Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Climate Change as entertainment?

After Dodington Parish Council showed Al Gore's climate change film "An Inconvenient Truth" locally, we asked Steve Webb to try to get it shown on network television. He's received a reply from the BBC's Deputy Director-General as follows:

"While I am sorry to disappoint Councillor Hulbert and his colleagues on the Council, I must report that at the moment the BBC has no plans to broadcast this film. I understand however that it is considered likely that it will indeed receive an airing on national television in due course"

We suspect this means that someone like Channel 4 got in first.

However according to the newspapers the BBC is planning a big show provisionally entitled "Planet Relief" for January 2008, maybe with Ricky Gervais and Jonathan Ross. Instead of asking for donations, the idea is to get people to switch off all unwanted gadgets. The floodlighting on major landmarks will also be switched off. They hope to be able to switch off a major power station with the electricity saved.

There has been criticism that this is not the sort of activity that the BBC should be involved in. The editor of the BBC's own Newsnight programme, Peter Barron said it was "not the corporation's job to save the planet" ( Daily Mail, 27 August )

But isn't this one reason why we have public broadcasters? To "inform, educate and entertain", as their mission statement says?

Anyway, if this sort of show isn't to your taste, you could still join in - switch off the TV instead and save a bit more energy!

P.S. It must be better than yesterday evening. At midnight BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 were all showing films at the same time - not a scrap of original programming on terrestrial TV.


  1. Paul Johnston9:29 pm

    Your indignation presupposes that the film is objective and scientifically accurate. From what I have heard it is very misleading in that it inverts the causal relationship between CO2 in the atmosphere and global warming. For myself I have always been very sceptical about Al Gore........

  2. Thanks for that, Paul, it's an interesting suggestion - can you quote a source for it?