Sir David Attenborough: “Coronavirus pandemic has swept climate change off the front pages”

Photograph of David Attenborough at ARKive’s launch in Bristol, England, author Wildscreen, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Renowned nature film producer Sir David Attenborough is worried media coverage of Chinese Coronavirus is distracting attention away from the real problem.

Sir David Attenborough: ‘Coronavirus pandemic has swept climate change off the front pages’

The broadcaster and naturalist, who turned 94 in May, said the outbreak has made the issue feel as if it is in ‘the distant future’

ByTelegraph Reporters 25 May 2020 • 12:01am

Sir David Attenborough has said the coronavirus pandemic has swept the problem of climate change from the front pages.

The broadcaster and naturalist, who celebrated his 94th birthday in May, said the outbreak has made the issue feel as if it is in “the distant future”.

Appearing on the So Hot Right Now podcast, Sir David suggested the virus could make the world’s nations see “survival depends on co-operation”.

He said: “The trouble is that right now the climate issue is also seen as being rather in the distant future because we’ve got the virus to think about.

“And so what are the papers full of? The virus. Quite right, that’s what I want to know about, too.

“But we have to make sure that this issue, which was coming to the boil with the next COP meeting in Glasgow, has suddenly been swept off the front pages. And we’ve got to get it back there.”

Last year Attenborough got into hot water over a false claim that climate change was causing walruses to commit suicide by leaping over cliffs.

Nobody suggests Attenborough’s team caused the deaths of the walruses, but comparisons were made between Attenborough’s effort and the notorious Disney Lemming suicide myth.

The next COP conference will almost certainly be a washout, and efforts to turn Coronavirus recovery into a green money grab are faltering, but climate activists are not about to abandon their efforts to reassert control.

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67 thoughts on “Sir David Attenborough: “Coronavirus pandemic has swept climate change off the front pages”

    • Coram Deo, you have made a point for me, thanks. A few days ago I commented on something I saw and heard on CNN International, and was rightly lambasted for it (for watching CNN I, that is). I live in Argentina and there are two choices, CNN International and BBC, if you want news in english. So, my choice is BS straight, or BS with an accent. I’m guessing there will be a division amongst WATTS followers which is which, re accent, but no doubt about BS.

      • What about RT on Astra19 satellite?
        They have both English and Spanish international channels.
        Although only Peter Leval (Cross Talk) has both feet on the ground regarding Climate Change.

        • RT is not particularly polished but is about the only news outlet which is still attempting to be a news outlet and not a campaign platform.

          Despite constant claims that it is Russian “state propaganda”, it is probably one of the least state controlled outlets.

  1. I opened yahoo this morning…guess what?…climate change news articles were still there

  2. Macron finances Air France only if they will cancel all domestic flights in future and let their passengers take the hi speed train..

    • Will the EU allow state subsidy of more han a certain amount, 25% of 2019 revenues under emergency changes in rules about state aid?

        • Sorry have to disagree there, the EU tells France what to do. France has a puppet (muppet) president that try’s to deliver exactly what Brussels wants.

          One example from the “Europe 2020 Integrated Guidelines”

          Guideline 5: Improving resource efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases.

          In order to reduce emissions, Member States should make extensive use of market-based instruments, including TAXATION, to support green growth and jobs, incentivise the use of renewable energy and clean, climate-resilient technologies and
          promote energy savings and eco-innovation.

          The yellow vest protests started because of the increase in the price of fuel. Tax is about 60% of the price per litre here and in 2018 there was a 10% increase in tax on diesel, this penalises rural France (the majority) because they have no other option than to take their car.

          Macron (ex Rothschild banker) he is generally only to happy to follow EU orders.

    • That is how socialism work.
      France has had several bloody revolutions, so President Macron should be a bit more careful with his anti free trade dictates.

  3. One thing is clear, the so called ‘experts’ got it so very very wrong about the coronavirus… just like the so called ‘experts’ have been so wrong about the IPCC’s mantra that CO2 emitted from human activities is causing catastrophic global warming, and is the key driver of climate change.

    • IIRC it was Dr Ben Santer who gave the first push to this story:

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/01/24/a-history-of-dr-ben-santer-and-his-ipcc-trick/

      Santer’s thesis titled, “Regional Validation of General Circulation Models” used three top computer models in an attempt to recreate North Atlantic conditions – a form of validation. Apparently, the region was chosen because, although the data was still inadequate, it provided the best available. The models failed to recreate known general pressure patterns. Instead, they created massive pressure systems that don’t exist in reality. In short, Santer knew better than most the severe limitations and inabilities of the models to recreate reality.

      He completed the thesis in 1987 and a few years later was appointed the convening Lead-author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Report titled “Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes.” In that position, Santer created the first clear example of the IPCC manipulation of science for a political agenda. He used his position to establish the headline that humans were a factor in global warming by altering the meaning of what was agreed by the committee as a whole at the draft meeting in Madrid.

      Agreed comments

      1. “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”

      2. “While some of the pattern-base discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part of climate change observed to man-made causes.”

      3. “Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”

      4. “While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification.”

      Santer’s replacements

      1. “There is evidence of an emerging pattern of climate response to forcing by greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols … from the geographical, seasonal and vertical patterns of temperature change … These results point toward a human influence on global climate.”

      2. “The body of statistical evidence in chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points to a discernible human influence on the global climate.”

      • That Santer is a corrupt hack charlatan has long been established by anyone who cares to examine what he did on the SAR, and what he has continued to do since 1995.

        The latest CMIP6 models are failing all sorts of tests of real world replication and predictions.
        – the still predict a stronger mid tropospheric tropical hotspot, which not observed in over 40 years of records.
        – the fail to model the QBO-MJO connection pattern, which is important for global redistribution of heat between the troposphere and the stratosphere and the getting cloud cover correct.
        – they predict two ITCZ’s when only 1 is observed just north of the equator.
        – the run too hot, that is far too sensitive to CO2 forcing (probably goes back to too much wvb feedback)
        – completely unable to replicate the ENSO phases.
        – unable to replicate to any degreee of fidelity the pressure pattern shifts with the NAO and AO phase changes.

        GCMs are total junk science, built for one purpose: to continue the climate scam by duping a naive public about their validity of claiming some calamity in climate with rising CO2.

        It is simply cargo cult pseudoscience to accept the GCMs as any depiction of what the climate will be like in 80 years under any CO2 scenario.

    • Mervyn: “ the so called ‘experts’ got it so very very wrong

      Don’t they always.

      The world has been spending a lot of time, energy and money on the prevention, cure and lifesaving of those persons afflicted with or subject to the coronavirus pandemic and CO2 causing global warming.

      But now I ask you, of the following three (3) socio-economic “problems”, ….. which one (1) is/was the most preventable and will likely cause the most human suffering and deaths in the present and very near future?

      (1) coronavirus pandemic;
      (2) CO2 causing global warming;
      (3) Huge locust swarms in India, Pakistan and East Africa

      Ref: https://www.foxnews.com/science/huge-locust-swarms-hit-india-east-africa-amid-coronavirus-pandemic

  4. not at ABC Australia, unfortunately. however, Attenborough might take heart from the following:

    24 May: Sydney Morning Herald: Low virus rate leaves Oxford vaccine trial with ‘only 50% chance’
    By Bill Gardner, UK Telegraph
    London: An Oxford University vaccine trial has only a 50 per cent chance of success because coronavirus is fading so rapidly in Britain, a project co-leader has warned…
    Professor Adrian Hill said an upcoming Oxford vaccine trial, involving 10,000 volunteers, threatened to return “no result” because of low transmission of COVID-19 in the community…

    “It is a race, yes. But it’s not a race against the other guys. It’s a race against the virus disappearing, and against time,” he said. “At the moment, there’s a 50 per cent chance that we get no result at all.”
    Hill said that of 10,000 people recruited to test the vaccine in the coming weeks — some of whom will be given a placebo — he expected fewer than 50 people to catch the virus. If fewer than 20 test positive, then the results might be useless, he warned.
    “We’re in the bizarre position of wanting COVID to stay, at least for a little while. But cases are declining.”…
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/low-virus-rate-leaves-oxford-vaccine-trial-with-only-50-percent-chance-20200524-p54vvu.html

    26 May: Breitbart: The Mainstream Media Are Bought, Paid for – and Doomed!
    by James Delingpole
    Across the world, the mainstream media are dying a death. Here are the latest newspaper circulation figures from the United Kingdom…
    LIST

    It’s the same story in the U.S. where, even a month ago, newspapers were reporting an “extinction-level crisis” as advertising began to dry up…
    I believe the newspapers — and all those TV news channels suffering similar collapse — have brought about their own destruction. The mainstream media have failed in their most basic duty to report on the news. Instead, what they have served up increasingly is politically-driven advertorial and propaganda.
    Never has this been more painfully obvious than during the coronavirus crisis…

    One day, I believe, in the not too distant future, some very hard questions are going to be asked about the evidence on which governments across the world elected to shut down their economies and put their people under house arrest in what may well turn out to be the most catastrophic collective political misjudgement in history…
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/05/26/the-mainstream-media-are-bought-paid-for-and-doomed/

    • Professor Hill is taking a myopic view; “if it isn’t in the UK, it doesn’t exist.” He ought to offer his trial to countries where the virus hasn’t yet peaked, or has only recently peaked. Like Brazil, or India, or Russia, or Chile.

  5. Pop over to Notricksone and there you will find the results of a Poll on priorities as seen by Americans before and during the Wuhan flu pandemic :
    https://notrickszone.com/2020/05/23/gut-punch-to-climate-alarmists-americans-see-little-threat-from-climate-change/
    (and my apologies to Mr Watts if he has covered it already).
    Prior to the disease outbreak climate change was considered a priority by 5% , now 2% . 45% in the last poll (mid April) considered the disease and its ramifications the priority , which then pushes down all other responses, but even allowing for that,climate change does not seem to preoccupy the minds of more than 5% of americans polled neither in the best of times , nor in the worst. It is a distant rumble like the far off noise of the freeway traffic which may be a disturbance but is not a threat to life or property.

  6. yeah, well wait until he figures out where the money went….then he’ll go full Karen

  7. So odd that people care more about real and immediate threats to their health than the imaginary future alteration of climate that can only be divined from questionable computer models programmed to show only what the modeller wants you to see. Perhaps Sir Attenborough should celebrate the sanity of humans in their desire to focus on those issues that determine their health and success rather than joining an end-of-times cult whose ultimate goal seems to be to bring about the end of times.

  8. I wonder why? Perhaps it’s because of the sheer number of deaths, perhaps it’s the coming recession or perhaps climate change really ain’t a crisis.

    Maybe this cartoon would make sense if it was reversed.

    (First attempt at inserting an image – hope it works)

  9. Too many careers and too much money invested in keeping “Climate Change” front and center.

    Without fear mongering, research grants dry up. Governments stop forcing unreliable, expensive green energy on the public. Rent-seekers must find new ways to suck at the taxpayers’ collective teat.

  10. J’accuse the BBC of ruining the reputation of their mouthpiece, the lovable David Attenborough. There’s over a decade of his appearances on BBCTV all of which demonstrate an ignorant non-scientific approach, however lovely the animals and fishes. The recent ‘Climate Change -The Facts’ disaster with its pally-up with Mikey Mann is just one example. So sad

    • Attenborough was my childhood hero.

      Since he became a patron of The Optimum Trust AKA Population Matters AKA “We need to cull all the brown and yellow people”, I think he should go forth and multiply.

      • That’s a very polite way of putting it Redge, and I totally agree with your sentiment.

        We have always been lovers of nature and I think in the past my husband watched all of his shows. Now that he throws in the CAGW agenda into every show I cannot even bare the sound of his voice. I can no longer enjoy the exquisite photography, and see animals that I would not otherwise have access to and listen to his lies at the same time.

  11. The political vampire is eternally hungry, and there is no better food than carbon di-taxable.

  12. We’ll know we are back to healthy good times when the media go back to full doom and gloom climate apocalypse raving. Just smile when that happens. It just means that we are prosperous again. Human nature at work.

  13. Sociopolitical, economic climate change. Some may say catastrophic of its many forms. Presumably, Her Choice, but maybe anthropogenic. Who knows what pathogen progressed from Wuhan to cover the world.

  14. Appearing on the So Hot Right Now podcast, Sir David Attenborough suggested the virus could make the world’s nations see “survival depends on co-operation”.

    He said: “The trouble is that right now the climate issue is also seen as being rather in the distant future because we’ve got the virus to think about.

    “And so what are the papers full of? The virus. Quite right, that’s what I want to know about, too.

    “But we have to make sure that this issue, which was coming to the boil with the next COP meeting in Glasgow, has suddenly been swept off the front pages. And we’ve got to get it back there.”
    ________________________________

    The following treatise was recently published to respond to the blatherings of a group of uneducated Artsies who live in fear of the global warming bogeyman. It could also be addressed to David Attenborough and many other climate alarmists, who use the global warming/climate change fraud to pursue their extreme-left political agenda. The leaders of the climate change movement know they are lying – no rational person could be this stupid for this long. Their devoted minions probably believe them, which suggests they belong to that half of humanity which is of less-than-average intelligence.

    Regards, Allan

    A PUBLIC RESPONSE TO THE OPEN LETTER TO PM JUSTIN TRUDEAU BY 265 CANADIAN ACADEMICS
    blog.friendsofscience.org/2020/05/22/a-public-response-to-the-open-letter-to-pm-justin-trudeau-by-265-canadian-academics/

    Some 265 academics, overwhelmingly NOT from the technically-competent fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine recently wrote a foolish letter to Canada’s Prime Minister, stating the following false nonsense:

    “Instead of purchasing equity in oil and gas, Canadian governments should pursue the retraining of fossil fuel workers, and public ownership of Canada’s renewable energy sector, where government coordination and large-scale investment are needed in the short term and where investments will be repaid.”

    The Calgary-based group “Friends of Science“ posted a detailed review of the academics letter, entitled “BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU”, not too subtly suggesting that these academics do not pull-their-weight in the economic spectrum, and were dependent on real wealth-producing enterprises like the energy industry to support their pseudo-intellectual blatherings:
    blog.friendsofscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/BITING-THE-HAND-THAT-FEEDS-YOU-1.pdf

    It is past time that these technologically-innumerate academics learned some basic scientific and economic realities, knowledge that many of us acquire as children:

    A GREEN ENERGY PRIMER – GRID-CONNECTED WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY BOTH FAIL DUE TO INTERMITTENCY AND DIFFUSIVITY.

    INTERMITTENCY means the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow 24/7, and the electric grid needs reliable dispatchable generation, not generation that goes up and down uncontrollably. Battery storage is touted as the solution, but it does not economically exist at grid-scale.

    DIFFUSIVITY means it takes far too much land area to replace conventional energy with wind and/or solar generation – it would take fully ~10% of all the land area in Britain to do so. In the USA, this 10% would total about 300,000 square miles, or all of Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

    Energy experts have known these facts since ~forever. In 2002 my co-authors and I published the following statements that have both proven correct–to-date:

    a. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

    b. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

    “DEBATE ON THE KYOTO ACCORD”
    Published by APEGA in the PEGG, reprinted by other professional journals, The Globe and Mail and La Presse,
    by Dr. Sallie Baliunas (Harvard-Smithsonian), Dr. Tim Patterson (Carleton U) and Allan MacRae, November 2002

    Since then, trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on worthless green energy schemes that are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy. The result of this green energy virtue-signalling has been the destabilization of electrical grids, runaway energy costs, energy poverty, increased winter deaths, and INsignificant reduction in CO2 emissions. What a foolish green debacle!

    I also suggest they read the following paper. In the unlikely event that they become even marginally competent, they will reverse their erroneous positions on climate and energy, and retract their imbecilic letter.

    THE CATASTROPHIC ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING (CAGW) AND THE HUMANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE CRISES ARE PROVED FALSE
    By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng., January 10, 2020
    thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/the-catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-warming-cagw-and-the-humanmade-climate-change-crises-are-proved-false.pdf

    “There are numerous highly credible observations that falsify the CAGW hypothesis and many are listed herein, but as Albert Einstein famously stated “One would be enough”.“

    Respectfully submitted,
    Allan MacRae, Calgary

    • Like everyone else he was good when speaking about things he had seen, now he is just another True Believer, but I don’t blame him. The Green Blob would have found someone else to do the voiceovers if Attenborough had declined the invitation.

  15. Funny how when faced when actual threats, people tend to stop worrying about imagined ones.

  16. Has Attenborough the same form of BBC-induced Tourette’s Syndrome as Brian Cox?

    I gave up watching either when they could not stop spitting ‘climate-change’ every few seconds.

    Must take them ages to order a coffee.

  17. If a so called ’emergency’ gets knocked off the front pages then it’s not an emergency. The reporting of an emergency is not determined by a consensus but solely because emergencies tend to be in your face and inescapable. In addition, reporting tends to come after or during an emergency and not the other way round. While an emergency is happening those on the receiving end will be very pre-oocupied, invariably trying to avoid dying or avoid property destruction.
    Imagining an emergency, unless carried out by someone who knows a thing or two, is not much different to script writing for disaster movies. I suppose that’s why Al Gore won an Oscar and a Grammy.
    There are weather emergencies such as tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves and flooding, but I’ve no idea what a climate emergency is.

    • It totally agree with your comments. Real problems are in your face.

      We were living in a golden age. The Age of Climate Change was when we were rich and our economies worked.

      30% of the population have lost their jobs and many of those jobs are gone or will be gone.

      A third of the businesses in Italy are not going to open. A fine dining restaurant cannot survive with maximum 50% seating. A fine dining and in fact most restaurants, thrive/make money because they have 100% full seating, during peak hours, weekends, and during peak seasons.

      Airlines lease their expensive planes. The expensive planes have no value until there are passengers to travel from country to country in them. Same problem, hotels, cruise ships, and so on.

      A climate emergency was the Younger Dryas abrupt climate change, at 13,900 BP which is cooling from interglacial warm to glacial cold, with 70% of the cooling occurring in less than a decade (at at time of maximum insolation summer insolation at 65N, thereby disproving Milankovitch’s theory). and the cooling lasted for 1200 years.

      • Fascinating William. Could you give me (and readers) a reference for this please.
        How certain are you about the timing?

  18. The fact that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been completely unaffected by the mass and sudden Global lockdowns and haven’t even registered as background noise against the natural cycles, Finally proves that we cannot control CO2 levels as mans portion is so insignificant anyway against nature’s….
    I really don’t know why this site isn’t making more of this, as it’s a massive blow for the AGW advocates who have made all sorts of claims about CO2 levels in the past, but Covids unique lockdown have given us chance to analyze mans portion and is minute

    • I hadn’t thought of that, how perfectly sensible. Maybe I can go back to enjoying the visual feast after all!

  19. Well, we have a large number of crash-test dummies (the ones not wearing masks and not socially distancing themselves in public) mingling socially again, so this will give us an idea of just how infectious the Wuhan virus is. Let’s hope it proves to be a problem that can be corraled quickly. We ought to know soon.

    My State’s number of infections has increased, but our governor said last week we should expect an uptick as testing here is going to increase by 50 percent over the next few weeks. I think that might be the case in other States that are reporting increased infections in the last few days.

    We have an interesting experiment going on right now.

  20. Destroying China’s stranglehold on supply chains will go a long way in containing China’s blatant disregard for creating massive environmental catastrophies in their own country but also in Africa where their quest for dominance reminds me of how the Soviet Union destroyed the environment of their Eastern European satellite nations!

  21. Attenborough used to host some great programs… Terrific photography, fascinating animals and information. Loved the series with disguised robot cameras including a lifelike camera disguised as a female Adelaide penguin, which got its head knocked off by the returning mate of a male penguin who started getting a bit too cummy with the robot. The film of the newly hatched marine iguana sprinting through the racer snake predator obstacle course on one of the Galapagos islands (available on YouTube) is one of the best action scenes in any movie period.

    Sad that none of his newer shows are watchable since he joined the Doomsday Cult. Should have retired about 10 years ago to his garden.

  22. Notorious Fake Nature Film Producer Sir David Attenborough has noticed that the real crisis of Covid-19 has pushed the fake ‘Climate Change’ crisis out of contention on the World Stage. He could take time now to consider the evidence and reassess ‘Climate Change’.

  23. The problem is that both amount to bureaucratic bungling. One is imaginary and has been turned into a political nightmare and the other is real and has been turned into an economic nightmare. Cand we call that neo-socialism? We should not forget that a decade after the Spanish flu the world entered into the Great Depression and that WWII started a decade later. Are we heading toward WWIII or have we learned from the past?

    • If human beings had ever at any point in time learned anything from past mistakes then that time is long gone.

      The respect shown to the wisdom of age has gone. Young people rarely give those with a wealth of experience the time of day. Once they might have said, “what would you have done”? Now it’s likely to be “what would you know?”

  24. I know a Attenborough is just another moronic celebrity but surely even he remembers the hundred months has passed and nothing has happened so it was just another scientific theory like flat earth. Perhaps he should look at the map in this link and explain how fossil fuel use miraculously gets heat everywhere except where it is actually used. What is even more amazing it does so with no heat rise in between.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6454607/Collapse-civilisations-horizon-without-climate-action-Attenborough.html

    • Well D, you only have to look at the picture of the globe with all the red at the top of the picture (implying the hot spots) to work out that hot air rises of course! /sarc

  25. Ought not the title of this article read “Coronavirus pandemic has swept climate change and David Attenborough off the front pages”?

  26. Let’s see a show of hands. How many are more concerned about their climate agenda message over a pandemic? Now be honest David and Charles.

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