Controversy Explodes Over "Bias" in Documentary on the Green Movement


Photo: channel4.com

Some prominent environmentalists featured on a television documentary about the green movement and its future are distancing themselves from the final product, saying that it misrepresents their views and is overly biased against them.

The documentary, called What the Green Movement Got Wrong, is described by Channel 4 as a film in which "life-long die-hard greens advocate radical solutions to climate change, which include GM crops and nuclear energy." Except, ummm, that's not what they said....There are some heavy hitters from the green movement speaking in it: People like Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees, and Stewart Brand, author of The Whole Earth Catalog.

According to Channel 4, they are now part of a "a group of environmentalists across the world [who] believe that, in order to save the planet, humanity must embrace the very science and technology they once so stridently opposed ... They argue that by clinging to an ideology formed more than 40 years ago, the traditional green lobby has failed in its aims and is ultimately harming its own environmental cause."


Video: TreeHugger. Adam Werbach at West Coast Green.

However, several of the "talking heads" in the show which is airing tonight say that the filmmakers misrepresented its focus. According to The Guardian, Adam Werbach, says that the final version does not represent his views and he wants his bit taken out.

Now Werbach is no slouch: He is the Chief Sustainability Officer for Saatchi & Saatch and a contributing writer for TreeHugger and The Atlantic.

So when he says that, "They told me they were doing a documentary about the ideas of Stewart Brand, who is a friend of mine, and looking at other inspiring ideas and new ways to protect the planet. They didn't tell me that it was basically about nuclear reactors and genetically modified foods" this not just idle chat.

Greenpeace is also having problems with the film's focus. They say "We've now seen the documentary. It's a slick expensive piece of film-making, but gets basic stuff flat out wrong and misrepresents the green movement from start to finish."

A coalition of anti-GM campaigners has accused the filmmakers of using commentators who are ""funded by major GMO [genetically modified organisms] companies."

There is a panel discussion after the film which will include George Monbiot from The Guardian. It will be interesting to see if he stays on the panel, in the light of the controversy about the film.

Of course, controversy is good for the ratings--there are already 80 comments on The Guardian's website about the matter, and the show hasn't even been seen yet.

More on Nuclear and Green Movement

Colbert Grills Stewart Brand on Nukes,Oil
UK Petition to Support Carbon Rationing
Adam Werbach on the Burst of the Green Bubble

Tags: Corporate Responsibility | Nuclear Power