- October 18, 2020
Burying our heads in the bias of short term interests or gain will no longer cut it, the writing is on the wall: Our planet is dying by our hands. Yes, you’ve heard this statement, in all its variations before- several times actually. Because there are plenty of voices chiming in on that score. And yet…no one has quite managed to convey this message in the way Sir David Attenborough recently did in his moving Netflix documentary, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet.
This may be because the message is finally coming from a man who’s voice is synonymous with the nature documentaries we grew up watching in our quest gain new knowledge about our living world.
It may be because it is not underscored by the rage that tends to scare off those who have not yet fully grasped the gravity of the situation but can still be reached.
It may be because it effectively strikes the delicate balance that speaks to the urgency of the situation on the one hand, and offers us a sense of hope on the other.
Or it may be because this is not just some abstract scientific data or hearsay; it is the witness statement of a single person during his 93-year life span.
Whichever the case, we have no reason to doubt what Attenborough is telling us. He is an expert. He is wise. He has been to every corner of the globe, having spent more than 60 years of his life teaching us about nature’s dazzling majesty. He has seen first-hand the monumental scale of humanity’s impact on it.
So when he looks directly into a camera and, using his iconic voice, tells us in no uncertain terms that our seemingly insatiable appetite for more has destroyed our planet, it’s difficult not to pay attention.
Because in A Life On Our Planet, Attenborough is not mincing words. He is not looking to delight us with nature’s beauty or pacify us with his soothing voice. He is looking to jolt us from complacency. But he is also offering hope, a vision for the future, the means by which we can right our wrongs, collectively– because we are all in this together.
A Life On Our Planet is a remarkable work of art. It is a brilliant testimony to a man who has devoted his life to giving us glimpses into the workings of our natural world and the value it offers. It is a plea for us to take action; action that will enable our planet to prosper, because only then, will we prosper too.
A Life On Our Planet is available to watch on Netflix
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