‘Climate Change: The Facts’ review: Running out of time, but there is still hope

Greta Thunberg in Stockholm, Sweden

Greta Thunberg in Stockholm, Sweden   | Photo Credit: Ross Kirby

A ready reckoner on what ails the planet and what can be done, presented by David Attenborough, makes for compelling viewing

While we all know climate change is for real, our eyes tend to glaze over when we hear of glaciers melting — whether as some kind of ostrich-in-sand reaction or maybe because glaciers seem so far away from us.

Climate Change: The Facts, the new show on Sony BBC Earth, like the title proclaims, presents the facts about climate change. That the said facts are presented by David Attenborough who says “We are running out of time, but there is still hope,” makes it more palatable.

In an hour, we learn all we need to know about climate change and what each of us can do to stall and reverse the process. For instance, while I have heard about carbon emissions and carbon footprints, when the programme likened carbon to a blanket surrounding the earth and increased emissions thanks to fossil fuels, which power our lives, resulting increased temperatures, it made perfect sense. More emissions means thicker blanket means more heat — it is that simple.

When we hear of temperatures increasing by one degree since pre-industrial days, it does not sound like much. But a single degree can result in rising seas, floods, typhoons forest fires and other forms of extreme weather as seen in the forest fires of Australia and the deluge in Kerala. The description of a father and son who drove through a wild fire in the US with trees exploding was apocalyptic.

Climate Change: The Facts
  • Presenter: David Attenborough
  • Director: Serena Davis
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Episodes: 1

Scientists believe 8 per cent of species are going to go extinct because of climate change. The heat has caused a third of the corals to bleach and die. Ice frozen for millennia is melting and causing sea levels to rise. Louisiana is losing land the fastest on the planet at the rate of a football field every 45 minutes!

Incidentally scientists warned about global warming in 1988, but fossil fuel companies used the same tactics as tobacco companies to obfuscate the facts. Remember ad agencies trying to put a positive spin on smoking in Mad Men?

After all the horrors, comes the hope in the form of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish school girl who went on strike to protest climate change, the Paris Agreement, and the simple lifestyle changes we can make to heal the planet.

A ready reckoner on what ails the planet and what can be done presented by David Attenborough makes for compelling viewing.

Climate Change: The Facts airs March 7 at 9 pm on Sony BBC Earth

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:35:12 AM |

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