Sir David Attenborough, natural historian and inspiration for countless copycats, has set his sights on the Scott Morrison government’s climate record, telling Triple J’s ‘Hack’ that it was failing where other governments had previously been “saying all the right things.”
“You are the keepers of an extraordinary section of the surface of this planet, including the Barrier Reef, and what you say, what you do, really, really matters,” said Attenborough – no doubt harking back to when Morrison brought a big ol’ lump of coal in parliament.
“Then you suddenly say, ‘No it doesn’t matter … it doesn’t matter how much coal we burn … we don’t give a damn what it does to the rest of the world.’”
Attenborough refused to buy into the claims of Morrison and his supporters that the then-Treasurer was merely having a laugh, and the fact that ScoMo did so in celebration of opening a coal mine means he’s probably right, yeah?
The nature documentary godfather is probably privy to more high-stakes corporate fat cat conversations than most of us, and does appear to be aware of the need for an economic argument for climate action.
He told ‘Hack’ there was a need to convince bankers and businesses that the long-term future is a healthy planet. And yes, that might seem obvious to you – but for the people who are paid millions to Not Think About That At All it really is something that needs to be emphasised.
The one bright light in the darkness that is Planet Earth’s crawl into the climate change-induced hellscape has been the way youth have been mobilising. “They are the people who are going to inherit the mess that we’ve made,” said Attenborough.
“And you can say, ‘It gets you nowhere, just stopping the traffic’. But it gets you notice. People listen to what you say. And that you’re important.”
The full interview with Attenborough will appear on Hack this Tuesday from 5.30pm and the ABC’s ‘7.30’ program.