Tag: Sir David Attenborough

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.

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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.

Caring for the family: Correction Truth.

Nature so often guides us in how to behave.

Yes, nature can be cruel but in ways that we understand. Animals, to the best of my knowledge, do not hunt for sport. Animals do not lie. They don’t seek political power (sorry; couldn’t resist that!).

All of which is my short introduction to an item that Dan sent me yesterday.

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image
Cesare Brai’s photo.

A wolf pack: the first 3 are the old or sick, they give the pace to the entire pack.
If it was the other way round, they would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed.

Then come 5 strong ones, the front line. In the center are the rest of the pack members, then the 5 strongest following. Last is alone, the alpha. He controls everything from the rear.

In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack. The pack moves according to the elders pace and help each other, watch each other.

For once I am speechless, I knew that wolves are different, but didn’t realize how much we could learn from them…

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Compelling, eh! But factually correct?

No!

In this case Nature is not guiding us. It is man misguiding us.

Or in the words of the Truth or Fiction website:

That makes for a compelling and inspirational story about teamwork — but it’s not true.

David Attenborough took the photo in question for the BBC’s “Frozen Planet” Series in 2011. It shows 25 timber wolves hunting bison in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. The female alpha wolf led the pack, and the others followed in a single file line to save energy as they made their way through deep snow, according to the environmental website Benvironment.

Wolf packs are typically about half the size of the pack pictured in the photo from 2011. Most packs don’t hunt prey the size of bison (which is 10 times the size of a wolf), but the larger pack is able to. And the wolves walking in a single file line through deep snow is a classic example of how they’re able to use weather conditions to their advantage while hunting prey that’s much larger than them.

Also, the idea that wolves have to be on the lookout for “ambushes” or attacks isn’t true, either. Wolves are at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators. Aside from turf battles with other wolves (which wouldn’t start in an ambush) bears are the only threat to wolves in Canada. Even so, experts say that bears are only able to prey on wolf pups because grown wolves are too fast, swift and clever to get caught by them.

I will close with this quotation from Andre Gide:

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

Role model extraordinare!

In salute of Sir David Attenborough.

Yesterday, a wonderful number of readers ‘Liked’ my set of photographs on the theme of being a wildlife photographer. Thus it was providential, when deliberating on what to write for today’s post, to see that George Monbiot had published an article covering his recent interview with Sir David.

Before republishing that interview, let’s take a look at the man; Sir David that is!

Wikipedia has a comprehensive and fulsome description of him, that opens, thus:

Sir David Frederick Attenborough/ˈætənbʌrə/OMCHCVOCBEFRSFLSFZSFSAKt (born 8 May 1926)[2][3] is an English broadcaster and naturalist.

He is best known for writing and presenting the nine Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on the planet. He is also a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, and 3D.

Attenborough is widely considered a national treasure in Britain, although he himself does not like the term.[4][5][6] In 2002 he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.[7] He is the younger brother of director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough.[8]

Then I want you to view this short video:

Published on May 2, 2014

From across YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, we’ve taken your comments during #AttenboroughWeek and made this video as a thank you to everyone who got involved. Click on the annotations to see each of the clips in full.

Now on to the George Monbiot interview, republished here with Mr. Monbiot’s kind and generous permission.

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Rare Specimen

If you need a reminder of how beautiful our planet is (and I’m sure the majority of LfD readers don’t require that reminder) then go back and watch David Attenborough’s video and voice-over to the song  What a Wonderful World. This short but very compelling video shows why the planet is so worth protecting. Enjoy!

So make a diary note to celebrate Sir David’s 90th birthday on May 8th.

The power of caring.

An abandoned baby deer is brought back to health.

I am a very firm believer in the principle that how we care for our planet and all the wild life thereon is a very reliable indicator of our commitment to living sustainably on Planet Earth.

With that in mind, I am delighted to republish this story that I first read over on Mother Nature News.

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Tenderhearted outdoorsman nurses abandoned baby deer back to health

By: Catie Leary, October 27, 2015

Darius Sasnauskas was thrilled to witness the birth of twin fawns in his backyard earlier this year, but the Lithuanian outdoorsman’s joy melted away when he noticed that one of the babies was suffering from an injury to its front leg. After failing to keep up with its more able-bodied sibling, the limping fawn was eventually left behind by its mother in Sasnauskas’ yard.

Knowing that the fawn wouldn’t last long in the wild with bears and wolves on the prowl, Sasnauskas (pictured below, with the fawn) knew he had no choice but to step in and try to rescue and rehabilitate the helpless creature.

outdoorsmandeer.jpg.838x0_q80

“I do not support keeping wild animals as pets, but this was special situation,” Sasnauskas writes. “I am sure that any of us with a little bit of a conscience about our existence, with love for the nature and animals would do the same.”

Although the first few minutes of the video are incredibly heartbreaking to watch, the story ends happily. After taking in the fawn and nursing it back to health, he began a tireless vMpBk5 search for its mother and sibling, with the ultimate goal of releasing it back into the wild. It wasn’t easy — the fawn spent so much time around Sasnauskas while it was healing that it was quite reluctant to leave his side. The little baby even became inseparable pals with his dog, Mack (at right), who was happy to provide an unlimited supply of nurturing licks throughout the rehabilitation process.

It took some time, but the fawn was finally able to say good-bye to Sasnauskas and Mack and rejoin its mother and sibling after they happened to return to the farm one evening. Since that joyous reunion, Sasnauskas has spotted the family roaming near his farm several times, and from the looks of it, both fawns are growing up strong and healthy.

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The original article included the following video, that you just have to watch.

Here it is:

Published on Sep 28, 2015
A deer doe abandoned one of her twin fawns, the fawn had injured leg and could not keep up with the mother.
I do not support keeping wild animals as a pets, but this was special situation. The baby deer was healed and released back to her real mother.
Update: The doe and two her fawns is still around, we seen them through the summer and the autumn.

I am thankful for every single person who liked, shared and left a comment. I didn’t expect this story to become so popular. I am sure that any of us with a little bit of a conscience about our existence, with love for the nature and animals would do the same.

Music used in the video:
Breaktime – Silent Film Light by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-…
Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Minor With Cricket by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Last Kiss Goodnight by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-…
Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Just imagine how we would treasure our world if the majority of us felt such compassion.

So will close today’s post with a quote from Sir David Attenborough:

“People are not going to care about animal conservation unless they think that animals are worthwhile.”

A planet worth protecting

This is our beautiful planet.

There have been a couple of hard-hitting posts this week, first about the implications of climate, with respect to the massive drought across the USA this year, and the efforts of Polly Higgins of the Eradicating Ecocide movement to make ecocide a crime against humanity.

This short but very compelling video shows why the planet is so worth protecting. Enjoy!

Copenhagen – the unspoken issue

It’s getting crowded down here!

For those readers who are not regular BBC television viewers, the Beeb has for many years run an excellent factual/science & nature series under the name of Horizon.  Just recently there was a programme with the title of How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?

Sir David Attenborough

It was presented by that familiar face on the BBC in terms of the natural world, Sir David Attenborough.  It was an appropriate and worthy person to present the information.

But before getting into some of the details underpinning the programme, there seems to been an enormous and unspoken omission at Copenhagen – why no debate about global population trends?

Luckily the media noticed the rather obvious exclusion.  Here’s the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper (online version) of the 8th December, 2009. An extract:

Population growth is the one issue accused of causing driving climate change that no one at the Copenhagen climate summit dares to talk about.

The argument is that more people consume more resources, therefore producing more greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

The global population is currently at 6 billion and could rise to 11 billion by 2050 if fertility rates continue, not only threatening the climate, but food shortages and conflict as well.

Organisations like the Optimum Population Trust, that is backed by Sir Jonathan Porritt, Dame Jane Goodall and Sir David Attenborough, advocate birth control as a way of slowing climate change.

As Sir David has said: “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.”

A study by the London School of Economics found contraception is almost five times cheaper as a means of preventing climate change than conventional green solutions such as investing in green technology.

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