As COP26 approaches, the climate change activist and the veteran broadcaster are both trying to persuade the world to take the necessary action to prevent climate change from becoming dangerous in their own particular way.
Speaking to the BBC, Attenborough said: “If we don't act now, it'll be too late… every day that goes by in which we don't do something about it is a day wasted.”
Meanwhile Thunberg announced she would take part in a school strike – the global movement she began outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018 – in Glasgow on November 5 with the aim of holding “world leaders accountable” and being “as loud as possible about climate justice”.
According to the UN Environment Programme’s new Emissions Gap Report, the world is on track for global warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100 which “would lead to catastrophic changes in the Earth’s climate”.
Even though global greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 50 per cent in the next eight years to have a chance of restricting the rise to 1.5C, they are going up again after a Covid-related dip.
The world is already experiencing the deadly dangers of climate change. But if Thunberg lives to be as old as Attenborough, she will witness the effects of the decisions the world is about to make: a relatively stable climate or a full-blown global catastrophe.
We all need to bridge the gap between now and then, to imagine what the people of the future would say to us, and do the right thing.