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    Here's What David Attenborough Wants Us To Know In His New Documentary "A Life On Our Planet"

    This is important.

    In case you haven't seen it yet, Netflix just released a new documentary, A Life On Our Planet, hosted by iconic naturalist and guy who just loves a good leaf, Sir David Attenborough.

    BBC / Via giphy.com

    If you cried watching Our Planet last year, please be advised that you are not going to be okay in this film, either.

    Warning: this article contains spoilers about the film and also about how humans β€” that's us β€” are about to ruin everything nice on this planet.

    The big message is that bad planning and human error is leading to the complete loss of biodiversity on Earth β€” which we absolutely do need if we want to survive ourselves.

    Birds-eye view of the top of treetops with caption: "Yet the way we humans live on Earth now is sending biodiversity into a decline."
    Netflix

    In the spirit of honesty, I'll tell you that the first half of this film is devastating, but it's also something that you should go and watch immediately.

    David Attenborough has spent his entire career showing us the beauty of the natural world. Now he wants us to understand that if we stay on our current trajectory, we're about to lose it.

    Close up shot of David Attenborough with caption: "The natural world is fading."
    Netflix

    Our entire existence depends on the natural world, and without biodiversity, nature simply cannot sustain us. This is not politics, it's science.

    We've overdone it with the human activities. We've forgotten that the planet is a delicately balanced, finely-tuned machine.

    Footage from the first shots of Earth from outer space, a blue planet partially in shadow with caption: "we could keep consuming the earth until we had used it up."
    Netflix

    Have you heard of the sixth extinction? Because we're living through it.

    Humans have absolutely ravaged the planet's habitats so we can have the things we want. The destruction is not sustainable, but it's also not even necessary.

    Aerial footage of lush rainforest in Borneo next to oil palm crops, with caption: "A habitat that is dead in comparison."
    Netflix

    There is a better and more sustainable way to do things, which grandad will explain when you watch.

    I won't get into all the terrible things we've done, because David Attenborough explains it better. But did you know we now cut down more than 15 billion trees every year?

    A view of treetops in the rainforest, looking up from the ground.
    Netflix

    Destroying the natural ecosystems means more carbon sitting in our atmosphere, and I hope by now you know what that means.

    We've also somehow managed to reduce all of Earth's freshwater species by over 80%.

    A flock of birds in African wetlands at sunset.
    Netflix

    The majority of birds left on Earth are chickens. Chickens that we have under our control, to eat and what not.

    And the change in water temperature (once again, our fault) is making the ocean's coral start to bleach...

    Coral that has recently bleached, surrounded by tiny colourful fish.
    Netflix

    ...which will ultimately destroy it all, leaving no place for about a quarter of the ocean's marine life to live.

    A shot of bleached but still live coral reef, with caption: "And the reef turns from wonderland to wasteland."
    Netflix

    Coral bleaching is a tragedy that we can stop in our lifetimes if we can pressure the right people to dramatically reduce carbon pollution.

    A landscape of dead coral with same caption: "And the reef turns from wonderland to wasteland."
    Netflix

    Coral bleaching is a tragedy that we can stop in our lifetimes if we can pressure the right people to dramatically reduce carbon pollution.

    Netflix

    Coral bleaching is a tragedy that we can stop in our lifetimes if we can pressure the right people to dramatically reduce carbon pollution.

    In a nutshell: We've massively screwed this up. And 93 year-old David Attenborough, who has been delivering joyful enthusiasm about the natural world for half a century, is upset.

    Close up of David Attenborough in the studio looking down to the floor, saddened.
    Netflix

    It is heart-wrenching to see. I sobbed, and wanted to hug my television, but did not.

    But just over halfway through the documentary, the nature king gently lifts our chins, wipes our tears and tells us: There is hope yet to keep our beautiful natural planet intact.

    Aerial shot of archipelago with crystal clear waters.
    Netflix

    There are changes we can make that can help turn this around.

    Among other things, we need to phase out fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy ASAP.

    The sun is shining intensely across the treetops of a rainforest.
    Netflix

    Some countries are already doing it and they're doing great! We'll be fine.

    If we just restrict fishing activity in certain zones for certain periods, we can let the ocean restore its biodiversity.

    A pod of a hundred or so dolphins swimming close to the water's surface, with caption: "In one act, this would transform the open ocean".
    Netflix

    Healthier ocean means healthier us.

    And we can be smarter about how we use the land for farming, to free up more space to bring back the forests.

    Aerial view of a pine forest with mist drifting between the trees, and caption: "Forests are a fundamental component of our planet's recovery".
    Netflix

    As of 2018, only 23% of the Earth's wilderness was remaining. But restoring wilderness means more effective absorption of carbon from the atmosphere.

    Friends, I know this seems overwhelming. But if you actually care, which I know you do, we can make this happen. David Attenborough has asked, and we owe it to him.

    BBC America / Via giphy.com

    If you want to know what you can do personally, you can start here.

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