Who doesn’t love David Attenborough? Best known for presenting and writing nature programmes, the 94-year-old English broadcaster and natural historian has made a huge impression, not just on the UK population, but worldwide. His documentaries, not only inform us, but tell us stories of the natural world and all its living inhabitants in the most wonderful and visually powerful ways. And for those that have seen his shows, we’re sure you’ll agree, that you could listen to his tranquil and comforting voice all day.
David Attenborough has visited every continent on the globe, exploring the planet and documenting it every step of the way. But during his lifetime, he’s also witnessed the immense scale of humanity’s impact on nature. A Life On Our Planet is the Netflix original documentary which recounts his life travelling the world and the evolutionary history of nature on Earth, outlining the influence we’ve had on it as humans and offering a vision for the future. Ultimately, the planet’s current course spells doom, but there is hope if we are willing to change as a species. To save our planet, we will in turn save ourselves. We believe that this is a programme that everyone should watch.
Check out the trailer and share it with those around you.
The documentary focuses on how the world population, the carbon in the atmosphere and the remaining wilderness, has dramatically changed over Attenborough’s lifetime. Focusing on climate change, deforestation, and the extinction of animals, the documentary unveils a series of jaw dropping facts:
1: The average global temperature today is 1°C warmer that when David was born in 1926 – a speed of change that exceeds any in the last 10,000 years
2: Our planet is losing its ice – summer sea ice in the Arctic has reduced by 40% in 40 years
3: Wild animal populations have more than halved since the 1950’s
4: We have overfished 30% of fish stocks to critical levels
5: Half of the world’s rainforests have already been cleared
6: By damming, polluting and over-extracting rivers and lakes, we’ve reduced the size of freshwater populations by over 80%
Ultimately, he muses that if humans don’t change their behaviours now, the consequences could be devastating for not just our planet, but for the human race too.
As David Attenborough summaries in his film, if we carry on the way we are, this is what science predicts:
2030s: The Amazon Rainforest, cut down until it can no longer produce enough moisture, degrades into a dry savannah, bringing catastrophic species loss and altering the global water cycle.
At the same time, the Arctic becomes ice-free in the summer. Without the white ice cap, less of the sun’s energy is reflected back out to space, and the speed of global warming increases.
2040s: Throughout the North, frozen soils thaw, releasing methane (a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide), accelerating the rate of climate change dramatically.
2050s: As the ocean continues to heat and becomes more acidic, coral reefs around the world die, and fish populations crash.
2080s: Global food production enters a crisis as soils become exhausted by overuse. Pollinating insects disappear and the weather is more and more unpredictable.
2100s: Our planet becomes 4°C warmer and large parts of the earth are uninhabitable, leading to millions of people rendered homeless.
As a result of human impact on earth, a sixth mass extinction event is well on the way, and within the span of the next lifetime, our Garden of Eden could be lost. However, there are ways which we can prevent this from happening…
David Attenborough suggests ways in which humans can re-build what they’ve destroyed, in order to put our world into a better place and avoid the devastating outcome of a mass extinction.
Create energy to run the world from renewable sources – sunlight, wind, water and geothermal.
Fish correctly – the healthier the marine habitat, the more fish there will be and therefore the more there’ll be to eat. Having ‘no fish zones’ will allow for the reefs to recover and therefore increase the amount of fish to eat.
Reduce the areas we use to farm, to make space for returning wilderness, by changing our diets. If we all had a largely plant-based diets, we would only need half of the land we use now.
Half deforestation and grow crops like oil palm and soya only on land that was deforested long ago.
Plant trees to build more forests – trees will absorb the carbon emissions leaving us with a cleaner atmosphere, reducing global warming.
If the world was to make these changes, we could rebuild our Garden of Eden, whilst actually having a better way of life. And if you’re sat there thinking that you can’t do some of the things on that list, well there are ways in which you can individually help too. By saving electricity and water; choosing to walk and cycle; not littering our forests, rivers, lakes and seas; recycling properly; making more sustainable choices and trying to eat a more plant-based diet, you too can make an impact.
A Life On Our Planet is certainly not one to miss, it’s an extraordinary documentary which certainly opens your eyes to what is going on in our world. We highly recommend you give it a watch, it’s available on Netflix right now!
If we all come together and do our bit, we CAN change our earth and help it survive for the future.
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