Today I’m sharing a documentary again: A Life On Our Planet narrated by David Attenborough. A documentary that releases many emotions. But it ends with hope and a sense of urgency. And that’s the reason I keep sharing documentaries like these. We need the constant reminder of what we’re doing to ourselves on this planet, and what’s at stake. Because I can get frustrated sometimes. We need to go faster and we need to do more to save ourselves and other living beings on this planet.
A life on Our planet
Let me tell you about the documentary A Life On Our Planet. It’s a film narrated by David Attenborough. And in A Life On Our Planet he reflects on his life. But not on his personal journey, but on how the planet has changed over the course of his lifetime. The film starts with explaining about how earth got into the holocene. This history starts with the mass extinctions the earth has faced. And then, after a long time, earth entered the holocene. And the holocene is the period when life on earth became suited for humans.
Then the film continues to discuss the period of David Attenborough’s life. It starts in 1937 (when he was 11 years old) and jumps in time. And with every timestamp the film announces the population size, the amount of carbon dioxide and the remaining wilderness. In 1937 the population on earth is 2.3 billion people, the carbon in the atmosphere amounts 280 parts per million and there is 66% remaining wilderness. From that point on, things seemed hopeful for humans. Life kept getting better and there seemed to be no limits.
Destruction in one lifetime
But then it becomes apparent what we’re doing to the world in the meantime. Earth is paying a price for all this growth. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and population keeps growing and the natural world is declining. It’s a doom scenario. This part of this film ends in 2020, with a population of 7,8 billion people, 415 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and 35% of remaining wilderness. But after we’ve seen this mass destruction, the film resorts to solutions. It discussed that we should eat plant-based and generate clean energy.
And if we manage to do so in time, there might be a future for us humans. And in this part it become apparent that it isn’t the planet which is on the line, because she will survive no matter what. It’s us that’s on the line. This is shown beautifully in the last part where we see a deserted part of the world, where humans have left and nature takes back control.
I have bad and good moments for this documentary. Sometimes I don’t watch documentaries like A Life On Our Planet for months on end, maybe even a year. At that moment I feel like I don’t need them. I know about the direction our planet is heading towards and I know what we should do to change that. And I’m working my hardest to actually change it every day. So then a documentary like this one does not help me. But usually, I do like and need them. Then they give me new energy and dedication to fight a little harder and to keep focussed.
Beauty of our planet
And at the same time, I just enjoy watching footage of our planet in general (footage which is definitely included in A Life On Our Planet). Not because of that underlying message, but just because of the beautiful footage. It can be very relaxing and joyful to watch A Life On Our Planet. It’s always stunning to see the beauty of the world we live in. And as technology is gets more advanced, the footage just keeps getting better and more realistic too.
I think A Life On Our Planet is a much watch. At the right time, it can really put me in action mode. I hope it can do the same for you. It’s a documentary that shows us reality, but also shows us that a different scenario is possible. And along the way you get to see footage of the most amazing parts of the world. Stunning to watch. A Life On Our Planet can be seen on Netflix.