David Attenborough addresses world leaders at G7
The legendary BBC presenter sent a scathing warning to the richest nations ahead of the COP26 climate change talks In 2021. Sir David was speaking at Kew Gardens in London during filming for the landmark series The Green Planet. He told the BBC that the world faces a “really catastrophic” doomsday scenario if there is no action, adding there is a “moral responsibility” on them now.
Sir David stressed the recent IPCC report, that issued a “code red” for humanity over climate change proved that he and others had not been making “a fuss about nothing”.
He added: “What climate scientists have been saying for 20 years, and that we have been reporting upon, you and I both, is the case – we were not causing false alarms.
“And every day that goes by in which we don’t do something about it is a day wasted. And things are being made worse”.
But he said the report had not convinced everyone and that they are acting as a brake on efforts to tackle climate change.
“There are still people in North America, there are still people in Australia who say ‘no, no, no, no, of course, it’s very unfortunate that there was that forest fire that absolutely demolished, incinerated that village, but it’s a one-off’.
“Particularly if it’s going to cost money in the short term, the temptation is to deny the problem and pretend it’s not there.
“But every month that passes, it becomes more and more incontrovertible, the changes to the planet that we are responsible for that are having these devastating effects.
“If we don’t act now, it will be too late. We have to do it now.”
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And he did not stop there. Sir David highlighted some of the impacts that will be seen in the short term.
He said: “Whole parts of Africa are likely to be unliveable – people will simply have to move away because of the advancing deserts and increasing heat, and where will they go? Well, a lot of them will try to get into Europe.
“Do we say, ‘Oh, it’s nothing to do with us’ and cross our arms?
“We caused it – our kind of industrialisation is one of the major factors in producing this change in climate. So we have a moral responsibility.
“Even if we didn’t cause it, we would have a moral responsibility to do something about thousands of men, women and children who’ve lost everything, everything. Can we just say goodbye and say this is no business of ours?”
Sir David was echoing the thoughts of many scientists – who last week revealed 99% of them agree humans have caused climate change.
How it is dealt with now is imperative, or it could risk human extinction and the end of the world as we know it.
While past extinctions have been due to primarily volcanic eruptions and meteorites, the sixth major extinction is forecasted to be from human behaviours.
Climate change is occurring at an alarming rate – studies by the IPCC show that it is estimated that the temperature will rise from about 1.4C to 5.5C if action is not taken.
Sir David is back on our screens this weekend as he presents Planet Earth III on BBC One.
The naturalist said of the highly-anticipated series, which focuses on the four corners of the globe: “The natural world is not always there, simply because we have become such a dominant species in terms of numbers
“We’ve now got to realise that we’ve got to live together and not on the terms that we choose.”
The show will look at how animals are adapting to manmade changes.
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