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A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future Hardcover – October 6, 2020
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From the Publisher
A Life On Our Planet
“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.
About the Author
Jonnie Hughes is a science writer and documentary director, who has produced science and natural history films for the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, and Netflix, as well as working on BAFTA award-winning BBC series The Hunt and the Emmy award-winning production Our Planet. He is the author of On the Origin of Tepees, and his writing has appeared in The Times, The Guardian,The Independent, BBC Wildlife Magazine,and Geographical, among others.
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing (October 6, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1538719983
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538719985
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.88 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #14,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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While there are those who say that he is an alarmist, no serious scientist contests that this description of natural history is largely correct. And so, the controversy comes down to what measures must be taken to halt this more and more pressing situation.
Attenborough’s solution is for a sea change in public attitudes. Such an approach shouldn’t be mocked: witness the change in attitudes to human slavery in the nineteenth century. But it would take a sea change to accept, for example, his proposal for zero economic growth as the new normal.
Otherwise, the suggestions are mostly the large scale implementation of successful scientific experiments already in place. He tends to sugarcoat these by saying that they will benefit both humankind and the rest of nature. But the book is more intended to change attitudes and bring about awareness than set forth a blueprint for action.
As a fan of the documentaries I was predisposed to like this work. Everyone, however, will acknowledge that Attenborough, by working on BBC nature shows since the 1950s, has a privileged position with which to view the dewilding and subsequent loss of biodiversity on Earth. Thus, while it is certainly recommended to fans, newcomers who want to go beyond the trivial and tired question of “What to do about the environment” will also find that it opens a prescient perspective on the panoply of life that share the planet Earth.
I'm so glad I read this book but when I think of the tens of millions of people who will ignore and could care less about his clearly stated facts...I shudder for our planet Earth and all the magnificent creatures who will perish because of our unwillingness to change our behavior!
Note: if you don't like a very small font, then this book is not for you because the font - at least for the hardcover book - is tiny.
Top reviews from other countries
I received the book yesterday and have been so engrossed by the content that I have already finished it.
To me the book felt like the right length; it went through what the problems are in clear language, and what the solutions are. The images and pictures were also nice little breathers as you are reading the book.
The evidence and predictions of what could happen if nothing changes is horrifying, but the solutions do give hope for the future, if they are implemented.
I hope that politicians everywhere are given a copy of this book and read it.
David Attenborough is quite rightly a hero to many people, myself included. It is amazing that he is 94 years old and still fighting hard to save the natural world, with this book and the related film his latest brilliant efforts.
He is an inspiration to us all and this book should be read by anyone that is a human and lives on planet earth!
The book covers various aspects of how things used to be and have changed over the years. It covers sections on how we've extracted more and more from our surroundings over the decades to the current unsustainable levels.
I found the potential future options interesting to read because it outlines how the rest of our (and our kids) lives will be affected over the next 10-80 years or so.
It seems to also highlight how much our governments, banks and big corporations roles play into the state of our planet, how much we need them to change so that our individual choices can actually make a significant difference.
Like his Netflix program (and others), this is part of a new, and much needed trend of highlighting the issues we face as a result of our greed and consequent destruction of the Earths natural ecosystems. Along with 'Game Changers' & 'The Minimalists', it shows a shift in thought and an ever-increasing acceptance of the problems we have caused, and will hopefully drive the change we need.
Personally, it's been refreshing to discuss the issues in the book with my 'normal' friends, showing that a new audience is being reached. Unlike the road-blocking XR 'crusties' who continuously make environmentalism unappealing to the general public, Attenborough delivers his message with the typical grace that has made him a household name.
I've given the book 4/5 purely because of the 'price-to-length' ratio. It is not a long read. Also, if you are already well versed in geography/environmental issues, you won't learn anything new. Either way, an important book, and a good read.