Nov 06

Prince William blames Africans for wildlife decline

Prince WIlliam speaking at the Tusk dinner.  Yes, that is entrepreneur Deborah Meaden in the background.

Prince WIlliam speaking at the Tusk dinner. Yes, that is entrepreneur Deborah Meaden in the background.

Prince William has been accused of racism after blaming a decline in wildlife on Africa’s growing population.

Gala event

The Duke of Cambridge was speaking at a gala event for a conservation charity last week in London. He is royal patron of the Tusk Trust.

As its name suggests, the charity started by opposing the killing of animals for their tusks. However, it now has a wider conservation remit and a long list of ‘great and good’ patrons.

Wildlife and conservation are certainly important if only because many African nations depend on their wildlife for tourism.

Too many Africans

The Prince proposed ‘a strategy that will allow humans and animal species to share the environment.’  He claimed: ‘In my lifetime, we have seen global wildlife populations decline by over half. We are going to have to work much harder, and think much deeper, if we are to ensure that human beings and the other species of animal with which we share this planet can continue to co-exist.’

The World Wildlife Fund came up with the 50% decline figure in 2014. They said it had happened in 40 years.  The Prince is 35.  They blamed ‘climate change’ and ‘the combined impacts of habitat loss and degradation, driven by unsustainable human consumption’.

But not even WWF specifically fingered Africans for the decline as Prince William did:

‘Africa’s rapidly growing human population is predicted to more than double by 2050 – a staggering increase of three and a half million people per month,’ he said. ‘There is no question that this increase puts wildlife and habitat under enormous pressure. Urbanization, infrastructure development, cultivation – all good things in themselves, but they will have a terrible impact unless we begin to plan and to take measures now.’

Duke of Edinburgh’s viral reincarnation

HRH did not suggest what sort of ‘planning’ was needed, but it clearly involves reducing at least the rate of increase of Africans. Would his solution be as far-sighted as that of his grandfather?

According to a run-down of his wit in an article in the Guardian, The Duke of Edinburgh said: ‘In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.’ Another website attributes the sentiment to the Duke’s foreword to a book ‘If I Were an Animal’ (1987) by Fleur Cowles. Mercifully, we are given just the one life to live:

Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

In 2011 Prince Philip said he still believed a growing human population was the biggest challenge to conservation. He kindly ruled out mass sterilization. ‘Voluntary family limitation’, whatever that means, was the only way to tackle what he saw as this huge problem.

Overpopulation is a myth

The truth is, overpopulation, beloved of Malthusians, royal and commoner alike, is an atheist myth. Environmental scientist Erle Ellis debunks it in this article in the New Times. And here is a website dedicated to the subject.  The most populous countries are the wealthiest, and as populations become wealthier, their family sizes reduce. We actually need population increase for economic growth and to support the elderly. The real population problem is Europeans not even replacing their numbers. That is leading to ageing populations and a pensions crisis.

The world is not overpopulated, and certainly not overpopulated with Africans. The average population density of Africa is 39.1 inhabitants per square kilometre.  Reference Wikipedia.  The corresponding figure for Europe is 59.
Reference Wikipedia.  Meanwhile, the population density (people per sq. km) in China was reported at 147 in 2016, according to the World Bank.  Reference TradingEconomics.  Putting all that in perspective, the equivalent figure for the United Kingdom is 271.  Reference TradingEconomics

Prince William doing his bit

The royal family have certainly done their bit to achieve that UK figure. The Duchess of Cambridge is currently expecting Prince William’s third child. The Duke of Edinburgh fathered four children.  OK, the Tusk Trust might have written most of Prince William’s speech.  There are many similarities with positions on their website.  But the charity does not quite blame Africans and their natural fecundity for decreases in wildlife populations.  That appears to have been the Prince’s own idea.  The Bible records the Lord’s creation mandate to Adam and Eve:

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them (Adam and Eve), and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

The Lord has yet to modify that with ‘Hold on, there’s too many of you – and definitely too many black people’.

The Duke of Cambridge would do well to apologise for his racism, seek humility and the word of Almighty God and learn the truth about human populations.

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3 comments

  1. But not all Africans are black people. You’ll be telling us next that all Europeans are white people.

  2. I’m sorry, but I actually agree.

    1. There’s no need to apologise for agreeing with me ! I’m delighted to have your support.

      To make a comment, not at all derogatory, about all the people living on a continent is not “racist”, and so it’s most unfair to accuse Prince William of racism. It is true though, it seems to me, that in an imperfect world a growing population in one region leads to the “ploughing up” (or burning down) of wild areas to grow more food, and this does exclude the wildlife which lived there. It’s incontestable that this has been going on for centuries almost everywhere. If it’s a true fact that black people in Africa do this more than white people in Africa, which it probably is, then that isn’t “racist” either. It’s just stating a true fact.

      It doesn’t happen much in some modern countries, Britain particularly, because we are already very full of people, import a lot of food without much difficulty, and have a tradition of treasuring greenbelt, parks, national parks, and rural areas generally, especially those accessible to towns. Our big game such as wild boar, bears, and lynxes, has long gone. There is even a reverse effect where wildlife becomes established in the new gardens where it wasn’t before — not only the urban foxes, but long familiar urban birds, squirrels, hedgehogs where available, and increasingly small deer and bold badgers along the lines of foxes. This won’t happen with lions and giraffes in Africa, however. Where it does tend to happen (tigers in India and Bangladesh) it is very unpopular with the local people (including any white ones who are at risk).

      One way to keep the local people well-fed and preserve the large-scale wildlife in its habitat looks as though it might be to treat the increasingly urban areas more like England, that is by installing industry to earn money which can buy imported food. The food would have to be efficiently grown somewhere which is already spoilt, like America, or possibly the huge fertile plains of eastern Europe, if they still exist and still have spare capacity.

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