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January 19, 2022

By Paul Homewood

In 2019 Netflix in conjunction with WWF broadcast Frozen Worlds, an episode in the Our Planet series and narrated by David Attenborough. The scenes it showed shocked and horrified viewers around the world.

After a brief introduction about the recent loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the ‘inevitable’ devastation this will cause for Arctic animals, it shifts to a series of amazing shots of tens of thousands of walrus, crowded cheek-by-jowl on a beach in Siberia.

The camera pans out to a rocky cliff, which several walrus are attempting to climb. Then suddenly, one after another, the walrus are shown falling off the cliff to their deaths on the rocky shore below.The scenes are shown in slow motion and repeated in order to maximise the shock effect.

As the scenes unfold, Attenborough coolly informs viewers that the walrus would not normally be there, but out on the sea ice instead. But because of man-made global warming, the poor walrus have been forced onto land in crowded conditions, where they will inevitably suffer and die.

But was it all as simple as Attenborough portrayed?

A number of suspicions were immediately evident. Far from these beach haulouts being unusual, walrus in fact regularly use these beaches every year, in order to rest and feed while waiting for the sea ice to move south in autumn.

Walrus also invariably crowd together in these situations, both for warmth and protection from polar bears. Indeed, far from walrus being threatened by climate change, their populations have been growing in recent years, explaining why so many were hauled out that day.

And what made those walrus try to climb the cliff?

Dr Susan Crockford is a professional zoologist, who has specialised in Arctic mammals for many years, particularly polar bears and walrus. She immediately smelled a rat.

Her newly released book, Fallen Icon, tells the story of how she uncovered exactly what went on that day on the Siberian beach. Her detective work reveals how it was polar bears stalking them that forced the walrus up that cliff; how this is a common hunting tactic and how the bears then fed off the carcasses down below.

She uncovers evidence that WWF already knew about this hunting tactic at that particular location, and that was precisely why this beach was chosen for the film.

She goes on to describe how retreating sea ice actually increases the food supply for walrus and how their populations are both healthy and increasing.

And how Attenborough used this horrifying imagery to jump-start a three year campaign against human-caused global warming that included ten documentaries laden with groundless climate emergency messaging, much of it aimed at the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world. Attenborough’s relentless climate activism included a utopian vision of global changes for society eerily similar to the one proposed by the World Economic Forum.

It is hard to disagree with Crockford’s conclusions:

The public’s trust in science and medicine now appears to be at an all-time low. People who had been blind to the abuse of science rampant in the climate change narrative have had their eyes opened by the pandemic response. These things cannot be unseen.
In a worrying trend, traditional scientists struggle to be heard or have their concerns and criticisms published, both for climate change and Covid-19 related issues. Research that features testable hypotheses and reproducible studies seem to be rare birds while predictive modelling projects gobble up grant funds as well as the media attention.
Is science as we used to know it already dead? If so, how much of a role has Attenborough played in this progression? Over the last three years, he has used weaponized science presented to a trusting public in a most egregious manner.
My ultimate goal in writing this book is not to denigrate Sir David but to correct the misinformation he has deliberately or unwittingly promoted in his documentaries and public statements.
I am a traditional scientist standing up for science as it is meant to be – without activism and without politicization – because its loss to society will be incalculable.
Over the years but especially since 2018, Attenborough has shown that he lets others do his serious thinking for him and has often placed his trust where it was ill-advised, as he has done with the WWF. By that I mean he has relied on others to present information to him in an easily digestible manner rather than delving into the literature himself.
And having spent a lifetime taking this easy way out, when he decided he wanted his legacy to be something more substantial than ‘a good storyteller’, he seemed to take on the role of spokesman for others with ideological political agendas.
It appears to me that when he agreed to present the gruesome falling walrus film footage in Our Planet as evidence of climate change, Attenborough compromised his principles to achieve a specific end result. Such noble cause corruption is common in the conservation world but it was new for Attenborough.
I am convinced that what Attenborough has done with the falling walrus episode will be remembered long after he’s dead but not for the reasons he intended. It will go down as another ‘own goal’ for the climate change movement and judged as the moment Attenborough fell from grace as a trusted British icon.

Susan Crockford’s book is now available on Amazon here:

  1. January 19, 2022 12:04 pm

    We are where I predicted to 2 colleagues in special projects at the Smithsonian Institution in the 1970’s. They wanted some of my data and seemed to be rather cavalier with the facts. I told one of the women: “If you fib or fudge your data, when the general public finds out….and they will….academia will be forever trying to get their reputation back.”

    We have crossed that bar. It is no small thing that has been done, from Michael Mann to Attenborough. Let’s not forget medicine and Fauci, the media, etc.

    My late father used to impress on we 3 kids that you could not deal with people who lie. There is no basis for a relationship be it business or personal. This is a sad place to be.

    • Rajesh Taylor permalink
      January 21, 2022 10:51 am

      Very effective and useful words of advice. Ofcom media sources have been uncloaked over the plandemic period as nothing more than propagandists for corporate deep state interests. Their power and reach, particularly with “programming” the impressionable youth is frightening.

      • brainunwashed permalink
        January 22, 2022 3:14 pm

        Broken link

      • January 23, 2022 12:25 pm

        For decades the Smithsonian Institution has been trending far left. As it stands now, I would not believe anything they say. Some of their recent moves put them squarely into the “woke” column.

        I was there before the Air & Space Museum was built. Those exhibits were across the mall beside the “castle” in a building which had been created for the Chicago World’s Fair and moved to DC following. I never tired of walking into that building where the Wright plane and the Spirit of St. Louis hung overhead. It was where the moon landing exhibit was mounted. They used a back-up lander and had a moon rock in a case on a pedestal. My parents came to DC and we went to the exhibit. I watched my father, who was born in 1901, walk around that rock. As a chemist, he was likely trying to see what it might be. I remember asking him what his thoughts were, but never got a definitive answer. Here he was, born into horse & buggy days, lived through the beginning of automobiles, had traveled on airplanes (never liked them), and was now looking at a rock which had been brought back from the moon. I can still see him walking around that pedestal and it is a great memory.

      • Paul H permalink
        January 27, 2022 8:35 pm

        Lovely post Joan.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        January 27, 2022 10:21 pm

        Fixed link:

        There are things that unite us. In this case, the Aeronautical and Space section of the Smithsonian that I too visited on several occasions when I was living in Washington. The fascination also had me visit Mission Control near Galveston when they were practising how to construct the ISS which I now watch whizz overhead from time to time, and the space exhibits at the Chicago Science Museum, and Kitty Hawk which makes do with an “exact copy” of the Wright Flyer and the incongruous bits of rail buried in the sand dunes marking the takeoff and the first four landings.

  2. January 19, 2022 12:20 pm

    When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my father (a motorcycle policeman) would often arrive home soaking wet complaining about the atrocious rain. I would have to look out of the door to verify that. That’s what comes of living with congenital liars. And it was possibly the motivation that led me to study science at school & university. There used to be safety in data and evidence. Not any more .
    A good thing we can do is to show our support for Crockford by buying her book.

    • A+man+of+no+rank permalink
      January 19, 2022 2:58 pm


  3. jimlemaistre permalink
    January 19, 2022 12:39 pm

    Ms. Gibson . . . your father’s advice was then and still is now most accurate.

    Among those of us who are considered ‘skeptics’ or even worse ‘deniers’ who stand first by Science . . . David Attenborough’s collusion on behalf of environmentalists is most regrettable. The bottom line in all of this is ‘Sensationalism’ purely to raise the profile, and the net profit of those who promote these scandalous scenes to raise money to continue their efforts among the deluded mases.

    Truth was long ago thrown under the bus in favor of ‘hits’, ‘viewers’ and ‘attention paid’.

    The new doctrine ruling our sociopolitical elite is ‘Environmentalism’. Any lie that supports their goals is accepted with open arms . . . All of these people have never done a lick of original Scientific Research a day in their lives. When TRUTH or SCIENCE are brought forward . . . Some ‘Fudgy’ 30 page report is brought up . . . and the retort is . . . and you think YOU know more than them . . . Get over yourself . . .

    Thank you Paul for your tireless work . . . May Truth be our guide !!

  4. Joe Public permalink
    January 19, 2022 1:29 pm

    The Grauniad reported:

    “BBC exaggerated climate change in David Attenborough’s Africa

    Updated: David Attenborough claims in BBC One’s Africa series that part of the continent has warmed by 3.5C over the past 20 years”

    …. so it must be true.

  5. jelorenzo permalink
    January 19, 2022 1:45 pm

    This remains me the tactics used by the early American Indians to hunt bisons before the horse was introduced. Check this article

  6. Crowcatcher permalink
    January 19, 2022 1:55 pm

    Then there’s all the “loot” he earns every time he opens his mouth – about £100 per word by my calculations!!!!

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    January 19, 2022 2:13 pm

    I helped by providing key evidence to Susan Crockford, trawling through the blogs of Siberian locals who made their own reports and posted photos and clips showing the bears in action around the walruses, together with dates and times from EXIF data. One of them was in fact the nature advisor to the film team.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 19, 2022 7:02 pm


    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 21, 2022 9:23 pm

      I see that Kochnev has resumed blogging about the hunting habits of polar bears for walrus.

      Creating stampedes in which walruses trample over each other is a favoured tactic.

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    January 19, 2022 2:26 pm

    Caught red handed: one of Anatoly Konchev’s photos

  9. Broadlands permalink
    January 19, 2022 2:27 pm

    “Attenborough has shown that he lets others do his serious thinking for him and has often placed his trust where it was ill-advised.”

    This applies to Greta Thunberg and Al Gore, a host of celebrities, members of the US Congress. None of whom has any scientific backgrounds. And they influence policy along with funding research on how to deal with a climate emergency. Ill-advised indeed.

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      January 19, 2022 11:29 pm

      You forgot the Heir to the throne.
      And our Beloved Leader Bo Jon Ill.

      • Paul H permalink
        January 19, 2022 11:40 pm

        If Boris is chopped, wonder what the odds are for Anne Lucas replacing him?

      • Paul H permalink
        January 20, 2022 8:04 pm

        Correction!!! I meant Caroline Lucas. Had a 2 AM lightbulb moment.

  10. January 19, 2022 2:37 pm

    I don’t blame Attenborough, he was just a narration tool, they would have gotten someone else if he had declined, no doubt Brian Cox would have been well up for it. Best not to descend into the cancel culture mire, where people are attacked at the drop of a hat.

    This is a good example of “having-your-cake-and-eating-it”, on the one hand polar bears are supposedly at risk of not getting enough to eat, but at the same time how terrible it is that they have ways to … eat Walrus.

    • January 19, 2022 3:22 pm

      How can you absolve from blame an individual who, with a global audience, has chosen to willfully ignore all evidence to the contrary and who has knowingly been involved in creating a false narrative; in pursuit of 30 pieces of silver?

    • Phil Rae permalink
      January 22, 2022 6:32 pm

      But you very much should blame Attenborough – he has been pushing the nonsensical “climate catastrophe” narrative for many years now. So this wasn’t a simple error or a momentary lapse.

      It’s very sad to see what happened to Attenborough, an individual whom I admired for decades since I first saw him in Zoo Quest, probably 60 years ago! He simply sold his soul so that he would be invited to all these ridiculous elitist events where he pontificates like some high priest of the climate change religion.

    • January 23, 2022 1:30 am

      Brian Cox. I gave up on him a long time ago after seeing his need to travel to the four corners of the planet to describe something in the universe. I’m old enough to remember AJP Taylor keeping his audience spellbound without the need to travel to the places he was describing but by just standing in front of a camera in the studio. As for “Air Miles” Attenborough, after a lifetime warming the the globe with his non stop flying now has the nerve to complain of global warming. Pot Kettle or Stone & glass houses

  11. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 19, 2022 2:43 pm

    People forget. There’s the Major Complaint to the BBC dated 22April 2016 of 162 pages plus appendices probably unearthable here in which Chapter 8 is devoted entirely to Attenboro’s decade of non science. Since when many gaffes including the BBC’s laughable TV piece “Climate – Change the Facts” wherein the Beeb tarnished him by accompanying the Disgrace to the Profession , Mikey Mann. Blue planet ended with flooded Miami streets and fizzing sea shells in an acid bath. It goes on. Poor old fish

  12. Harry Passfield permalink
    January 19, 2022 3:10 pm

    Sadly, if you found 100 members of the general public who had seen the original programme you would be hard-pressed to find (probably) more than 20 who knew it was all faked conclusions. Even fewer would know what the real reason for the falling was.

  13. Vrager 1 permalink
    January 19, 2022 3:28 pm

    Sadly David Attenborough is a foolish old man. Too foolish to realise that cameras record a narrow area, and can cut off the big picture. Cropped photos, cut clips, and a voiceover that tells us what the camera sees rather than what went on either side or above and below the camera’s field of vision. Hours of filming are cut to seconds of dramatic action. The walruses seeking to escape polar bears would be dramatic, but the climate change agenda told us the polar bears were dying instead of numbers growing, so including them would be unhelpful to the repeated lies about their numbers and the lack of polar ice… which remains at levels that are pretty steady in the last decade.

  14. Peter Lucey permalink
    January 19, 2022 3:41 pm

    Thx. I’d heard of this. I’ve ordered a copy of Dr Crockford’s book

    • dave permalink
      January 19, 2022 4:23 pm

      Another of the go-to fantasy stories is, of course, the one about increasing cyclones.

      The ACE evidence has been updated:

      There is not even a scintilla of evidence in the last fifty years of any change. Lovers of hurricane porn must be weeping, or perhaps, they have moved on to walrus porn.

  15. Andy P permalink
    January 19, 2022 5:55 pm

    And in 2021 Attenborough voiced a documentary about how much cleaner the atmosphere was due to the pandemic, ie limited air travel, fewer vehicles on the roads etc. He justified his claim with photos of the Himalayas from a roof top in Kathmandu, one before the pandemic with smog covering the mountains, and a photo “a year later” showing a clean atmosphere, taken from the same spot. But in both photos there are 5 people sitting on a wall wearing exactly the same clothes in exactly the same positions! A year apart? More like Photoshop!

  16. mjr permalink
    January 19, 2022 8:44 pm

    i have started watching Green Planet, Attenborough’s latest BBC series. As usual it is brilliant photography, and enjoyable to watch. And two episodes in not a mention of climate change. BUT – many episodes to go. I am sure there will be an episode covering plants’ trauma in coping with climate change . Also listening out for any reference to green expansion due to CO2 increases. Not holding my breath over that one

    • Phil O'Sophical permalink
      January 20, 2022 2:52 pm

      “two episodes in not a mention of climate change.”
      Thanks. I might give it look after all, then.

  17. Paul H permalink
    January 19, 2022 9:35 pm

    How aboutthe voice-ove rhe did for the filming of the annual Great White shark feeding on seals season off a S African beach. Watched it twice, great camera work. Problem was, they were Orcas, not Great Whites.

  18. January 19, 2022 10:04 pm

    How sad, the whole sorry story.

  19. dearieme permalink
    January 19, 2022 10:09 pm

    But it’s the walruses that spread Covid you know. Not bats, not mink, not white-tailed deer, and certainly not pangolins. Walruses. Sir David told me himself. On the telly.

    • devonblueboy permalink
      January 20, 2022 9:29 am

      But he didn’t mention hamsters did he?

      • Russ Wood permalink
        January 20, 2022 10:38 am

        AT one time, on the early Internet, there was a newsgroup (which everyone HOPED was a spoof) called “alt/sex/bestiality/hamsters/ducttape”. So there WAS your mention…

  20. grammarschoolman permalink
    January 20, 2022 3:02 pm

    How long until Amazon remove this book from sale, I wonder?

  21. Vic Hanby permalink
    January 20, 2022 3:05 pm

    I think it was an episode of Blue Planet where, to show the dire consequences of ocean acidification, he dropped a piece of seashell into a small fishtank. It immediately started to dissolve giving off a stream of bubbles. In fact there is no partial pressure of CO2 over sea water that could produce a pH low enough to do this. It was blatantly a stunt and that did it for me as far as taking him seriously.

    • gresleya4 permalink
      January 21, 2022 3:02 pm

      Atto sold out years ago.
      He’s a bought and paid for eco mouthpiece.
      I will not watch anything by him.

    • gresleya4 permalink
      January 21, 2022 3:02 pm

      Atto sold out years ago.
      He’s a bought and paid for eco mouthpiece.
      I will not watch anything by him.

  22. January 22, 2022 7:27 am

    I have been thinking for a while that climate change and the need to get temperatures back closer to pre-industrial revolution levels might well be a load of cobblers. Here is why.

    In pre industrial revolution times the population was perhaps a quarter maybe less than it is now. People then produced heat by cooking a little heating and a few light industrial processes and not a lot more

    Today we have 7 billion plus people all cooking many heating their homes, We have billions of cars trucks etc all creating heat as a by product when used. And wee that not enough on it’s own as anyone knows when opening the doors heat is created when vehicles are left in sunshine for very long We have tarmacced roads all creating heating somewhat warmer than the surrounding area. Our glazed housing across the world creates heat when the sunshine through the windows We have power generation all having vast amounts of heat as a by product. The sea around Sizewell power station for example is noticeably warmer. .We have huge industrial processes all creating heat as a by product . Lastly for this piece are the “good guys” billions of solar panels. They give off heat as a by product in their production distribution and erection and maintenance. Worse than this though they create clean energy to offset this it is not done very quickly but being black they importantly give off huge amounts of heat all day long under the burning sun far in excess of the heat created by much of the land and roofs where they are sited were they not there.

    I will find climate change a little more believable when someone actually factors this in to climate change and temperature rises across the globe and thus estimates how much the effects of mankind and his heat producing lifestyle is increasing and affecting the overall temperatures of the planet. There is so much heat being produced as a by product It must be having some measurable effect.

    Maybe someone has.

  23. Neil Pryke permalink
    January 22, 2022 9:03 am

    Sad to say, when Sir David Attenborough was captured by the green lobbyists, I couldn’t read or watch any of his work on the BBC anymore.

  24. Thaipixie permalink
    January 23, 2022 5:45 am

    Many of us knew that Attenborough was corrupt when he and a small cabal of elites at the BBC awarded themselves all the profits from DVD’s whose production was paid for by Taxpayers (UK Licence Fee) for example the “Life on Earth” series, and hardly any recognition of the actual film makers. This has happened recently only as the BBC became “woke” and Attenborough was shamed into recognising their extraordinary work. He has not been involved in real science since the 1950’s.

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