Sir David Attenborough, whose voice has been heard for decades narrating BBC documentaries on nature and natural history, continued his urgings for a serious discussion about overpopulation and called mankind "a plague" during a recent interview.
In the interview published Tuesday by The Radio Times
, the famed British TV-presenter warned: "We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so . . . It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now."
This isn't the first time Attenborough, 86, brother of actor and director Richard Attenborough, has expressed his controversial views on the population growth of humans.
In 2009, the outspoken environmentalist was named patron of the Optimum Population Trust, a British-based organization that argues the planet might not be able to support half of the current population by century's end due to the planet's limited resources. Among its many initiatives aimed at reducing the population, the group encouraged Britons to limit their family size to no more than two children per household.
Attenborough has in the past argued that a greater emphasis should be put on sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population growth in developing countries, according to The Telegraph
"We keep putting on programs about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there," Attenborough said in his Radio Times interview. "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."
For decades, Ethiopia has struggled to feed its populace, with an estimated 4.5 million people in need of emergency food assistance, according to the government in 2012.
The United Nations says world population, currently estimated at just over seven billion, is expected to increase to 8.9 billion by 2050, a 47 percent increase from the 6.1 billion humans worldwide in 2000. The regions with the most significant population growth are in parts of Africa and Southern Asia.
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