Delingpole: Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Cock-up on ‘Walrusgate’ Tragedy Porn

attenborough
PETER BYRNE/AFP via Getty Images

It was one of the most heart-rending animal tragedy episodes ever shown on TV: hundreds of walruses shown plunging over a cliff to their deaths out of “desperation” caused by climate change.

Or so the story originally went when Sir David Attenborough first told it last year on his Netflix documentary Our Planet, causing much upset to impressionable viewers.

One problem: the story was absolute rubbish. It wasn’t diminishing sea ice reduced by “climate change” that caused those walruses to die. In reality, they were chased to their deaths by marauding polar bears — whose presence in the area the TV show’s producers initially denied.

Now, Attenborough has admitted to the cock-up — tacitly if not explicitly. On his new BBC documentary series Seven Worlds, One Planet, he uses the same footage but with a completely different explanation. Now, polar bears not “climate change” are blamed for walruses’ fate.

This is a vindication for the various internet sleuths who smelled a rat in Attenborough’s original story and called him out on his #FakeNews.

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 herehere and here.

It’s also a victory of sorts for the Global Warming Policy Forum, which earlier this year called for an apology and a correction from Attenborough.

The GWPF’s Benny Peiser, who believes the cock-up was deliberate, said:

“We can only be pleased that Sir David has stepped back from the deceptive claims he made in his Netflix show. He and the producers should apologise for the trick they pulled and withdraw the Netflix film that has badly misled and unnecessarily traumatised millions of people and news media around the world”.

But a) of course this won’t happen.

And b) the damage has already been done. Those few aware of the cock-up will continue to be vastly outnumbered by the ones who will continue to believe, to their dying day, that climate change is massacring walruses — and that as a consequence all the crazy anti-market, anti-freedom, anti-science policies being proposed by Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion and Boris Johnson are entirely justified.

Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media, and most especially the BBC, is totally in thrall to the climate change alarmists. Magic Great Grandpa — Sir David Attenborough — gets a free pass to spout whatever evidence-free enviro-loon drivel he likes, confident that almost no one is going to pick up on it anywhere in the MSM because the MSM’s science and environment coverage is handled by doctrinaire eco-nutjobs who transcribe their articles straight from Greenpeace press releases.

Still, I’m glad at least some neutral observers are starting to notice. My fellow Spectator TV critic James Walton, for example, who is about as far from being a climate sceptic as you are likely to find, has this to say about the new Attenborough documentary:

Older readers may remember a time when landmark BBC wildlife documentary series were joyous celebrations of the miraculous fecundity of the planet we’re lucky enough to find ourselves living on. Well, not any longer. In our more censorious age, they’ve become another chance to essentially tell us all off.

So it was that Seven Worlds, One Planet (BBC1, Sunday) began with Sir David Attenborough presenting the usual highlights package of the wonders to come, with each episode focusing on a different continent. But then he put on his special serious voice to add the dark warning that ‘This may be the most critical moment for life on Earth since the continents formed.’ (Quite a long time, I think you’ll agree.)

Still, as introductions go, this one can’t be accused of being deceptive — because pretty much every scene from then on was interspersed with similar prophecies of the apocalypse to come.

Yep. We’re getting there. Slowly.

Breitbart London contacted Sir David Attenborough’s representative to ask for a response to Benny Peiser’s claim that his Netflix documentary was deliberately misleading, and was told he is “abroad filming” and currently “uncontactable”. 

Breitbart London also contacted Netflix, but they had not responded as of the time of publication.

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