TECH
29/06/2015 13:24 BST | Updated 29/06/2015 13:59 BST

Obama Interviews David Attenborough About Climate Change And Things Get Deep

On his 89th birthday, Sir David Attenborough was invited to visit one of the few ecosystems in the world that still appears to benefit from humanity's existence: The White House.

obama attenborough interview

In an interview that aired last night on BBC 1 and BBC America, the broadcaster had the rare privilege of being interviewed by president Barack Obama.

What ensued was an honest exchange of stories that quickly evolved into a deeper conversation about the future of our planet.

Obama, who turned the tables around quite comfortably and occupied the seat of the interviewer, began by confessing that he had grown up on the renown broadcaster's programming.

He later asked Attenborough what got him interested in nature, to which he cleverly responded that children always have a fascination with nature and that he never lost it.

Obama jokingly interjected: "you just never grew up."

The interview was taped on May 8 and the conversation meandered from childhood memories to some of the "stubborn misconceptions" people have about nature.

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Attenborough touched on the response he has had from people of all ages about climate change, especially children.

'The letters I get (from kids of all ages) brings tears to the eyes. The young people they care, they know that this is world they are going to grow up in. They actually believe that humanity has no right to destroy the planet.'

As a nod to the naysayers, who oppose climate change policy in the White House and around the world at large, Obama said:

“We’re not moving as fast as we need to, and part of what I know from watching your programs, and all the great work you’ve done, is that these ecosystems are all interconnected.

“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.”

A point that Attenborough agreed with.

Their conversation slipped easily from global policy to personal pondering as Obama remarked how 'it is the amazement of the natural world and its powers that speaks to what is deepest in us.'

The interview comes at a crucial juncture in the international effort to mitigate climate change.

On 2 June, Attenborough joined a powerhouse of scientists including Sir David King in backing the Global Apollo Programme that seeks to make clean energy cheaper than coal.

The initiative is akin to the US' Apollo space programme that took off in the 1960s.