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A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future

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Right on the other side of this debate, in groups that are radical in their fight against climate change, I kept coming across people that really disliked Attenborough because he knew all this about what was happening, and he wasn't even vegan, and that he was part of the problem as he had taken so many flights in his life. This book is released when Attenborough is 93 years old, and it is still up to the standards one expects from him. When humankind as a whole is in a position to give back to nature at least as much as we take, and repay some of our debt, we will all be able to lead more balanced lives. Their sight, their hearing, their sense of smell are so similar to ours that they see the world in much the same way as we do.

This book is his “sum up” or “witness statement” of all that he has experienced and learned over his 90+ years. Vor allem der zweite Teil ist absolut niederschmetternd und hatte mich schon am Punkt der Verzweiflung. He's been doing this for so long that he probably could have written a whole book on that subject alone, and it would have been a great read, but it is also his witness statement on what is happening with our planet, and he is in a good position to give evidence on that as he has seen so many thing through his work. He does not have much to say about disinformation campaigns, vested interests, or free-market fundamentalism. Love his voice and these dire warnings sure make one aware of how much we have destroyed and where exactly we are going if things don't start changing soon.

We learn of his early fascination with fossils and thus learn some details about ammonites, their significance for natural history.

Wild boars, deers and other species also recovered, triggering a chain reaction that resulted in foxes, badgers and even lynxes being seen frequently again. Attenborough emphasizes that there’s no room for continued growth - population, GDP, consumption — on a closed-system planet worth limited resources. Partly this is because, with his characteristic grace, Attenborough manages to tiptoe around politics. The book is divided into three parts: My Witness Statement, What Lies Ahead, and A Vision for the Future. We can prevent over-fishing by only permitting the practice in certain parts of the ocean, leaving others undisturbed to recover their populatioins.Bryan Appleyard of The Times found that Attenborough's "special pleading is fair and should be noted by other eco-warriors" and recommended the book both "to learn" and "to honour the man". Earth will persist, life will recover in one form or another — we, after all, only had a chance to thrive because the world of dinosaurs got extinguished, benefitting from that horror in the world — but that post-extinction planet will not only lose its current ever-declining biodiversity but will likely not be a friendly place for us, humans, to continue (well, other than those few super-rich who can find resources to get through everything, leaving those less fortunate to burn). A former FBI hostage negotiator offers a new, field-tested approach to negotiating - effective in any situation.

There's a predictable progression in which growth is initially slow to occur as the bacteria assess the available resources, and then there's explosive growth from the high number of births.The last part of the book gives an outlook on what lies ahead in the decades from 2030 to 2100 (if we do nothing or if we do certain things). It is so comforting to us that even in its lack and/or absence, we often find ourselves delving into it. I have come to rely on Attenborough for his insights into nature and his identification of factors that are critical to our planet’s health and diversity.

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