Did wildlife filmmakers from the $25 million Netflix series Our Planet accidentally drive a herd of walruses to their deaths – then lie about the incident afterwards in order to defend their preferred narrative that the creatures were tragic victims of climate change?
From the perspective of a climate change sceptic like myself, sick to death of the relentless propaganda pumped up by green activists, it seems like a story just too good – and too darkly hilarious – to be true.
But the evidence seems to be pointing that way. Thanks to research from a crack team of maverick bloggers, we can now be all but certain that Our Planet misrepresented the facts in the now-infamous, widely publicised “tragedy porn” sequence of walruses plunging to their deaths over a cliff.
Delingpole: Walrusgate – Attenborough Nature Doc Accused of Fake News ‘Tragedy Porn’ https://t.co/nDLuiZgnUv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 10, 2019
According to Attenborough’s voiceover, the walruses died because of climate change. Prematurely melting sea-ice – the result of global warming – had disrupted their feeding and had forced them to retreat further ashore where they met their untimely end.
Thousands of viewers were suckered by this junk-scientific line, leading to a mass outpouring of grief on social media.
But the ‘walruses killed by global warming’ claim, it has since emerged, is nonsense.
As the Global Warming Policy Forum notes, it falls down for at least two reasons:
1. Long before global warming could have been a factor, walruses hauled out on shore every year at the same location where falling walruses were filmed by the Netflix team.
2. Many or even most of the walruses that fell were reportedly driven over the cliffs by polar bears. There is a contemporaneous news report of hundreds of walruses being driven over the cliffs at the same location a few days before the film crew arrived.
The Netflix film makes no mention of the presence of polar bears, and the producers have denied that they played a part, despite their own “Behind the Scenes” video showing that they were still in close proximity at the time of the filming.
The sleuthing on this scandal was done by polar bear expert Susan Crockford (who spotted the polar bear connection); by Andrew Montford (who confirmed the geographical location and introduced the possibility that the Netflix crew may have contributed to the disaster); by ecologist Jim Steele, who has noted that walrus ‘haul-outs’ (ie retreats from the sea) are common and have nothing to do with ‘climate change’; and by the indefatigable Paul Homewood, who has pulled all the strands together in a series of damning posts here, here and here.
Homewood floats the disturbing possibility that besides the polar bears, it may have been the filmmakers’ drones which caused the walruses to stampede to their deaths:
There is however another rather more sinister possible explanation for the stampede. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS):
Walruses often flee haulouts en masse in response to the sight, sound, and especially odours from humans and machines.
So it is perfectly possible that it was the filmmakers themselves who caused the stampede up the cliffs.
Indeed, as this aerial shot showed, there must have been some sort of helicopter or drone flying immediately above the walrus, which seems to me to be an utterly irresponsible thing to do.
So far, the documentary makers have defiantly stuck by their version of events – even to the point of denying the presence of polar bears who it is quite clear from their own footage that there were polar bears prowling nearby.
Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, has called on Attenborough to come clean about the footage:
“Did Sir David know about the reported attack by polar bears? Did he know that polar bears were in close proximity during the filming? Did he know that walrus haul-outs have been documented at the same location long before the advent of global warming?
“The story that Netflix are telling the public is mostly fantasy. He should disown the script that was put in front of him”.
Walrusgate is a scandal which deserves to rank high among all the other scandals exposing the mendacity and skullduggery of green propagandists, from Amazongate and Glaciergate, to the mother of them all, Climategate.
It matters because it exposes once again just how brazen and shameless the green movement is in promoting its #fakenews narrative about man-made environmental doom.
This dishonesty has massive consequences. One of the reasons that London has been brought to a halt for the last few days by the hard-left protest organisation Extinction Rebellion is that many people – from grassroots supporters to government ministers like Claire Perry – actually believe the green narrative about imminent, man-made environmental disaster.
What these well-meaning fools don’t realise is the degree to which environmental campaigners simply make stuff up. (Here’s one example from the Extinction Rebellion website: an outright lie about puffin numbers)
These useful idiots of the Watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) watch an expensively produced documentary series like Our Planet, presented by a trusted ‘expert’ like Sir David Attenborough, and assume not unreasonably that the ‘facts’ presented in the series must be trustworthy.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Planet – like so many of its equivalents on the BBC and across the mainstream broadcast media – is green propaganda masquerading as entertainment.
Enjoy the spectacular photography. But don’t believe a word of the narration. It’s #fakenews all the way.