A man in civilian clothes looks at another man wearing an army uniform and resting a rifle in his arm. | "When Lambs Become Lions"

Link Voices

Start watching
HRzkkPW-show-poster2x3-pWmERoT.jpg

Foreign Correspondent

Start watching
A man looks out to a vast landscape of mountains and water. | From "Embrace of the Serpent" / Kino Lorber

Cinemondo

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
Rahaf Al Qunun | "Four Corners" episode "Escape from Saudi"

Four Corners

Start watching
jElHzF3-show-poster2x3-ilk2bxh.jpg

America ReFramed

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Heart Donate Icon
Support the world of Link TV with a donation today.
Vehicle Donation Icon Card
Help us make a difference by donating a vehicle.
Planned Giving Icon
There are many ways to include Link TV in your plans for the future.

David Attenborough: Coronavirus Poses Threat to Climate Change Campaigns


This story was originally published Oct. 21, 2020 by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - British broadcaster and leading naturalist Sir David Attenborough said on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic threatens the fight against climate change by distracting people from the gravity of environmental dangers.

FILE PHOTO: Broadcaster and filmmaker David Attenborough attends the premiere of Blue Planet II at the British Film Institute in London, Britain, September 27, 2017. | REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Broadcaster and filmmaker David Attenborough attends the premiere of Blue Planet II at the British Film Institute in London, Britain, September 27, 2017. | REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The cancellation and postponement of numerous high-level climate-focused talks and events such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, are concerning, said Attenborough, speaking with climate activist Greta Thunberg at a virtual wildlife film festival.

"I am worried that people will take their eyes off the environmental issue because of the immediate problems they have on COVID-19," said Attenborough, 94, known for his BBC nature documentary series "The Life Collection" and "Planet Earth."

The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 40 million people and killed 1.1 million people worldwide, according to a Reuters tally, is surging for a second or third time in countries including the United States, India and Brazil.

It comes as the world is struggling with unprecedented storms, wildfires and droughts linked to climate change, experts say.

The last two decades saw the number of disasters caused by extreme weather nearly double to 6,681, up from 3,656 between 1980 and 1999, according to a report by the United Nations released this month.

Watch "Earth Focus" to meet some of the other young climate activists taking a stand around the world.
S3 E1: The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

Speaking from his home in London, Attenborough also struck a positive chord, praising Thunberg's success in rallying world youth to demand action.

"If there is any sign of hope, and there is, to be truthful, compared to what there was 25 years ago, it's because of what you've done and what you've done for young people," he said. "The world owes you a lot, and I hope you are not paying too high a price for it, and it looks from what you are saying that you are managing to survive alright."

The Swedish 17-year-old first attracted attention when she started a one-person protest outside parliament in 2018 and has risen to international renown, taking center stage at the United Nations and the Global Economic Forum in Davos.

In return, Thunberg praised Attenborough's new Netflix documentary, "A Life On Our Planet," saying it "connected all these issues, like the climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, loss of soil and over-fishing."

Attenborough was honored on Wednesday by the British government which named its new polar ship after the veteran naturalist.

The ship, which will make a voyage to Antarctica late next year to research climate change, just left for technical trials.

Reporting by Matthew Lavietes, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst.

Related Content
A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) receives oxygen inside an ambulance after she was evacuated from the Vijay Vallabh hospital, which caught fire in Virar, on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, April 23, 2021.

'Losing Hope': India's COVID-19 Meltdown Exposes New Front in Digital Divide

As desperate relatives post pleas for help and information on Twitter, those without access to the internet struggle with inundated phone lines and overburdened hospitals.
Two young Black men in suits pose together and smile at the camera.

'COVID Is a Wake-Up Call': Black Entrepreneurs Aim to Level Playing Field

Black-led social entrepreneurs in the United States and Britain are tackling inequalities highlighted by COVID-19.
A patient wearing an oxygen mask is wheeled inside a COVID-19 hospital for treatment, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 21, 2021.

Beg, Borrow, Steal': The Fight for Oxygen Among New Delhi's Hospitals

Medical staff are facing life-or-death scrambles to get scarce oxygen supplies as COVID-19 cases surge.