Sir David Attenborough: ‘Trump blind on climate change threat’

Sir David Attenborough has said he would attempt to convince “blind” Donald Trump that climate change is a real threat.

Sir David Attenborough will present an "urgent" new documentary film about climate change, looking at the potential threats to our planet and the possible solutions. Picture: Polly Alderton/BBC/PA Wire

The veteran naturalist and TV presenter has said he would not shirk from confronting the US president over his sceptical stance on the impact of climate change, adding that it would be “cowardly” not to attempt to change Mr Trump’s views on the future of the planet.

The presenter has also said that the impact of climate change could be halted and reversed rapidly if there was the political will to enforce environmental measures.

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Sir David was speaking before his forthcoming series, Our Planet, is shown on Netflix.

The eight-episode series, which took four years to film, is narrated by Sir David and will “take viewers on an unprecedented journey through some of the world’s most precious natural habitats,” according to the programme makers.

Sir David said of confronting Mr Trump: “I have no idea as to whether I could convince him, but it would be cowardly not to take up the challenge, would it not?

“I would certainly take it up and I would think carefully about what I actually said. There’s so many bits of evidence I would use. I would be using the increase in the human population for starters, as to where we’re all going to get fed. Where are we going to do it? How do you make the arithmetic work?

“But I mean, what you say to him in the face of what is visibly happening – the climate of the United States of America – it’s perfectly clear.

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

Mr Trump has previously spoken of his disdain for climate science and withdrew the US from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation in June 2017, saying it put the US economy at a “disadvantage”.

Last week dozens of prominent US climate change deniers began a petition to have a special panel set up by the National Security Council in order to “promote an alternative official explanation for climate change”.

Mr Trump is reportedly likely to appoint renowned climate sceptic William Happer – who once claimed that carbon dioxide had been “demonised” – to lead the special working group, according to reports.

Sir David’s Blue Planet II series sparked a revolution on sustainability habits among viewers, particularly on the issues of climate change and damage caused to the natural environment by discarded plastics.

A number of large companies have now moved to ban single-use plastics by 2020.

Sir David has said there is hope for the future of the 
planet, but that there must be decisive action to tackle the problem of climate change.

He also said “conditions have changed far faster” than he ever imagined when he first started talking about the environment 20 years ago.

The 92-year-old broadcaster said: “We can put things right. We can put things right tomorrow if we had the will.

“We could actually impose marine sanctuaries tomorrow if we had the will.

“And actually solve the problem of feeding the world for the next few decades, but that’s easier said than done.

“And the only way it’s going to be done is by actually getting the world thinking along the same lines.”