David Attenborough recently gave an interview to BBC Newsnight with the 92-year-old talking about the future of the planet.
During the interview, he touched on the subject including plastic pollution, the Paris agreement, and vegetarianism along with population growth.
David Attenborough: “Humans are a plague on Earth”
Thanks to the TV series the Blue Planet II a global debate began on the issues that plastic was having on the oceans, wildlife, and the climate, around the globe. Attenborough spoke up about single-use plastic bags being used after bans on plastic carrier bags in many countries along with the addition of taxes.
Attenborough said, “We should do our best to avoid the use of plastic” but added, “One mustn’t maximize the effect of not using a plastic bag.” He went on to say, “I think it’s quite important in a democracy that people have something to do to express their concern and maybe plastic bags aren’t the most important element in the whole plastic problem, but it is something that people can do.”
Forest and Plains Cannot Be Destroyed Just to Feed Human Beings
Plastic was not the only issue raised during the interview. Attenborough spoke about vegetarianism saying that he is not a big meat eater but that his choice was not a moral one. He went on to say there is no reason to avoid eating meat just because people evolved to become omnivores. Attenborough went on to say people have reached a stage where it is not practical because forests of the world along with the plains, cannot be destroyed just to provide food to human beings, so the diet needs to change.
The Population Growth is A Big Concern
More importantly, said Attenborough; the rate of population growth has to be slowed down as it is now at a rate that is alarming. This is something that needs to be done sooner rather than later.
Attenborough pointed out that, “In the long run, population growth has to come to an end.”
Many people are of the belief that population growth is going to take care of itself and stabilize. However, Attenborough is worried that even if this proves to be true by the time it does maintain the population around the world will already be too high so it will not be sustainable.
Paris Agreement Helped to Change Attitudes about the Earth
During the interview, Attenborough touched upon the United States pulling out of the Paris Agreement. He said he had found reassurance in changes of attitude worldwide in regards to planet Earth that had come about thanks to the historic agreement. He went on to say this would not change despite the fact the United States has left it.
Attenborough stated, “There’s a groundswell internationally of recognizing what we are doing to the planet and the disaster that awaits unless we do something.” “To what extent the United States is going to withdraw from it, we’ll see. My suspicion is that people will realize that the United States’ attitude is outdated, it doesn’t apply anymore, and I think that will be overcome.”
David Attenborough spoke to the BBC before his upcoming new five-part nature series entitled “Dynasties”.
The official release date has yet to be revealed, but it is coming soon.