More than likely, you’ve at least heard the name, David Attenborough, even if you don’t remember how or why. The Englishman, who was once a Broadcaster, has spent the last few decades advocating for nature preservation and environmental awareness. On May 8th, 2023, the star celebrated his 97th birthday and it was a trending topic as many worldwide honored his legacy. One such tribute was in regard to one of his most recent documentaries, urging an important message.
David Attenborough’s Prestigious Beginnings
Sir David Attenborough was born in London, England, in 1926. The British broadcaster came from a family full of renowned achievements. His father was a principal at a nearby university. Meanwhile, his mother Mary Attenborough was a founding member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, a sect of the British Royal Air Force. His brothers, Richard and John, would go on to become, an Academy Award-winning actor and director, and a top executive at Alfa Romeo, an Italian car company, respectively.
Prior to his stardom and success, David Attenborough discovered a passion for science very early on. By the age of 7, he had already gathered an impressive collection of bird eggs and dinosaur fossils, a passion that would help him change the world.
Academic Success Leads to Successful Career
After his high school graduation David Attenborough received a scholarship to the University of Cambridge and studied natural sciences. He would then serve 2 years in the Royal Navy before becoming a producer on BBC, airing a series called Zoo Quest. Running for around 10 years, the series highlighted rare or endangered animals and remote habitats. Entertainingly, David Attenborough’s longstanding career has also earned him title of ‘Longest TV Presenter’ in the Guiness Book of World Records.
Seemingly, his most recent projects send a heartfelt warning to the general public. Wild Isles, released early in 2023, follows the lives of animals native to the British Isles. Meanwhile, another mini-series that debuted in 2022, called Frozen Planet II, follows wildlife from colder and icy regions of the world including polar bears and penguins. David Attenborough takes both opportunities to urge people to be more conscientious of how they treat the world and its environment.
David Attenborough’s Heartbreaking Warning
In his opening statements, he addressed, “the commitment made by 120 nations at COP26 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees” must be met in order to, “stand any chance of saving what remains of our frozen planet”. Encouraging people to “honor it, no matter how challenging it may be.”
“We can do it; it’s within our power to do it. We can do it; we must do it. Then there will be a future for the planet.” He explained. Further begging viewers to ensure a future for animals and the entire planet.
Many viewers were overwhelmed by emotion stating the whole thing was “heartbreaking“. With one viewer going so far as to say, “never have there been more powerful words [from Attenborough].” Meanwhile others noted “a dreadful sense of finality“, recognizing David Attenborough’s “age and the dire situation our world has been plunged into.” One major piece of advice he’s offered to the world includes, finding a “spot of nature and simply sit down. Observe your surroundings for about 10 minutes.”
“You’ll [likely] see something pretty interesting.”
Working Toward a Healthier Planet
Sadly, larger entities like major corporations are huge contributors to environmental pollution. Therefore, they and government officials and will have to work together to take on most of the hard work, moving toward more eco-friendly living. However, every person can also do their part to work together and make more environmentally conscious decisions.
Here are some simple steps individuals can take:
- Minimize waste. This includes recycling, buying second hand, or repurposing old junk. Consider donating old clothes, dishes, and other household items. Additionally, ordering food or buying groceries in excess may result in rotten and wasted food.
- Hang Laundry to Dry. It’s not the most convenient method for doing laundry. However, hanging laundry to dry will save hundreds of dollars in electricity and further eliminate your household’s carbon footprint. After all, it was good enough for previous generations, including David Attenborough’s generation.
- Invest in Reusable Products. Switch to reusable containers for storage rather than one time use plastics like Ziplock or garbage bags. Or water bottles. Instead, there are countless water filter products on the market that can be used either for the tap or in the fridge.
- Upgrade to More Eco-Friendly Appliances. Although making this switch can become costly, it could in the long run save money on monthly utility bills. Additionally, using less power will leave behind a smaller carbon footprint.
Steps that may also Boost Mood
- Unplug and Turn Off. Turning off and unplugging electronics while not in use will reduce wasted electricity use. Additionally, spending time with family playing games or talking about the day, reading a book instead of watching tv, or going out for an evening walk are all great and engaging activities to help minimize your household use of power. Interestingly, taking a break from electronics can also help improve the condition of one’s mental health.
- Eat Healthier. While medical professionals express the importance of this, eating cleaner is not only better for individual health, but also the overall health of the planet.
- Buy Locally. This not only helps support neighbors and local business owners and stimulates the economy. Locally sourced products, food, and goods are less costly and better for the environment. The products don’t have to be shipped and delivered by boat, train, or automobile and less fuel is used.
David Attenborough comes from a family of incredible success stories, including his own. Therefore, his knowledge and experience relay the importance of everyone taking steps to better care for nature, animals, and the world at large. To brighten the mood, check out this video of YouTubers sharing their favorite David Attenborough moments.
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- “David Attenborough Naturalist and television personality David Attenborough is the undisputed father of the modern nature documentary.” Biography. David Blatty. September 2019.
- “David Attenborough brings viewers to tears as he makes “urgent final plea“. Lad Bible. Joe Harker. May 8, 2023.
- “‘Want to make your life more environmentally friendly? Here’s 30 ways’.” USA Today Steven Peters. June 17, 2019.