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David Attenborough Tackles MPs On Climate Change

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Ben Dolbear Covers Broadcaster’s Last-Ditch Attempts To Avert Climate Crisis


David Attenborough


The BBC broadcaster and naturalist has spoken to UK lawmakers about the importance of taking the current global climate crisis seriously. Appearing in front of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, which is chaired by Labour’s Rachel Reeves, Attenborough implored MPs to change their tack in dealing with environment policy, commenting that politicians ‘cannot be radical enough’ when dealing with issues which have potentially catastrophic consequences for our planet’s existence.


The 93-year-old, who is the voice of Netflix’s new nature documentary series Our Planet and last month praised thousands of Glastonbury attendees for going plastic-free and avoiding over one million single-use plastic bottles, was keen to express that whilst the economic impact of climate change would be grave, the real damage would manifest itself in the form of ‘great social unrest’ in the coming decades if we ignore the very real problems facing us.


Asked about his thoughts on climate deniers, Attenborough encouraged open debate on the issue, but stressed that the vast majority of specialist and authoritative voices in the scientific field display a great level of despair about the state of the climate. In an apparent dig at President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2016, Sir David openly criticised ‘people in power internationally [...] notably, of course, the United States’, who do not strongly advocate dealing with climate change.


Talking about the malleability of public opinion, Attenborough drew a comparison between perceptions of climate change and 19th century views on slavery, saying that whilst it was once ‘perfectly acceptable for civilised human beings to think that it was morally acceptable to actually own another human being for a slave’, public opinion was able to shift radically in the space of ‘twenty or thirty years’ for the better, and the same is happening today.


Attenborough, now into his ninetieth decade, told MPs frankly, ‘I’m okay, and all of us here are okay, because we won’t face the problems that are coming’. In a clear nod to recent action taken by climate protesters Extinction Rebellion and 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, Sir David said that he was encouraged the ‘electors of tomorrow’ who are ‘already making their voices very, very clear’. | Tru. 🌱


 

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