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David Attenborough - Humans are plague on Earth


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#1 Crisp

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 13:55

David Attenborough - Humans are plague on Earth

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

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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.”


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#2 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 13:58

sounds about right.

#3 Nick H.

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:04

An incredible man. I 100% agree with him, although I choose to refer to mankind as a virus rather than a plague. Obviously not in day-to-day conversation, but on the topic of our over population and consumption of resources without much (if any) thought to sustainability.

#4 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:07

It's interesting to hear someone of his stature and expertise say this. I've long been opposed to famine programmes for countries like Ethiopia and Somalia, which have completely unsustainable populations and are entirely dependent upon foreign food aid. I'd much rather see money invested in education and infrastructure.

#5 ahhell

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:24

It's interesting to hear someone of his stature and expertise say this. I've long been opposed to famine programmes for countries like Ethiopia and Somalia, which have completely unsustainable populations and are entirely dependent upon foreign food aid. I'd much rather see money invested in education and infrastructure.

Those programs would be as necessary if the local warlords didn't steal everything.

#6 Kriz

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:39

Well its true, if the same was happening with a different species, we would control the population.

Lock up all the Jeremy Kyle-ites, stop them having 1 kid every year until they're 60, crime will drop and no doubt majority of them will turn into crack heads or benefit scammers.

#7 Richteralan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:31

It's interesting to hear someone of his stature and expertise say this. I've long been opposed to famine programmes for countries like Ethiopia and Somalia, which have completely unsustainable populations and are entirely dependent upon foreign food aid. I'd much rather see money invested in education and infrastructure.

The eternal problem of these kind of programs is: it is very hard to make sure all the food aid been distributed as intended. It happens all over the world.

#8 threetonesun

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:39

Yeah, Malthus said this too. Just, 200 years ago: http://en.wikipedia....e_of_Population

He also said humanity was basically self regulating, which has been true.

#9 Fish

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 18:40

The global population explosion will be followed by the global population implosion. Nature always finds a balance, it's just a matter of time.

#10 osm0sis

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 18:43

An incredible man. I 100% agree with him, although I choose to refer to mankind as a virus rather than a plague. Obviously not in day-to-day conversation, but on the topic of our over population and consumption of resources without much (if any) thought to sustainability.


I prefer "a cancer" since we're all about uncontrolled growth.

#11 OP Crisp

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 18:45

The global population explosion will be followed by the global population implosion. Nature always finds a balance, it's just a matter of time.


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#12 Hum

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 18:56

Smart man. At least someone is awake.

#13 Phouchg

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:03

Humans are a blight on galactic purity.

#14 exotoxic

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:05

Humans are plague on Earth


truth (Y)

#15 Anibal P

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:10

"Sir" Attenborough and people that believe like him are idiots
We've had crackpots making these same comments for centuries and it hasn't happened, crap like this falls under the "It's a Conspiracy" forum