Sir David Attenborough Worried About Overpopulation

British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, best known in North America as the host of the BBC nature series Planet Earth, has taken a bold step in his quest to increase recognition of overpopulation and its detrimental effect on the earth.

Attenborough has long espoused the necessity of lowering population numbers, but joining the Optimum Population Trust, a UK-based group dedicated to population control, is a significant step forward for the well-respected environmental advocate. Though the group sounds radical, the ideas its members promote are much tamer than you might think. Founded in 1991, the Optimum Population Trust advocates better sex education, more focus on family planning and expanded rights for women. Specifically, the group aims to reduce teenage pregnancy and unintended pregnancy rates. It also encourages parents to "stop at two," with regards to the number of children they bear.

On joining the Trust, Attenborough was quoted as saying "I've never seen [an environmental] problem that wouldn't be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more." Attenborough joins Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall institute, as the most prominent patrons of the Optimum Population Trust.

Overpopulation Facts and Predictions

  • By 2050, the world's population is expected to reach 9 billion
  • India's population is expected to overtake China's by 2030, according to the UN
  • It's impossible to know for sure, but it's estimated that around 6 percent of all humans who have ever lived are alive today (this assumes that humans appeared around 50,000 BC)


Posted by GirlGoneGreen on April 13,2009 at 4:43 PM

While the phrase "population control" may sound scary, the premise is a good one. Family planning, sex education and support of women's rights, including open access to education, can help keep birth rates low not only in developing countries but in rich nations as well.

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