 40 years, and just might know a bit more about hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking”) than they do.
        I used to really enjoy Attenborough’s narration years ago. Now, if I hear his voice, I turn off the box.

        • you are not alone with Attenborough. The moment he starts on his eco rubbish about the climate hes off!

    • Hey PeterT! You may already have noticed, but there are quite a few “sceptics” who started out assuming that CAGW was correct, but then had an epiphany when they tried just asking reasonable questions at the alarmist sites. Certainly that was a wake up for me. I initially assumed that global warming was a definite fact, but every time I tried to get a little more clarity about the process I was answered with insults and name calling. “Educate yourself!!” and “It’s basic grade school science!” were two of the more common responses. I finally started to visit E.M. Smith, Watts Up With That, and Jo Nova, and then realized who was presenting reasonable discussion and actual scientific inquiry.

      I have a decades long background in hard sciences and technical fields, and I am convinced that CAGW is perhaps the largest scientific fraud (and I say “fraud” and not “error”) ever perpetuated.

      • “there are quite a few “sceptics” who started out assuming that CAGW was correct, but then had an epiphany when they tried just asking reasonable questions at the alarmist sites. ”

        Count me in that group, but mostly, my “turn” was when I compared how each side reacted to the other. I mean, there are those on the “skeptic” side who go to far in my opinion (I mean those who just zing memes around the internet..just top already).

        But mostly, I think the other side (and I’m a hypocrite when I use the words “warmunists”, but hey, I’m human) shows their true colours as when, say, they get a polar bear expert fired, while they worship (I use the term without reservations) absolute frauds.

        They remind me of steroid abusers in sports: all brash and angry that you called them out when you have some evidence…unfortunately, they tend not to go meekly away when caught with the full evidence, but double down. Oh well.

        I’m a statistician by training and experience, but I’ve done government admin work, particularly in Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

        So when I read the climategate email where these goofs were coaching others to delete emails that might be part of an FOI request, I knew I was on the right side (both morally, and factually).

        If I caught a hint of that in my organization, I would have dropped a large dime on the perpetrators and availed myself of the “whistleblower” protection built in to the legislation.

  3. Attenborough’s doco makes as much sense as this song –


    “Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun
    If the sun don’t come, you get a tan from standing in the English rain
    I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
    I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob
    Expert textpert choking smokers don’t you thing the joker laughs at you?
    See how they smile like pigs in a sty, see how they snied
    I’m crying … “

      • Shouldn’t joke: there have been some early successes concerning the use of psychedelics treating issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

        From my (admittedly) foggy memory of the stuff…the day after a few hits (i.e, way MORE than the micro-doses they are using for the treatment now), after all the visual and aural hallucinations ended, my brain was as clear as it could be. I mean, to the point that managers in my stodgy government office would mention my admirable concentration and perceptiveness.

      • “Caligula Jones November 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

        Shouldn’t joke: there have been some early successes concerning the use of psychedelics treating issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

        From my (admittedly) foggy memory of the stuff…the day after a few hits (i.e, way MORE than the micro-doses they are using for the treatment now),

        after all the visual and aural hallucinations ended, my brain was as clear as it could be.” – my brain earnestly convinced me.


  4. “Lack of sea ice was not a significant factor.”

    Yup. But among the leftist fearmongering Chicken Littles it’s all about deception. Proof is in their own words:
    “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.” -leftist Senator Tim Wirth, 1993
    “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, Co-Founder of Greenpeace
    “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, first ipcc chair
    “We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.” -Stephen Schneider, lead ipcc author, 1989
    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” -Daniel Botkin, ex Chair of Environmental Studies, UCSB
    “Kevin and I will keep (skeptic papers) out (of IPCC) somehow – even if we have to redefine what peer-review literature is” – Phil Jones | Climategate Emails

    It’s ALL about bs with climate loons. They are artists, Bullsh|t Artists!

    • Wolf!! Wolff!!!! WOOOOOLLLFFFF!!!!!

      Not loud enough? Okay: WWWWWOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!

      I agree, Eric, but they’ve forgotten that story. They’ve also forgotten that the climate can change in the other direction. How sad would it be if they’re totes unprepared……?

  5. Finding out Sir David Attenborough was misleading the public about walruses and human-caused climate change must be causing an uproar in the UK. No?

    • He was on the front cover of the Radio Times, (BBC TV listings paper), recently looking all forlorn, saying how we’ve made such a mess of things but that young people give him hope- all quite pathetic and naturally absolutely nobody challenged him to back this nonsense up with those pesky ‘fact’ thingies. As Kenji says, they still love him. National treasure and all that…..

    • Nope. We pay them to lie to us. We would call them ‘British Pravda’, but that is already taken by the Guardian.

    • The British public won’t find out unless they stumble across it by accident. MSM will not inform anyone about this.

    • Most likely, of the millions of people who believed the first, false information only maybe 10% will see and believe the second, corrected information.

      Worse, if one of that 10% attempts to correct one of the other 90% they won’t be believed even when they provide the source.

      By the way, I’ve just described the situation with virtually anything promoted by Alarmists.

    • Tom Abbott, no, Sir David Attenborough, along with his late brother Richard, is a British Institution. To be fair, he has previously made some excellent environmental programmes. Unfortunately, the last decade or so, the BBC has been relying on their previous reputation for impartiality.

      The BBC bubble, with its own small group of alarmist scientists to give them confirmation bias, no longer allows any programmes at all to contradict the climate change alarm religion. They have a policy of not allowing skeptical scientist any airtime and if anyone suggests any skeptical science in an interview, the interviewers are trained to knock them down with comments such as “are you denying the accepted climate science?” The usual suspects will also make a complaint to the BBC so they can publicly apologise for allowing the skeptic airtime, in order to further undermine their comments.

  6. Walrus are about the only animal that can stand up to polar bears. link

    One year when I was in the arctic, some of our people witnessed a large area of disturbed snow and a lot of blood. When we mentioned it to the wildlife guys, they opined that it was the result of a fight between a polar bear and a walrus. The lack of body parts meant it wasn’t obvious who had won.

      • There’s a cliff edge in the (Canadian ?) great plains known to the ingenous peoples as ‘fallen buffalo’ or similar. The name goes back to pre-columbian days when the Indians, not having horses, hunted buffalo by stampeding them over the edge. Most buffalo would survive the fall, some would be hurt but got away and some crashed to their death for the Indians to collect the carcasses.

        It appears to be a hunting strategy discovered by at least two species.

    • I would suggest that a fight between two Polar Bears is more likely. Polar bears are not territorial and normally rather unaggressive, but cannibalism does happen, particularly when old males kill young bears.

    • In addition to their huge size & strength, the walruses have that thick skin/blubber that’s highly resistant to the polar bear’s teeth and jaws. And those tusks are formidable.

      • The “senility” comments are poor quality. James Lovelock was in his 90s when he recanted on his prior alarmism, no doubt leading to unconverted alarmists accusing him of senility. There are lots of people between the ages of six and a hundred or more who can’t think clearly, and we don’t need to cloud the issues of ignorance and gullibility with ageism.

    • Nicholas,

      I’m fairly certain the producers and writers of that show are younger than Attenborough who may just be “reading along” as he is, literally and figuratively, driven off a cliff.

  7. The difference in the documentaries isn’t due to Attenborough finding integrity. It’s because Netflix and he BBC have different remits.

    Netflix wants subscriptions. It will tell stories that sell. They have no interest in the truth, beyond what can make them money.

    The BBC is a Public Service provider. It has a duty to Inform, Educate and Entertain.

    This is why prioritising commercial media over all other pressures is a mistake.

    • Matt,

      All you say is true, but having “a duty to Inform, Educate and Entertain” does NOT necessarily mean the duty is being fulled, and the BBC has an overt policy of promoting the global warming scare.


    • “The BBC is a Public Service provider. It has a duty to Inform, Educate and Entertain£.
      If only that were the case, eh M Courtney? If only.

    • “The BBC is a Public Service provider. It has a duty to Inform, Educate and Entertain.”

      It’s good to see the BBC appreciated by someone so gull… discerning. I myself run a little known department of the Corporation responsible for the disposal of redundant assets. Our latest offering will be — I say “will be” because the offer has not yet been made public — for a large structure from which we have been broadcasting since Victorian times. This structure in the centre of London is expected to attract brisk bidding and, when the offer becomes public the price is expected to more than double overnight.

      Please get in touch to take advantage of our Privileged Client Offer — the application form attached or search on YouTube for details of the “London Tower Bridge Aerial Sale: Privileged Client Offer.”

      Remember, Privileged Offer Clients will be restricted to only one $10,000 bid by UK law.

      Colonel M H Abedayo BEM AFC and Bar

      Shyster, Shyster and Shyster Ltd
      BBC Disposal Group
      Shyster Towers

    • George Orwells description of “The Ministry of Truth” in Nineteen Eighty-Four was inspired by his experience working for the BBC, nuff said.

  8. Well old Boaty McBoatface has finally been forced to recognise reality. You can’t fool all of the people…..

  9. Polar bears and a lot of food in the absence of ice. Therefore there is no polar bear crisis. And therefore there is no Arctic crisis. And therefore there is no climate crisis.

  10. What the populace tends to forget (or not realise) is that Attenborough is, by trade, a TV producer who fell into presenting also. Yes, he acquired a wartime degree (2 year course) in Natural Sciences (iow biology) but his working experience is all TV production. He is most unlikely to research anything for his documentaries and other people will write his scripts. He speaks as he is told.

  11. “Lack of sea ice was not a significant factor.”
    No. Lack of sea ice was NOT a factor.
    Just doing a reasonable search shows that Europeans first came across Walruses in the 1500s and they were observed in large haul-outs. Also, as they are Pinipeds, they are air breathing and need open water and ability to haul out onto dry land, so the Pacific and Atlantic Walruses exist at the places where the Arctic ice sheet melts the most.

  12. Oh just beautiful! Hahah, hoist by his own lies! And exposed by a now sacked scientist, Susan Crockford, this just gets better!

  13. Well, heaven forbid! Those nasty polar bears — they’re gonna lose their cute, cuddly poster-boy position.

    I began watching Attenborough’s new series & the propaganda started immediately (can’t remember what it was) & I turned the channel. Too bad — an interesting subject that gets polluted w/propaganda by this hack.

  14. …And they have started to use Wagner as background music when showing brutal death.
    The mob has to be ready for whats to come.

    • I prefer the ‘Flying Dutchman’, although the story is not a Dutch myth but a South African one. It had a Dutch settlement on the Cape in the 17th century as a staging post for the sea crossing towards the east Indies, now Indonesia.

  15. This is interesting. Below I provide a link to the New Zealand Media Council and its first principle. Further on it lists it members that include all the big players in NZ media including National Radio (RNZ), TVNZ 1, NZ Herald, and Stuff. These are main culprits.


    1: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
    Publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission. In articles of controversy or disagreement, a fair voice must be given to the opposition view.
    Exceptions may apply for long-running issues where every side of an issue or argument cannot reasonably be repeated on every occasion and in reportage of proceedings where balance is to be judged on a number of stories, rather than a single report.

  16. Canadian biologist and mammal expert Dr Susan Crockford lost her job, because she reacted on the fraudulent movie by “Sir” David A!! It is a shame to any university to fire scientist because they telling the truth. In Australia happend the same with the Professor who did criticize the claims of the great barrier rif dying by the climate change . All over the world are scientist bullied because they criticize the main stream science. (ie Judith Curry et al) How to stop this science murder started by Obama. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAauV6QcqTs

    • Or Mosher. Funny how they never show up when their side is caught red handed, which happens often. They prefer to whistle past the graveyard, and later argue how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  17. So, the polar bears have been replaced as a politically congruent class with another minority class: walruses, with greater empathetic appeal. The bears should have prepared for this change as it is both predictable and recurring.

  18. Every 12th German can not afford food:

    Jeder 12.e Deutsche kann sich kein Essen leisten:


    13:30 Uhr Zwischentöne
    Musik und Fragen zur Person

    Der Kulturwissenschaftler Gunther Hirschfelder im Gespräch mit Klaus Pilger

    Was darf der Mensch essen? Wie hat sich die Ernährung von der Steinzeit bis heute entwickelt? Inwieweit ist der Esstisch die Bühne unserer Persönlichkeit? Wieso ist Essen und Trinken ein Leitthema geworden? Und wieso ist gemeinsames Essen so wichtig? Auf all diese Fragen weiß der Kulturwissenschaftler Gunther Hirschfelder Antworten.

    Professor Gunther Hirschfelder, geboren 1961 in Gummersbach, studierte in Bonn Agrarwissenschaften, Rheinische Landesgeschichte, Volkskunde, Politikwissenschaft und Geschichtswissensschaft. An der Universität Trier promovierte er 1992. Im Jahr 2000 habilitierte er sich mit der Arbeit ,Alkoholkonsum am Beginn des Industriezeitalters’. Seit 2010 ist er Professor für Vergleichende Kulturwissenschaft an der Universität Regensburg. Gunther Hirschfelder veröffentlichte u.a. 2001 das Buch ,Europäische Esskultur – Eine Geschichte der Ernährung von der Steinzeit bis heute’ und 2016 ,Bier – Eine Geschichte von der Steinzeit bis heute’. Der Kulturwissenschaftler erforscht nicht nur Ernährungsthemen, sondern widmet sich wissenschaftlich auch dem Bereich Glaube und Religion.

    Der Kulturwissenschaftler Gunther Hirschfelder
    14:00 Nachrichten

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