It would be “political suicide” for a British political leader to admit they do not believe in global warming, Sir David Attenborough has argued.
Sir David, the broadcaster and environmental campaigner, said climate change is now widely accepted by the public, with Britain already “come round” to the idea.
He has previously spoken out extensively about the issues of climate change, conservation and population growth, last year attending a global summit in Paris.
In an interview with the Sunday Times magazine this weekend, Sir Davidsaid much progress had already been made in bringing public opinion round to confronting the problems.
Photo: Toby Coulson
“When I look back to some of the programmes I’ve made, I ended up saying, ‘Look, we’re wrecking the world.’,” he said.
“Now people believe it and understand it. The Americans have come round and this country has come round, and it didn’t start that way.
“But in this country, at least, it would now be political suicide for a party leader to say, ‘I don’t believe in global warming.’
“People say to me, ‘Why do people still say it’s not happening?’
“And I say, hasn’t it occurred to you that it’s rather nicer to say that it’s not happening? You don’t have to worry or spend money and your business isn’t going to be in peril.”
In an interview with the Telegraph in December, Sir David confessed he had experienced a feeling of “embarrassment” about being held up as a voice of authority, saying: “The awful thing is that people think you know far more than you do.
“For example, I often get asked if I’ve actually seen climate change and I have to say, look, I could find you examples of dramatic climate change, and I could find the converse, but it’s very dangerous to just pick one particular circumstance
“You have to take the bigger view; you have to respect the findings of people who spend their lives surveying this sort of thing, and make a responsible, scientific summary of where we are.”
Sir David’s career will be celebrated by the BBC later this year in honour of his 90th birthday.
His latest show, Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur, will see him explore a record-breaking skeleton in Patagonia.