Released on Netflix in September 2020 - David Attenborough A Life On Our Planet is a sobering look at how we humans treat the natural world.
It is fair to say that David Attenborough has had a life like no other and now at 94 he has watched the natural world wither before his eyes. He seems tired of keeping quiet about it. When David Attenborough made Blue Planet in 2018 there was marked increase in public awareness about the effects of plastic in our ocean - it is hard to come from seeing albatross parents feeding plastic to their chicks. I suspect this film or his witness statement as he calls it will do the same in our attitudes to intensive farming and how we treat this planet.
The scale of the problems facing the planet can seem overwhelming and framed through Attenborough’s eyes it feels vivid but it also gives it that sense of urgency and immediacy that is needed. A Life on Our Planet manages to humanize an issue that can often seem distant, and somewhat abstract.
Like the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, Attenborough attests to the fact that a significant amount of wildlife has been forever lost, painting a terrifying picture of a not-so-distant future in which humanity continues down the path of senseless self-destruction.
Rewilding seems to be key and Attenborough urges us to change our diet “the planet can’t support billions of meat eaters. “If we had a mostly plant-based diet we could increase the yield of the land”. This feels an achievable step we can all take there is simply “not the space” to support billions of large meat eaters”
The purpose of this documentary is show the scale of the challenges that we face but also inspire a sense of optimism and hope that we can make change.
The light on the horizon might look like an untamed forest fire but hopefully it is bring about a new era of conscious environmental consumers.