I was very tempted to title this comment "David Attenborough - fascist" but people might misunderstand my point. Others - via the fine medium of Twitter suggested: "David Attenborough - fabian" in recognition of all those social democrats and pseudo-liberals (and apologists for mass murderers) like Sidney & Beatrice Webb, G B Shaw, H G Wells and J M Keynes who were in favour of government intervention to stop the masses from breeding.
However, I thing that "David Attenborough - eugenicist" will suffice for that is what he is:
"We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so,” warns David Attenborough in an interview in the new issue of Radio Times magazine. “It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde,” says the natural history broadcaster.
And it's not us Western white folk - we're fine (or more pertinently failing to meet replacement levels meaning, but for immigration, negative population growth). It the huddled masses in Africa:
“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves – and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a co-ordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”A less kind blogger might sniff a little racism there!
Now David Attenborough - along with the other posh eugenicists in organisations like Friends of the Earth and the Green Party - has a pretty loose association with actual facts about population and indeed about famine in Ethiopia - true there are food shortages most years in this country but no objective observer - or even the development industry - identifies population pressures as the cause.
The real problem for nasty eugenicists like Attenborough is that economic growth, trade and open markets - by making us richer - are the means to 'control' population. Coupled with sending women to school rather than to arranged marriages. Here are the facts that the eugenicists ignore:
...in the next few years (if it hasn't happened already) the world will reach a milestone: half of humanity will be having only enough children to replace itself. That is, the fertility rate of half the world will be 2.1 or below. This is the “replacement level of fertility”, the magic number that causes a country's population to slow down and eventually to stabilise. According to the United Nations population division, 2.9 billion people out of a total of 6.5 billion were living in countries at or below this point in 2000-05. The number will rise to 3.4 billion out of 7 billion in the early 2010s and to over 50% in the middle of the next decade. The countries include not only Russia and Japan but Brazil, Indonesia, China and even south India.
Attenborough and his posh eugenicist mates can sod off. Humankind doesn't need him to sort its population growth - getting richer and better educated is doing the job just fine.