DAVID Attenborough, in his book A Life on Our Planet, reflects that in his lifetime alone he has borne witness to the most extraordinary changes on Earth; especially the loss of its biodiversity.

Over this time, the planet’s population has increased three and a half times, while the area of wilderness has declined to less than a quarter of the area it once was.

Equally staggering is the fact that human activity has increased the carbon in the atmosphere to well over 350 ppm, once regarded as the upper limit to avoid the dreaded “tipping point”.

These revelations only serve to emphasise the fact that to survive, humankind has a greater problem with which to deal than Covid-19; but like Covid-19, it too can be beaten, if there is a global will to do so.

Yet tackling Covid is different: its fatalities are palpable short-term and that leads to immediate action to do something about it.

On the other hand climate change is deceptive: it creeps up, as if by stealth and at a petty pace.

The tragedy unfolds slowly, we know something is up, we’ve heard a great deal about it, but it doesn’t hurt, our comfortable life carries on, we feel no pain, so we doubt and dither.

In its report of November 27 2020 the IPCC warns that global temperatures have surpassed 1C above pre-industrial levels and must be kept from rising beyond 1.5C.

We have been warned - again. We are currently at 1.2C.

Should humanity not heed David Wallace-Wells’ apocalyptic warning in his The Uninhabitable Earth, and act to rein in its Fall from Grace? At 2C of warming, droughts will wallop the Mediterranean and much of India. At 2.5C, thanks to drought, the world could enter a global food deficit. At 5C, the whole earth would be wrapped in perennial drought.

Perhaps, if we were to feel climate pain (just a little bit!) we would react as we have to Covid, and COP26 might, at last, lead to a real, strong, global fighting phalanx to save humankind.

If you have not seen the film A Life on Our Planet (Netflix) or read David Attenborough’s book, then we recommend you do.

The film is very watchable and the book easy to read, informative, and drives the message home: we have one final chance to make amends, change the direction of our development and once again become a species in harmony with nature.

All we need is the will to do so!