With the coronavirus pandemic raging and political unrest in our cities, it’s easy to forget the other pandemic that affects every atom of planet Earth. But one person refuses to let us forget. For decades, naturalist Sir David Attenborough has been making documentary films, showing the natural wonders he loves and honors. He thought that if he showed all that glorious and mysterious diversity, surely everyone would work with environmentalists to stop the devastation of natural systems—from glaciers to gorillas, from birds to bugs to butterflies, from land and water, to the very air we breathe. Now, at age 94, David Attenborough admits, with deep regret, that his lifelong project has failed to stop or even slow the degradation. In his most recent film, “Life on Planet Earth,” he bears witness to what he calls the worst mistake humans have ever made. He calls out warnings but refuses to lose hope that all of us, working together, can halt the devastation of our only home. Beginning today, let this be our firm resolve.
By Mara Faulkner, OSB