Sir David Attenborough on climate change, grief and mortality

The documentary maker shares some frank opinions in an exclusive interview with Radio Times

Sir David Attenborough has spoken out about the impact of climate change on Earth, opining that life on the planet will get tougher for future generations. He has also revealed how his immersion in the natural world has helped him cope with grief.


In an interview with Radio Times the distinguished documentary maker, who returns to BBC1 this week with new series Frozen Planet, said he had “no doubt” that climate change was “man made.”

Outlining his outlook on the ecological future of the planet, the 85-year-old said: “I’m on the pessimistic side. I don’t think there’s any question that things are going to get worse.”

Speaking about his wife, Jane, who died of a brain haemorrhage in 1997, he said: “In moments of grief – deep grief – the only consolation you can find is in the natural world.”

“People write to me and tell me this. People of great distinction have written and said, ‘When so-and-so died, the only thing that made life tolerable was to watch programmes on plants and animals’.”

Finally Attenborough touched on his own mortality, saying: “I don’t fear death, but I fear suffering, of course. Who wouldn’t?”


Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine, on sale now.