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Sir David Attenborough: mankind is changing the planet fundamentally

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Sir David Attenborough has said that the natural world is being changed by mankind to such an extent that animals can no longer survive, warning that someone has to act to tackle the growing global population.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday, the Planet Earth and Truth About Climate Change star was asked whether he believed mankind was destroying the natural world.

“We’re certainly changing it fundamentally, and in a way which many of the natural animals in the natural world, which have evolved for certain conditions, can no longer survive so to that extent we are destroying habitats”, he said.

“There is no one square yard of the English landscape which hasn’t been affected by man in one way… we are such a densely populated country.

“The only way our children can see the natural world and come accustomed to the natural world – for a lot of town children – is in their schools.”

He also said that due to the growing pressures of a rising global population, we are faced with big challenges.

“Either we can stop [the growing population], or the natural world can stop it for us.”

Attenborough added that it could be argued that in places such as Ethiopia, the natural world has already stopped population growth through starvation.

The acclaimed naturalist has often spoken out against global threats and the rising global population. Back in September, he warned that having large families was “irresponsible, but added that he did not believe our species would become extinct because “we’re very clever and extremely resourceful”.

Further reading:

David Attenborough: having large families is ‘irresponsible’

Tackling the three pillars of civilisation: consumption, population and the planet

Sir David Attenborough: developing world cares about the future of the planet

Sir David Attenborough launches crowdfunding campaign to save mountain gorillas

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