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David Attenborough “A National Disgrace” – Telegraph

July 11, 2019

Is the Telegraph growing a backbone?


They have this piece by Matt Kilcoyne today:

For someone who purports to be a national treasure, Sir David Attenborough’s select committee performance yesterday was more of a national disgrace. He should be applauded for educating millions about the natural world, yet he now wants to control our lives, cut down our choices, and shut us out from experiencing these same wonders.

The broadcaster said that he wants people to pay more for airfares – removing the newly found opportunity to travel from millions of lower income families – and warned that other parts of life would have to be cut back for environmental reasons too. When asked about the greater effects of his proposals on poorer families he coldly responded: “Yes. I’m afraid that is the case.”

Rather than a hero of the conservation movement or smooth-voiced demigod, we should see Attenborough as the fallible and clearly flappable man he is. Just because he can describe the world beautifully does not make him an expert on public policy.

That has not stopped Attenborough from trying to control our lives, however. He is the patron of the 21st century Malthusian group Population Matters, who campaign for a lower world population. In the spirit of China’s one child policy, they want to halve the current birthrate, with a special emphasis on the developed world, while curtailing migration to keep those born in poverty in their place and not emitting much carbon.

We have been here before. In 1798, English scholar Thomas Malthus claimed that population growth would soon trigger mass starvation. Since then, the global population has grown seven-fold, yet fewer people are malnourished than ever before.

Just like Malthus, today’s apocalypse evangelists are deeply misguided. We’re not running out of the world’s resources. In fact, we have continuously developed technology to find more resources and use them more efficiently. Our market system helps us apportion cost to activity and, so as prices rise resources are put to their best use.

Nor can Sir David decide what is good and what is evil. His diatribe sought to assign all of us in the West, and particularly Britain, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, the ‘original sin’ of carbon emissions – a sin for which there can be no redemption. He overlooked the billions lifted out of abject poverty over the last two centuries, the development of new technologies that have made our lives easier or medicines that have doubled the length of our lives.

Of course, Attenborough doesn’t believe what he says applies to him. When questioned about his own situation which involves considerably more flying than the average person, he simply described it as a “paradox”. It wasn’t of course. It was mere hypocrisy. This same hypocrisy was on view in the Noughties when Sting and Al Gore jetted around the world lecturing us about climate change. So too when Emma Thompson flew from LA to London to join Extinction Rebellion’s protests. Inevitably, there is one rule for the multimillionaires and another for the little people.

They have developed ways of dismissing such concerns, however. In the case of Extinction Rebellion flights are allowed in crisis situations. With the Guardian and now the Government branding climate change an “emergency”, they can travel whenever and wherever they want while trying to permanently ground the rest of us. Sadly though, our political system, and the luvvie-Left media, does little to persuade Attenborough and his fellow evangelists to abandon their insulting, overblown language and illiberal policy recommendations.

Hyperbole was certainly on display yesterday when Sir David compared concern for the environment to the turn away from slavery two centuries ago. This careless comparison may generate headlines but it also makes a mockery of the human suffering of that evil system. But a national treasure, who sides with the left on environmental issues, receives none of the hate that was directed at the likes of Ann Widdecombe when she used similarly careless language last week.

The trouble is that Attenborough and his ilk give a veneer of reasonableness to radical, authoritarian and impractical ideas. Young people, especially those of richer backgrounds, are indeed coming round to the opinion that throwing plastic into the ocean is unacceptable, that taking lots of foreign jaunts in jets has repercussions. That’s their prerogative. When the alternative to straining every sinew to survive is no food on your family’s table, however, then the environment tends to receive short shrift.

In reality, prosperity is the solution. As we get richer, we care about the rivers we live near, the air we breathe, the planet we share. By bringing nature directly into our homes, Attenborough’s documentaries can even make us care about plant and animal life all over the world. But if we start to control everyone else to fit our worldview, it’s hard to see how we’ll encourage anything other than poverty and resentment in their lives. Removing the vital freedom to choose the lifestyles environmentalists believe are so rational will simply cause people to turn away from the cause altogether.

Full story:

  1. matelot65 permalink
    July 11, 2019 10:53 am

    Unfortunately, the Telegraph have been trumpeting CC scare stories all week, so I wouldn’t put them on the side of rational thinking just yet!

  2. July 11, 2019 10:55 am

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  3. Ariane permalink
    July 11, 2019 10:57 am

    Matt Kilcoyne’s piece is spot on: Attenborough the neo-Malthusian who is more fond of the planet than of humans. The Green who wants to control us. The cold-hearted hypocrite.

  4. July 11, 2019 10:58 am

    At last someone with the same criticism of the doddering old fool Attenborough as myself. His hypocrisy is astonishing and dangerous which is typical of the Luvvie Lefties like Thomson, Rylance and Co. Dont do as I do, do as I order or the world comes to an end. He has for years traded on his early work on the BBC who of course see him as the climate change messiah so both are accessories to the ongoing fraud re climate change. Hopefully people will stop and look more closely at this man and his cohorts and their dangerous outpourings.

    • July 11, 2019 11:15 am

      I would say that the old and doddering are entitled to be fools, the problem lies with the select committees, just like the BBC, only inviting to speak those who will say the right things.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 11, 2019 1:54 pm

        The trouble with the select committees is that the members are so ignorant they lack the ability to properly examine a subject.

      • Ian Youles permalink
        July 12, 2019 9:44 am

        Surely – select committees are always highly selective…

  5. charles wardrop permalink
    July 11, 2019 11:11 am

    No doubt he sincerely means well, but he has been duped both by the rigid pro alarm diehards and because of BBC and public flattery for national treasures.
    Lack of scientific breadth of mind and perhaps a little senility are behind his and some other older luvvies’ stance, while the younger ones’ rgidity could reflect arrogance as well as spoiling.

    • July 11, 2019 11:59 am

      How can it be said that one “means well” when they blatantly state that they wish for masses of people to suffer and die?

      • charles wardrop permalink
        July 11, 2019 12:10 pm

        If he stated that in these words, his senility has set in!

  6. Thomas Carr permalink
    July 11, 2019 11:14 am

    Thanks for the opportunity to read Matt Kilcoyne’s article from the D. Telegraph on 11th July. For recent nonsense from the Guardian please see the letter to supporters of 3rd July which starts with a report on ” a brilliant discussion” between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg. If I had an address I would forward it to you.

    While I am impressed by the presentation of graphs and statistics which put the climate change arguments into perspective if not their compelling refutation some of the detail is too dense.
    Would it not be better to state the info. which contradicts the careless and complacent like the BBC with the counter fact and its source and minimise the supporting commentary? Sometimes extended text appropriate to a Ph D clouds the impact of a simple provable contradiction.

    • July 11, 2019 12:04 pm

      Did you read Greta Thunberg in conversation with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the @guardianweekend climate crisis special?
      Wow! Two very inspiring women who remind us that we can all make a difference, no matter how big the challenge and how small we might feel sometimes

      ugh … I won’t read it ..I value my heart
      ..Here’s a link

      But today’s big story
      \\ The @guardian retracts pro-@jeremycorbyn letter defending him from charges of #Antisemitism over ‘misleading’ description of authors, who included some of your ‘who’s who’ of rabid Antisemites & Jew haters //

    • July 11, 2019 12:11 pm

      @TC here is the AOC GT letter you mentioned

      • Pancho Plail permalink
        July 12, 2019 1:30 pm

        I would be interested to know at what age the “wisdom of youth” evaporates. Perhaps it would have something to do with accumulation of real-world experience.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    July 11, 2019 11:16 am

    It’s as if all the environmental gains we have made over the last 50 years never happened.

    Maybe Sir David thinks it’s still 1969.

  8. Robert Ramsay permalink
    July 11, 2019 11:22 am

    Sadly this is so against current group speak that it won’t get the wider audience it deserves.

  9. The Informed Consumer permalink
    July 11, 2019 11:33 am

    Perhaps Matt Kilcoyne has recognised, and decided to act upon, the integrity of the late Chris Booker. Time will tell.

    • Barbara Elsmore permalink
      July 11, 2019 1:50 pm

      As a Telegraph reader I welcome this article and let us hope that Matt Kilcoyne will continue in this vein.

  10. July 11, 2019 11:53 am

    Paul is this page URL supposed to be titled as it is “trashed” ?
    Should it be “DA_trashed” ?

    If you recreated it I guess it would be difficult to transfer comments

    • July 11, 2019 1:36 pm

      I trashed it by mistake!! Then recovered it, but it seems ok nowE

  11. Philip Wood permalink
    July 11, 2019 12:01 pm

    At last ! Someone who is prepared to bring Attenborough to task.

  12. George Lawson permalink
    July 11, 2019 12:08 pm

    This is a man who has become dangerous to society, and should be stopped before his aged, worked out brain, does any more damage by convincing our illiteracy and parts of the intelligentsia that he is worthwhile listening to..

  13. July 11, 2019 12:13 pm

    Meanwhile in Australia XR seem to be screwing up their protests in Queensland

  14. Jackington permalink
    July 11, 2019 12:40 pm

    Unfortunately Kilcoyne’s excellent piece is not in the print edition of the DT.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 11, 2019 1:52 pm

      Interesting. They once refused to put a column by the late great Booker on the webpage. When I complained they just said we can do what we like. Given the piece was on Brexit and contrary to the DT’s moronic ‘no deal – go Boris’ stance I wonder if this was to reduce the number who might read it?

      • Jackington permalink
        July 11, 2019 3:17 pm

        I just wish Sir David gets to read it, it might make him think a bit – what am I saying?!

      • July 11, 2019 4:44 pm

        That you think a no deal Brexit is “moronic” speaks legions for your lack of undrestanding of economics and politics

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        July 11, 2019 7:51 pm

        Moronic, is the only adequate description of a crash-out Brexit. Moronic socially, politically & economically.

    • Barbara Elsmore permalink
      July 11, 2019 2:03 pm

      You are right. These articles do not reach the print readers as I found with a recent article by. Christopher Snowdon – highlighted by Paul – which as far as I could see failed to reach the print readers. This article by Matt Kilcoyne is hard to find under Premium Articles which I also subscribe to and which I read every day and did not find this until again Paul drew our attention to it and even then I had to do a search under ‘David Attenborough’ via the website to locate it. Why is this?

  15. Jackington permalink
    July 11, 2019 12:42 pm

    Unfortunately Kilcoyne’s excellent piece is not in the print edition.

  16. Ian Cook permalink
    July 11, 2019 2:01 pm

    When asked if he realised the poor would suffer more, his reply didn’t include, but should have, yes, but I’m not one of them – hence my opinions. If you look, you will notice you need to be rich to be socialist.

  17. July 11, 2019 3:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    Sir Misanthrope, Knight of the Climate Scam Tyrants.

  18. Athelstan. permalink
    July 11, 2019 7:01 pm

    Some political bright spark needs to allow someone as erudite, plain speaking and aware of the facts, none of the green loonies would stand a snowflakes chance in hell up against Marc Morano. Or Mark Steyn.

    Why doesn’t Nigel Farage make him a special environmental spokesperson, as I’ve said, it’s OK realist articles such as the above being printed in the DT, but the counter narrative needs to be made more widespread and mainstream NEWS and shouted from the rooftops.

    man made CO2 does not equal Global warming and all else ref attenboro’s brainwashing hogwash: TV inspired fictional doom mongering bollox.

    and logo,

    Make life easier, make life cheaper – cut the green taxes ban the boondoggles and birdmincers, see this nation blossom verdant: everybody wins!

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      July 11, 2019 7:53 pm

      Because Farage is no bright spark, politically or otherwise.

      • July 11, 2019 8:21 pm

        That’s probably what Cameron thought too. Which one is the has-been?

        But we digress. Attenborough and his ilk travel all over the world year in year out, then have the nerve to lecture everyone else that it shouldn’t be done. Message to them: on your bike!

      • cockneygit permalink
        July 12, 2019 7:54 pm

        Adam, I’m willing to bet my house that he’s achieved FAR more than you ever have, and that he has amassed more money than you. He has changed politics for the better (truly a chance coming to smash the two-party system) and whether you like him or loathe him, he’s a very clever and able man. He has achieved some politics which has NEVER been achieved in our history – such as forming a new party and six weeks later it winning the Euro Elections – a truly astounding accomplishment. I don’t think there’s another politician in this country who could ever do that! So your comment was so wrong as to be absurd.

    • Ariane permalink
      July 12, 2019 9:26 am

      Guys, any women needed in your plans?

  19. July 11, 2019 8:34 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Fantastic article. Surprised it appeared anywhere near the mainstream and one can only hope it is the start of something substantial.

  20. Huw Thomas permalink
    July 11, 2019 8:58 pm

    Huzzah! Is the tide finally turning?

  21. Stephen Bridewell permalink
    July 11, 2019 10:06 pm

    I think you need to look at the bigger picture. Yes, we all need to improve the way we reduce pollution and our carbon footprint, but this is not for us. It is for our children and our children’s children. We have to look at this problem long term and not be short sighted. If we all do something small to reduce pollution like recycle plastic or use less plastic bags or cycle more to work then we will be doing our bit for our children.

    • bobn permalink
      July 12, 2019 11:34 am

      As long as you dont confuse pollution with CO2. Co2 is not pollution, its good for the planet and doesnt change the climate. Recycle your plastic and pump out all the CO2 you want. The two issues have no connection.

    • Gamecock permalink
      July 13, 2019 9:41 pm

      This is junk, Bridewell. We have reduced pollution MASSIVELY in the last 50 years. Your 1960s playbook doesn’t work any more.

      Recycling plastic is stupid. It makes sense to recycle that which is rare or expensive. Plastic is neither. In fact, your approach is what caused the Pacific Garbage Patch. YOU OWN IT!

  22. Malcolm Bell permalink
    July 12, 2019 8:32 am

    You will call me moronic, ignorant, unscientific and all those empty and unfortunate words. Fine, carry on.

    But the clear fact is, Malthus was right. No, don’t scream “he has been probed wrong”, think first. Basically he said that populations of all species will increase to the limit of the resource available – and they do, including us.

    Engineers, Agriculturalists, Scientists and others like me keep finding new and better ways to extend our resources. The hope is that living standards for all with then improve, and they do. Then population catches up
    and the poor and under resourced reappear.

    This is a race we cannot win except by making the decision that so many loud voices will not face: populstion must be limited, period, We can solve all the technical problems of energy and food but we cannot increase the surface area of the Earth, that is finite.

    Yes I know, there is a lot more space available and we can double our present population etc etc, I have heard it all before. But at what price for quality of life – for humans and all the rest of our fellow inhabitants.

    We really need to plan to reduce the world population by half or more, as it was just sixty years ago, think about that. Think how well they could all have lived with our present technology.

    Can I encourage you to read Malthus, he was a genius who outlined the Theory of Evolution (as Darwin credited him), laud the foundation for developing a proper understanding of economics (and would be horrified by our robber system) leading to Keynesian economics (the most successful concept so far) forecast the probability of the Irish famine and much else. My friend: he was one of the cleverest of people of all time and there are few of us who have the intellect to argue. Have you? Especially if we have not read his book and understood it in detail. Have you.

    There are several things I disagree with Sir David about, but on this he and Malthus are exactly right. Their science, in my very humble judgement, could not be more right.

    Call me all the ugly words, I know your argument will be based more on religion than science (see Catholic Church and US style fundamentalism etc), none of it will change the facts of our present mistake.

    • Kestrel27 permalink
      July 13, 2019 12:23 pm

      Malcolm. I don’t believe that Malthus, or of course Attenborough, are right or that their views are supported by science. It has been firmly established in my view that birth rates fall as prosperity increases and women become better educated. It is no coincidence that the countries with the highest birth rates are the poorest in Africa. Global prosperity is built upon the use of fossil fuels and the most effective way of lowering birth rates is in my view to bring cheap reliable energy and better education to the poor countries of the world.

      The irony is that the anti fossil fuel policies favoured by Attenborough, greens and, sadly, the World Bank, are likely to result in more poverty and more population growth.

      If you have not already seen them I recommend the videos of speeches by Hans Rowling available on YouTube. They may not persuade you but they will give another perspective.

  23. July 12, 2019 10:15 am

    Wow.. This report has foundation!!

  24. DAVID ROWE permalink
    July 12, 2019 10:48 am

    Regarding population control David is correct, I like to use our natural world as a barometer if you like on the state of our planet. Pollution of the oceans, which effects everybody & the pressures on wild animals & the natural world in general is there for everyone to see, it is a no brainer, But our ignorant politicians & others just bury their head in the sands regarding this truth, our grandchildren will not see wildlife as I witnessed it 50 years ago, African population is out of control in many countries, so the pressures on their wildlife is enormous & will not improve unless human population is controlled by some means.

    • Ariane permalink
      July 12, 2019 11:06 am

      Men talking about population control.

      • bobn permalink
        July 12, 2019 11:42 am

        Yes. Its interesting that as women gain education and freedom from patriarcal control they generally have fewer children. Control of population is achieved by eliminating female oppression by males. Time to overthrow the patriarcal religions that dominate and ruin the planet.

      • Ariane permalink
        July 12, 2019 4:17 pm

        Bobn, most religions have evolved to give men an irrational ‘divine’ right over society, perhaps because there is always doubt about paternity of the next generation. Controlling girls and women removes the doubt but leads to massive discrimination, abuse and economic exploitation. A wise man supports a female partner if there’s a baby on the way, and shares the housework and childcare, time permitting.

  25. Pancho Plail permalink
    July 12, 2019 1:38 pm

    I have always thought that there should be an exam to pass before anyone is allowed to take on being a parent. There are lives at stake here, and poor parenting is responsible for so many of them being ruined.

  26. saparonia permalink
    July 12, 2019 2:08 pm

    Attenborough is obviously one of the “I’m all right Jack” brigade. He made his money by his gift of the gab, or gob, and now he can feel justified because the masses of working class children who loved the sound of his voice in documentaries and made him his money and title, will be saving the world of nature for him himself when they die off due to his lies, and fail to produce their next generation. Now we know why our children get such twisted ideas about sex and procreation in school. In Kenya many women were made sterile by misinformation about medication they were given. I hope that when he is watching humanity die off in the cold that he will know he is a destroyer and I pray that wherever the shelters are that they dig so deep, the earth will prevent him from ever getting out.

  27. cockneygit permalink
    July 12, 2019 7:49 pm

    I don’t think Ann Widdecombe’s comments about slavery were “similarly careless” at all!!! Have we reached peak wank, now, where we can’t say the word ‘slavery’ or ‘slaves’? Which, I would remind everyone, was started by black people!

    Incidentally, I found it bizarre that this silly old man was asked to speak about climate change at all. I know more about it than he does. He is NOT a scientist, he’s a naturalist, and he doesn’t possess a science degree.

  28. nickreality65 permalink
    July 12, 2019 9:18 pm

    The atmosphere and its albedo reflect away 30% of the incoming solar energy making the earth cooler. Remove the atmosphere and the earth gets hotter. Radiative GreenHouse Effect theory claims exactly the opposite.

    That the earth without an atmosphere would be similar to the moon, blazing hot lit side, deep cold dark, is not just intuitively obvious, but that scenario is supported by UCLA Diviner lunar mission data and studies by Nikolov and Kramm (U of AK).

    This actual and indisputable fact negates, refutes, guts and tosses RGHE theory straight onto the long established rubbish heap of failed scientific theories together with Vulcan, phlogiston, Martian canals, luminiferous aether, spontaneous generation, tabula rasa, phrenology and cold fusion.

    No RGHE, no CO2 warming, no man caused climate change or global warming.

    Since the earth is actually hotter without an atmosphere, radiative greenhouse effect goes straight into the historical trash bin of failed theories and all the handwavium, pseudo-science, thermodynamic nonsense pretending to explain it follows close behind.

  29. Corinne Wtight permalink
    July 13, 2019 6:58 am

    As a journalist perhaps you should listen to the true context of the whole conversation. You sound like a child having a tantrum because you simply didn’t understand his opinion and message. Awful reporting. Listen to it again, often helps

    • July 13, 2019 5:38 pm

      Who are you addessing this comment to? It is a copy of an article in the Telegraph.

  30. Z k permalink
    July 15, 2019 12:33 am

    I’m struggling to get my head around these arguments.
    Attenborough is evil because he expressed an idea with s belief that idea will have a greater net benefit? Evil means “thinking an idea with good intent”? That’s a low bar. It also sounds like something out of the New York Times strategy book (“you just think what I think, period!”)
    How can you discuss ideas if they’re evil? As far as I’m concerned, Attenborough has the right to say these things and you have the right to rebuff them. Don’t confuse the idea with the person, unless the person is truly extreme.
    It’s funny. I have grown a deep loathing of the mainstream media. They are aggressive bullies (especially on sex and race – see dailydot on how you can’t be racist to a white person). They spread intolerance. They shut down conversation. They attack people on the flimsiest of excuses (see James Damore and his Google memo and name the one media outlet who consulted expert opinion that contradicted the entire media industry). Just be careful that you don’t become the same thing.
    I hope you have the courage to post my criticism. I know the mainstream media his silenced people like me for years (eg. ABC Australia used to delete any comment, no matter how politely worded, no matter how fact based if it didn’t support their dogma).
    The system needs to be challenged, not replicated. Attenborough has the right to talk. You have the right to criticise his ideas. I would support you labelling his ideas as hypocritical. That’s it. Beyond that you’re in “witch hunt” territory. We don’t need another NYT.

    • July 15, 2019 10:09 am

      Can’t disagree with much of what you say.

      But the real problem is that, apart from this article, the press have always given Attenborough totally uncritical treatment, rather the opposite of your “witch hunt”.

      As a result he has been allowed to get away with blatant lies on his recent BBC and Netflix programmes

    • David A permalink
      July 16, 2019 5:48 am

      The basis of evil is power, specifically power over others. Theft, assault, murder, rape etc…are exertions of power over others. Government is, as T Jefferson stated, ” a necessary evil” The necessary evil of Government statism, be it Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc… is responsible for about 140 million people murdered by their own statist Government. Mr Attenborough is advocating statism.

  31. Ivan permalink
    July 15, 2019 4:30 pm

    Although Malthus is today a by-word in being wrong, in fact his ideas were substantially right. most places, most of the time. The Malthusian economy – ie population tends to expand up to its resource constraint – has been how most places have worked most of the time. At the time Malthus was writing, it was how everywhere worked all of the time, so we can perhaps forgive him for failing to be clairvoyant.

    A little after Malthus was writing, a “great divergence” began, in which a small group of nations’ managed to break out of the Malthusian growth trap, while the rest of the world actually got poorer (per capita), until only very recently. How could anyone writing in the late 18th century possibly have predicted that? There isn’t an accepted and convincing explanation for it even today.

    People interested in this should read
    It is a flawed and controversial book, and no more than anyone else presents a convincing explanation. But in terms of understanding the workings of the Malthusian economy, which works nothing like a modern developed economy, and documenting the history of the Malthusian economy and great divergence, you probably won’t find better.

  32. David A permalink
    July 16, 2019 5:55 am

    Ivan, I suggest you start with the second link.

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