BBC’s ‘most formidable environmental sequence but’ seems extra like a journey jolly

It doesn’t take lengthy to establish the primary downside with Our Changing Planet (BBC One), the newest sequence from the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

It begins within the incorrect place. The programme needs to point out us how local weather change and human behaviour are having a disastrous impact on the planet, in a undertaking lasting seven years. But it begins in 12 months one. We’re launched to the problems – dying coral reefs within the Maldives, retreating glaciers in Iceland, industrialisation in Cambodia – and instructed that the presenters might be offering us with updates over the following seven years.

But if the thought was to jolt us into altering our behaviour, and to current us with the horrors of environmental injury, wouldn’t it have been higher to chart the decline over the previous seven years and present us the horrible outcomes, in order that we act now?

Television documentaries of this sort are powered by hanging imagery. Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II introduced consideration to plastic air pollution by displaying us surprising footage of its results on wildlife.

Our Changing Planet, regardless of one of the best of intentions, merely doesn’t seize this. Chris Packham, one of many presenters, inadvertently nailed it with a comment made whereas he stood beneath a melting glacier in Iceland. “We read a lot about the impacts of climate change but it’s only when you stand here, dripping wet, listening to that cascading water, that it really hits home how urgent the issue is,” he mentioned. But no matter he was experiencing whereas standing there wasn’t conveyed by the display screen.

The BBC calls this “the most ambitious environmental series” it has ever commissioned, although I’m undecided concerning the foundation for that declare. It definitely has essentially the most presenters: Packham is joined by Steve Backshall within the Maldives (good work if you will get it, and so on), Liz Bonnin in California, Ade Adepitan in Kenya, Gordon Buchanan in Brazil and Ella Al-Shamahi in Cambodia.

Packham brings a seriousness to proceedings, however Backshall – though I’m certain he’s solely dedicated to the present’s environmental function, and I’m a giant fan of his Deadly 60 present for youths – has a pure enthusiasm which suggests he can’t assist behaving as if he’s on a very nice vacation.

The present is informative. I realized concerning the feeding and reproductive habits of manta rays, the size of poaching within the Cambodian rainforest, and the modifications that hydroelectric dams are wreaking on the Mekong River. But the sense of urgency was lacking.

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