May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Discovery Channel sellout is victory for the anti-science crowd

I like many shows on the Discovery Channel.

However, Discovery Channel just made a sad, anti-science sellout in their new series “Frozen Planet”.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the producers of the series intentionally left out the heart of science from the show when it came to global warming.

Why would they do that?

It appears they were afraid of anti-climate change extremists, the climate change denialists.

A NY Times piece suggests that the Discovery Channel producers calculated that by leaving out scientific thinking on global warming they could avoid upsetting wingnut activists who might get mad at Discovery Channel.

Take a look at this extraordinary quote from the NYT piece:

Including the scientific theories “would have undermined the strength of an objective documentary, and would then have become utilized by people with political agendas,” Vanessa Berlowitz, the series producer, said in an interview.

Take the thinking, the theories, and the hypotheses…in essence the brains…. out of a science show and what is left?

Not much. Berlowitz’s cave to the anti-science crowd yields a series that is infotainment. According to this show, global warming might be summed up as follows “Gee, it’s kinda getting hot in here, but who knows why?”

This  sellout by Discovery Channel reflects the broader weakening of science concurrent with the strengthened influence of right wing extremists who have a dislike for facts that do not conform to their truth-, rather than data-based realities.