What The Green Movement Got Wrong
Channel 4 commissions grown up TV shock! Once a bastion of intelligent documentary making, recent offerings have failed to engage the audience in any kind of discourse. It has even seemed at times as though the ground rules of observational documentary making were being jettisoned in favour of the kind of jeopardy obsessed nonsense served up by the digital channels.
So congratulations to whoever commissioned “What the Green Movement Got Wrong”, a good old fashioned polemic, espousing a controversial point of view and challenging its audience to engage in a healthy and intelligent debate.
In essence, the programmes thesis was that we need to reconsider the possibilities offered by technology in resolving some of the planet’s major issues such as famine and global warming. The programmes most controversial point was that the green movement’s effectiveness in slowing down and in some cases halting the adoption of nuclear power as an alternative energy source forced energy providers further down the road of fossil fuel based energy. The consequence was the massive pollution of the rivers and skies that we now know is responsible for global warming.
Naturally real controversy has broken out as contributor Adam Werbach, former president of the conservation group the Sierra Club, attempts to distance himself from the programme saying that he was not made aware of the polemical nature of the programme (though the title must have been a bit of giveaway) and that his views were misrepresented.
The programme was at 75 minutes, slightly longer than it needed to be, but it featured no celebrities and chock full of interesting facts. I particularly enjoyed the footage of the elderly residents of Chernobyl, who seem positively sprightly in comparison to some of the denizens of the UK I’ve come across in my travels.
The programme can and no doubt will be criticised for taking the deeply unfashionable position that it does and an extreme view would say that it does little more than articulate the views of the pro-nuclear lobby. However, there is a perfectly valid debate to be had around this topic and if we close our ears to the pro-nuclear lobby then we are not having a balanced discussion. We’ve seen too much Television that patronises the audience.
This is the kind of Television I love and I hope we see more of it.