David Attenborough on How Saving Nature Will Ultimately Save Ourselves
Sir David Attenborough's highly-anticipated documentary, A Life On Our Planet, is set to be released on Sunday, October 4th in the U.S. Anderson Cooper recently interviewed Attenborough on 60 Minutes about the new film and how saving nature will save the population.
Attenborough refers to his latest work as a "witness statement" from his 65 plus years traveling the world. Cooper began the interview by asking why Attenborough refers to this documentary as a witness statement, saying that “witness statements are often used when a crime has been committed.” Attenborough responded, "Yes, but a crime has been committed and it so happens that I'm at an age where I have been able to see it beginning.”
At the age of 28, David Attenborough was working for BBC when he managed to convince his bosses that he should be traveling the world. Now, at the age of 94, Attenborough is looking back at all the exotic trips he has taken just to realize that the places he once visited are no longer the same. “Wherever I went there was wilderness… you could fly for hours over the untouched wilderness." Now, areas that once were vibrant and colorful like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, "look like a cemetery."
Attenborough's films have focused on showcasing the beauty of the natural world, but this latest Netflix film will highlight the destruction of habitats and how climate change has contributed to that. He has always been a skeptic of climate change, but now is warning people about the dangers it presents, which in itself is a testament to its seriousness. “Climate change is the greatest threat challenging this world for thousands of years,” said Attenborough.
Attenborough believes the pandemic has shown people we need the natural world to keep us sane and inspired. Ultimately, we are a part of it, he says. “We depend upon the natural world for every mouthful of food we eat and indeed every lung full of air that we breathe... If it wasn’t for the natural world the atmosphere would be depleted from oxygen tomorrow. If there were no trees we would suffocate,” Attenborough explained.
Changing the way we eat and treat nature will save the planet.
Attenborough is hoping this will be a wake-up call for the world to not only change the way we eat but also how we treat nature in hopes of saving the planet while we still have time. He believes “the time has come to put aside national ambition and look for the international ambition of survival."
Attenborough believes we can redeem ourselves by rewilding the planet by giving animals space and time to bounce back, using renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels, and switching to a vegetarian diet.
Attenborough has faith that younger generations will fix the damage that has been done by his generation, which he says has failed and allowed this all to happen. To Attenborough, our natural world is irreplaceable and he would rather live amongst the badgers, jellyfish, and hummingbirds rather than escape to the dust on the moon or Mars.