Review of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

There are few people on Earth who are more in tune with the forces of nature than Sir David Attenborough. He has spent his entire life traveling the world, and sharing the wonders of it with us through documentaries and television shows.

As a person who has spent his life in nature, he has his fingers on the very pulse of the planet, and what he has to say is sobering. This documentary very concisely shows what has happened to the planet during his time on his planet–and more importantly, what we can do about it.

The documentary starts inside the no-man’s-land of Chernobyl. This man made disaster forced all humans out decades ago, and it’s an excellent backdrop to discuss the slow motion Chernobyl happening across the planet.

The messaging is clear. If we don’t act to stop climate change Earth will be fine. Life itself will continue. It’s just going to continue without us–or at least radically different than everything we know.

If runaway climate change continues, the mass extinction continues, everything we know changes. It’s very possible one of those changes is mankind becoming one of the victims of extinction.

The documentary goes from there to show a clip from each decade of Attenborough’s life and career. It shows the beauty of the world, and also the losses he has seen in 60 years of filming.

The film then goes on to show what will happen in future decades according to science, and they’re not pretty. By 2100, the world will be drastically changed through loss of biodiversity, extreme weather, and more.

Attenborough doesn’t stop there however, he also leaves a concise instruction manual on how that can change. Each change he suggests is also punctuated by scenes of places that have put one of these changes into effect, and benefited from it.

I’ve seen a lot of documentaries on climate change, because it’s a major concern for me. This one has been by far the most clear cut, simple to understand, and yet profound documentary out of them all.

I believe the most important takeaway from this film is that we don’t need to wait for anything. We don’t need shiny new technologies to defeat climate change. Almost everything we need is here. We simply need the will to do it.

I hope the people who need to see this film do so, and that it drives the change that needs to happen so our future generations can have a rich and pleasant world to be in too.

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