Sir David believes the washout summer may be down to climate change.
As a credible explanation he points to research by the University of Sheffield which suggests melting Arctic ice has slowed the jet stream, causing it to break into loops which have ushered to the UK unseasonably cold and wet weather systems. And he is convinced humans are the main cause of this.
“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it,” he says. “I would be absolutely astounded if population growth and industrialisation and all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere hadn’t changed the climatic balance. Of course it has. There is no valid argument for denial.”
Over the 60 years Sir David has been a broadcaster, he has seen the planet change at a staggering rate. Wildlife paradises he visited in his early career have been decimated and he views the future with pessimism. “I’m not optimistic,” he says. “The climate, the economic situation, rising birth rates; none of these things give me a lot of hope or reason to be optimistic.”
The one ray of hope and possible solution Sir David does offer is a global slowdown in birth rate. At 86, he has become an unlikely poster boy for the population control movement.
“Population is one of my concerns. I’m not planning to contribute to it any more, but it is an interest.”
It’s probably a good thing he’s not going to contribute to the population any more.