A Life On Our Planet - David Attenborough’s Witness Statement and Vision of the Future Part 1
A few days ago we watched ‘A Life On Our Planet’. And it had such an impact on me that I decided to write a blogpost about it. Actually, more than one blogpost. As one would simply not be enough, I would need to leave out too much valuable information.
The reason why I decided to write about this topic on one hand is that not everyone can watch the film. On the other hand is that our actions have been affecting our children's future and we must act now if we don’t want them to struggle and if we want them to experience the beauty and magic of our planet.
The information I am sharing with you is taken from the film itself and I quoted some thoughts without changing them at all as every single word was just too important to change.
David Attenborough’s film starts and ends in Chernobyl, where on the 26th of April 1986, the explosion of the nuclear power station made a once prosperous city uninhabitable. In less than 48 hours, the city was evacuated and no one has lived there since. This explosion triggered an environmental catastrophe that had an impact across Europe. Many people regarded it as the most costly in the history of mankind.
But Chernobyl was only one event. “The true tragedy of our time is still unfolding across the globe, barely noticeable from day to day. I’m talking about the loss of our planet’s wild places, its biodiversity.” David Attenborough
On our planet, billions of individuals and millions of kinds of plants and animals work together to benefit from the energy of the Sun and the minerals of the Earth, in a way that they sustain each other. We rely on this symbiosis, it is our life support machine. Yet the way we humans live on Earth now is sending biodiversity into a decline. And this will lead to what we see now in Chernobyl. A place in which we cannot live.
This film is the story of how we came to make this immense mistake and how, if we act now, can still put it right.
David Attenborough is 94 years old and has been exploring the wild places of our planet, in every part of the globe. He has experienced the living world first hand. He has always had a passion to explore and learn about our planet so, in my opinion, it is correct to say that we can trust his judgement regarding what we have been doing to our planet, and what we must do to prevent a catastrophe.
In 1937, the world population was 2.3 billion. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million, and the percentage of the remaining wilderness was 66%.
Every hundred million years or so, a mass extinction happens. A mass extinction has happened five times in life’s four-billion-year history. The last was the event that brought the end of the age of the dinosaurs. 75% of the species were wiped out by the catastrophic change in the Earth’s conditions by a meteorite impact. Life had no option but to rebuild. For 65 million years it’s been at work, reconstructing the living world. Until we come to the world we know. Our time, the Holocene. It has been one of the most stable periods of life’s history. The rich living world around us has been key to this stability. Every single species has a very important role in this stability.
The Holocene was our Garden of Eden. Each generation could progress and develop. They knew exactly what to expect in each season, when would monsoon come, when would temperatures drop.
In 1954, the world population was 2.7 billion. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere was 310 parts per million, and the percentage of the remaining wilderness was 64%.
It felt like the future was going to bring us everything we had ever dreamt of. You could fly for hours over the untouched wilderness. It was the best time of our lives. What we didn’t know was that there had already been problems...