Hans Zimmer: We are slithering towards the last days of humanity
The composer scores a new BBC series about the natural world.
Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer has said that humanity is “slithering” towards extinction if it does not tackle climate change.
The German, 61, said he felt compelled to speak up – even if it cost him his reputation in Hollywood.
Zimmer also attacked politicians as the “only people incapable of governing”, adding that the only option was to “listen to our children and take responsibility”.
Zimmer is working on the score to One Planet, Seven Worlds, a new series by the BBC’s Natural History Unit exploring the effect humans are having on the environment.
He told the Press Association: “I have worked on this project since 1963 because my dad was a scientist and showed me what we were doing for the world, and it’s been in my head all this time.
“In a funny way, and I don’t mind if it ruins my career in Hollywood forever, I actually think this is the most important thing I have worked on.
“I might slip off and do a bit of Lion King, or Widows last year, but it never leaves my mind that this project is coming up.”
Referring to the idea put forward by scientists in 1982 that there have been five mass extinctions, he added: “This is the sixth major extinction, but the only one where the participants are fully conscious of it.”
Speaking at BBC Studios’ Showcase event in Liverpool following a panel with Sir David Attenborough, who narrates the new series, Zimmer said the project was the most important thing he had ever worked on.
He said he had been waiting for something like it since 1963 when his father took him to the river Rhine in his native Germany to show him how it was being polluted.
He said: “My dad was a hardcore scientist and when I was five or six he took me to the Rhine. We went for a drive and I saw the pollution in the Rhine.
“He was saying: ‘Look at what is happening right now, and we need to do something about it now’.
“I grew up with a constant awareness that we are slithering towards the last days of humanity. It’s self-brought on disaster.”
Zimmer is perhaps the best known contemporary film score composer, with credits on movies including the Pirates Of The Caribbean series, Interstellar, Gladiator, Inception, Dunkirk and The Dark Knight trilogy among others.