Was COP26 ‘People’s Advocate’ Sir David Attenborough talking about global temperatures, polar bears, walrus or even orangutans when he recently called for bold action to save the planet? You might assume so but I believe you’d be wrong.
However, in a long BBC interview he gave last year, Attenborough revealed his true colours. It suggests he isn’t actually advocating for the planet at COP26, or even the poor people of the world or threatened wildlife.
He’s advocating for a new vision of the future that he and fellow elites have been dreaming of for years. He has ranted before about the need to reduce human population size and once claimed humans are a “plague on the Earth“, a sentiment many of his supporters seem to hold as well.
His good friend Prince Charles is of a similar mind and so are the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who put money up for the ‘Our Planet’ documentary series with its spectacular walrus deaths that Attenborough falsely blamed on climate change.
We know this because Sir David’s rallying cry just 12 months ago was ‘Curb excess capitalism’ to save nature‘. BBC, 8 October 2020.
Curb excess capitalism to save nature
BBC Sounds 2020. ‘David Attenborough – ‘We Have To Believe It’s Possible’’ [Sir David on the future, capitalism and tackling climate change since the pandemic]. BBC Sounds Podcast ‘What Planet Are We On’ with Liz Bonnin, Episode 1, 7 October.
Among other things Attenborough said the following last year:
“There should be no dominant nation on this planet…[The future is] not going to be paradise, immediately.
I think that the standard of living of the western cultures…civilised countries…is going to have to take pause.
I think we are going to have to live more economically than we do. And we can do that and, I believe we will do it more happily, not less happily.
And that the excesses the capitalist system has brought us, have got to be curbed somehow.”
The sort of constraints on capitalism Sir David and his elite peers have planned might not be quite what you or I have in mind for our future. But make no mistake: Attenborough and his cronies getting together at COP26 have big changes in mind that they have decided are best for everyone, whether we like it or not. The focus at this meeting is global temperature but we can be almost certain that the backroom talk will be about their dream of the future. It’s not just about the climate.
They have plenty of everything (and surely intend to keep it) but believe there is much ‘we’ (as in you and I) should do without. The scary part is that they seem determined to attain this idealized future they have envisioned.
Is Attenborough wrong about Capitalism?
Ryan Bourne, writing for the UK Telegraph (15 October 2020), “Sir David Attenborough is wrong about capitalism and profit”, certainly thought so and had this to say:
In fact, there’s little evidence capitalism is significantly depleting the planet of its treasure. If Attenborough, Prince Charles and others were correct in that assertion, we would resource prices skyrocketing.
But looking at a basket of 50 global commodities between 1980 and 2017, my colleague Marian Tupy and his co-author Gale Pooley found real prices fell by an average of 36 percent, at a time when the global population rose 70 percent and global GDP 190 percent.
It turns out that under a capitalist system we put to use our most productive resource (our brains) to economise, excavate, replenish, or extend use of scarce resources in pursuit of profits, in turn leaving them relatively abundant.
While it’s certainly true that through much of the 19th and 20th centuries growth went hand-in-hand with greater use of the earth’s raw materials, Andrew McAffee’s brilliant book, More From Less, has documented how recent decades have seen rich countries “dematerialising.”
That is, using less of the earth’s raw materials, not just relative to population, but in absolute terms too (even after controlling for imports).
In other words, regarding the role of capitalism in destroying the planet’s habitat and wildlife, Attenborough seems to be as wrong as he has been about so many other things, the plight of polar bears and walrus included. This is likely because he surrounds himself with admirers who want nothing more than to have this hugely influential man champion their cause, the WWF and Prince Charles included.
Beware: the benign grandfather figure that Attenborough presents is a facade behind which a malevolent agenda lies.