This documentary film on Netflix called David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet made me feel (in chronological order) curious, angry, ashamed, scared and hopeful in varying degrees because, in a nutshell, it was was pretty much straightforward in telling us that the natural world is fading because of humankind. It was narrated by David himself, a man who dedicated much of his life exploring the wild life around the globe.
I was watching it with my wife the other day and I remember feeling a sense of despair and an urgency brewing inside me. In fact, in the middle of watching the film, I was on the edge of my seat shouting these words in my head,”What can we do to resolve this problem?!” I was agitated, shameful and triggered because I know that I am part of the problem. We are all part of the problem. Quite simply, the film made a tremendous impact in every fibre of my body.
Losing the biodiversity of the wild life is a scary thing and it is now becoming a reality. As what David said, this problem spans across the globe and it is barely noticeable day by day. We heard about the greenhouse effect, global warming, deforestation, climate change, declining numbers of wild animals up to extinction and many more. The evidence is all around us! Our planet is dying and some of us are too chill to pay much attention.
In a United Nations Conference in 2018, David opined that we are indeed facing a man made disaster of a global scale. He depicted a picture of a planet overrun by humans for humankind and there is little left for the rest of the living world. As a 93 year old man, he could’ve chosen to ignore this problem but he said he’d feel guilty. I admire him for speaking up and doing the best he can to save “our” home… The home of all living and non living things, the green trees, flowers, plants and the animals of air, land and oceans – our planet earth.
In the film, it showed that we are all preparing the world for another mass extinction. Truly, this news isn’t pleasant to hear and learn. However, David’s motion to address this big issue hopefully generated millions of ripple effects. I am sure moved by his pure and palpable passion to bring biodiversity back into the world.
In all the data collected by experts, David laid down recent statistics as well as concrete and specific solutions on how we can resolve the present environmental concerns. These are the ways:
- RESTORE THE PLANET’S BIODIVERSITY – this means that we should have a variety of plant and animal life in its natural habitat. As highlighted in the film,”We must re-wild the world”
- REACH THE PEAK OF THE WORLD POPULATION – we can all contribute to this by working hard to end poverty and world hunger, giving all access to healthcare as well as enabling everyone to have education especially women.
- RAISE THE STANDARD OF LIVING AROUND THE WORLD WITHOUT INCREASING OUR IMPACT IN THE WORLD – phasing out fossil fuels and using the eternal energies of nature – solar energy, wind, water and geothermal.
- ENSURE A HEALTHY MARINE HABITAT – restrict illegal fishing practices. It was suggested to have No Fish Zones over a third of all coastal seas.
- APPROACH A DIFFERENT WAY IN FARMING – change our diet because the world can’t support a large number of meat eaters. Advocate a PLANT BASED DIET and increase the production of edible plants without using too much water, less pesticides and emitting less carbon. REDUCE THE AREAS WE USED TO FARM TO RECREATE WILDERNESS. Produce food in new spaces – it could be indoors or in water bodies.
- CREATE MORE FORREST TO ABSORB CARBON IN THE ATMOSPHERE – halt deforestation everywhere. Plant more native trees in your respective locality.
I am writing about this because I want to do my part as a concerned human being who is very much willing to have a life here on earth in balance with nature and to create good and sustainable change in our planet by sharing information thru magnifying the message of the film.
As repeatedly said, in order to save ourselves, we need to bring nature back into our lives. David emphasised in the documentary that solutions to our environmental problems has one very important overriding principle: Nature itself is our greatest ally and inspiration. If we take care of nature, Nature will take care of us.
“now the lord god had planted a garden in the east, in eden; and there he put a man he had formed.” – genesis 2:8