Sir David Attenborough’s Personal Strategies for Caring About the Climate
Sir David Attenborough recently joined Instagram and became an overnight sensation. His purpose is to help teach people how to live more sustainably and help save the planet through their individual choices. The host of "Planet Earth" is eager to convey to his fans the urgency of the situation we are in regarding climate change. His most recent IGTV featured a dialogue with 9 climate activists including celebrities, such as Billie Eilish and David Beckham as well as wildlife experts and conservation officers. In the 16-minute video, Attenborough shares seven ways we can better understand the climate crisis, which he hopes will lead us to each want to make individual changes that will lead to taking better care of the planet.
Observation #1: Look after the wild world, take care of animals, and don't waste food or electricity.
David Beckham, a former professional soccer player who recently gave up meat, asked Attenborough, "If you had one message to our children about the future of our world, what would it be?"
"To look after the wild world of which we are apart," Attenborough answered. "To care for the animals that you see. Don't waste things, don't waste food, don't waste electricity. Look after the natural world it is the most precious thing we have and we are a part of it."
Observation #2: It's terrible [to see] what we are doing to the natural world, not only in the sea but on the land and in the air.
Grammy award-winning singer and vegan Billie Eilish asked, "How do you cope with your personal feelings about all the animals that are losing their lives and or going extinct. How do you deal with that as a human being?"
"I think the most astonishing sight of the natural world that I've ever seen and one I shall never forget was the first time I ever dived on a coral reef," Attenborough answered. "You go into a new world and its a world of extraordinary beauty and complexity and wonder. You see all kinds of wonderfully colored fish, lots of creatures you don't even know to exist," said Attenborough.
He continued, "The richest the most beautiful the most varied sight in all of the natural world. And I went through almost exactly the same places where I first saw that on the Barrier Reef. and instead of that pageant of life. it was like a cemetery. It was stark white, it had died, it had been killed by the rising temperate by that we humans had created. That was a terrible sight and terrible vision of what we are doing to the natural world not only in the sea but on the land and in the air."
Observation #3: Notice how nature can flourish in the corners of the world, such as city parks.
Netflix stars Asa, Trish, and Kedar from the show Sex Education asked, "How do you think people can reconnect on a budget?"
"It is amazing how much the natural world can come into our cities," Attenborough says. "Most of our cities have parks of one kind or another and then many parts of the country are wild parts. They have been put aside as little corners in which nature can flourish and you would be astonished at how much stuff you can see there. How many different kinds of butterflies how many different kinds of birds."
Observation #4: During these recent months... I've realized there's so much to see... that you will realize you never actually looked at [it] before.
Maisie Williams, an actress most famous for her role in Game of Thrones, asked "Given the travel restrictions how can people better connect with nature?"
"During these recent months of the lockdown, I've been spending more and more time in the garden and realizing what riches there are. But apart from that, I've got a little pond and I've got dragonflies. Wonderful dragonflies, at least half a dozen different kinds come to that pond...There's so much to see and so much [to observe] that you will realize that you never actually looked at [it] before."
Observation #5: "We are responsible for what we buy."
Manchester United soccer player Marcus Rashford asked, "What's causing our forest to be cut down. and how do we save them?"
"Trees forest are very vulnerable, very tempting for people who want to make a quick buck because they are easy money. You cut the forest down and you sell the timber. Then having done that, the land that has been cleared, you can plat soy, palm oil, which we in the west use in such great quantities," explained Attenborough.
He continued: "So we are responsible because for what we buy, for the quick profit that people can get from their forests. It's crucially important we remember that the [forrests] are even more vulnerable than that because they are the most critical element in the whole complex of climate, rainfall, and fertility that keeps that natural world going."
Observation #6: Show people [natural] things and suddenly they become aware that these things that they've only seen in picture books or on television are real.
East African Wildlife Expert Sammy Menene asked, "I'm looking at this continent where we are pushing our wildlife in a corner where they are unable to survive. What should we do to make the world understand that we are pushing the wildlife too hard? What can we do to make them understand that we need to change?"
"The first thing is that you show people things and suddenly they become aware that these things that they've only seen in picture books or on television are real things, They are living things. they're living there but people gave got to realize that they are valuable not only valuable to the world as it were but valuable national assets that people will come from different continents, that people will come from different continents simply to see the splendors that you have."
Observation #7: We can't solve most of this problem by ourselves. We depend upon one another and upon agreeing.
"How can we use this simple technology of ancient irrigation systems built by kings to save our forest and eventually save our planets?' asked Conservation officer Sunil Gunathilake.
"We can't solve most of this problem by ourselves. We depend upon one another and upon agreeing," Attenborough says. "The only way you're going to solve those problems is by international agreements between countries. But one way in which you can do that is to work out the economy of it to put a price on these services that nature provides which we have to share among ourselves."
"How that is done is a huge problem and what you've touched on is a problem as I've said in nature of what faces the whole world. because the time has come now when we can't just have our own selfish interest When we have to think of other people who are dependant upon what we do That certainly applies to the rivers but it applies to everybody on the planet. We have to work together. We have to have international agreements. We have to work things out."