I hate nature programs. As soon as the swelling music comes up and the camera sweeps in to capture the image of something beautiful, I?m racing for the remote control.

Call it the ?Bambi Syndrome? if you like. But I know that the show will sucker me into caring about some animal, insect, flower or landscape, only to crush me later. Oh look, let?s watch the cute, fluffy, baby polar bears learn to swim with Mommy. Oh look, let?s watch the cute, fluffy, baby polar bear get eaten by the big, mean predator. Now let?s watch Mommy Bear try to rescue her cub and get killed in the process. Oh man, is there an orphanage for motherless polar bear cubs?

OK, I can actually deal with those programs reasonably well. That?s the food chain and just how it works. But I was reminded of what I really hate by my sweet husband this morning over coffee. ?Hey, Terry. Did you know that grizzly bears in Yellowstone are dying off due to global warming? Turns out the nuts they like to eat can?t germinate in the heat,? Scott told me casually as he leafed through the Los Angeles Times.

No, I didn?t know that. And I didn?t want to know that. It just makes me feel badly without being able to do anything about it. Yes, I know that grizzly bears, polar bears, reindeer, and hundreds of others species are pretty much doomed. Even the bees are threatened (although remarkably enough, ****roaches, silverfish and the ants who take positive glee in swarming in my house seem to be well set to flourish on our hot planet). I don?t want to talk about it.

Which is a shame, because I know from quick peeks at the television that nature shows feature spectacular photography. But can?t the shows just have a warning ? kind of like a spoiler alert ? that goes on the air right before the big bummer message is delivered? Something like this would really help: ?Be warned. The cuddly animals to which you have, with our help, assigned all kinds of anthropomorphic attributes, are doomed due to mankind?s idiocy and selfishness. We?re about to detail that, so now might be a good time to go make yourself a sandwich and stop watching this program.? We more sensitive types would be spared the doom and gloom, and I could stop imagining the director saying, ?That?s a wrap? just as the cameraman accidentally squishes the last female of the species.

Well, fine. It?s just a thought?.




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