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BBC Jumps Ship On Day-Long Climate Change Special

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The UK media giant BBC has decided to scrap plans to air Planet Relief, a television special about climate change hosted by Ricky Gervais and Jonathan Ross. The day-long event was created to “raise consciousness” about the environment; but when polled, viewers decided that they’d had enough lecturing from “hypocritical pop stars and celebrities” and instead would like intelligent programming and documentaries instead.

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It’s safe to assume that the world has been inundated with enough information on climate change — from almost every celebrity — to not warrant new “did you know about global warming?” specials. A new direction — nay, a new education — is needed to keep the world interested. Celebrities themselves should stop pontificating (to borrow a quote from KT Tunstall) and instead speak about changes in their own lives — the simplicity, the cool technology, how they’re helping, etc. It’s no longer enough to host a television special or concert – people get the concept – now they want to understand more about it and become inspired. For some, there’s been some great disappointment in that area from celebrities they admire.

For their part, the BBC is claiming a breach of impartiality with Peter Barron saying, “It is not the corporation’s job to save the planet”. He added: “If the BBC is thinking about campaigning on climate change, then that is wrong and not our job.” Instead, they wish to inform and not “lead” their viewers. An interesting angle and one that is gaining serious popularity; especially after the cold reaction Live Earth received this year in the UK.

It’s a double-edged sword as well. If climate change truly is bearing down on us and in desperate need of addressing within the next decade, can we afford not to lend urgency to the movement? Will a worldwide culture obsessed with celebrity tune into a special hosted by Brad Pitt or a scientist? Are we past the point where we need someone recognizable to address the issue? What do you think?

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