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

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

In A Life on Our Planet David Attenborough takes us through the changes that have occurred to the natural environment in the 94 years he's spent on this world.

He starts the "Witness Statement" part of the book when he was 11 years old and exploring nature around his home in Leicester, England. At that time the number of humans on the planet was 2.3 billion, and 66% of the planet was considered wilderness.

Today there are 7.9 billion people on the planet and it's estimated that only 23% of the earth's landmass can still be considered wild. As someone who has dedicated a large part of his 94 years to helping humans understand the natural world, Attenborough has been a direct witness to many of the changes behind those numbers. He lays out many of those changes as he takes us through his own story. Most have not been good for the planet.

While this book is pretty stark about the seriousness of the issues we as humans have created, and the potential for climate disaster that faces us, Attenborough himself remains hopeful. In the second part of the book he lays out his "Vision for the Future", which includes some steps that are already underway. There is a lot of ground covered in this section, with a lot to think about, and a lot of concepts and buzzwords to understand - there is a helpful glossary at the end. Yet it's written in a straightforward and easily digestible way. And of course, if you listen to the audiobook, it's conveyed in Attenborough's famously soothing voice.

After reading this book I can see why it was Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Science & Technology Book of the Year. I rate A Life On Our Planet 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I really liked this book and was glad I read it. I learned a lot from it. I recommend it.

A Life on Our Planet links

Borrow it: Find out if your library has the ebook or audiobook available
Buy it New:  Buy this book new on AmazonBarnes & Noble or  Books-A-Million 
Buy it Used: Buy this book used on AbeBooksPowells or ThriftBooks 
Support Indie Bookstores:  Buy this book directly from or find an Independent Bookstore near you.