President Obama and Sir David Attenborough. An intellectual pairing doesn't get much more fascinating than that these days, and the BBC is airing it around the world this week. According to the White House, the President grew up watching Sir David's films during his time in Hawaii and Indonesia, and set up a meeting between the two of them to talk about their shared passion for nature, the effects of climate change, the future of renewable energy, and the various environmental threats that we need to start mitigating now as a global community. All on Sir David's 89th birthday, no less.
Watch above for a quick teaser of the conversation from the White House, where they touch on the fact that children don't have nearly the same struggle to believe in the science of climate change that many adults do, perhaps because they know they're the ones who are going to have to live with it for the next 70 or 80 years. It gets a bit awkward where Obama tries to tie religion into it, but the strangeness of that situation makes it all the more worth watching.
Below, you can see another clip from the BBC, in which the pair discuss how embracing renewables is the most obvious solution to the incredible array of problems the natural world is having to deal with right now because of us.
"We're not moving as fast as we need to, and part of what I know from watching your programmes, and all the great work you've done, is that these ecosystems are all interconnected," the President says to Sir David. "If just one country is doing the right thing but other countries are not, then we're not going to solve the problem. We're going to have to have a global solution to this. What we're seeing are global trends that depend on the entire world working together, and sadly we haven't made as much progress as we need to on climate change."
*Cough* Australia *cough*
The interview, called "President Obama in conversation with Sir David Attenborough", was originally aired on BBC1 in the UK and BBC AMERICA in the States on Sunday 28 June, but will no doubt be repeated multiple times this week if you missed it. In Australia, the special will air on the ABC at 8pm AEST on Tuesday 30th June, and in over 50 countries this week on BBC Earth’s branded channels.
A big happy birthday to Sir David. Thanks for spending such an important day with all of us, we are the luckiest fans in the world.