Deforestation has to stop, notably the grim spectacle of rainforests being cleared to make way for cattle and oil palms. The ancient practice of silvopasture — animals grazing in woodland — should return and large predators should be reintroduced. The latter because of a phenomenon called the trophic cascade, in which top predators create a more stable ecosystem by altering the behaviour of creatures lower down the food chain. And so on.
Finally, even in Pripyat, there is hope. The town has been spectacularly rewilded, not by us, but by nature. It is covered in thick vegetation and there are populations of foxes, elk, deer, wild boar, bison, brown bear and racoon dogs. Not, of course, humans.
“We can yet make amends,” Attenborough says at the end of his troubled valedictory. That “yet” clearly signalling that, for him and the planet, time is short.
Read this book to learn, but also to honour the man. We shall never see his like again.