8 May 2018

David Attenborough

Image from Twitter @wildlifeworks

When you’re 92 years old what do you hope to be doing?

Trekking the rainforest, exploring the oceans and meeting some of the world’s most fascinating creatures? Sounds impossible doesn’t it, implausible at best, but not for one man. Broadcasting legend and passionate conservationist Sir David Attenborough today turns 92 years old.

Since his time on his first TV show, Zoo Quest, in 1954, Sir David Attenborough has graced our screens, transforming our knowledge of the natural world and raising awareness of the impact we have on our planet. None so much as the effect of plastics on our seas.

Changing the world

You could easily argue that Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 series has driven today’s push on cutting single-use plastics like straws and cutlery, raising awareness of the issue. The series focussed on the impact we’re having on the planet and how our waste doesn’t always end up where we think it does – instead it lands in the oceans, threatening a plethora of species living there. An estimated 100,000 sea mammals are killed each year by eating or becoming entangled in waste plastic in the water.

The anti-plastics movement has gained momentum with huge multinational businesses. Many of these are changing their policies on plastic, cutting plastic straw use or replacing plastic cutlery for wooden. They’re also tackling the problems with unrecyclable coffee cups.

It’s a cause that could easily be overlooked. In an era of fake news, it seems the general public are less interested in hearing from experts, and more interested in sensationalised stories. Sir David using his platform to really drive forward the need for change if our planet is to thrive is commendable. He’s a voice we’ve grown up listening to and many people respect massively.

Happy birthday David Attenborough

For me, it all comes down to passion. It’s clear that Attenborough is extraordinarily passionate about the natural world and our role within it. Passion drives us in all we do. It’s incredibly rare to encounter someone with that level of passion.

I doubt anyone would be happy to continue working into their nineties unless they had this level of passion. It takes a real love for the work you do. Attenborough continues to be a beacon of not only conservation and looking after our planet, but of doing what you love.

When most people would be more than 20 years into their retirement, Attenborough continues to drive change and educate the public. The old saying is true: “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

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