Sir David Attenborough: 90 years of calling for climate action

Sir David Attenborough officially opens Nottingham Trent University's Newton and Arkwright buildings on Wednesday 18th May 2011 - Nottingham, UK (Photo by David Baird)

Celebrated naturalist, broadcaster and environmentalist Sir David Attenborough celebrated his 90th birthday this weekend.

Sir David has previously spoken out extensively about the issues of climate change, conservation, and population growth, last year attending a global summit in Paris.

Speaking to the Independent back in 2015, Sir David said: “The nature of human beings is that they’d far rather face the disaster that is happening tonight than the one that is happening tomorrow.

“Climate change will affect the whole of humanity, while terrorist attacks will only affect a small section of humanity. Of course, you wouldn’t say that if you were related to someone who had been beheaded or blown up or murdered. But humanity is facing a very big, slow, long, drawn-out threat, and that is to do with the way the weather is changing and the size of the population.”

Credit: Johann Edwin Heupel
Credit: Johann Edwin Heupel

Sir David reiterated his warning during an interview with the Associated Press to mark his 90th birthday on Sunday, when he explained the most critical problems facing the natural world today. Top of his list was rising temperatures caused by climate change – “a very, very serious worry indeed”.

Top of his list was rising temperatures caused by climate change – “a very, very serious worry indeed”.

The celebarated naturalist said that rising temperatures caused by climate change was at the very top of his list of concerns,  was rising temperatures caused by climate change describing it as a: “a very, very serious worry indeed”.

“Children around the world today are going to inherit a very different world from the one I inherited — one which is much more crowded and one which has more severe problems than anybody could have supposed, certainly when I was a child,” he said.

“I believe that if we find ways of generating and storing power from renewable resources, we will make the problem with oil and coal and other carbon fuels disappear because, economically, we will wish to use these other methods. And if we do that, a huge step will have been taken toward solving the problems of the Earth.”

In an exclusive interview with Sky News in November 2015, ahead of the COP21 global climate change summit in Paris, Sir David called on the “scientific brains of the world” to get together to find a way of stopping global warming in its tracks.

Sir David said that scientists should be challenged to make affordable energy from renewable sources within 10 years and that it could take just one big breakthrough to stop global warming in its tracks.

“What we need is a universal plan where the scientific brains of the world get together and work out a road map to solve where the difficulties are – and to do it within the next 10 years,” said the veteran broadcaster and naturalist.

“If you can put a man on the moon in ten years, you can create cheap renewable energy within that time too,” he said.

Over a celebrated career spanning six decades, Sir David Attenborough has issued multiple warnings about the fate of our planet and the effects of climate change on humanity and the natural world, should it fail to tackle the issue.

These are warnings that have largely fallen on deaf ears where those in power are concerned. We should all seek inspiration from Sir David and learn from his example of tirelessly fighting for the preservation of the natural world.


Video Credit: Sky News