August 25, 2005

A short rant on stupidity, dumbing down and TV

Grrrr. Modern day dumbing down makes me fume.

I just watched a program on BBC2 called "No waste like home". I wasn't expecting anything particularily educated, but thought that it might at least have something remotely engaging to say about waste reduction and the environment. Instead, what I got was some stupid woman trying to wean a family off of a "driving habit". Including some brilliant gems such as

  • Demonstration of a Toyota Prius, which apparently is ultra-low emissions (Top gear got about 45mpg out of it in a real-world test, a good friend of mine betters that with a standard highish-performance diesel hatchback)
  • A brief look at a fuel cell vehicle, which "runs on water". I nearly threw the TV out of the window at this. The presenter obviously cares passionately about reducing fuel usage without knowing even the basic facts about what she's talking about, or any science whatsoever
  • Showing how you can run a diesel car on vegetable oil and suggesting costs and things, without even mentioning the fact that without going down to local customs and paying duty on the fuel (I believe it's about 29p per litre for bio-fuels), this is completely illegal.

Is there any hope for the future of mankind when the population is so badly misinformed by it's media that they don't even stand a hope of having their facts straight?

- 9 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Said hatch has averaged a very abused 48mpg in my ownership. If I'm a good boy it's 60mpg, that doesn't happen often. You can also better 50mpg in a 3.0TDI A4 Automatic, and better than 40mpg in an A8 3.0TDI luxury barge. So much for a tiny buzz box.

    25 Aug 2005, 21:45

  2. All unimpeachably accurate points Sig!

    25 Aug 2005, 23:22

  3. Dave Sparrow

    The vegetable oil thing is illegal, but it does have lower C02 emissions than diesel

    26 Aug 2005, 09:10

  4. Eleanor Lovell

    The presenter also said that water is the most abundant source of fuel on earth – does she not realise that water is running out??

    26 Aug 2005, 09:21

  5. Dave Sparrow

    but at rather a slow rate and it's important to distinguish between drinking water and non drinking water

    The problem with it being the 'most abundant source of fuel' is that this depends on being able to do nuclear fusion at an acceptable cost and rate, something we won't have for about 50 years or so (at least!). People who bang on about hydrogen fuel cells forget that you need to use energy to get the hydrogen out of water, making it more a way to store energy than a power source.

    26 Aug 2005, 09:54

  6. I stopped looking to the BBC informative scientific programmes a few years ago. Except for the Adam Hart-Davis ones. He's ok.
    Even Channel4 is struggling these days. Too many dipsticks doing the presenting I feel.

    26 Aug 2005, 15:24

  7. I have Adam Hart-Davies's autograph.
    I rock.


    26 Aug 2005, 22:15

  8. Not more than he does… surely?

    28 Aug 2005, 17:46

  9. Certainly not.


    30 Aug 2005, 13:06

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