By framing environmental destruction through Attenborough’s eyes and unique career, A Life on Our Planet manages to humanize an issue that can often seem distant and somewhat abstract
David Attenborough, a 94-year-old naturalist, set off to explore the world in his twenties and has been broadcasting the wonders of the natural world to the public ever since. Throughout his long life, David has watched the natural world wither before his eyes.
He recently made a documentary named 'David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,' where he recounts how quickly the biodiversity of the planet has diminished over his lifetime. The documentary is streaming on Netflix.
Dani Di Placido, a senior contributor, recently wrote a review in Forbes about the documentary. The review is as follows.
In the review, Dani Di Placido said the scale of the problem is so overwhelming, so gargantuan, that it can be challenging to absorb and to communicate through a single documentary. But by framing environmental destruction through Attenborough's eyes and unique career, 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.
As the film moves through the decades, marking each stage of Attenborough's career with the ever-declining state of the natural world, the percentage of remaining wildlife takes a dramatic plunge in the last thirty years, as the cumulative damage begins to snowball.
Thankfully, the documentary soon takes a more optimistic turn, as major environmental victories are highlighted, and the film begins to focus not on a scorched, apocalyptic future, but a world restored.
Rewilding seems critical; while certain scientists and Silicon Valley bros focus on technological solutions like carbon capture, or even blocking the light of the sun with a giant screen (just try and stop me, Mr. Bond), nature has its regulatory systems that are ready to help tackle the problem - if we only allow it to do so.
The world's jungles and rainforests, packed with an almost unimaginable abundance of life, should be viewed as sacred, only by their very existence. Still, the fact that they capture carbon so effectively makes them vital to our future.
The "problem" with trees, however, is that they aren't profitable unless they are being harvested. And here's where Attenborough holds back - the incessant, unquenchable greed and manufactured demands of capitalism are barely mentioned, nor are the obscene excesses of the wealthy.
An analysis by Oxfam recently found that the world's richest 1% are responsible for double the emissions of the lowest 50%, while a mere 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global carbon emissions. A Life on Our Planet doesn't dare touch the political element of this problem, and with a deranged climate change-denier like Donald Trump in the White House, currently opposed by Joe, "I don't support the Green New Deal" Biden, there's a lot left unsaid.
The real purpose of the documentary, however, is to highlight the scale of the problem, warn of the potential consequences, and lastly, install a sense of hope. I think A Life on Our Planet does that very successfully.
There's a light on the horizon; it might look like a forest fire, but hopefully, it's the dawn of a new era of environmental consciousness.