Clips of walruses throwing themselves off cliffs went viral as the new Netflix documentary Our Planet sparked the interest and conversation of millions. The documentary explores the complex interdependence among species that support ecosystems in seven vastly different biomes scattered around Earth. The point: to explore in high definition video how those delicate connections are breaking down and, often, on the verge of collapse.
The series is visually beautiful, and narrator David Attenborough explains, in his beautiful, breathy, and somehow Winnie the Pooh-like voice, how human activities—overfishing, poor forest stewardship, and carbon emissions, among others—are breaking down the vital processes that let life flourish. Among its many positive aspects, Our Planet brings a global, relatively apolitical perspective to a problem that in America has become ideologically tainted.
And unlike much climate change coverage, this documentary is not all doom and gloom. Much care is taken to show the resilience of nature and to provide a series of small suggestions that build on one another, giving viewers opportunities to minimize their impact on the environment.
Our Planet is a feast for the eyes, the ears, the brain, and the spirit.
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