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Science

David Attenborough's remarks after receiving lifetime Champion of the Earth award are a must-watch

Sir David Attenborough says we must see ourselves as citizens of one planet in order to solve our problems.

David Attenborough's remarks after receiving lifetime Champion of the Earth award are a must-watch

David Attenborough is an international treasure.

There are few absolutes in this world, but here's one of them: Sir David Attenborough is a priceless human treasure and anyone who disagrees is tragically wrong.

The 95-year-old broadcaster, writer and environmentalist has been educating and entertaining us by producing and narrating documentaries for decades, his soothing voice and gentlemanly British accent creating conservation champions the world over. David Attenborough loves the natural world and he makes others love it too by sharing its wonders and its beauty, in addition to its vulnerabilities due to human activity. His passion makes it nearly impossible to walk away from an Attenborough documentary without a deep desire to do something to protect our planet.

His long life of passionate dedication to conservation is why the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has honored Attenborough with the prestigious Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement award. Having co-created well over 100 documentaries in his life, including recent groundbreaking series such as "Planet Earth," Attenborough has continued his illustrious career well into his 90s. And as the world has careened toward the damaging impacts of climate change, he hasn't let up in his push for humanity to alter our path before too much of that damage becomes irreversible.

“Sir David Attenborough has devoted his life to documenting the love story between humans and nature, and broadcasting it to the world,” said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

“If we stand a chance of averting climate and biodiversity breakdowns and cleaning up polluted ecosystems, it’s because millions of us fell in love with the planet that he showed us on television.”


In an interview with Andersen, Attenborough explained that we will never solve the environmental crisis without the recognition that the world must work together as a unified body.

"We are living in a new era in which nationalism is simply not enough," he said. "We must wave goodbye to it. We must feel that we are all citizens of this one planet, because unless we do we won't solve the problems."

"We know what the problems are and we know how to solve them—all we lack is unified action," he said. "These problems cannot be solved by one nation, no matter how big that single nation is."

Andersen asked how we can get that message across to people. Attenborough excels at going beyond the scientific facts and speaking to people's hearts, and he explained how to capture people's attention and help them see why conservation is important.

"The most evocative pictures you can present are pictures of animals," he said. "They are understood around the world. A picture of a gorilla with its baby moves the hearts of every single human being on this planet. And we now have the technical devices in which we can present these things so that people can see what fantastic riches the world has. And you can explain how we depend upon them, how we are part of them, and that when we are saving them, we are saving ourselves."

Attenborough explained that we've seen great success with whale populations, which had dwindled to near extinction 50 or 60 years ago. People and seagoing nations around the world got together and decided to put a stop to practices that were killing off the whales.

"And we did," he said. "And now there are more whales in the sea than anybody alive as human beings have ever seen before. It's a wonderful success story."

Andersen asked Attenborough what message he wants to send to young people.

"The message is that it can be done. The message is that it is possible. The message is that the natural world has more resources than we can possibly imagine. We've worked out how to kill them. Now we could give them a chance for them to come back and save themselves and save us."

Attenborough closed out his interview with praise for the organization honoring him with the Champions of the Earth award.

"United Nations—two of the most important words in any language," he said. "And more important now than they have ever been.

Watch the interview:

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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