Sir David Attenborough Set to Present BBC Documentary on Climate Change
The show, to be titled Climate Change—The Facts, will be a 60 minute documentary that will air in the spring, The Guardian reported. The news comes little more than a year after Attenborough helped raise the alarm about plastic pollution as part of his Blue Planet II BBC series.
"We're running out of time but there's still hope." Sir David Attenborough will present a landmark climate change… https://t.co/GQjN6U4QgY— BBC One (@BBC One)1553292000.0
"There is a real hunger from audiences to find out more about climate change and understand the facts," BBC's Director of Content Charlotte Moore told BBC News. "We have a trusted guide in Sir David Attenborough, who will be speaking to the challenging issues that it raises, and present an engaging and informative look at one of the biggest issues of our time."
The documentary will show footage of the impacts of climate change and include interviews with climate scientists and meteorologists, who will explain how global warming has already influenced extreme weather events like the California wildfires of November 2018.
The 92-year-old Attenborough, who made his first nature documentary series for TV 50 years ago, has increasingly spoken out on climate issues. He delivered the "People's Address" at the UN climate talks in December of last year and spoke with Britain's Prince William about the issue in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this January.
In that interview, Prince William asked Attenborough why he had held back from speaking out on environmental issues for much of his public career.
Attenborough responded that when he started his career, he didn't think there was anyone "who thought that there was a danger that we might annihilate part of the natural world."
"Now, of course, we are only to well aware that the whole of the natural world is at our disposal, as it were," he said in the interview. "We can do things accidentally that exterminate a whole area of the natural world and the species that live within it."
The climate change documentary is part of a BBC series called Our Planet Matters that kicked off with Blue Planet Live Sunday night.
Julian Hector, the head of BBC's Natural History Unit, which has been the force behind most of Attenborough's shows, said that climate change had changed both the tone of the unit's documentaries and the practicalities of filming.
"Not a single development goes on in the Natural History Unit where we're not talking about a conservation element or the difficulty of filming because of climate change," Hector said. "This nervousness about the state of the natural world is omnipresent."
In one example, Hector talked about filming in Kenya for the program Dynasties. Hector said in the past it was easier to predict what would happen on location, but parts of Kenya has been impacted by drought for many years, which makes it harder for wildlife to find food.
"Climate change is increasingly the backdrop to our films, and so the causes of it are worth exploring," Hector said.
Hector said a shift in tone from wonder at the natural world to concern about its survival started with Blue Planet II. That program featured a heartbreaking segment on the fate of albatross chicks who ingest plastic.
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At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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