Even David Attenborough Thinks Australia’s Climate Change Response Is Shit

Even David Attenborough Thinks Australia’s Climate Change Response Is Shit
David Attenborough in the film David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. (Screenshot: Netflix, Getty Images)

This week Scott Morrison announced Australia’s climate action plan that will get us to net zero emissions by 2050. You may remember it as the speech where our leaders mentioned the word “tech” 60 times and failed to outline what this “tech” was.

It was a pretty lacklustre plan for Australia and, as it turns out, we’re not the only ones who are embarrassed about our climate change response.

Natural historian, broadcaster and knight, Sir David Attenborough, has spoken out about the world’s inaction on climate change and he singled out a couple of countries in his plea. You guessed it, Australia is one of them.

Attenborough told the BBC that scientific reports have now unequivocally proven that humans are the cause of global warming. But this proof hasn’t been enough to convince everyone.

“There are still people in North America, there are still people in Australia who say ‘no, no, no, no, of course it’s very unfortunate that there was that forest fire that absolutely demolished, incinerated that village, but it’s a one-off’.” Attenborough said.

“Particularly if it’s going to cost money in the short term, the temptation is to deny the problem and pretend it’s not there.”

The natural historian said that we have a moral responsibility to prevent further climate change and if we don’t act now it will be too late.

What is Australia’s climate plan?

Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan is described by the PM as “a technology-driven plan” that “sets out a credible pathway to net zero by 2050, while preserving our existing industries, establishing Australia as a leader in low emissions technologies and positioning our regions to prosper”.

But according to many, it fails to act on the problems we’re actually causing right now and instead relies on technologies that haven’t been invented yet to save us later.

The world has taken notice. Even the Queen is unhappy with us.

In response to these criticisms, Morrison said on Sunrise “I’m not embarrassed at all when it comes to doing what is right by Australia. We are getting results. We are getting it done. Our emissions are down.”

What will happen if we don’t act on climate change?

When it comes to climate change, Australia’s plan just to halve emissions by 2050 isn’t enough. More recent scientific studies estimate we need to halve emissions by 2030 at the latest, leaving us well behind.

Here’s what Attenborough predicted would happen if we fail to act in his documentary A Life On Our Planet.

  • By the 2030s: Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest will reach a point where it will transform into a dry savanna. This will alter the global water cycle.
  • By the 2040s: Frozen permafrost soils in the North will thaw and release more methane into the atmosphere.
  • By the 2050s: Oceans will heat and become more acidic, bleaching more coral reefs and resulting in a drop in fish populations. Millions of people who rely on ocean life for their livelihoods will be impacted.
  • By the 2080s: Soils will be exhausted by overuse resulting in a global food crisis.
  • By the 2100s: The planet will be four degrees Celsius warmer, meaning large parts of the Earth will be uninhabitable. The sixth mass extinction event will be underway and it will cause irreversible damage.

I don’t know about you, but those all sound like things we should really be trying to prevent

A Life On Our Planet isn’t all doom and gloom, and actually gives us some viable ways we can take action on climate change that give us hope for the future.