The latest round of BBC green agitprop narrated by Sir David Attenborough hit British licensed TV screens (£159 per year, or a criminal record) last Sunday with the first episode of Wild Isles.
Co-produced by the WWF (also known as the World Wildlife Fund) and the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), it concentrates on nature around Britain. Even before the first programme was broadcast, all the parties involved were preparing the alarmist ground with news that 38 million birds had vanished from British skies in the last 50 years. This number comes from a 2020 RSPB report, but curiously missing was the information that the latest figure was similar to the total in 2012. In fact the RSPB noted that in terms of total breeding bird numbers, “the period of relative stability that began in the 1990s is continuing”.
The stand-out eco-scare in the first episode was the claim that in just the last 20 years, 60% of flying insects have vanished. Attenborough’s guesstimate-rich narrations are lightly sourced at the best of times, but it appears this claim arises from work by “citizen scientists” counting bugs on car number plates in England. The ‘Bugs Matter’ survey has been used to ramp up alarm with the Natural History Museum stoking additional concern with the opinion that 40% of insects in the world could become extinct within the next few decades.
Of course, nature relies on insects of every sort to pollinate plants and recycle natural detritus. In fact, a rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has led to an estimated 14% ‘greening’ of the planet over the last 30 years. Alarmist stories of decline and extinction might be more convincing if pollination was in obvious retreat, and we suddenly found ourselves knee deep in the smelly stuff.
Read more: Attenborough Ramps Up Climate and Ecological Breakdown Fears