Attenborough Attachment Syndrome: warm and fuzzy but ultimately lethal

Ninety-five-year-old Sir David Attenborough, producer of amazing wildlife documentaries, is revered as a champion of the environment.

However, as Razi Ginzberg observes, although he was named as the “people’s advocate” for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), a better title for him would be the anti-people’s advocate.

Attenborough, Ginzberg says, “argues that, through our industry and quest for material progress, we have despoiled our planet, much as a virus flourishes by destroying its host. It’s a dramatic story. It is also nonsense. Far from destroying anything, industrial progress continues to lift millions out of poverty every year. For the first time in history, the World Bank has found that fewer than a billion people live in extreme poverty. Much of the world enjoys more prosperity than human beings have ever known” – “made possible not by nature itself, but by people’s use of it.”

Sir David, a patron of Population Matters, sees people as a “plague” on the Planet that must be addressed by population control.

He has also been closely associated with the Worldwide Fund for Nature, formerly the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)  whose founders in 1961 included Max Nicholson and Julian Huxley – both convinced eugenicists.

Wildlife campaigns dovetail with population control, for it is hard to warn of humans “going extinct” when animals are endangered by “too many humans”.

While WWF urges us to adopt a snow leopard, we flush unborn humans down the toilet; and nine and a half million UK abortions since 1967 is more likely to prompt relief than elicit a gasp of horror or a pang of contrition. Charitable appeals on behalf of the poor children of the world might just as well be advertisements for population control.

Sir David’s programmes have been accused of misrepresenting reality to justify this narrative. But the real fake news is that human “overpopulation” and technological improvement is killing the Planet – a message relayed to Western audiences via high-tech equipment and an overpopulation of film-makers.

Whether or not we believe in man-made climate change, its advocates seem not to. Witness industrialists urging us to replace our cars and boilers when the old ones are still working perfectly; environmental campaigners who would cover agricultural land with solar panels and ignore the damage done to wild birds by giant windmills; and millionaire environmentalists jetting around the world telling the poor to reduce their carbon footprint.

Yet the news from Attenborough and his acolytes is so disheartening that some people have even decided to remain childless to save the Planet.  

Recently little Prince George was “so sad” that his parents had to switch off one of Sir David’s documentaries.  

Even Sir David realises that his viewers are getting tired of “woe is me” output. “I think a lot of people think we’re spending all our time saying, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, what a catastrophe faces us’, which is perfectly true,” he said, adding that his recent documentary Life in Colour was “about ... colour and, yes, just being able to rejoice in it.”

However, the very next day, Sir David reportedly warned the UN Security Council that “climate change threatens to cause a disaster of First World War proportions, as people fight over resources, “ and that “declining ocean health, limited access to food and water, and the destruction of people’s homes could lead to global conflict.”

He maintained: “If we continue on our current path we will face the collapse of all that gives us our security – food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature and ocean food chains. If the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilisation will quickly break down. ... climate change is the biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced.”

As the new UN initiative shows, many still cling fondly to the idea that the misanthropic Sir David cares about humanity, even while he declares that “even the most considerate of us” are “intruders” on planet Earth. “[T]he natural world, by-and-large, would do much better if we weren’t there at all.”

He still regards ‘population growth’ as “the most fundamental issue facing the world,” and although he is against “interfering with the basic human right”’ to have children, he feels “we should use every argument we have, and every persuasion we can get, to convince people (not to). … Why is there urban violence? Why are there these problems with immigration, why are we running short of food and polluting? Every single one of those comes down to…more people.”

Words like these show, beyond a doubt, that Sir David is the doyen of anti-people advocates. There are a lot of them, but at 95 he is at the top of his game.

With the decline of belief in God, Westerners seek someone to bring order out of chaos – to control an out-of-control universe. The BBC has nominated Sir David for this challenge. The Beeb is suffering from Attenborough Attachment Disorder – a communicable disease that may eventually prove far more lethal to the human race than Covid-19.


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