Because of a “scheduling issue”, American viewers won’t be seeing a new BBC documentary program focusing on climate change.
The Telegraph reports that the seven-part series, Frozen Planet, will include that seventh climate change episode as an “optional extra” — not to be seen on the Discovery Channel in the U.S.
Instead, only some “elements” of the climate change episode will be incorporated into the Discovery series, according to the report, which will air six of the seven episodes. Interestingly, the program was produced in association with the Discovery Channel.
Environmental advocates are criticizing the decision, saying it “censors” the issue in a country that needs to hear the message most. It’s no great secret that Americans are skeptical of climate change science. It’s almost a deadly sin for a Republican candidate to openly acknowledge that human’s are having an impact on the planet’s temperature.
Al Gore, in September, sought to convince skeptics with his 24-hour “Climate Reality Project.” Gore said climate change is a “human” — not “political” — issue. To address the issue and deal with its implications, he said, we need to agree on the basic facts. No small task.
Some argued that the BBC should offer the Frozen Planet episode for free because of the importance of the issue, but the BBC told The Telegraph that it’s standard practice to only offer the episodes buyers are interested in.
The Discovery channel did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment. We’ll update this post if we hear back.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com