Population Growth Has To Slow Down If We Want To Save The Planet, Says David Attenborough

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Before his upcoming five-part nature series Dynasties, David Attenborough sat down to talk to BBC Newsnight.

Population Growth Has To Slow Down If We Want To Save The Planet, Says David Attenborough

Before his upcoming five-part nature series Dynasties, David Attenborough sat down to talk to BBC Newsnight. During the interview, the 92-year-old broadcasting veteran talked about our planet's future of our planet, touching the topics of population growth, plastic pollution, vegetarianism, and the Paris Agreement.


David Attenborough's previous project, Blue Planet II, helped to kickstart a global debate on humans' destructive addiction to plastic and the effect it's having on the world's oceans. Discussing single-use plastic bags in the wake of taxes and bans in some countries, Attenborough told Newsnight's Evan Davis:


"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 added:


"I think it's quite important in a democracy that people actually 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."


On vegetarianism, Attenborough admitted he isn't a big carnivore but says there's no moral reason, biologically speaking, to steer clear of meat as we evolved to be omnivores. However, that we have reached a stage in our social evolution "in which that's no longer practical because we simply can't destroy the natural forests and plains of the world to feed ourselves" He added: "We can't afford to do that so, therefore, we have to modify our diet."


It isn't our diet in need of a rethink. Attenborough says that we need to slow down the rate of population growth soon.


"In the long run, population growth has to come to an end," he said noting that much of it comes down to people, like himself, living for longer. While there's a strong case to make in saying that population growth will stabilize on its own accord, he believes that when (and if) it does, the world's population will already be too high for the planet to be sustainable.


Concerning the United States leaving the Paris Agreement, Attenborough told Davis he is reassured by the changes in attitude around the globe to our planet, sparked by the historic agreement, and the US leaving it will not stop this.


"There's a groundswell internationally of recognizing what we are doing to the planet and the disaster that awaits unless we do something."




Video source: BBC Newsnight/Youtube

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Thinking Humanity: Population Growth Has To Slow Down If We Want To Save The Planet, Says David Attenborough
Population Growth Has To Slow Down If We Want To Save The Planet, Says David Attenborough
Before his upcoming five-part nature series Dynasties, David Attenborough sat down to talk to BBC Newsnight.
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