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Attenborough - 'humans are plague on Earth'

Posted on Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 | Comment icon 118 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Felix Andrews

Sir David Attenborough has expressed his concerns over Earth's ever increasing human population.

The 86-year-old has spent a lifetime exploring the wonders of the natural world but out of all creatures it seems that it is ourselves who pose the greatest risk to the planet. "We are a plague on the Earth," he said. "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."

Sir David has long been a proponent of better sex education and voluntary methods for controlling population growth. "We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there," he said. "Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse."

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

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (118)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #109 Posted by Br Cornelius on 4 February, 2013, 9:22
It is not TreeHuggers who are making prediction of dire declines of the biosphere, it is scientists in every field of terrestrial biology. From ocean scientists; Entering or already in the sixth mass extinction; ] Been optimistic seems delusional to me. As I said - the majority of this decline in ecosystem integrity happened in lock step with the rise of mans population from 3billion to 7billion over the last 50years. Adding a further 3billion cannot improve the situation and may push us into general ecosystem collapse on a level which can be likened to previous mass extinctions. Br Corneli... [More]
Comment icon #110 Posted by redhen on 5 February, 2013, 8:05
Quite so. You can add to that list " ". http://www.ucsusa.org/about/1992-world-scientists.html
Comment icon #111 Posted by Asadora on 5 February, 2013, 22:51
We should just all wear chastity belts. "We have been God-like in our planned breeding of our domesticated plants and animals, but we have been rabbit-like in our unplanned breeding of ourselves." --Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Comment icon #112 Posted by psyche101 on 6 February, 2013, 8:22
Shock value I would say, like sex, it gets attention, and that is what he is trying to do. As far as plague, maybe he could have used another term but it would be taken as offensive by someone anyway, no pleasing everyone. Personally I rather like his BBC stuff. What he proposes is hardly new. For the last few years Australia has been debating a "Big Australia" and a "Small Australia" The optimum choice seems to be very slow population growth. Almost zero. That will maintain lifestyles and spread resources. Maybe if we do go with the smal Australia tat we can be viewed as... [More]
Comment icon #113 Posted by Frank Merton on 6 February, 2013, 8:53
Population growth rates around the world drop automatically when living standards reach certain levels. It has happened in Vietnam without a single law or even propaganda campaign -- merely making early-term abortions available (but not subsidized) and making other contraception methods widely available.
Comment icon #114 Posted by Br Cornelius on 6 February, 2013, 9:31
You miss the point. Current populations are unsustainable - add 3billion and things are considerably worse. A species peaking out on its population curve almost never spots the signs until it is to late. In this case we are a global species and so our overexploitation of the planetary resources effects every single corner of the planet. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #115 Posted by Br Cornelius on 6 February, 2013, 9:34
A fine analysis of the situation. The problem is that the European model of society has swept away all sustainable models of society and made the disease which is consumption beyond your means the default approach to life. I suspect that the Western model cannot be reformed and will have to go through a systemic collapse - just as the Native American culture did. Unfortunately that means a global collapse of western values before we can ever hope to see a sustainable future. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #116 Posted by Bavarian Raven on 6 February, 2013, 17:34
Just as an aside, but this will increase the already exponential rate of topsoil loss Not saying we shouldnt cut back on meat, just that it's not a clear-cut solution and has other problems that need addressing.
Comment icon #117 Posted by Br Cornelius on 6 February, 2013, 17:40
We should learn from our ancestors and grow most of our food in the immediate vicinity of our houses. The Soviet era russians managed to produce 60% of their food needs from the small gardens around peasant houses. The failures of collectivised farming would have destroyed the Soviet Union if it hadn't have been for the sustainable production of peasants. We are suffering under another form of collectivised and unsustainable agriculture. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #118 Posted by Artaxerxes on 6 February, 2013, 19:34
Just for the record, I agree. The kindest thing anyone can do {short of committing suicide} for the environment is to choose not to have children. If you really care for the environment - don't have children. It's as simple as that. Art

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