Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 41 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/6/20

Attenborough's Film is a Must Watch... But...

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   6 comments
Message Four Arrows
Become a Fan
  (12 fans)

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet | Official Trailer | Netflix In this unique feature documentary, titled David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, the celebrated naturalist reflects upon both the defining moments of his ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Netflix)
  Details   DMCA

Just now, I watched on Netflix the first showing of David Attenborough's documentary, A Life on this Planet. I cherish this remarkable man and his history. At 93, he is staying on course with his advocacy for biodiversity. In the film trailer, they repeat something he says near the end of it: "If we act now, we can put it right." In the film, he lists ways to make it right. Nothing new, mind you, but he always has a way to inspire. For example, he recommends more "No-Take-Zones" in the oceans. Of course, he was right on. Our world's oceans have less than ┬Ż of one percent in such zones. This is why six years ago, I raised money on Kickstarter to start the first "No Take Zone" on Mexico's Pacific Coast. (Just Google "Four Arrows Marine Park"). I was inspired by Cabo Pulmo's NTZ's amazing success, that National Geographic called the "Baja Miracle." Unfortunately, we are still under one percent today. And the Baja miracle is now being threatened.

I have always been a big fan of Attenborough. I loved his frank depiction of reality, his evident sincerity, and his clear solutions. However, his presentation convinced me all the more that our extinction is probable within a few generations. I think he agrees, but his words conveyed what I consider to be a false hope. He clearly said if we do not change immediately, we are doomed. However, at the same time he conveyed hopefulness. Moreover, he made no mention of the role our dominant worldview plays, entranced by fear, authority, greed, corruption, and anthropocentrism. There was no mention of religions and institutions that contain such colonial precepts.

I highly recommend everyone watch this important documentary, but to do so with the worldview chart below handy. Stop the film and ask yourself which ones have to change from the left side to the right side of the chart to make possible what he insists we do. Note when Attenborough's language supports the dominant worldview and seems contrary to the Indigenous one - a worldview the United Nation's Extinction Rate and Bio-Diversity Report says may be the only thing that can save us. For example, Attenborough says: "This is not about saving the planet, but saving ourselves." And, "No doubt we are the smartest of all species"" It has to be about saving all life on earth and it must realize we are far from the smartest.

Without a decolonized, indigenized worldview that re-embraces the interrelated precepts in the chart below, we will likely continue with our anthropocentric, materialistic, selfish, competitive, patriarchal destruction.

I say "likely" because I do not know that we are doomed this time around. Many unknowns are possible, perhaps. But the evidence is not supportive. We must proceed doing what Attenburough is doing and walking with passion and caring the high road for all the right reasons, in spite of the probability we may not survive, and our children will inherit a horrible situation. Only when we can do the things being recommended without hope and with a fearless trust in the universe and a belief in the continuance of our Spirit, can we persist walking in balance. Perhaps it will take lifetimes.Of course, Attenburough and Netflix had to give hope. The frailty of too many people might prove calamitous if he said instead, "Even if we act now, it is most probably too late. However, we must be good ancestors." We should not assume people are too frail.

The Lakota Medicine Man, Sitting Bull, had no illusions that his world was all but gone when he led his people as best he could. During the great tragedy surrounding him, he was more committed than ever to the truth, love, compassion, healing, complementarity, joy, art, nature, fearlessness, patience, and resistance. His concern was the "relative" well-being of his living people. I say "relative" because he knew an Indian would not thrive; they were about to enter. Such knowledge did not change the mandate to continue living according to our highest selves.

Margaret Wheatley describes such a perspective in a poem. She writes: "I am not interested in being hopeful or optimistic or working diligently to reverse the path of history... I am interested in being able to stay in the midst of this terrible tragedy that degrades the human Spirit or denies we have one." To know that "there is a probable chance" that our world will suffer a sixth mass extinction and still do the work, has advantages over having improbable hope.

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Four Arrows Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) is a professor at Fielding Graduate University. Former Director of Education at Oglala Lakota College, he is a made-relative of the Oglala and a Sun Dancer. Selected by AERO for their text Turning Points as one of 27 (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump's DAPL Memorandum: The End of Rule of Law?

Suspending Environmental Regulations Proves the Insanity of our Dominant Worldview and the Logic that Supports it

What Everyone is Missing".Again (Going "viral" is not sufficient)

Worldview Reflection and Coming to Terms with a Terminal Prognosis for Civilization

Shootings on Backwater Bridge

Utilizing Indigenous Thought to Cope in the Age of Trump

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend