It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.— David Attenborough
The most simplistic David Attenborough quotes to discover and learn by heart
The truth is: the natural world is changing.
And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.
Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment
Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planet is either mad or an economist
The fact is that no species has ever had such wholesale control over everything on earth, living or dead, as we now have. That lays upon us, whether we like it or not, an awesome responsibility. In our hands now lies not only our own future, but that of all other living creatures with whom we share the earth.
The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?
How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew what was happening to the world and did nothing.
Bringing nature into the classroom can kindle a fascination and passion for the diversity of life on earth and can motivate a sense of responsibility to safeguard it.
I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored.
I'm no longer sceptical. I no longer have any doubt at all. I think climate change is the major challenge facing the world.
Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?
You can only get really unpopular decisions through if the electorate is convinced of the value of the environment. That's what natural history programmes should be for.
The only way to save a rhinoceros is to save the environment in which it lives, because there's a mutual dependency between it and millions of other species of both animals and plants.
I'm against this huge globalisation on the basis of economic advantage.
Life is not all high emotion. Some of the most interesting things are when its not highly emotional: little details of relationships and body language.
Reptiles and amphibians are sometimes thought of as primitive, dull and dimwitted. In fact, of course, they can be lethally fast, spectacularly beautiful, surprisingly affectionate and very sophisticated.
People are not going to care about animal conservation unless they think that animals are worthwhile.
Using his burgeoning intelligence, this most successful of all mammals has exploited the environment to produce food for an ever increasing population. Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps it's time we controlled the population to allow the survival of the environment.
They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds.
I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.
In the Baboon community, it is not how strong you are that is important, but who you know that counts
Getting to places like Bangkok or Singapore was a hell of a sweat.
But when you got there it was the back of beyond. It was just a series of small tin sheds.
I had a huge advantage when I started 50 years ago - my job was secure.
I didn't have to promote myself. These days there's far more pressure to make a mark, so the temptation is to make adventure television or personality shows. I hope the more didactic approach won't be lost.
It's extraordinary how self-obsessed human beings are.
The things that people always go on about is, 'tell us about us', 'tell us about the first human being'. We are so self-obsessed with our own history. There is so much more out there than what connects to us.
Cameramen are among the most extraordinarily able and competent people I know.
They have to have an insight into natural history that gives them a sixth sense of what the creature is going to do, so they can be ready to follow.
Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth on a planet with finite resources is either a madman or an economist.
The human population can no longer be allowed to grow in the same old uncontrollable way. If we do not take charge of our population size, then nature will do it for us and it is the poor people of the world who will suffer most
The whole of science, and one is tempted to think the whole of the life of any thinking man, is trying to come to terms with the relationship between yourself and the natural world. Why are you here, and how do you fit in, and what's it all about.
It's like saying that two and two equals four, but if you wish to believe it, it could also be five ... Evolution is not a theory; it is a fact, every bit as much as the historical fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066.
Many individuals are doing what they can.
But real success can only come if there is a change in our societies and in our economics and in our politics.
I can mention many moments that were unforgettable and revelatory.
But the most single revelatory three minutes was the first time I put on scuba gear and dived on a coral reef. It's just the unbelievable fact that you can move in three dimensions.
Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom.
We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious.
It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for - the whole thing - rather than just one or two stars.
Its about cherishing the woodland at the bottom of your garden or the stream that runs through it. It affects every aspect of life.
Children start off reading in books about lions and giraffes and so on, but they also-if theyre lucky enough and have reasonable privileges of any human being-are able to go into a garden and turn over stone and see a worm and see a slug and see an ant.
I mean, it is an extraordinary thing that a large proportion of your country and my country, of the citizens, never see a wild creature from dawn 'til dusk, unless it's a pigeon, which isn't really wild, which might come and settle near them.
If I can bicycle, I bicycle.
Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a co-ordinated view about the planet, it's going to get worse and worse.
I'm swanning round the world looking at the most fabulously interesting things. Such good fortune.
Apart from anything else, I am designed by evolution, like we all are: if we see a little thing like that, big eyes, tiny nose, we go 'aaah'. That's what evolution does. We are programmed to do that. So to find babies the most amazing, isn't surprising, I don't think.
I don't run a car, have never run a car.
I could say that this is because I have this extremely tender environmentalist conscience, but the fact is I hate driving.
I would love to see a giant squid. Very few people have seen them. And only about half a dozen people have seen one alive.
I'm not an animal lover if that means you think things are nice if you can pat them, but I am intoxicated by animals.
I've never actually met one in the wild, but I have seen a king cobra.
They go towards people, they rear up six feet tall and they're very aggressive and they are very fast. And one bite means certain death. So if I encountered a king cobra in the wild I would be very alarmed.
I think we're lucky to be living when we are, because things are going to get worse.
There is no question that climate change is happening;
the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.
I suffer much less than many of my colleagues.
I am perfectly able to go to Australia and film within three hours of arrival.
I would love to go and see the Himalayan Mountain Kingdoms.
There are very few left now. I would loved to have gone to Tibet and Nepal. And there are still parts of central Asia that are utterly unexplored.
Birds are the most accomplished aeronauts the world has ever seen.
They fly high and low, at great speed, and very slowly. And always with extraordinary precision and control.
I find it far more awesome, wonderful, that creation;
our appearance in the world; should be the culmination, or at least one of the latest products of 3,000 Million years of organic evolution, than a kind of country trick, taking a rib out of a man's side in a trance.
All life is related. And it enables us to construct with confidence the complex tree that represents the history of life