Sunday 25 March 2018

Barack Obama interviews Sir David Attenborough at the White House

President Barack Obama interviews Sir David Attenborough at the White House for BBC One
President Barack Obama interviews Sir David Attenborough at the White House for BBC One
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Barack Obama invited Sir David Attenborough to the White House for a conversation on the broadcasting legend's career and his views on saving the planet.

President Obama asks the questions for a special programme to be broadcast on BBC One this Sunday June 28 at 10.30pm.

The interview, which covers climate change, its effect on the environment, and the critical issues threatening our planet, was conducted on Sir Attenborough's 89th birthday in May.

The President reveals he has long been a huge admirer of his work and grew up watching his films.

He talks about his initiatives for tackling climate change and addressing environmental issues, as well as his paternal roots in Africa and how his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia established an enduring love of the natural world.

David Attenborough relates tales from his long career, his recent record-breaking dive on the Great Barrier Reef and what he believes needs to be done about pressing issues such as the rising population, climate change and renewable energy.

During the interview, President Barack Obama says: “I have been a huge admirer of your work for a very long time… you’ve been a great educator as well as a great naturalist.”

He adds: “We’re not moving as fast as we need to and part of what I know from watching your programmes, and all the great work you’ve done, is that these ecosystems are all interconnected. If just one country is doing the right thing but other countries are not then we’re not going to solve the problem, we’re going to have to have a global solution to this.

"What we’re seeing are global trends that depend on the entire world working together, and sadly we haven’t made as much progress as we need to on climate change.”

Of the meeting, David Attenborough says: “On my 89th birthday it was to my considerable surprise to find myself in a place that I’ve never been to before... to visit the White House with the President of the United States. (He was) friendly, hospitable and genuine.

“I believe that if we find ways of generating and storing power from renewable resources, we will make the problem with oil and coal disappear – because economically, we’ll wish to use these other methods. If we do that, a huge step will be taken in solving the problems of the Earth.

“I think what’s required is an understanding and a gut feeling that the natural world is part of your inheritance. This is the only planet we’ve got and we’ve got to protect it. And people do feel that, deeply and instinctively, it is after all where you go in moments of celebration and in moments of grief.”

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