Sir David Attenborough has warned MPs that failure to tackle climate change will cause “social unrest”
The 93-year old TV naturalist said that dealing with environmental issues will cost money and require people to change their lifestyles.
In doing so people will have to change the way they travel and their diets, he said there are “huge opportunities” to make profit and benefit from new innovations.
Talking to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee he said the most vivid example he has personally witnessed was what the changing climate had done to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Sir David said he visited the reef in the 1950’s and he had “the extraordinary experience of diving on the reef and suddenly seeing this multitude of fantastic, beautiful forms of life.”
However, when he returned 10-years ago he said, “Instead of multitudes of wonderful forms of life, I was struck by how it was bleached white because of the rising temperatures and increasing acidity of the seas.”
— Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (@CommonsBEIS) July 9, 2019
Giving evidence he compared the glacier on South Georgia, in the southern Atlantic to return decades later and the glacier was no longer visible.
He said that he never thought it was possible that people could change the climate, “I’m not by nature a propagandist.”
He added, “If you become aware of what is happening to the natural world, you don’t have any alternative.”
Sir David admitted that the issue of climate change is unlikely to affect him, “the problems of the next 20 to 30-years are major problems that are going to cause great social unrest and great changes in what we eat and how we live.”
And he warned the committee, “The problem you’re opening now is a very serious one. If the world climate change goes on, it is going to be facing huge problems with immigration.
“Large parts of Africa are going to be even less inhabitable than they are now, and there will be major upsets in the balance between our national boundaries.
“These kind of problems are going to grow inexorably and we are going to have to decide what we do about it, that’s going to happen.”