A Proposal to Hamish Mykura, Head of Documentaries, Channel 4
From George Monbiot, 24th July 2008
until I read your response to my article yesterday(1) I had decided not to make any more programmes for Channel 4: I did not want to work for people whose editorial standards were so lax that they were prepared to broadcast 90 minutes of total bollocks. But now that you have exonerated yourself of all charges of inaccuracy, I have changed my mind. I have a proposal that’s just up your street.
The Lunar Conspiracy
1 x 90 minutes
Presenter: George Monbiot
Producer/Director: Martin Durkin
They told you it was made of rock.
They faked a voyage to prove it.
They “lost” the samples they took
And buried the real data
They covered up the truth they don’t want YOU to hear.
The whole thing stinks. Why? Because it is made of blue cheese.
Lunar rockism is no longer just a theory about the moon; it has become a belief system so rigid that it can no longer be challenged. Scientists say the time for debate is over, that any criticism of rockism, however rigorous, is illegitimate, even dangerous. But this film will show that the evidence does not support the theory that the moon is made of rock. The rock theory is dressed up as science. But it’s not science. It’s propaganda. You are being told lies, and I can redraw the graphs to prove it.
I can bring together a group of the world’s leading astronomers who, through creative editing, will confirm that the moon is made of blue cheese, probably stilton or possibly gorgonzola. I have also lined up Piers Corbyn, Philip Stott, Nigel Calder and others who, though they know nothing about this subject, are prepared to talk about it. They will say that lunar rockism is the result of scientific fraud cooked up by terrestrial cheese monopolists. Big Cheese has such a tight grip on science funding that astronomers who question the theory are terrified of stepping out of line, in case they have their stipends cut off.
Worst of all, the rockists are deliberately keeping people hungry. All we need to do to solve the global food crisis is to set up a number of lunar cheese mines, but Big Cheese and the astronomers it funds have been lobbying against it, and spreading lies and disinformation to create the impression that the mines would produce only rock.
I know that Channel 4 will love this idea, as it is edgy, noisy and provocative, and it will get right up the noses of the scientists trying to kill debate on a matter of vital public interest. I am sure that, like Martin and me, you have devoted a good deal of time to scrutinising Ofcom’s guidelines, and have worked out that it cannot and will not rule against films like this, because it has no provision for assessing the accuracy of factual programmes. This, as you have pointed out, means that everything we say is correct, even though we have just made it up.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope that this can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
With my best wishes, George