Life for the Planet: David Attenborough turns 95

She is more popular than Rani. The filmmaker of British nature became a fighter against climate change through his travels.

If the British could choose their head of state, then David Attenborough would have very good cards. In March, documentary filmmaker landed second place YouGov Poll, just after Prince William and second ahead of the Queen’s most-liked favorite nominees. David Attenborough, known worldwide as a passionate conservationist, is practically a national pilgrimage center in Great Britain, with the government and royals adorning themselves with their presence. The London native turned 95 on Saturday.

For six decades now, Attenborough has been traveling to the farthest corners of the world to make his films, mostly to the BBC. Sometimes he takes his millions of viewers into the jungle, sometimes he catches an unknown species such as the hairy monfish for the first time for the film. Over the years, Attenborough’s intense engagement with animals, plants and their natural environments has made them aware of the extent to which Earth’s natural equilibrium has been shaken – and has made them a constant fighter against climate change. .

It does not detract from his popularity that he is now declaring the mostly uncomfortable truths: “There is no going back – no matter what we do now, to stop climate change and the poorest, most vulnerable It is too late for this, ”he said recently at the UN Security Council. But perhaps it is often the personal, grandfatherly vocals that make people enjoy listening. A few weeks ago, the 94-year-old replied to a four-year-old man’s letter asking if humanity was going to die like a dinosaur. “The answer is, we don’t have as long as we take good care of our planet,” Attenborough replied. Climate activist Greta Thunberg also appeared as a fan in an interview with an English radio station. “What I probably admire most about him is that despite his age he has been open-minded and opened his mouth,” he said.

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In its documentaries, which are translated and broadcast worldwide, Attenborough presents the climate crisis and its consequences in a visually and at the same time understandable manner. According to estimates, more than 500 million people watched “A Life on Our Planet”. (2020) and the film remained on Netflix for a long time. In his most recent production, “The Year the Earth Changed”, Attenborough investigated the impact of the epidemic on nature – and said that the Earth would be better off without humans.

In between, the trained television journalist pauses himself with a warning: the two-part documentary “Life in Color” is above all surprising. Attenborough discovers rare plants and animals using the latest camera technology, some of which also show colors that are normally invisible to the human eye.

But even the most avant-garde cameras are not enough to truly appreciate nature. Again and again Attenborough calls for his audience to go out and deal with the environment for themselves. His advice: “Sit down. Don’t move. Stay calm. Wait ten minutes. It would be very surprising if something interesting didn’t happen in ten minutes.”

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About the Author: Rusty Kemp

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