Humans are plague on Earth – Attenborough
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent | 12:01AM GMT 22 Jan 2013
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 Optimum Population Trust, 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 backs campaign to limit human population
8:25AM BST 14 Apr 2009
The veteran broadcaster made his comments as he became patron of a group seeking to cut the growth in human population.
The Optimum Population Trust (OPT) believes Earth may not be able to support more than half its present numbers before the end of the century.
In a statement released on the organisation's website, Sir David, 82, said: "I've seen wildlife under mounting human pressure all over the world and it's not just from human economy or technology - behind every threat is the frightening explosion in human numbers.
"I've never seen a problem that wouldn't be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.
"That's why I support the OPT, and I wish the environmental NGOs would follow their lead, and spell out this central problem loud and clear."
The trust, which was founded in 1991, wants the UK population to decrease by not less than 0.25% a year and has launched a "Stop at Two" pledge to encourage couples to voluntarily limit the size of their families.
World population is projected to rise from 6.8 billion today to 9.1 billion in 2050, it says.
OPT chairman Roger Martin said he was "delighted" to welcome Sir David as patron and added: "All serious environmentalists know perfectly well that population growth, exploding in the 20th century, has been a key driver of every environmental problem.
In January, Sir David revealed he received hate mail from viewers for not crediting God in his nature programmes.
His latest documentary on Charles Darwin and natural selection marked two centuries since Darwin's birth and 150 years since the groundbreaking On the Origin of Species was published
Sir David Attenborough: I want to come back as 'animal with wild sex life'
By Alastair Jamieson | 8:02AM BST 04 Jun 2009
The 82-year-old disclosed in a radio programme that he wished he could come back as a creature that mates in an unusual way.
Sir David made the admission during a show to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Friday night, according to a report in The Sun.
He said: “People often say, 'What would you like to be if you came back to Earth as an animal?' Well the answer I give depends on the company I'm with. If it's a bit racy, I daresay my mind would wander over a range of animals remarkable for the extravagance of their reproductive techniques.”
He added that he would often tone down his answer. "In more sober company, I normally find a safer answer. A sloth, I say. It spends most of its time hanging upside from a branch in a tropical rainforest, dozing."
His comments are made in the first of a series of short radio shows called Life Stories, in which he talks about different subjects close to his heart.
He also talks about his first ever pet, a salamander, and his favourite animal - the bird of paradise.
The wildlife expert, whose wife died ten years ago, has completed his Life On... television series but says he will not retire until "I'm in a bathchair".
Sir David is preparing to visit the Arctic and Antarctic to film The Frozen Planet for the BBC.
The Life Stories programme will be broadcast on BBC Radio Four at 8.50pm on Friday 5 June and repeated at 8.50am on Sunday 7 June.
SOURCE : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9815862/Humans-are-plague-on-Earth-Attenborough.html