Sir David Attenborough.

A very great man!

For someone born on May 8th, 1926 he, perhaps, should be slowing down. But none of it. He is passionate about how we are endangering our planet. And having a public profile he is the right position to do something about it, albeit a warning statement.

Plus, he is not the only one doing something about it. For Extinction Rebellion are protesting in the London streets.

But back to Sir David.

I’m assuming that it is OK to republish in full an item that appeared on BBC News yesterday. And according to their terms it is OK.

ooOOoo

Climate change: Sir David Attenborough warns of ‘catastrophe’

By Matt McGrath, Environment correspondent

(There is a video on the webpage that I am unable to copy across. Please go here to watch it. Update: I think I have got it.)

Sir David Attenborough has issued his strongest statement yet on the threat posed to the world by climate change.

In the BBC programme Climate Change – The Facts, the veteran broadcaster outlines the scale of the crisis facing the planet.

Sir David says we face “irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies”.

But there is still hope, he says, if dramatic action to limit the effects is taken over the next decade.

Sir David’s new programme lays out the science behind climate change, the impact it is having right now and the steps that can be taken to fight it.

“In the 20 years since I first started talking about the impact of climate change on our world, conditions have changed far faster than I ever imagined,” Sir David states in the film.

“It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.”

Speaking to a range of scientists, the programme highlights that temperatures are rising quickly, with the world now around 1C warmer than before the industrial revolution.

“There are dips and troughs and there are some years that are not as warm as other years,” says Dr Peter Stott from the Met Office.

“But what we have seen is the steady and unremitting temperature trend. Twenty of the warmest years on record have all occurred in the last 22 years.”

The programme shows dramatic scenes of people escaping from wildfires in the US, as a father and son narrowly escape with their lives when they drive into an inferno.

Scientists say that the dry conditions that make wildfires so deadly are increasing as the planet heats up.

Greenland is losing ice five times as fast as it was 25 years ago – Getty Images.

Some of the other impacts highlighted by scientists are irreversible.

“In the last year we’ve had a global assessment of ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland and they tell us that things are worse than we’d expected,” says Prof Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds.

“The Greenland ice sheet is melting, it’s lost four trillion tonnes of ice and it’s losing five times as much ice today as it was 25 years ago.”

These losses are driving up sea levels around the world. The programme highlights the threat posed by rising waters to people living on the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana, forcing them from their homes.

“In the US, Louisiana is on the front line of this climate crisis. It’s losing land at one of the fastest rates on the planet – at the rate of of a football field every 45 minutes,” says Colette Pichon Battle, a director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy.

People are moving from parts of Louisiana in the US as a result of rising waters. – Julie Dermansky

“The impact on families is going to be something I don’t think we could ever prepare for.”

Hope rising

Sir David’s concern over the impacts of climate change has become a major focus for the naturalist in recent years.

This has also been a theme of his One Planet series on Netflix.

His new BBC programme has a strong emphasis on hope.

Sir David argues that if dramatic action is taken over the next decade then the world can keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5C this century. This would limit the scale of the damage.

“We are running out of time, but there is still hope,” says Sir David.

“I believe that if we better understand the threat we face the more likely it is we can avoid such a catastrophic future.”

The programme says that rapid progress is being made in renewable energy, with wind now as cheap as fossil fuels in many cases. It shows how technologies to remove and bury carbon dioxide under the ground are now becoming more viable.

But politicians will need to act decisively and rapidly.

“This is the brave political decision that needs to be taken,” says Chris Stark from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change.

Teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg has helped spark school strikes all over the world. – Getty Images.

“Do we incur a small but not insignificant cost now, or do we wait and see the need to adapt. The economics are really clear on this, the costs of action are dwarfed by the costs of inaction.”

The programme also highlights the rising generation of young people who are deeply concerned about what’s happening to the planet.

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg explains that things can change quickly, despite the scale of the challenge on climate change.

“The first day I sat all alone,” she says, speaking of her decision to go on strike from school and sit outside the Swedish parliament to highlight the climate crisis.

“But on the second day, people started joining me… I wouldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that this would have happened so fast.”

“Change is coming whether you like it or not.”

Follow Matt on Twitter@mattmcgrathbbc

Climate Change – The Facts is on BBC One on Thursday 18 April at 9pm

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There are so many quotes in this item that one can hardly pick out the most pertinent one.

Change is coming whether you like it or not.

The impact on families is going to be something I don’t think we could ever prepare for.

… irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies“.

But this is the most powerful one! “We are running out of time, but there is still hope,” says Sir David.

12 thoughts on “Sir David Attenborough.

    1. Yes… I did Paul. And it was all that I already knew, but for many, shown on prime time TV, it would have been a chilling awakening to what is happening. I see it first hand in Britain, one of the most wildlife depleted nations in the world.
      Extinction Rebellion is gaining a lot of support here. Politicians are slow to wake up. Greta Thunberg has been attacked by the British press and climate change denying trolls. She is an amazing young Activist. I will not sit quietly and allow UK to slander her motives, or her parentage.
      David Attenborough is trying to toe the moderate line in order to get people on target with mitigating solutions. But without full support of our Government to enact such mitigation in law, it will descend into chaos and division.

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      1. What can I add to what you say, Colette! It’s a very frightening situation and I can well believe the view that we have 10 or 11 years left. But hats off to Greta Thunberg!

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  1. The wolves howl in the night, and still the stars don’t fall. Hypocrites and greedsters want glory, but 93% of humanity’s primary energy comes from MAKING CO2. What is child star Greta, daughter of her celebrity acting parents, doing about that? Travelling all over, with an infantile message? More acting? What we need is hard core engineering:
    https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/new-green-deal-is-nuclear-or-is-not-mass-murder-the-alternative/

    Like

  2. Paul, don’t get too paranoid about reprints. Just because somebody got a hair across their butt – because, face it, the Internet brings out the worst in so many people – doesn’t mean that we all are this way. Sorry this happened to you. 😕

    Like

  3. Sadly, hating Greta’s motivation to speak out, will not help this Patrice. She has done one very strong thing, and that is to get people talking about Climate change. That generally leads to action. Don’t shoot the messengers, especially as there are so few of them that we can trust. Greta is the first to admit that she does not have answers. She wants adults to come up with them.

    Greta recently dealt with her trolling detractors on Facebook.
    Maybe you should read it. Far from childish. Very grown up, I think.

    https://m.facebook.com/gretathunbergsweden/photos/as-the-rumours-lies-and-constant-leaving-out-of-well-established-facts-continue-/773673599667129/

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