I think it would be an underestimation to suggest that David Attenborough is one of the leading environmentalists in the country or the planet. His career on television has spanned over 60 years and has introduced the world to a world it never knew existed previously. Our own.
In A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, which is the book to accompany the 2020 film, David Attenborough not only takes us on a tour throughout some of the highlights of his remarkable career but reminds us, as he always that nature is a fragile thing. A life on Our Planet is not just another book on nature, it is a book on how nature is dying and we are the ones killing it.
Attenborough here certainly does not take the ‘softly softly’ approach when it comes to getting to the crux of the matter, this is a very blunt book, and regardless of how we read in his unique and engaging tone it doesn’t make the subject matter any easier to digest. This is very much a telling off by David Attenborough!
Reminded at each chapter, in Part 1, that with the increase of humankind equals the demise of Earth’s wilderness each chapter is a stark reminder that it is our footprint that is leaving a mark on the planet, detailing extensively our failures to protect the planet, this may seem like a damning report on our behaviours, but there is hope within its pages. With the great abandon which humankind has shown to the planet, there is much progress being made to help resolve the situation for the next generation, and the extensive reports of these projects leave the reader engaged from the first page to the last.
As mentioned above, A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, is the book to accompany the film, and knowing that more often people will get the message easier from watching the film I hope that this message is heard by all those who watch it. However, I believe that everyone should read this book!
• A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough is published by Ebury Press (£20.00). To order a copy go to www.penguin.co.uk
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com