David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery

(The Guardian, 9 Jul 2019) Naturalist tells MPs radical action needed to tackle crisis but attitude of young people gives him hope.

The attitude of young people towards tackling the environmental crisis is “a source of great hope”, David Attenborough has told MPs, as he predicted that polluting the planet would soon provoke as much abhorrence as slavery.

Giving evidence to the business, energy and industrial strategy committee on how to tackle the climate emergency, the naturalist and TV presenter said radical action was required.

Asked by the Tory MP Patrick McLoughlin, a committee member, whether the government’s new commitment of net zero carbon emissions for the UK by 2050 was rapid enough, Attenborough said such targets were not necessarily the best approach.

“In a way I would think that is not the way of focusing on the problem,” he said. “We cannot be radical enough in dealing with the issues that face us at the moment. The question is: what is practically possible? How can we take the electorate with us in dealing with these things?”

He said: “The most encouraging thing that I see, of course, is that the electors of tomorrow are already making themselves and their voices very, very clear. And that is a source of great comfort in a way, but also the justification, the reality, that these young people are recognising that their world is the future.

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The Guardian, 9 Jul 2019: David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery