Some of you may not know this, but I have three clauses written into my contract here:
1. ABC (Always Be Communist)
2. ADS (Always Disagree with Seth)
3. ACA (Always Cover Attenborough).
Okay maybe not always (because what does that even mean), but a lot.
…Aaaaaaand one more. There we go.
Anyway happy days: After his previous work, Dynasties aired last year, it’s time for another Attenborough documentary. Produced by the same team behind the pioneering Planet Earth and Blue Planet series, the upcoming eight-part documentary is called Our Planet, and it will be premiering not on Attenborough’s usual BBC home, but on Netflix. As the somewhat affectionate name may imply, Our Planet will be following in the footsteps of Blue Planet II, which took on a more explicitly conservationist tone, placing its portrait of the earth’s oceans in the context of the increasingly damaging effects of humanity’s presence on them. Filmed over four years in fifty different countries, Our Planet was made in collaboration with conservation charity WWF and it aims to continue to walk the line between documenting the breathtaking and miraculous beauty of our lonely home, and charting the immeasurably destructive effects that the industrial capitalism-marked late anthropocene has had on it.
Indeed while a lot of the coverage of human-made climate change focuses on the terrible effects that it has had, and will have, on humanity—and rightly so—what’s sometimes de-emphasised is the apocalyptic consequences for the other forms of life that have the misfortune to share this planet with us.
Humanity has wiped out 60% of animals since 1970, major report finds https://t.co/7moni8x7Kh— The Guardian (@guardian) 30 October 2018
It’s the urgency of delivering this message that led Attenborough to partner with Netflix. According to the Radio Times:
“This is a communication challenge rather than a scientific one,” [Attenborough] said. “We need to make it easy for the world to understand the issues and to enable an increasingly global population to connect with nature and feel a shared responsibility for it.
“For years ago I heard of the ambition of the Our Planet project, and the creators’ hopes to engage hundreds of millions of people with exactly this story,” he added.
“The project assembled some of the world’s best filmmakers and conservationists to create a landmark series to stream on Netflix, thereby instantly reaching an audience of hundreds of millions of people across the world at the same time.”
The challenge of climate change is a three-pronged one: Politics, science, and communication are all vital factors that need to be addressed if we and our cohabitants are to make it through to dawn. So while I don’t agree with ol’ Davey’s common assessment that overpopulation is primarily to blame for climate change—that’s a cheap fash excuse; there are more than enough resources for everyone, the key is distribution and allocation (looking at you again, capitalism)—I am really glad that he is making these docs to raise global awareness of the planet’s number one issue. In fact any nature documentary made now that doesn’t make climate change a central feature is criminally negligent. Any documentary on anything, actually. Football, matchsticks, bellybutton fluff. Whatever.
Check out the trailer for Our Planet below. It arrives on Netlix on April 6th.
(And by the way, that little posh boy overlord there in the header pic on the right? That’s Prince Charles. That’s how long the legend that is Attenborough has been about.)
Header Image Source: Getty Images