This is a timely story for the start of Te Haerenga, as it involves a man that means a great to me personally and, in some ways, is the reason this blog was started at all.
Last night in the Natural History Museum, London, the Green Awards 2010 brought hundreds of people together to celebrate the best of the past years “creativity in sustainability”. The glittering, ‘green carpet’ event was a great celebration of the green movement, now in it’s fifth year, with awards ranging from Best Green Event Award, won by the National Trust for “A Plant in Time – A Touring Exhibition” (UK), to Green Awards Grand Prix won by the China Environmental Protection Foundation for “Green Pedestrian Crossing”.
The star of the show, however, was the man who received Lifetime Achievement Award, the great naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough. Attenborough has has over 50 years of documentary experience under his belt and at 83 years old he is still going strong. His reach and influence cannot be underestimated and with series such the Life to his name, he is rightly respected around the world. The label of the leading authority on nature and wildlife is well deserved, and he has been an inspiration to generations of film-makers and scientists, including this very blogger.
“My career of 56 years is indeed a long time, so that bit is right about ‘lifetime’. I did not start out to talk about sustainability, I was just lucky enough to find someone to send me around the world to look at animals, but now the natural world is in peril and it will not be saved unless everyone around the world believes it is peril.”
For my part, Sir David has, unknowingly, played no small part in shaping my path as an environmental scientist and was instrumental in developing my passion for the subject. The love that he showed for his craft and everything that was around, regardless of where he was, sparked an unending fascination when I was just a wee lad. My copy of the BBC’s Planet Earth series is never far away and I’m hoping that some generous soul will buy me The Life Collection this Christmas (hint, hint ;)). Those shows always cheered me up when I was sick and still always recharges my batteries if I’m struggling for inspiration. I have never met the great man sadly but I sincerely hope that I have the opportunity one day. Who knows what the future will hold.
The most incredible thing of all is that despite years Sir David is still working hard on new documentaries, his latest being First Life on BBC Two. The man is a machine, and I look forward to all of his future endeavours.
David, you are my hero and I wish you many more years of extrodinary adventures and discovery.