Greta Thunberg talked to Sir David Attenborough for the first time on Skype! (And you know, David’s been my all-time hero.) I was listening to them with great earnest. Here’s the conversation (transcript) for your appraisal.
Greta Thunberg: Hi! It’s very nice to meet you. It’s an honor to meet you.
David Attenborough: I’m very flattered that you should say that. Thank you very much.
Journalist: So, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to both David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg. David, what would you say to Greta about her work on climate and what you think she’s achieved?
David Attenborough: Oh, she’s achieved things that many of us who’ve been working on it for 20 odd years have failed to achieve. That is, you have aroused the world. I’m very grateful to you. But we all are, you know.
Greta Thunberg: When I was a young girl, documentaries about, and what was happening, what was going on, that was what made me decide to do something about it. I think everyone is grateful for you for taking on the climate crisis and the environmental crisis. I hope you understand how much difference you have made and that we are all very thankful for that. so thank you and thank you for dedicating your life to this. And it’s very inspiring.
When I was younger, when I was maybe eight, nine, or ten years old, then the thing that’s made me open my eyes for what was happening with the environment and the climate was films and documentaries about the natural world. And what was happening what was going on? So, that has that thing had been an eye-opener to me and that was what made me realize the situations. So it’s so so thank you for that because that was what made me decide to do something about it.
Journalist: You think David that the generations are coming together on this. Some people have been politicized and who’ve become activists because of their children and their grandchildren.
David Attenborough: oh, yes. It’s now on the front line and you put it there. The motto which is you know the world belongs to not my generation but in your generation, the world belongs to young people is very powerful. One and you have made it an argument that people haven’t been able to dodge. We don’t want to spend our time marching for the streets, but we have to do. And you’ve shown very great bravery doing that.
Journalist: David any advice to Greta about a life in activism should. Do you look at her life and think there’s anything she needs to be careful of?
David Attenborough: It’s very difficult to know when you get to that sort of degree of pressure. How long can you sustain it, how long can you go on saying the same thing with the same impact? You say a lot of people didn’t. I wouldn’t even be going on the tribalist politicians are just concerned about tomorrow and the day after. And when you say this big danger looming in twenty years times we’ve got to do something now. They said yes, of course, does their for tomorrow for the Hong Kong urgent savings, and it’s the same even right now. I mean that here we are in Britain. We’ve just had a general election. And you would think that if you think the same way if you can do it. I do that the most urgent thing is to deal with this problem kind of chain. Was it mentioned in the election hardly at all? And the only reason that it has been mentioned even that much is because of you. You have the world.
Greta Thunberg: Just sort of, highlights the gap between what’s the science called for, and what’s what is actually being done?
David Attenborough: I’m not a scientist in the sense that I have not devoted my life to climate science. But what I want to do and what I have been doing all my life is making animals but and programs what natural history. That’s fun. And that’s what I like doing, and that’s what you like doing. I’m sure you like sitting down and watching creatures in the natural world. We don’t want to spend our time marching to the streets but we have to do. And you showing, you have shown very great favor in doing that.
Greta Thunberg: I don’t know why people are listening to me. I don’t know how long it will last. I just know that right now people are listening to me. And I need to take to use that opportunity and to try to get out as much as I can during that time. But of course, it is a problem with repeating these things over and over again. But I mean that’s what do you need to do. Because they’re obviously not listening, and you need to repeat it until people get it until it is being understood.
Journalist: Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough, I hope you get to meet in person sometimes.
David Attenborough: Yes, and she will win and until we do, I do thank you very much.
Greta Thunberg: I do me too. And thank you, happy holidays.