- Gareth Crook
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020)
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
David is upset. Upset that we’ve buggered up and are buggering up our planet. Slowly. Systematically. We should be ashamed that we’ve upset David. Attenborough is beacon for quality, in the films and television he makes, for the messages they carry. The message here is somewhat different from many of his other appearances. Not so much ‘look at the cool stuff’ as ‘look what we’ve done to this once cool stuff’. This charts his life’s work, the planet and its wildlife as he’s witnessed it first hand... and it’s demise. The photography is stunning as you’d expect, but it’s sobering stuff. Stories of evolution, exploration and pollution. From uncontacted tribes to declining animal populations. Dying coral reefs, to obliterated rainforests. There’s plenty of classic narration, but it’s the candid moments that pack a real punch. This man understands the consequence and it’s really quite upsetting to see him struggle with the magnitude of the issue. But that’s just the first half. Devastation hard it is, is nothing compared to the prediction for the next 80 years. Total collapse of the planet, a mass extinction event, well within the lifetime of our children. It’s a proper ‘fuck me’ eye opener. So what do we do? Raise the standards of living, bring down population growth. Stop burning fossil fuels. No fish zones. Sustainable farming, less meat consumption. All pretty easy, if we’re collectively willing. “No matter how grave our mistakes, nature will overcome them”... I guess it’s up to us whether we want to go along for the ride or continue to oblivion.