IFLScience Talks To David Attenborough About The Oceans, His First Shoot, And What Nearly Made Him Cry

Take a deep breath... Blue Planet II takes us on an unimaginable tour of our oceans, showing things never before seen. Lisa Labinjoh/Joe Platko/BBC NHU 2017

Rachel Baxter 08 Nov 2017, 17:27

But along with all these moments that have never been seen before, comes a serious warning about what we are losing before we even get the chance to see it as we continue to trash the oceans.

It’s not hard to hear the anger behind Attenborough’s words, anger which is also directed towards the current and previous US presidents. He becomes particularly animated when discussing Donald Trump’s ongoing plans to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, but admits he was equally frustrated for many years by a perceived lack of action from Barack Obama. That changed two years ago in France.

“I was at the climate talks in Paris 18 months ago, Obama had backed it, and I came out thinking that for the first time ever in history, human beings from around the globe have agreed to do something to change their habits, and you thought we were getting somewhere,” Attenborough says. When it comes to the United States’ stance now as the only nation on the planet not signed up, he remains ever hopeful.

The only sure fire way to save the world's coral reefs is to stop climate change. Alex Mustard/BBC NHU 2017

“Perhaps this is me just clutching at straws but 30 years ago I felt we were voices crying in the wilderness trying to persuade people that they have a responsibility to the planet,” Attenborough tells us. “But in recent years I feel there’s been a tidal change of opinion, particularly in young people being conscious of their responsibility to the natural world. And that’s very comforting.”

Yet even this comes with a caveat: “The trouble is, the problem is now bigger than it was 30 years ago because we haven’t done anything about it for so long.”

Watching it, it’s hard to imagine our seas without a plethora of weird and wonderful creatures at every depth. Let’s hope that enough can be done to ensure that in the future, we still see this menagerie of life in our oceans, not just on film.

For those lucky enough to currently be watching in the UK, Blue Planet II continues at 8pm on Sunday on BBC One, while those in the US will be able to catch it on BBC America at a later date.

Just like us, dolphins seem to mess around in the waves just for fun. Steve Benjamin/BBC NHU 2017


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