Sir David Attenborough could shock viewers into action after sharing distressing footage of animals suffering as a consequence of human life.
The 94-year-old broadcasting legend tells viewers of his new BBC show that the world has changed “beyond all recognition” over the space of his lifetime.
Five-part documentary A Perfect Planet begins airing today with unsettling footage showing animals across the globe struggling to survive in the line of global warming.
Among one of the upsetting scenes is a baby elephant crying out as rescuers give it water – after the animal’s adult relatives perished in extreme droughts, leaving the baby psychologically damaged.
He says: “These extreme conditions are making it increasingly difficult for animals to survive.”
He asks: “Do you want to be the generation that sees the last elephant killed, sees the last fish fished out of the sea, or do you want to be the generation that turns it around?”
While economist and activist Jeremy Rifkin adds: “This is the single most serious moment in the 200,000 years our species has been on this Earth.
“We will face a runaway cascade of environmental events feeding off each other, taking us into an unknown abyss that could lead to a very quick mass extinction of much of life in a very short period.”
Projects hoping to turn the tide against climate change include a 5,000-mile long “green wall” consisting of one billion drought-resistant trees which are being planted in Africa.
While a “frozen zoo” featuring DNA of 10,000 endangered animals is documented which hopes to clone animals in the future.