A review by oleksandr
A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, by David Attenborough


This is a part autobiography and part biography of our planet as well as a prediction/warning of things to come. I read is as a part of monthly reading for March 2021 at Non Fiction Book Club group. The book won Goodreads Choice Award for Science & Technology in 2020.

There are two parts: in the Part I the author, whom a lot of TV watchers around the globe know as a person, who wanders across our planet and shows all the beauty of it, tells about his career at BBC, their initial documentaries including ones on a wild life. As a background he gives a list statistics for a given year (Population, Carbon in atmosphere and Remaining wilderness) from 1937, when he was born to 2019 as well as major steps in awareness about a fragility of our world, e.g. the first TV translation of the Earth image from Apollo 8 or a united action to stop whale hunting.

In the Part II he shows how this or that environment or species are deteriorated / in danger and more importantly describes what is suggested or already done to improve the situation. While most of the projects can be read elsewhere, he has a great way of depicting them with words. Alas, in promoting some solutions, he doesn’t dwell on their downsides. Some of the topics:
- Replacement of meat, esp. beef to lower pollution
- Restoration of forests as carbon binding tech, with importance of diversity
- Shift from economy of growth to sustainable development
- Ocean forestry, overfishing, creating of no-fishing zones with examples of past successes
- Rewilding of territories, with several examples
A nice overview of both problems and solutions, touching and not very technical.