Sir David Attenborough could shock viewers into action after sharing distressing footage of animals suffering as a consequence of human life.
The 94-year-old broadcasting legend tells viewers of his new BBC show that the world has changed “beyond all recognition” over the space of his lifetime.
Five-part documentary A Perfect Planet begins airing today with unsettling footage showing animals across the globe struggling to survive in the line of global warming.
Among one of the upsetting scenes is a baby elephant crying out as rescuers give it water – after the animal’s adult relatives perished in extreme droughts, leaving the baby psychologically damaged.
According to The Sun, Sir David warns that the baby elephant is a victim of human influence: “so powerful it threatens the future of life on Earth”.
Offering a ray of hope, the veteran broadcaster says it’s not too late to help turn the tide against climate change and pollution.
He says: “We have the capacity and knowledge to stop the damage we are doing. What we don’t have is time.”
The series will show what measures are being taken around the world in the effort to protect animals.
But upsetting footage also shows koala’s recovering from Australian wildfires, baby turtles drowned after their nests flooded due to early storms, and sloths being rescued after their forests have been destroyed.
The series makes the bleak prediction that half of all species on Earth could die within the next 80 years unless urgent action is taken.
Biologist Dr Niall McCann warns that increases in fires, droughts and flooding provide tough challenges for animals to survive.
He says: “These extreme conditions are making it increasingly difficult for animals to survive.”
He asks: “Do you want to be the generation that sees the last elephant killed, sees the last fish fished out of the sea, or do you want to be the generation that turns it around?”
While economist and activist Jeremy Rifkin adds: “This is the single most serious moment in the 200,000 years our species has been on this Earth.
“We will face a runaway cascade of environmental events feeding off each other, taking us into an unknown abyss that could lead to a very quick mass extinction of much of life in a very short period.”
Projects hoping to turn the tide against climate change include a 5,000-mile long “green wall” consisting of one billion drought-resistant trees which are being planted in Africa.
While a “frozen zoo” featuring DNA of 10,000 endangered animals is documented which hopes to clone animals in the future.
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