The legendary naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy has died at the age of 86. Once a familiar face on tv, his broadcasting career which spanned four decades came to an abrupt end when he publicly challenged the establishment view of man-made global warming.
He was a prolific nature writer and presenter hosting programmes such as Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe, Bellamy’s Seaside Safari and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari
He was a passionate conservationist acting as president, vice president and trustee of over thirty charities and organisations including the Wildlife Trusts, Plantlife, Marine Conservation Society and Young Peoples Trust for the Environment.
In 1983 he was imprisoned for blockading the Franklin River in Australia in a protest against a proposed dam. He even stood as a candidate for the Referendum Party, the precursor to UKIP in the 1997 general election. Bellamy himself credits this campaign with the decline in his career as a popular celebrity and television personality, stating in 2002:
“In some ways it was probably the most stupid thing I ever did because I’m sure that if I have been banned from television, that’s why. I used to be on Blue Peter and all those things, regularly, and it all, pffffft, stopped.”
In his foreword to the 1989 book The Greenhouse Effect, Bellamy wrote:
“The profligate demands of humankind are causing far reaching changes to the atmosphere of planet Earth, of this there is no doubt. Earth’s temperature is showing an upward swing, the so-called greenhouse effect, now a subject of international concern. The greenhouse effect may melt the glaciers and ice caps of the world causing the sea to rise and flood many of our great cities and much of our best farmland.”
Bellamy’s later statements on global warming indicate that he subsequently changed his views completely. A letter he published on 16 April 2005 in New Scientist asserted that a large proportion (555 of 625) of the glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were advancing, not retreating. Bellamy subsequently accepted that his figures on glaciers were wrong, and announced in a letter to The Sunday Times in 2005 that he had “decided to draw back from the debate on global warming”, although Bellamy jointly authored a paper with Jack Barrett in the refereed Civil Engineering journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers, entitled “Climate stability: an inconvenient proof” in May 2007.
His opinions changed the way some organisations viewed Bellamy. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts stated in 2005 “We are not happy with his line on climate change”, and Bellamy was succeeded as president of the Wildlife Trusts by Aubrey Manning in November 2005. Bellamy complained that his views on global warming resulted in the rejection of programme ideas by the BBC.
David Bellamy’s talks of the climate hysteria on an archived BBC page.