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David Attenborough’s Netflix film is both distressing, hopeful

David AttenboroughBritish broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough has spent his life bringing the wonders of nature and wildlife to TV audiences. His new documentary, “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,” currently available on Netflix, is what the 94-year-old calls his “witness statement.” It’s an unflinching look at the mess humanity has created — melting ice caps and permafrost, the destruction of rainforests, overfishing, and the like.

The film features stunning footage of wildlife, including hornbills, hummingbirds, manakins, penguins, wildebeest, tigers, great schools of fish, and more. We also see sad scenes of wildlife struggling after their habitats have been destroyed.

Attenborough’s point is to show the distressing truth, but he doesn’t leave it there. He concludes with reasons for hope — renewable energy, farming methods that use less land, slowing human population growth, and others — that could make sustainability humanity’s way forward.

See for tips on hosting screenings at schools or other venues and for advice on how workplaces can get involved in defending nature.

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