Over his incredible career, David Attenborough has seen more of earth’s natural wonders than almost anyone. With David Attenborough, Molly Brown, Danny Davis, Olivier De Schutter. This is where we need to direct our anger. After all, Attenborough is a Malthusian, he believes the only way to combat the seemingly irreversible climate shift is through reducing the growing population. All hope is not lost however, David Attenborough asserts. "All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder - and ultimately impossible - to solve with ever more people." Nonetheless, his latest venture follows a long line of controversial points which Attenborough has supported in recent years. The film could have ended there. © George Chan / naturepl.com I still remember watching in awe when Planet Earth was first released in 2006. Nonetheless, he makes a plea for the future, and heartbreakingly describes the role of mankind in perpetuating the destruction of our planet. This premise might have more credibility if Attenborough didn’t continuously avoid the role of capitalism in accelerating climate change. He has filmed things, the vast vast majority of us would never have had the chance to see and has made us acutely aware of the wildlife that exists beyond our island. Whether we achieve a sustainable population sooner rather than later depends entirely on how quickly world leaders, civil society and investors recognise the urgency of our situation and embrace much-needed, positive solutions. The account, created by a team at Silverback Films, was created to promote Attenborough's latest documentary A Life On Our Planet. The documentary notes the human population and how much wildlife is left on Earth. David Attenborough’s ‘witness statement’ for the planet (commentary) By the time Sir David Attenborough had reached his 50s, the human population had doubled in size from when he was born, multiplying our species’ impacts on the planet. Africa (2013) BBC. In a Horizon special, naturalist Sir David Attenborough investigates whether the world is heading for a population crisis. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Renowned TV naturalist David Attenborough, in a new documentary, gives his starkest warning yet for humanity to safeguard species from mass extinction for the sake of our own survival. "David Attenborough: force of nature". Not least as a patron of Population Matters: “As I see it, humanity needs to reduce its impact on the Earth urgently and there are three ways to achieve this: we can stop consuming so many resources, we can change our technology and we can reduce the growth of our population.”. The film was premiered on 3 March 2019 in front of an audience of 3000 at an open-air theatre at Palace Grounds in Bangalore, India. Attenborough knows that he has reached the end of his life. Towards the end of the film are a series of short clips showing Attenborough speaking to numerous different crowds of world leaders from the COP to the IMF to the WEF. Hopefully millions of people across the world will watch A Life On Our Planet, make the individual positive lifestyle changes, and demand the real action from their political leaders, as signposted in the WWF-UK and Netflix co-produced film. Sir David Attenborough maps specific points in his life that made him who he is today while comparing that information with how the world was. It is very matter of fact, and highlights the urgency with which we need to address the current environmental crisis. October 27, 2012. On population, Sir David points out the win-win, empowering solutions we campaign for at Population Matters: investing in education and women's rights and raising people out of poverty. Attenborough has been making films since 1951 and has travelled the Earth countless times, from continent to continent. Population Matters Director Robin Maynard reviews the film. Now 94, he has dedicated his life to televising the world, and all its inhabitants, for nearly 70 years. The camera never went fully wide-shot to show the encroachment of urban areas, the conversion of plains and forests to agriculture, the scale of oil, coal, tar sand and mineral extraction (visible from space) which fuel the planet-wrecking  lifestyles of those of us living in high-consuming, ‘developed’ countries. Watch this, and make your friends, parents, and grandparents watch it. His latest film David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, is a documentary that talks about how slowly and steadily the natural world is fading, only to cater to our avarice desires, and our incessant urge to gain control over every aspect in this delicately balanced Planet. In a landmark and powerful documentary on the BBC, Population Matters patron Chris Packham looked at the challenges of population growth, and made an impassioned plea for it to become a core part of environmental debate. David Attenborough’s latest documentary is a stark reminder that a global pandemic isn’t the only thing going on right now. An excellent review from the unexpected quarter of the New Musical Express catches that disjoint: “You can almost hear the crack in his voice when he says the solution is “simple”. Sir David Attenborough even joined Instagram at the age of 94, to encourage as many people as possible to watch this documentary. Peter Stoddart reviews David Attenborough’s latest Netflix special which, while poignant, fails to deliver answers. He rightly states, “Why wouldn't we want to do these things? A major new UN report on the state of the world’s biodiversity states that nature is being destroyed faster than ever before due to population and economic growth. The most popular British person in popular culture today according to YouGov. One of the most iconic figures of the BBC and of Britain as a whole. If people kick up a fuss because they have to wear a mask in Asda to protect their own gran, what chance does a rare finless porpoise or a poison dart frog have when the cost of protecting them demands so much sacrifice? In fact, this support for population control is the entire premise of the documentary. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet is a 2020 British documentary film narrated by David Attenborough. Interview with Robin McKie, www.theguardian.com. It is also poignant, the rapid rate of destruction is extremely apparent. 1936 In 1936, Attenborough and his brother Richard attended a lecture by Grey Owl (Archibald Belaney) at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, and were influenced by his advocacy of conservation. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The ‘life’ focused on is that of legendary broadcaster and PM patron, Sir David Attenborough, who over the past 60 years has brought the wonders of the natural world into our living rooms whilst over the same period, with growing disquiet, witnessing the most rapid, comprehensive destruction of wild species and places since the last mass extinction event that ended the dinosaurs. Suddenly the mood music lifts as a not very convincing sequence of techno-solutions are put forward: The American Plains restored to grassland, with vast herds of bison roaming amidst wind-turbines; drones sustainably harvesting reforested rainforest; oceans, which we’ve just been told are 90% over-exploited, replete with huge shoals of fish and spouting pods of whales amidst photo-shopped images of futuristic ‘responsibly–sourcing’ fishing craft. 5 David Attenborough Documentaries To Change The World. Please join Chris and Population Matters in working to achieve that vision. He’s also one of the most trusted figures when it comes to all things nature. We have all heard the statistics, 100 of the top firms are responsible for 71% of the world’s emissions. “We are going through a series of one way doors”, details Attenborough. Whatever his part in those earlier editorial decisions, he doesn’t shrink from showing the impacts and consequences in this “witness statement” and deeply personal reflection on the laying waste of the wonders he’s been “privileged” to see first-hand. David Attenborough's 'A Life On Our Planet' highlights the rampant destruction of nature caused by human population growth and unsustainable consumption, as well as the positive and urgently needed actions we must take to save our one and only planet. The documentary, A Life on our Planet is Attenborough’s witness statement, telling the story of how human behaviour has damaged the Earth.In his latest Netflix offering, the 94-year-old natural historian has done a phenomenal job of summarising the issues our planet faces and explains the plan that needs to be put in place for a sustainable future – before Earth is damaged beyond repair. It might be the single most important movie you will see in your lifetime. This premise might have more credibility if Attenborough didn’t continuously avoid the role of capitalism in accelerating climate change. Apparently stung by criticism about the false impressions his documentaries have provided on the state of our natural world, Attenborough has produced a witness statement outlining the changes to the environment over his 94-year existence and solutions to the biodiversity crisis he has lived through. Although this documentary has been immensely popular, with nearly 17 million views since its release, some concerns have been raised over the dangers of the message that Attenborough is conveying. ( Log Out /  Attenborough has been criticised for not acknowledging the accelerating destruction of the natural world in previous documentaries. David Attenborough’s recent release ‘A Life On Our Planet’ reflects on his experience of the devastating impacts humans have had on the planets natural biodiversity. Back in 2013 he controversially described food aid for famine stuck regions as “barmy”, owing to his desire for population control. The film acts as a "witness statement", through which Attenborough shares first-hand his concern for the current state of the planet due to humanity's impact on nature and his hopes for the future. Over his incredible career, David Attenborough has seen more of earth’s natural wonders than almost anyone. Change ), Communist Party calls for a new fightback against austerity and unemployment, YCL founds new branch for Brighton & East Sussex. The trick is to raise the standard of living around the world, without increasing our impact on that world.”. 5. The most powerful sequence is when the camera holds its focus for an uncomfortably long period on his face and visible anguish at this emptying of Eden – even more eloquent than his words. From the outset, he seeks to highlight the rising populations, and blames them for the loss of wildlife and impending climate catastrophe. Unlike most broadcasters and conservation organisations, Attenborough has not shied away from the plain truth in his other roles off-air. The film was narrated by Sir David Attenborough with theme music composed by Grammy-winning composer and music-producer, Ricky Kej. We still have time to halt and even reverse the damage we have caused to the planet. Sir David Attenborough on human population growth Chris Packham and Sir David Attenborough discuss what they believe to be one of the most pressing issues of our time - … The lives of animals and plants might be more closely tied to our own than we like to admit, but a remarkable film like this needs to move us to action instead of tears if we have any hope of saving them.”. Today that population is doing much better. At the time, Attenborough felt he might be seeing some of the last of their kind – just 250 individuals were left and their future looked bleak. David Attenborough: If We Don’t Limit Our Population Growth, the Natural World Will We have to limit our population growth or nature will do it for us. A Life On Our Planet … So, while Attenborough’s most recent documentary is good at highlighting the coming effects of climate change, it utterly fails to tell the viewer what we need to do to fight against it. His one-hour film Extinction: The Facts, airing … June Javelosa December 19th 2016 Today that population is doing much better. Population Matters Director Robin Maynard reviews the film. David Attenborough’s latest nature documentary on Netflix may be his greatest yet. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. In his lengthy career, Sir David has watched the human population more than double from 2.5 billion in 1950 to nearly seven billion. A Life On Our Planet proposes four key actions: ending population growth, switching to renewable energy, reducing meat consumption and sustainable management of oceans. Directed by Helen Shariatmadari. He has been consistently criticised by the likes of George Monbiot for failing to highlight the issues of climate change (read one such article by Monbiot here). While personal austerity may go some way to combating climate change, it represents a drop in the ocean compared to the emissions of these firms. Like other Attenborough documentaries, I think you should watch it. He considers his 2020 documentary film, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, his personal witness statement of his life and the future. For these reasons, I would argue that the latest documentary is essential viewing- although I’d say that about all of Attenborough’s documentaries. Three-quarters of all land environments and two-thirds of all marine environments have been severely damaged by humans over the past five decades, leading to one million species now threatened with extinction. Another shortcoming is that the film claims that our population will stabilise by the end of the century – unfortunately, according to the UN's latest data, there is only a 27% chance of this happening. Charity 1114109, Company 3019081,135-137 Station Road, London E4 6AG, UK. A tone that in many ways, is very welcome. And crucially, do so in time and at scale so that this precious ‘blue marble’ (the only planet evidently able to support complex life) remains habitable. Similarly, with Blue Planet, Frozen Planet and other series released since. But the producers can’t help but sugar the pill they’ve served up. Indeed, you would struggle to find someone in the country who didn’t find his documentaries fascinating and his contribution to nature and film & TV, are practically unparalleled. Whether he genuinely believes that we all have the capacity for change or he just doesn’t want to end the film on a downer, it’s still a bitter pill to swallow in a year like this. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. David Attenborough is a complex figure. Sir David Attenborough Chris Packham: 7.7bn and counting will be broadcast at 9pm on BBC2 on Tuesday 21 January. The preceding sequences made it plain what we all need to do, stop doing, allow others (poorer countries and other species) to do more of, and to choose ‘leaders’ capable of acting on the evidence. However, his most recent documentary, highlighting the rapid rate of climate change throughout his lifetime takes a different tone. From the outset, he seeks to highlight the rising populations, and blames them for the loss of wildlife and impending climate catastrophe. As David Attenborough's documentaries highlight the crisis, a Population Matters poll shows two-thirds of people in the UK want the same or more priority on species loss as on climate change. David Attenborough holds the record for the fastest growing Instagram account, which reached over 6 million followers in under a month. David Attenborough's ' A Life On Our Planet ' highlights the rampant destruction of nature caused by human population growth and unsustainable consumption, as well as the positive and urgently needed actions we must take to save our one and only planet. Rather than seeking to address the role of capitalism in perpetuating environmental destruction, Attenborough perpetuates his Malthusian support for population control. Sir David Attenborough has warned that the world is 'facing a crisis' and urges everyone to take responsibility for mass extinction and the planet's eco systems. LONDON, Sept 12 — Renowned TV naturalist David Attenborough, in a new documentary, gives his starkest warning yet for humanity to safeguard species from mass extinction for the sake of our own survival. Sir David Attenborough's latest documentary has left viewers incredibly distressed, with many pledging to change their lives. 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