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article imageDavid Attenborough warns of impact of human activity on world

By Karen Graham     Jan 22, 2019 in World
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday, renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough warned that human activity has forced the Earth into a "new geological age."
The 92-year-old Attenborough warned that “the Garden of Eden is no more," asking political and business leaders around the world to make a renewed effort to tackle climate change before the damage is irreparable, reports The Guardian.
“I am quite literally from another age,” Attenborough told an audience. “I was born during the Holocene – the 12,000 [year] period of climatic stability that allowed humans to settle, farm, and create civilizations.” That led to trade in ideas and goods, and made us the “globally connected species we are today."
Attenborough became more somber, reports CNBC, saying, “In the space of my lifetime, all that has changed. The Holocene has ended. The Garden of Eden is no more. We have changed the world so much that scientists say we are in a new geological age: the Anthropocene, the age of humans."
In an interesting take on civilization, Attenborough pointed out that the only conditions humankind has known are now changing fast. The results of a survey conducted before the annual Davos meeting showed that environmental issues are now the greatest danger to society.
But now that people are worried, confused and even wracked with guilt, Attenborough says. “We need to move beyond guilt or blame, and get on with the practical tasks at hand.”
Damage to the environment has escalated
The naturalist went on to say that in the space of his lifetime, so much has changed. Nothing is predictable or stable like it used to be — adding that even he was surprised at the speed of the damage caused to the environment during his career making TV programs about life on Earth.
On Tuesday, during a taped discussion with the U.K.'s Prince William, keeping with the theme of the damage we have done to the environment, Attenborough stated that the human race was "so numerous, so powerful, so all-pervasive," before adding "the mechanisms that we have for destruction are so wholesale and so frightening."
In a report published in October 2018, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) claimed that between 1970 and 2014, 60 percent of all animals with a backbone — fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals — have were wiped out by human activity.
The top threats to species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and overexploitation of wildlife.
Attenborough said that when he started his career, the idea that human beings would, or could, exterminate a whole species seemed like an exceptional event. "Everything we do has echoes and implications across the natural world."
Prince William asked the naturalist if he had a message for world leaders attending the Davos forum.
"Care for the natural world and treat it with respect and reverence ... in the future, we (nature and humans) are bound together," he said. "The future of the natural world is in our hands, so if we wreck it, we wreck ourselves."
More about David attenborough, Davos switzerland, Anthropocene, Garden of Eden, Human activity
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