Review: ‘A Life on Our Planet’

A Journey Through Time and Hope

‘A Life on Our Planet’ – David Attenborough

This is one of my all time favourite books, by one of my all time favourite people!

Image of the book A Life on Our Planet The first section chronicles Attenborough’s unusual life, decade by decade (from the 1930s to the 2020s), set against the increasing world population and wilderness loss. This first half of the book, while fascinating, may seem bleak to some readers. If you feel unready to tackle this uneasy reality, I recommend starting with ‘Part 3 A Vision for the Future’ and returning to the beginning after you have read about all the positive action already taking place and how we can fix the damage mankind has done to our planet.

You’ll learn about ‘Planetary Boundaries’ and their ‘Tipping Points’ and hopefully be motivated to help address them where you can. It offers up-to-date statistics and research-based practical actions to take while also providing hope for the future.

‘Today…whales have increased in numbers not seen in living memory.’ Mountain Gorilla numbers dropped to less than 300 in the 1970s, but now exceed 1000.’ 

The Sunday Times advises, ‘Read this book to learn, but also to honour the man. We shall never see his like again.’ While I don’t agree with the later part, I have no doubt that many more influential and pioneering individuals will reach us on these valuable topics, I do agree with the former, ‘Read this book…to honour the man.’ David Attenborough has sharpened the understanding of generations and reached far into the homes of the world, I am grateful for all he has offered us and will be very sad when we loose him as we inevitably will.

‘In my lifetime I have witnessed a terrible decline, in yours, you could and should, witness a wonderful recovery.’

It’s a beautiful and inclusive book and I highly recommend it.

‘We must learn not only to live within the Earth’s finite resources, but also how to share them more evenly too. … We must not give up hope.’ We must ‘once again become a species in harmony with nature’.