David Attenborough Says Population Growth Has To End To Save The Planet

david attenboroughPA

In all honesty, David Attenborough could say pretty much anything to me and I’d be captivated enough by him to believe anything he says.

His dulcet tones, his love of all wildlife and his endless knowledge of the planet are all enough to convince me that he is a man who knows what he is talking about.

And now he has some words of advice for us on how to save planet earth. Sir David sat down with BBC Newsnight to discuss the future of our planet, and he wasn’t holding back.

You can see what he has to say here:

Sir David Attenborough on changing the way we live

The reasons Sir David Attenborough thinks we need to change the way we live. Full interview here: https://bit.ly/2Rrs4wj

Posted by BBC Newsnight on Wednesday, 3 October 2018

He touched upon a variety of issues such as the Paris Agreement, vegetarianism and plastic pollution, before he went on to talk about population growth.

He said:

In the long run, population growth has to come to an end. There are some reasons for thinking that will happen almost inevitably.

One of the reasons that the population has increased as fast as it has is that people like me are living longer than we did and so there are more and more people just because the expectancy of life has increased.

Currently, life expectancy for males is 79.2 years and is sitting slightly higher for females at 82.9. This is a massive increase from nearly 100 years ago, whereby males were expected to live to just 55.6 years and females 59.6 years.

So in just 100 years, people are already living for more than 20 years longer than they would have been previously. And it isn’t surprising – with both technical and medical advances, of course people will be living for longer.

But what impact does this have on the planet?

Attenborough said:

It is very alarming the rate we are going and although people will say in the long run we are going to stabilise – they’re going to stabilise, as far as I see it, at a rather higher level than the Earth can really accommodate.

To put things into perspective, in the 100 years between 1900 and 2000, global population increased from 1.5 billion to 6.1 billion. This means the world population was three times greater than during the entire previous history of humanity.

london liverpool street station busy david attenborough population growthPixabay

And it looks like it’s only going to keep increasing – so what can be done to help?

Sir David referred to the Paris Agreement, which has been signed by 195 countries to combat climate change and to accelerate the actions needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

Initially he was ‘very, very pessimistic’ about the agreement when it was drafted in 2015 but he is now reassured by the changes in attitudes across the world.

He said:

The Paris Agreement seemed at the time to be, at last, nations coming to their senses. It is true that President Trump doesn’t go along with it and to what extent the United States is going to withdraw from it, we will see.

My suspicion is that people will realise that actually the United States, that attitude, is outdated, it doesn’t apply anymore, and I think that will be overcome.

The interview with BBC Newsnight came ahead of his upcoming nature series Dynasties, which will air later this year.

The five-part series will explore a dramatic range of stories about some of the most endangered animals on earth.

The BBC released first-look footage of the highly anticipated wildlife show on Facebook on Thursday (October 4), in honour of World Animal Day.

Dynasties: First Look | New David Attenborough Series

This #WorldAnimalDay, we’re giving you an exclusive first look at David Attenborough’s new series.#Dynasties – coming soon to BBC One.

Posted by BBC One on Thursday, 4 October 2018

Fans were beyond excited, with one person writing:

This is what I pay my licence fee for. David Attenborough. Lions. Tigers. Chimpanzees. Penguins. African Wild Dogs. Cannot wait

With another saying:

Looks like it will be heart breaking and breathtaking. Clearly a must watch. Feeling emotional and invested in all those families already.

I know I’m not alone in saying I’m on tenterhooks and can hardly wait to see the new series. But an air date is yet to be confirmed, so I guess we’ll have to!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]