A perfectly cromulent strategy

Brian Stelter’s peice, “No Place for Heated Opinions” on nytimes.comĀ got me to watch another episode of Frozen Planet on Discovery this weekend, and I’m glad I did. The piece gathers opinions from several scientists who say that the show takes a pass on the real issue of climate change, that humans are causing it. I think that’s what’s great about it.

“On Thin Ice” presents warming as a fact, and illustrates it with melting glaciers and struggling animals. It does not discuss the reasons why warming is happening. I think this makes it better TV, and I also think it makes it a better bit of education. You see, what they’re opting out of is an argument they can’t win. No conceivable presentation of the opinions of climate change skeptics would make them happy, in the context of a show about the science. And those folks aren’t listening anyway. The rest of us, me included, would actually like to learn something about the effects of climate change without having a pointless (and, frankly, boring) argument appended to it. I wouldn’t have watched an hour of it if they had spent an hour making arguments I already believe; but I did watch Richard Attenborough, and some extremely cute penguins, seals, and polar bears.

Discovery decided not to feed the trolls. I approve.

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“Plastics” revisited

My previous post on canceling my Netflix disk shipments has collided with the reality of the oddness of my tastes. I have suddenly decided I want to watch gorgeous black and white noir, and the Netflix streaming catalog is not really up to it—though I did do a nice impromptu John Huston marathon last weekend. However, I work for a library at a university with a film program, so my office is well-stocked with outmoded formats.

Worst. Election. Ever.

Glenn Greenwald on why every election is the worst ever. This is extremely sensible and honest about how distorting and pointless presidential campaigns are in terms of governing the country. No one can say anything sensible for the next year and a half. And the two candidates will end up being very similar in all kinds of ways, and different in largely manufactured ones.

The misery of the protracted presidential campaign season