Planet Green turns blue in August

Tonight Planet Green eschews the so-called light green programming it’s been running in its year plus of existence—shows about green lifestyles, you know, cooking with local produce, remember to recycle etc.

Tonight’s premieres are part of a month-long stunt on Planet Green called Blue August that examines “the wonders and mysteries of the aquatic…” we are told.

Since Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has been pulling in eyeballs for some two decades, why not try another water-based summer stunt? And, hey, isn’t H2O in Discovery’s DNA, with its headquarters based in the watery sounding Silver Spring, Maryland?

And, heck, Blue August gives Planet Green the opportunity to premiere on its channel the fabulous series Blue Planet, which debuted a few years back on Discovery Channel. (The preceding words were historic. I’ve never before used 3 colors in one blog sentence, or in one blog post, for that matter.)

Perhaps the best thing about Blue August is that its programs are hosted by Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau. You could almost excuse Jacques Cousteau’s grandchildren for exploiting their famous name for personal gain. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are tireless crusaders for conservation and are extremely knowledgeable. And since this is television, it doesn’t hurt that they are both extraordinarily good looking young people.

The premieres tonight are on the more serious side of things oceanic. Not only is carbon dioxide eroding the atmosphere and causing global warming (or is it?), at 10:30 ET we learn, from no less than narrator Sigourney Weaver, that fossil fuel emissions are also raising the acidity of the Earth’s oceans.

Of course, the situation is serious, Acid Test, a short film from the usually reliable but certainly agenda-pushing Natural Resources Defense Council tells us. A cavalcade of scientists and one fisherman is trotted out to break the bad news. They even tell us that the acid could destroy the shells of small ocean creatures, like shrimp. Now, that is serious.

At the 16-minute mark of this 21-minute film Sigourney and company change their tune (cue the more optimistic-sounding music) as they announce there’s hope. The oceans are “resilient,” she says. With help from humans, they can recover, Sigourney tells us. Creating more marine-protected areas will help, as will sustainable fishing practices. Still, she admits, “the only way to stop acidification” is to emit less carbon dioxide (cue the footage of cars, smoke stacks etc).

Seth’s Blog,, 12 August 2009. Full article.

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