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Update: Discovery to Air Debated 'Frozen Planet' Climate Change Episode

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Previously, the Discovery Channel was to air BBC’s Frozen Planet series minus the seventh and final episode about climate change. BBC’s decision to sell the show to networks in the United States and other countries without the episode entitled ‘On Thin Ice,’ caused some controversy among environmentalists and organizations.

Now, Discovery will reportedly air the full series beginning on March 18 in the U.S. According to Media Matters, Discovery planned to include mentions of global warming throughout the other six episodes, but will now include ‘On Thin Ice’ as a full episode. Academic consultant for the series, Dr. Mark Brandon, said that it’s important to address the issue in the series that also documents the seasonal changes of the Artic, so that “the difference between the largest seasonal change on the planet and the observations of longer term change” is clear.

Dr. Brandon said that the show will not focus on the role of humans in climate change, however, saying “If you were to imagine an episode where people just talked about, you know, humans are doing this, humans are doing that, that wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the story. What would make perfect sense if you’re telling the story of the polar regions is to talk about how they’re changing in the context of the animals and the environments that you’ve shown through the previous six hours of episodes.”

Alec Baldwin was chosen by Discovery to replace Sir David Attenborough as narrator of the show in the U.S., but is still featured as narrator elsewhere. Attenborough also emphasized that the show does not focus on human involvement. “I don’t believe it’s controversial, the only controversial element in climate change is to what degree it’s anthropocentric, what degree humans have been responsible, but the facts of climate change are scientifically established facts and I don’t think we go beyond that,” he said at a hearing of the House of Lords.

It’s nice to hear Discovery has chosen to air the episode about climate change and its effects on animals and our ailing planet. Will you watch?

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