A Sixth Mass Extinction Event is Well Underway; ‘David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet’

Posted on the 19th October

The knighted BBC broadcaster has been the tranquil voice of nature documentary narration since the beginning of, well, nature documentaries! Attenborough set off to explore the globe in his twenties and has travelled over millions of miles to educate and present us the wonders of the natural world ever since.

Attenborough is now 94, and throughout his long life, has watched the natural world wither before his eyes. An ice-free Arctic, a global food production crisis, millions of people rendered homeless.

Sir David Attenborough gives his witness statement and future predictions of Life On Our Planet and describes it as "a series of one-way doors bringing irreversible change."

The moving documentary issues a stark warning for global extinction, not only for current wildlife but potentially for humans too. The 'documentary of the year' marks each stage of Attenborough’s career with the ever-declining state of the natural world, and the percentage of wildlife remaining. A Life On Our Planet, explains how Earth will become uninhabitable for generations to come, as the cumulative damage begins to snowball.  

Historically, mass extinctions have been caused by catastrophic events like asteroid collisions. However, in 2020, the advancement of human activities, such as deforestation, mining, and carbon dioxide emissions are to blame.

The sixth mass extinction of wildlife on Earth is accelerating, according to an analysis by scientists who warn it may be a tipping point for the collapse of civilisation. A report from the United Nations found that up to 1 million species are threatened with extinction; many likely to be lost within 20 years.
 

So what is being done about it?

 

65 heads of state and government, have signed a global pledge to reverse losses in the natural world by 2030."Extinction is forever - so our action must be immediate." Boris Johnson has also signed the UN pledge stating that the UK government is "absolutely committed" to the global problem. Promising that the government will increase the amount of protected land in the UK from 26% at present to 30% by the end of the decade. He announced a commitment to protect an extra 400,000 hectares of countryside to support the recovery of nature. 

New York unveiled an eye opening ‘Climate Clock’ providing a strong statement to the government, during NYC Climate Week. Instead of showing the time, the Climate Clock predicts the time humans have left on the planet before the impending environmental disaster; currently at 7 years, 83 days and 23 hours. 

To learn about the planet’s climate needs and rediscover your interest in Geography, check out our experienced tutors and interactive online tuition classes at Sherpa.

Sources:

https://unfccc.int/news/sir-david-attenborough-launches-un-campaign-to-promote-climate-action-by-the-people

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54329813

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danidiplacido/2020/10/08/netflixs-david-attenborough-a-life-on-our-planet-is-the-most-important-documentary-of-the-year/#2a593db71165

Conor Hughes

19th October

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