Monday, July 09, 2007

Environmentalists Whinge About Top Gear.

Some environmentalists are complaining about Top Gear because they filmed some scenes on some 'pristine wilderness' in Botswana, thus rendering it somewhat less pristine. It seems like a somewhat trumped up complaint:
Mary Rice of the Environmental Investigation Agency, which carries out conservation work in Botswana, said the BBC's example could lead hordes of "boy racers" to follow suit.

Guide David Dugmore was quoted in the Observer newspaper: "The thing that worries me is the viewers and public that are going to go out to the lakes, and we will end up with every Tom, Dick and Harry that comes up, with vehicles and quad bikes, which will absolutely spoil the place."
If television is so influential that simply watching Top Gear will persuade 'hordes' of people to travel hundreds and thousands of miles to drive about a bit in the middle of nowhere then I guess it is more powerful than I realised. There is a certain condescension in the tone of the tree huggers that is revealed by phrases such as 'hordes', boy racers' & 'every Tom, Dick and Harry', that reveals the actual source of concern. They think that Top Gear is watched by the sort of people who are stupid & vulgar who are too stupid to watch something on television without heading straight to the site. I doubt they would have been assumed that 'hordes' of visitors would descend to the Congo to stroke gorillas after watching David Attenborough do it.

The BBC's defence was pretty lame as well:
A BBC spokeswoman said: "We employed several environmental experts who advised us on where we could and couldn't go."
'Several' environmental experts were needed, not just one? Nice to know the BBC still provides value for money.

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