Misguided: David Attenborough’s A Perfect Planet preached the depressing truth that human beings are destroying their own ecosystem – to human beings who either aren’t or don’t have a choice – they must participate in it or starve. Nobody who can make a difference could care less.
Here’s everything that was wrong with David Attenborough’s A Perfect Planet yesterday:
Sarah Vine, if you didn’t know, is not only a right-wing journalist but the wife of Michael Gove, who happens to be the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – a very senior Conservative government politician.
She doesn’t care about the harm her husband and his government’s policies are doing to the planet. She just wants to see pretty photography of elephants before they become extinct due to her husband’s bad decisions.
And, by virtue of being married to him, she has influence over such matters. She would never use it to stop other Tories (and exploiters from other countries and political parties) from ravaging the world for the sake of a quick buck.
Meanwhile, David Attenborough has been on the BBC telling you and me – I can’t do a single damn thing to stop the destruction of our ecosystem in the name of profit; can you? – that we’re responsible.
Doesn’t he recognise the contradiction in his own stance? He’s saying this on a TV channel that is run by supporters of the Conservative government (current BBC chair Richard Sharp has donated heavily to the Conservatives – more than £400,000 by 2010) and broadcasts Tory propaganda instead of news.
Indeed, just to rub it in our faces, the BBC ran an advert for its news programme right after A Perfect Planet, telling us that while we might have had a rotten time for the last few months – and be in for worse in the future, and it’s all very depressing (they’re sure), we are “not alone” and they are on our side.
Mrs Mike and I stared at this in amazement and disbelief and then both uttered the same explosive eight-letter expletive at the television (I’ll leave you to imagine what it was, for your own entertainment).
If Attenborough really wants to change the direction of travel, he would be demanding change from his BBC bosses but he isn’t.
Instead, all he has done is upset millions of ordinary people who have absolutely no say in such matters and cannot do anything about it.
Some of us may even be employed in jobs that worsen the situation, coerced into doing so by the fact that there is no other work available and they must either take part in the long-term murder of the ecosystem or starve in the short term. Attenborough didn’t mention that on his programme last night but it is a policy of the Conservative government that his employer supports.
I’m not saying he doesn’t make a good point, or shouldn’t be warning everybody about what is happening.
I’m just pointing out that his argument is misdirected. The people who could make a difference simply don’t care. They think he should shut up and show them nice piccies of elephants.
Attenborough stated in the film that his hopes now lie in the new generation of human beings – avoiding the fact that the vast majority will be even less able to change anything than his, or mine, due to political policies across the globe that are concentrating power in the hands of very few people.
I remember back in the 1980s, in the Genesis song Land of Confusion, Tory Phil Collins singing that his generation would “put it right”. His generation didn’t.
My generation hasn’t (to my infinite chagrin).
The next generation won’t have the opportunity.
Attenborough, bless ‘im, needs to get to grips with that reality.
Otherwise, he might just as well give up and give Sarah Vine her elephant pics.
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