In a chilling opening keynote address to the nations attending this year’s UN Climate Summit in Poland, David Attenborough demanded urgent action now, because the “Collapse of our civilizations and extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
Sir David Attenborough, shown in a video sent out to gather comments on behalf of "The People's Seat" for the currently-ongoing United Nations' COP24 Summit on Climate Change in Poland. (Screen capture from video on the UN's Sustainable Development Blog.) Photo: United Nations
Renowned British naturalist David Attenborough was given ‘The People’s Seat’ to deliver a stirring and urgent message to the members attending the United Nations’ COP24 climate summit in Katowice, Poland.
During his opening address, Attenborough took the stage to speak on behalf of the millions of people around the planet who are demanding action to do something about the relentless destruction of the planet from climate change. Even knowing that much of the damage has already been done and the direction of climate change is likely now irreversible, Attenborough said that, “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
He spoke after several weeks of more bad climate news making headlines. On November 22, the UN announced that greenhouse gas emissions had hit yet another record high for 2017. There was also the release of the United States' sponsored Fourth National Climate Assessment, which - while watered down quite a bit and way too optimistic -- between its many pages of data gave at least some indication of how the bad our climate crisis is becoming.
With ordinary people around the world being the ones who have borne the brunt of inaction and deliberate continued support of the poisonous fossil fuel industry, a video compilation shown at the event demonstrated how the earth and all who live upon it are at a precipice of even worse coming disaster if nothing further is done.
As Attenborough said, it is those people who have suffered and continue to be the ones dealing with the impacts of human-caused global warming. Yet those people have proven they can and will do whatever it takes to sacrifice and make significant shifts to save the planet for a die-off of most who live upon it.
Their stories were gathered after an outreach to the globes using the #TakeYourSeat hashtag. Millions were asked to share how climate change had affected themselves, their families, their health and the communities around them.
After showing the video and delivering the rest of his speech, Attenborough was succinct and clear in his final words to the audience. “The people have spoken,” he said. “Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of civilization and the natural world on which we depend, is in your hands.”