Thursday 9pm – 10pm, BBC1
It is fair to say that David Attenborough in one television series achieved far more public awareness on the use of plastics than any other scientist, environmental group, protest or documentary has ever done before. The Blue Planet 2 series highlighted the destruction and devastating effects plastic had on the ocean. Some 88% of people who saw the programme have drastically changed their habits, and the public pressure has forced many businesses to change their habits – McDonalds for example has driven a change from plastic to paper straws.
It is perhaps very fitting that the veteran presenter and naturalist is provided the opportunity to put Climate Change in the spotlight in this documentary. “Right now, we’re facing our gravest threat in thousands of years: Climate Change” is Attenborough’s opening line in the programme and echos what he recently stated to the BBC – “make firm statements about what until five or ten years ago were matters of opinion…it’s about what the facts are. And the facts are the facts are the facts”. Arguably the facts should now be about what actions we should undertake, but the BBC have thrust this programme onto their main channel at prime time to influence as many people as possible.
Attenborough and a series of distinguished scientists such as Michael Mann, James Hansen and Naomi Oreskes. The experts set those facts to us straight, revealing how CO2 emission targets have not been met and if that continues to be the case the dire consequences and prospects we, and future generations face, particularly if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees.
The programme looks at the work of not only the most brilliant academic minds tackling the problem but the inspirational and great grassroots movements, particularly Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg who organised school strikes against climate change which resonated around the globe. While the programme may have the aura of doom and gloom there is optimism and pathways on how we can all contribute to reversing the effects. Attenborough offers “Everyone of us has the power to make changes and to make them now”.
This is a powerful programme that we must all pay attention to, particularly for those of us with grandchildren, children, nieces or nephews, the planet needs our help and Attenborough’s message makes that very clear.
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