David Attenborough – Humans are plague on Earth

Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth, warns Sir David Attenborough

By Louise Gray | 22 January 2013
The Telegraph

Sir David Attenborough says that population control is a “huge area of concern”, adding the world is “heading for disaster unless we do something”. Sir David warns if humans do not act soon, the “natural world will do something”, as he argues famine in Ethiopia is about “too many people for too little piece of land”. (Source: Sir David Attenborough: If we do not control population, the natural world will / The Telegraph)

The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.

He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.

“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.

Sir David, who is a patron of the Population Matters, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.

“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”

Sir David, whose landmark series are repeated from Monday on BBC2, starting with Life on Earth, has also spoken out about the change in wildlife documentaries during his lifetime.

The 86-year-old said commentary from presenters like himself are becoming less necessary as camera work is able to tell a story.

“I’m not sure there’s any need for a new Attenborough,” he said. “The more you go on, the less you need people standing between you and the animal and the camera waving their arms about.

“It’s much cheaper to get someone in front of a camera describing animal behaviour than actually showing you [the behaviour]. That takes a much longer time. But the kind of carefully tailored programmes in which you really work at the commentary, you really match pictures to words, is a bit out of fashion now … regarded as old hat.”

Sir David Attenborough: an interview with the Wellcome Trust

Professor Paul Ehrlich: Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map

Stephen Emmott’s Ten Billion, Trailer | The Future of Our Planet

Al Bartlett – Democracy Cannot Survive Overpopulation

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41 COMMENTS

  1. We pride ourselves on being smarter than all other animals but we too are overpopulating ourselves to the point of extreme hunger & homelessness. Human Overpopulation is real &, as we continue to ignore this growing problem, our humanity wanes, the other species are disappearing at alarming rates & our planet suffers irreparable damage.

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