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Sir David Attenborough Says There is Still Time To Save the Human Species
Larry and I have mixed feelings about Netflix. There are times when we can’t find anything of interest to watch and other times we find some of the best programs we’ve ever seen.
One of the best programs is a Netflix original documentary David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet in which the iconic broadcaster recounts the 93 years of his life as he watched the degradation of the planet over his lifetime. As always there are many clips of gorgeous footage of the natural world. But by the end of the documentary, Larry and I could see through our own eyes how rapidly the planet has been being destroyed even in our own lifetimes of 65 years.
Attenborough established without question that the cause of this degradation is the industrial lifestyle and production methods of industrialization. He makes the case for Lifely very clearly.
The film opens with scenes from Chernobyl, empty buildings completely evacuated thirty years ago when the nearby nuclear plant malfunctions. It is still empty of human life today. But at the end of the film, he shows us that nature has now taken over the site with forests of trees. It is a sanctuary for animals rarely found elsewhere. No humans, but nature has reclaimed the site for itself. Nature lives on, even where we have made the land uninhabitable for ourselves. Nature continuously heals, restores, and continues. We could do that too if we would remember that we, too, are Nature as much as any other species.
Here’s what Attenborough says at the end:
We need to learn to work with nature rather than against it.
Nature is our biggest ally and our greatest inspiration. We just have to do what Nature has always done. It worked out the secret of life long ago.
In the world a species can only thrive when everything else around it thrives too.
We can solve the problems we now face by embracing this reality.
If we take care of Nature, Nature will take care of us.
It’s now time for our species to establish a life in balance with nature. To start to thrive.
We’re completing a journey. Ten thousand years ago as hunter gatherers we lived a sustainable life because that was the only option. All these years later, it’s once again the only option.
We need to rediscover how to be sustainable. To move from being apart from nature to being a part of nature once again.
If we can change the way we live on Earth, an alternative future comes into view. We will finally learn how to live with nature rather than against it.
This is not about saving our planet, it’s about saving ourselves...with or without us, the natural world will rebuild. However grave our mistakes, nature will ultimately overcome them. The living world will endure. We humans cannot presume the same.
We’ve come this far because we are the smartest creatures that have ever lived. But to continue we require more than intelligence. We require wisdom.
There are many differences between humans and the rest of the species on Earth, but we alone are able to imagine the future. For a long time I—and perhaps you—have dreaded that future. But it’s now becoming apparent that it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s a chance for us to make amends, to complete our journey of development, manage our impact and once again become a species in balance with nature. All we need is the will to do so.
We now have the opportunity to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the rich, healthy and wonderful world we inherited. Just imagine that.
We, of course, are in agreement with all of this…except for one thing.
Many of the solutions he gives are still very technical and industrial, rather than envisioning a human future based in the ways of Life. He still speaks from the context of humans being separate from nature, even though he knows we are a species of Nature just as a whale and a butterfly are species.
We hold that humans can sustain the entirely of Nature (including ourselves) by living according to the laws of Life. And we think David Attenborough would agree with us.
See more about the the film and how we can reverse the destruction at David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet