When Sir David Attenborough was a boy, he spent most of his spare time searching for abandoned quarries in the English countryside, with a hammer in hand. Their prey: fossilized ammonites, spiral-shaped mollusks that lived in the time of the dinosaurs.
for young Attenborough, The fossils were like buried treasure He was surprised that he was the first to lay his eyes on them tens of millions of years ago.
The natural world will keep him captive for the rest of his life.
Today, Attenborough, 95, is arguably the world’s most famous nature documentary broadcaster. Throughout his career that began with the dawn of television, he has written and presented some of the most influential series on the state of the planet, such as ‘Life(Life), over a decade.
Through what The New York Times called “God’s voice telling stories” and an insatiable curiosity, he has spent 70 years uncovering the beauty of the natural world — and exposing the threats it faces. Along the way, it gave hundreds of millions of viewers a glimpse into a more sustainable future.
“If the world is saved, Attenborough will have more to do with his salvation than anyone else.” Ecologist and author Simon Barnes wrote.
United Nations Environment / BCC
The United Nations has recognized Attenborough’s tremendous impact on the global environmental movement, awarding him theEarth Heroes“For life. This award is the most important by the United Nations in the field of environment and honors those who have dedicated their lives to combating crises such as climate change, species loss and pollution.
“You have been an extraordinary inspiration to so many people,” said Inger Andersen, CEO of United Nations Environment Program (United Nations Environment Programme), award presentation to Attenborough. “If we have a chance to prevent the collapse of climate and biodiversity, and restore polluted ecosystems, it is because Millions fell in love with the planet he showed us on TV.”.
in favor of pluralism
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change / Chiara Worth
“We live in a new era in which Nationalism is not enough. “We have to feel like we’re all citizens of the same planet, because if we don’t, we won’t solve problems,” Attenborough said upon receiving the award.. We know what the problems are and we know how to solve them. The only thing missing is a standardized action. These problems cannot be solved by a single nation, no matter how big they are..
In addition to his work in the media, Attenborough is one of the leading voices in the global environmental movement. It has appeared at historic summits, such as the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, where it called for a united global effort to combat threats to the Earth.
He has also collaborated with the United Nations Environment Program for at least four decades, giving his voice to a series of campaigns and short films highlighting the organization’s efforts to combat the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution. This work is driven by the belief that no single country can solve the planet’s environmental problems on its own.
The sound of BBC documentaries
© Unsplash / Sagar Paranjape
Attenborough graduated from the University of Cambridge with a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences in 1947, but soon discovered that he did not have the ability to research life. So he made his way to the BBC. Just when TV crept into homes.
His first appearance on television occurred on December 21, 1954, in zoo questa series of round-the-world travels featuring Britons fascinated by exotic creatures such as orangutans and Komodo dragons.
Gifted as an official and as a presenter, Attenborough rose through the ranks of Britain’s national broadcaster, and eventually came out BBC Two. There are costs, among other series, Monty Python Flying Circus.
But management wasn’t his business, and in 1973 Attenborough left his offices to return to filmmaking.
The result will be his historical series in 1979 life on earthan epic that traced the history of the living world, from the first microbes to humanity.
The series ran for three years and Attenborough traveled 1.5 million kilometers during filming. scope and ambition, life on earth She redefined the natural history documentary and was watched by nearly 500 million people.
Over the next three decades, Attenborough wrote and made eight other great documentaries, focusing the world’s attention on what it is It’s called the “amazing wonders of nature”.
Nature is in danger
But as his career progressed, Attenborough witnessed the disintegration of the natural world. As the presence of mankind has grown, the presence of nature has receded. Human activity has changed three-quarters of the Earth’s surface and put one million species at risk.
said at the end living planet of 1984. “It is clear that We can destroy the world. Survival [de la Tierra] It’s now in our hands.”
Attenborough’s films showed the world that the environment is not infinite, that it is delicate and needs protection, and that humanity is dangerously separated from nature.
Last year, when he was over 90 years old, he addressed world leaders in United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“We’re already in trouble,” he said. Is this how our story will end? A story of the most intelligent of species condemned by that very human characteristic of not seeing the big picture in pursuit of short-term goals.”
But, as usual, Attenborough’s words were tinged with optimism. A recurring theme in his films was that despite the dire state of the planet, humanity could still repair the damage it had caused.
He said in “Not everything is pessimism” life on our planet (2020), review of his career. “We have a chance to repair the damage, to complete our developmental journey and return to being beings in balance with nature. All we need is the will to do it.”
Make peace with nature
United Nations Environment / Lulu Kitululu
In the same film, he presented a recipe for reconciliation with nature. He focused on raising living standards in poor countries to reduce population growth, adopting clean energy such as solar and wind energy, eating more plant foods, which are less harmful to the planet, and giving up fossil fuels.
“If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us“It is time for our species to stop growing, to establish life on our planet in equilibrium with nature, and to begin to thrive,” he said.
Attenborough’s work and activism led to him being knighted (twice) in the UK and naming dozens of species, from Attenborosaurus (Prehistoric reptile swims) to nepenthes attenboroughii (Carnivorous plant).
In recent years, Attenborough has continued to lend his voice to natural history documentaries, receiving a pair of 2021 Emmy Award nominations for his novel. (In his career, he has won three Emmys and eight BAFTA Awards.)
For decades, world leaders have consulted Attenborough to find solutions to crises facing the natural world, perhaps to the shock of their enthusiasm.
in 2015 visited the White House To chat with US President Barack Obama, who asked Attenborough what triggered his “deep fascination” with the natural world.
“I’ve never met a kid who had no interest in natural history,” He answered, perhaps remembering his days searching for fossils in the English countryside. “So the question is: How did we lose it?”
*This news appeared, Originally published in Englishon the United Nations Environment Program website
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