A Life On Our Planet: My Witness Statement and Vision For the Future – Sir. David Attenborough

Hello friends,

How are you all doing? It’s getting close to Christmas and I’m almost done with all my Christmas presents. I’m one of those people who hates shopping too close to Christmas. I find it to be more stressful than rewarding and I just can’t be bothered. I normally begin my Christmas shopping planning in January already because I genuinely believe that you find the best presents when you least expect them. This book was yet another one from the challenge I participated in during September but as you can see it’s taking me forever to review them all…This book made a real impression and I’ve wanted to read it for quite some time. I’ve always been a great fan of David Attenborough. So much so that we named our cat after him, David Cattenborough. I’m so impressed with all the work that he’s done for endangered animals, the climate, and spreading knowledge around the world concerning our planet’s current state and welfare, or lack thereof. Whenever my fiance and I aren’t in the mood to watch anything we always turn on one of Attenborough’s shows and our favorite is the show based on this book. The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:

I am 94. I’ve had an extraordinary life. It’s only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.

As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world – but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day – the loss of our planet’s wild places, its biodiversity.

I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake – and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.

We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.

All we need is the will to do so.

This book can be many things depending on how you read it. It can be a call to action, an educational experience, thought-provoking, or many other things depending on how you view it. To me, it was both educational and thought-provoking. I know we’re headed towards a bad ending if we don’t change our ways but just exactly how screwed we potentially are I didn’t know. I don’t believe myself to be the greenest of humans but I do my best within my human capability. Yet, there are always ways to improve and in such a sense Attenborough’s book is great because it doesn’t point a finger and say that you should do so and so to become a greener human being. Instead, it raises aspects that you may not have thought about previously and presents them in a logical manner that makes the reader able to see the entire picture. The book begins with how the world were when Attenborough himself was young. From there we follow him through many of his life’s adventures and at the beginning of each chapter he presents the world’s forrest area, the world’s population and the world’s Co2 production during the year he’s telling us about. These number presented at the beginning of each chapter makes the perspective very clear. At least it did to me, and I was quite shocked by how quickly they increased over the chapters.

A change has to be made. That much is clear. Like I said, I really enjoyed that Attenborough doesn’t point fingers, except for at humans which is where the finger should be pointed, at specific fields, countries, or people because the truth is, we’ve all been in this together. In some various degrees, yes, but we’ve all been a part of it. We’ve all been buying and using the products that requires oil and deforestation, like Christmas presents. In the second part of his book, Attenborough brings forward his vision for the future and it is truly a future I would welcome and I believe that I would have enjoyed living in it. A change needs to be made within this century he says and I believe him. As the world is today it is the less fortunate that suffers for the great development of other countries. Norway among these developing countries. We have the big badguys who doesn’t want to committ and we have the countries who wants to commit but can’t due to lack of development. I hope that my generation and my childrens generation will be able to turn this trend around.

If the climate wasn’t a solid enough indicator of what needs to change then the COVID-19 pandemic gave us another great push for bringing on said change. We saw how the developed countries were able to get vaccineprograms up and running, science was done in medicine to bring forward the vaccines, and people started to follow regulations we haven’t seen since World War 2, at least in Norway, in order to limit the spread of infection. The countries who aren’t as developed still struggles and we need to help out. Whether it is to turn around a political impression, like the pandemic being a hoax, or helping out with much needed supplies we need to help. The world has never been so small as during this pandemic and these are all aspects that Attenborough mentions in his book. He gets the message through, and I must say, I don’t always trust politicians or other world leaders when they say something about the climate but when Attenborough does I listen. Some people might think me naive for this but I view him as a credible sorce and through this book he has strengthened my view on this even further. Attenborough spoke at the COP26 in Glasgow two weeks ago and his message to the world’s leaders was very clear. I just hope there will be a change in the aftermath of this climate summit.

In the aftermath of reading A Life On Our Planet I’ve started to think a little bit more about what I can do in order to help. Nothing grand but small things that might help account in the big scale of helping turning the climate around and I’m proud to say that this is also a great focus within my workspace. The climate problem isn’t fixed within a week, a month, or a year but if you’re unsure of what you can do to help and want to gain a bit of perspective then I strongly recommend you to read this book. I learned a lot from it and even though it is a nonfiction it is still funny and it makes the reader truly appreciate what amazing world we’re living in.

Published: 2020

Genre: Nonfiction

Theme: Climate change, deforestation, animal reduction

– The Book Reader

53916142. sy475

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