David Attenborough from climate change skeptic to evangelist
Sir David Attenborough, who not that long ago was a climate change skeptic, is today an evangelist, i.e. he is 100% convinced climate change is a reality – it is already here – and he wants to spread this message across the globe. He dearly hopes that the Climate Change Talks in Paris this week will mark an important step towards humans cleaning up their own mess and saving the planet for this and future generations.
Climate change, also referred to sometimes as ‘global warming’, today means a change in Earth’s climate caused by human activity. The result has been an increase in greenhouse gas emissions which raise average global atmospheric and ocean temperatures and disrupt climate patterns. The primary greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane(CH4), nitrous oxide(N2O), and ozone(O3).
As climate change causes the ice in the regions of the North Pole and South Pole to melt, sea levels will rise. Rising sea levels would eventually be devastating for hundreds of millions of people.
Sir David is probably the best-known naturalist/broadcaster in the world.
Sir David wanted to be sure before speaking out
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Sir David, probably the world’s best known broadcaster and naturalist, said:
“I make natural history programs on television. Now, if you do that with the regularity I do, you have a hugely privileged position. And so you don’t want to start talking about things that you aren’t sure are true.”
“It’s only in the past decade, that I have come to think about the question of whether or not what I, or anybody else, has been doing, could have contributed to the change in the climate of the planet that is undoubtedly taking place. I was skeptical about climate change. I was cautious about crying wolf.”
Initially, Sir David said he had some private concerns about the rise in temperatures of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. However, he realized that anything he said could have a considerable impact on millions of people globally.
He was also aware that he was a naturalist, not a climate expert, and did not want to speak out impulsively or irresponsibly on the theme.
Sir David Attenborough has been broadcasting nature programmes since 1952.
No question: humanity is responsible for this climate change
Sir David said to Ms. Amanpour:
“But for the past 10 years, really there has been no question as to how … humanity has been responsible for this rise in temperature. It’s much easier to deny it than it is to accept it.”
“Particularly for some people who, it might cost them a lot of money to accept it rather than to deny it. We must minimize this. It’s not easy. But it can be done.”
He believes we have the brains, initiative and creativity to overcome the climate change problem if we really put our minds to it. Within ten years of President John F. Kennedy setting out the challenge of getting a man on the Moon, it was done.
Morocco is building the world’s biggest concentrated solar power plant. The plant in this picutre will supply electricity to 1.1 million Moroccans within the next three years, says the World Bank.
Could the Holy Grail be in solar energy?
If just one five-thousandth of all the Sun’s energy that hits Earth’s surface each day could be tapped, we would have more than enough energy to provide for all our needs, he said enthusiastically.
Over the past twenty years, solar energy technology have advanced remarkably. It is no longer the ‘expensive energy source’ it once was. Today there are some huge solar projects underway or completed across the world. Morocco, for example, will soon be exporting power (sourced from the Sun) to Europe.
Scientists insist that climate change will not be beaten with just one technology. Solar power is great, but only while the Sun is shining. The cost of energy storage is still very high. Sir David believes we have the brains to overcome these obstacles.
Sir David Attenborough was born in 1926 in Isleworth, London, England. He spent his childhood gathering stones, fossils and other natural specimens. In 1945, he gained a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied zoology and geology and obtained a degree in natural sciences. (Image: facebook.com)
Sir David calls on our best scientists to get together
In an interview last week with Dermot Murnaghan, a Sky presenter, Sir David said he believed the Earth’s most eminent scientists should be challenged to make energy from renewable sources at prices we can afford within the next ten years.
He believes that all we need is one major scientific breakthrough to hit global warming on the head and stop it 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.”
“If you can put a man on the moon in 10 years, we can surely do that – and if we did that, the source of global warming would disappear.”
Governments are doing nowhere near enough to address the problem of global warming, despite all the compelling and overwhelming evidence that it is a serious and real threat to the future of our survival.
Sir David said to Mr. Murnaghan:
“Certainly, it’s going to be hugely difficult to get an agreement (in Paris) – but if we don’t we are in for disaster.”
BBC will celebrate Sir David’s 90th birthday
Two natural-history programmes featuring Sir David have been commissioned by the BBC. One of them will be a one-off special to celebrate his 90th birthday.
‘Inspiring Attenborough: Sir David at 90’ will cover his career as a broadcaster. Presenter of Desert Island Discs, Kirsty Young, who interviewed him at the Radio Times Festival’s gala opening event earlier this year, will discuss his life’s work with him.
The other programme, called ‘Light on Earth’, also a one-off special, will examine bioluminescence, the biochemical emission of light by glow-worms, deep-sea fish and other living organisms.
Video – David Attenborough talks about climate change
There is a question that faces us all “What is the future for the climate of planet Earth?” Sir David Attenborough explains in the video that he saw clear evidence that the temperature of our planet’s atmosphere is indeed rising.