Friday, September 20, 2013

David Attenborough Should STFU

David Attenborough should just STFU. The misanthropic old git has been much in the news again spouting off his usual doom-laden drivel about over-population. Just as an exercise he should just take a look out of the window at the real world around him. In the 87 years that he's been around the planet the population has shut up from 2 billion to around 7 billion. A huge jump, we're all agreed. But at the same time global life expectancy at birth have doubled according to some statistics - and while I'll admit the actual numbers may be dubious the trend is there in every set of numbers you look at. Poverty levels have been dropping in percentage and absolute terms. Wealth has increased massively. Pollution has decreased in the developed world and is starting to drop in other parts of the world too.

By any conceivable metric the human race has prospered even as the population has increased. What about the 'natural' world (as though somehow humans are not part of the natural world)? Well, deforestation is no longer seen as the problem it once was - though it's clear that some of the policies inflicted on us by greens like David Attenborough are making things worse as forests are cleared for bio-fuel crops. Global warming never was a problem and it's becoming clearer by the day that this scare is dying on its feet.

Of course we're not living in utopia and there are real economic, political and environmental problems in the world. But by any objective measure the doom and gloom propagated by Attenborough, and those who have preceded him (Paul Ehrlich being the most obvious example) is not warranted.

National treasure? Possibly. But he'd be more of a treasure if he just STFU or else dared to look beyond his fixed ideological position and see how the real world has changed in his life-time.

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