Did the Discovery Channel Censor a Climate Change Show?

They say it's a "scheduling issue," but the channel that birthed "Shark Week" looks to be blocking climate change information.

When most people think of "bad" TV, they think of networks like E!, VH1, MTV, Bravo—any of the dozens of channels that now broadcast mostly reality schlock all day, every day. "Good" TV, on the other hand, is stuff like National Geographic, the History Channel, Discovery—the networks that make TV, a notoriously hated invention amongst intellectuals, worth watching. But it turns out that "smart" television may not always be as smart as you think.

According to The Telegraph, when hit BBC nature program Frozen Planet premieres on America's Discovery channel in early 2012, it will be cut from seven to six episodes, eliminating the show on climate change, "On Thin Ice." Discovery, home to the much-loved "Shark Week," said it has a "scheduling issue" that precludes it from airing that episode, so "elements" of the program will be lumped in with the sixth. Unsurprisingly, environmental activists have pushed back, claiming Discovery is skirting the climate change issue to avoid controversy.

The BBC says it's standard practice to allow foreign buyers to piece out programs to account for audience tastes, and networks other than Discovery opted out of the climate change episode. But that doesn't make it right.

The vast majority of scientists agree that man-made climate change is a real problem, and a wildly important one at that. To not offer viewers a lot of valuable information about the phenomenon because of some "scheduling issue" is at best terrible planning on Discovery's part, and at worst, censorship. And if Discovery is censoring shows to remain noncontroversial, that should ding its reputation as smart, substantive programming for years to come. If people want to debate the merits of "On Thin Ice" once it's aired, that will add to the dialogue societies need to remain rigorous. To not air it at all is taking the easy way out, and that's the wrong move.

Emails to Discovery for comment have yet to be returned. We'll update this post if that changes.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

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Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

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Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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