State of the Planet

Over three programmes David Attenborough travels from Kenya to California to investigate the contesting claims about the current state of our planet. In the first programme he examines the extinction crisis, measuring the disappearance of some species against the mass of life that still remains undiscovered. Then the crisis is explored further by looking at the root causes, where finally, the last programme asks: What are the possible courses of action open to us to sustain the future of life?


Together with leading experts, David Attenborough examines the latest scientific evidence in order to discover if the planet’s ecosystems are really in crisis. If so, he asks how it could have come about, and what is so different now that prevents certain species from adapting to survive, as they did in the past?

This second programme presents some stark facts. Industrial civilisation is triggering a mass extinction on a similar scale to that which wiped out the dinosaurs, but at an unprecedented rate. This programme investigates the five main activities of mankind that are the most likely contributory factors: habitat loss, introduced species, pollution, over-harvesting and islandisation.

As Homo sapiens relentlessly encroaches on the natural world and its inhabitants, the viewer is presented with a choice: leave behind a flourishing planet or a dying one…