Sir David Attenborough: “We must act – and act now”

David Attenborough
© wikicommons/Mikedixson

As the planet is on fire, both literally and figuratively, Sir David Attenborough has spoken out about the climate crisis and what he hopes for in the future.

In an interview with the University of Cambridge, Sir David Attenborough addressed how we can transition to be a carbon zero planet, protect the planet’s resources and reduce our overall waste.

“It might seem like an obvious thing to say but we need to keep saying it: our planet is precious.

“It provides the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink. You have only to take a walk through a forest and look up at its canopy to see the outstanding beauty and complexity of ecosystems. Pause in the stillness among the trees and contemplate what is surrounding you: it’s mind-blowing.

“But, rather than cherish this planet – our home – we have too often treated it with contempt. Today, as a consequence, we face disaster on a global scale.”

Attenborough discussed the constantly threatened ecosystems of our planet and the first time he saw a once thriving coral reef, now bleached and lifeless, “it was like a cemetery.”

Attenborough continued: “A few decades ago, the idea that humans could change the climate of our planet was unthinkable. Now this is incontrovertible and we are talking about the risk of irreparable damage.

“Rising temperatures mean parts of the planet are becoming uninhabitable. Species less able to adapt to rapid changes will be wiped out. Famine will lead to forced migrations. There will be major upsets in natural boundaries, leading to social unrest.”

Despite the crippling statistic surrounding the demise of our planet, Attenborough seems hopeful that we can reverse the damage that we have caused: “We’ve seen before what can be done. When scientists identified the cause of a catastrophic hole in the ozone layer, the world acted. We saw global leaders listening to scientific evidence and taking action.”


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