Prince William is interviewing Sir David Attenborough on climate change and the state of the planet and admitted today: 'It's nice to turn the tables
British royalty met with TV royalty on stage at the Swiss Alps resort of Davos and were watched by billionaires, business leaders and climate change experts also attending the 49th the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The Duke of Cambridge has described the Blue Planet and Dynasties narrator as having ‘the single most important impact in my conservation thinking’.
William today asked Sir David about his decades of work highlighting the importance of the natural world.
He started the interview by saying: ‘It’s a personal treat for me to be sitting asking you the questions. It’s nice to turn the tables for once’.
Prince William is interviewing Sir David Attenborough about the wonders of the natural world
The royal then asked if he was surprised people are still interested in his shows, which he started making 60 years ago.
Sir David said: ‘There is not a child born in the world without that interest in the world around them.
‘That interest goes on and on and on. A five-year-old will turn over a stone and find a slug and find it amazing. If you lose that first wonder you have lost the greatest sources of pleasure of the whole of the wide world’.
Describing the changes in technology since he started working for the BBC he told William: Around 50 or 60 years ago we would film something like an armadillo, which most people in Britain or indeed Europe had never seen.
‘It didn’t matter how amateurish it was – the viewer just saw an Arm and we were just astonished.
‘Now we can go everywhere – to the bottom of the sea or into space, slow things down, speed things up or film in the dark. We are doing things that 20 years ago nobody could ever imagine’.
Sir David urged the billionaires and business and world leaders to care for the planet, warning it is being killed off
The Duke of Cambridge has described the Blue Planet and Dynasties narrator (pictured together today) as having ‘the single most important impact in my conservation thinking’.
The pair have met many times, and William invited him to Kensington Palace last week ahead of their on-stage conversation in Davos.
Sir David and the Queen have also developed a good relationship over the years.
The pair, who were born just weeks apart, chuckled over a forlorn-looking tree in the Buckingham Palace grounds which the Queen suggested had been ‘sat on’ at a garden party.
When Sir David suggested climate change might lead to ‘all kinds of different trees growing here in another 50 years’, the Queen quipped: ‘It might easily be, yes. I won’t be here though.’
The celebrated TV naturalist said yesterday the age of the ‘Garden of Eden’ is over and the world is on the brink of disaster due to climate change.
The 92-year-old said he was born in the so-called Holocene period, dating back to the last ice age when mild weather allowed human civilisation to flourish.
David Attenborough reacts after receiving a Crystal Award from German Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship yesterday
But since his early years, Sir David said, the world has been transformed by pollution and heavy industry and we are now in the Anthropocene era – Greek for the age of man.
Speaking he said: ‘I am quite literally from another age. I was born during the Holocene – the 12,000 year period of climatic stability that allowed humans to settle, farm, and create civilisations.
‘In the space of my lifetime, all that has changed.’ Sir David said the rise of the modern world means that urgent action is needed to protect the natural environment he has spent his life chronicling.
He warned that the world is on the brink of disaster, but is hopeful that human ingenuity can find solutions.
He said: ‘The Holocene has ended. The Garden of Eden is no more.
‘We have changed the world so much that scientists say we are in a new geological age.
‘We need to move beyond guilt or blame, and get on with the practical tasks at hand.’ Sir David added that he has been shocked by how fast the world has been transformed.
But he said that he remains optimistic for the future.
He said: ‘If people can truly understand what is at stake, I believe they will give permission for business and governments to get on with the practical solutions.
‘Over the next two years there will be United Nations decisions on climate change, sustainable development and a new deal for nature. Together these will form our species’ plan for a route through the Anthropocene.
‘What we do now, and in the next few years, will profoundly affect the next few thousand years.’ Attenborough was speaking at the so-called Crystal Awards in Davos, which honour celebrities who have made a difference to the world.