The natural world’s greatest hero, Sir David Attenborough, has declared that the collapse of civilisation is on the horizon.
The documentary deity spoke at the UN climate change summit in Poland today (December 3), giving an impassioned speech about the severity of our current global situation.
Attenborough was chosen to represent the world’s people in addressing delegates from about 200 nations in Katowice to negotiate how to turn the pledges they made in the 2015 Paris climate deal into reality.
Here is his full powerful speech:
Messages were gathered from all over the world to inform Attenborough’s address.
The naturalist said:
Right now we are facing a manmade 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.
As part of the message to delegates, a video telling the stories of a few different world citizens was played.
One man in the video asks “Do you not see what is going on around you?” while a woman says “We are already seeing increased impacts of climate change in China.”
Another woman, standing outside a building burned down by a wildfire, says: “This used to be my home.”
Sir David continued:
The world’s people have spoken. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now.
Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands
Attenborough urged everyone to use the UN’s new ActNow chatbot, designed to give people the power and knowledge to take personal action against climate change.
The Guardian reportsthe UN secretary general, António Guterres, also addressed the COP24 summit, saying:
Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late.
For many, people, regions and even countries this is already a matter of life or death.
We have a collective responsibility to invest in averting global climate chaos
Climate action offers a compelling path to transform our world for the better. Governments and investors need to bet on the green economy, not the grey.
Donald Trump is still denial about climate change and I truly despair for our world.
Following the report by his own government about the devastating effects of climate change, the President simply said “I don’t believe it.”
Trump clearly has no idea how facts work, a painful side-effect of his conscious blurring of the line between the truth and lies.
Brazil, who were supposed to host these UN climate talks, abandoned the responsibility only two months after winning the bid.
This follows Brazil electing Jair Bolsonaro as the nation’s president amid growing signs of anti-internationalism.
In addition to raising awareness of the indisputable severity of climate change, another goal of the summit is for nations to increase their pledges to cut carbon emissions. Currently the world is on target for a disastrous 3°C of warming.
Hopefully the world listens to Attenborough’s warning and leaders step up to guide their citizens through what will undoubtedly be a host of necessary, and likely major, changes. Humanity’s future on this planet depends on it.
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