David Attenborough has been educating us about the environment for over half a century. The legendary naturalist has been consistently warning about climate change over recent years, and the 2018 UN climate summit saw Attenborough deliver his most chilling warning to world leaders yet.
Collapse of Civilisation
Attenborough was chosen to take the “People’s seat” and make a speech to delegates at COP24, the UN climate summit in Poland:
Attenborough set the tone of his speech early, opening with a grim warning to world leaders:
Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon
“I am only here to represent the voice of the people,” he added. “to deliver our collective thoughts, concerns, ideas, and suggestions”.
The naturalist then took aim at the delegates:
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision makers, to act now. They’re behind you, along with civil society, represented here today. Supporting you in making tough decisions but also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives.
Attenborough concluded with an impassioned plea to world leaders, stating:
The people have spoken. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands.
The award-winning naturalist has been consistently warning the world about climate change during the past two decades.
In a 2011 BBC interview, Attenborough warned the evidence for climate change is “incontrovertible” and that these changes to the environment will have “catastrophic effects on the human race“. In a 2012 interview with the Guardian, he warned that scientists were ‘under-representing the dangers‘ of climate change and that the situation is “worse than we thought“.
Attenborough even used his award-winning programmes Planet Earth and Blue Planet to warn us about climate change:
— BBC One (@BBCOne) December 11, 2016
Leaders must lead
Attenborough’s grim warning at the UN comes at a critical time in climate change history.
The latest World Meteorological Organisation report shows that the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are the four hottest since records began and the past 22 years have included the 20 warmest. The UN states that in order to avoid going over a 1.5C rise in temperature, climate action must be increased “fivefold”.
2017 saw Donald Trump turn his back on the Paris agreement. The US president remains sceptical of climate change, even ignoring factual evidence from his own administration. The world is also set to exceed the global warming targets set out in the 2015 Paris accord much earlier than previously thought.
The COP24 summit hopes to establish a “rulebook” which will work towards making rules, clarifying financing, and creating ways to verify that nations are meeting their emissions targets.
Let’s hope Attenborough’s message resonated with these global leaders. The world needs to collectively work towards stopping climate change once and for all, before it’s all too late.
Featured image via YouTubeSupport us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.