While his face may be unfamiliar, David Attenborough’s voice has been recognized for nearly seventy years; his most recent narrations being in the documentary series Planet Earth and Planet Earth II. In this documentary, Attenborough takes a front seat approach to his audience, amplifying not only his own journey, but the journey of our planet itself. By taking us back to the past and allowing us to remember the “why’s” of our culture, he enables us to capture humanity’s ingenuity over the century and our unfortunate ignorance to nature in the process.
Through his own story we recognize how technology allowed our lives to become easier, simpler, and with more simplicity and the unearthing of modern medicine, the human population continued to rapidly grow.
It wasn’t until the evolution of aerospace, that we were able to recognize how deep our connection to the planet had become; and it wasn’t until film and media that the audience started to take a stand and discern that our commodities, sometimes, weren’t just victimless crimes.
Seeing became believing, and once the public was able to visualize the harm it was doing to the planet and its wildlife – it could no longer be deemed as acceptable. Our world started to grow a consciousness and that consciousness leads us into the year 2020.
Attenborough sets up many examples, in the film, to show how necessary our connection with the Earth is — from whales, to coral reefs, to the ability of indigenous tribes to live off the land and remain completely sustainable in the process. And according to scientists alike, if hard change is not promoted and practiced soon, our world will collapse within the next hundred years. Our surplus of land will become over used and barren, our oceans will over heat, much wildlife will become extinct — most being unable to find shelter or food — and the human population will suffer.
Our survival depends on our ability to become interdependent with the world around us and Attenborough delivers a lasting bit of hope by dictating the ways in which we can save this planet.
Live Off A Mostly Plant Based Diet
Humans make up about 35% of all the creatures on Earth, the meat we eat makes up another 61%, leaving only 4% remaining from everything ranging from a whale to a mouse. The planet cannot support billions of meat eaters.
By cultivating a more plant based diet, we can take back half the land that has been used for farming. We can use technology to produce fruits and vegetables through hydroponics, allowing our soil to rejuvenate and our lands to be replanted on. Our carbon emissions would drop, significantly, and the plants that have been replanted will not only build back ecosystems but they will also generate the oxygen and photosynthesis necessary to help clean Earth’s air.
Reduce Fossil Fuels and Actively Seek Ways To Produce Energy From the Land
By reducing fossil fuels and slowly eliminating them, we can harness the power of the Earth to generate new, reusable energy. This energy can come from many different sources including — wind, water, and the sun — and by using an alternative method to energy, we will be able to create a brighter, cleaner, and quieter future.
Keep Our Oceans Clean
The ocean is an ally in helping to reduce carbon in the atmosphere; the more diverse it is the better it carries out that job. By restricting “no fishing zones” and cleaning up the plastic accumulation, our oceans will be able to thrive to overabundance. This benefit will promote more fish for our population to eat without ever disrupting the microcosms of marine life.
Together, with these core changes, Attenborough believes that we can create a future that works hand in hand with our environment; a future that is no longer an option but necessary. For in the end, ’it’s not about saving our planet, it is about saving ourselves’.