Why David Attenborough’s new documentary should inspire you to save our planet
The newest David Attenborough documentary is different. A Life on Our Planet, now available to stream on Netflix, is self-proclaimed by Attenborough as his witness statement to the natural world. The documentary is a first hand account of how Attenborough’s career coincides with the increase in our planet’s carbon emissions, using archive footage of his work since the 1950s.
We’re incredibly passionate about climate change and environmental issues here at Climateq, and this documentary really resonated with us. Our summary below discusses how we can all make changes today to save ourselves and the planet.
Biodiversity ensures the variety of species and organisms throughout the planet, creating an ecosystem that will support human life. This is a focus throughout the documentary to illustrate how everything on the planet is connected and helps sustain each other.
However, the impact of humanity on biodiversity is evident. Attenborough uses footage from his own ventures to reveal the damage, or in his words “our blind assault”, of the planet and how this has impacted the way the earth operates. Jungles and rainforests have been destroyed leaving no home for wildlife, and half of the fertile land on Earth is now used for farming. If we don’t act now, the planet’s ecosystem will be completely eradicated and we will be responsible. If there’s no ecosystem, there’s no planet, and if there’s no planet, there’s no human life.
Attenborough has an urgent message for us all: “We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters.”
The rise of a plant based diet and veganism has grown in popularity over recent years, but this has never been about a trend or a phase. Still not convinced? The benefits of cutting down on our meat consumption are so evident when watching A Life on Our Planet, not only in terms of biodiversity but for greenhouse gases too; twenty servings of vegetables have fewer greenhouse gas emissions than one serving of beef.
Let’s all make a pledge to make better choices for not just our diet, but for the planet too. There are so many amazing meat-free alternatives available, and BBC Good Food has some great recipes to get you started.
A Life on Our Planet ends on a moment of hope. Attenborough is confident that we don’t delay our actions, change can be made. There’s the example of Morocco, who get 40% of their energy from solar power, the reforestation scheme in Costa Rica and a focus on The Netherlands and their sustainable agriculture.
The documentary ends with Attenborough in Chernobyl, where after the nuclear disaster in 1986, nature is thriving; a powerful metaphor to show what can occur when humanity is not there.
Have you watched David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet? What did you think? Let us know!
Image credit: Jeff Gilbert/Alamy Stock Photo