September 20th, 2007 by Clark Humphrey

tv imageWithout making a big PR fuss about it, KIRO-TV’s quietly moved into high-definition local production. Last night’s prime-time documentary special, Cold Facts About Our Warm Planet, was particularly notable.

With lush HD videography and few commercial interruptions, it showed the local effects of global warming. We saw shrinking glaciers, prematurely melting mountain snowpacks, tinder-dry forest lands, declining salmon runs, potential sea-level rises, and more.

It was all narrated by a low-key Steve Raible. (How’d he grow up so smart, when his fellow early Seahawks star Steve Largent went wingutty?) Raible calmly took us through the evidence and the arguments about our current warming trend. He explained the background science, with the help of UW scientists and experts.

Raible stayed away from casting blame or judgmentalism, and rightly so. If global warming really is influenced by human activity, and I believe it is, it’s taken the entirety of human civilization to get us there. Anti-SUV sanctimony won’t save the planet. That can only occur with a lot of big and small steps by a lot of people, including people whose current lifestyles are different from yours.

Kudos to Cold Facts’ writer-director Ben Saboonchian and videographer Peter Frerichs.

I don’t know if or when the station will repeat the special. It should, and it should put the whole doc up online.

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