State of the Planet [BBC DVD]

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The confusion about the state of our planet; with talk of rainforest destruction, global warming, extinction of species, rising sea levels and drought.


Overpopulation and overconsumption create very considerable problems which in turn lead to the destruction of the planet. The series examines these 5 problems and what we can do to avoid disaster.


Pollution can be local or widespread. Substances dumped into a river will often end up in the sea. The biggest pollution problem is global warming. This happens when greenhouse gases, such as CO2 are released into the atmosphere, trapping heat and causing the planet to warm up. Since species are adapted to particular climates, when the Earth warms up they have to move to keep comfortable. This can be difficult if natural habitats are isolated by human settlements and agriculture.

Habitat Loss

Every living thing needs a place to live, find food, and reproduce. When we take over natural areas for our own use, we take away those areas for other living creatures. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to the natural world. We are taking over habitat at an alarming rate to provide ourselves with homes and agriculture as well as resources from forests, and other natural areas.

Introduced Species

When new species are introduced to places where they have never existed naturally, they can sometimes cause a real problem for native wildlife. Not only can they affect local species by competing with them for food and resources, or even eating the natives, but they can also be very damaging to crops, people's homes and even cause diseases.

Over Harvesting

All living things need resources to survive, whether for food or to provide shelter. Humans are just extremely efficient at getting hold of them. One third of the world's resources have been used up in the last 30 years. One calculation estimates that in 50 years' time, we will need another planet Earth to sustain the world's population if it keeps using resources the way it does today. But people in countries such as America, Japan, and in Europe can use up to 30 times the amount of resources as people from poor countries. We simply catch too many fish, use too much wood and waste too much fresh water.


This is the breaking up of large natural places into smaller fragments or islands of habitat. National parks and nature reserves are some examples. Just as your own back garden is too small for a population of tigers to survive, small areas of habitat cannot hold the same number of species that large ones can. Many of the world's nature reserves could lose their plants and animals gradually over time if they are too small.


The series won the Special Jury Award, Jackson Hall in 2003 and was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award in 2001.

The three episodes of this BBC TV series are presented in a box set of 2 DVD discs.

See the list of episodes and other details under Additional information.

Read full description of the series and its episodes at the BBC web site.

This movie comes from our personal collection and only one piece is available

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David Attenborough (writer and narrator)


Colour, PAL

Main soundtrack

English or Greek (selectable)
Dolby Digital 2.0


OFF or Greek (selectable)


Region 1  Region 2  Region 3  Region 4  Region 5  Region 6

Aspect ratio


Number of discs





2 Entertain Video

Release date

27 September 2004 in the UK

Run time

147 minutes (2 hours 27 mins)



List of episodes

Episode 1: Is There a Crisis?

The most striking feature of planet Earth is the existence of life, and the most striking feature of life is its richness and variety. From the depths of the oceans to the tops of rainforest canopies, from the African savannas to the soil under our feet, David Attenborough revealed to us the extent of this living bounty. The latest researchs show that this variety of life is threatened with destruction by human activities. Will we destroy, as is being predicted, up to 50% of all species on the planet in this present century, and will that tragedy really matter to us, or our children and grandchildren?

Episode 2: Why Is There a Crisis?

Extinction is a natural process, and five times in the history of life it has happened on a huge scale. The dinosaurs were wiped out by a massive meteor strike that also killed off much of life on Earth. Human activities are beginning to cause a present day mass-extinction that is happening at unprecedented speed. How can we prevent this from happening? David Attenborough investigated which human activities are the most damaging to the natural world, in an attempt to understand how we can prevent this crisis from unfolding.

Episode 3: The Future of Life

How the human species treats the planet over the next one hundred years will determine the future of all life on Earth. We stand to lose up to 50% per cent of species on the planet if we continue using global resources at the current rate. At this crucial point in human history we can still choose whether future generations inhabit a healthy, diverse planet, or a seriously impoverished one. In the final film of this trilogy, David Attenborough looked for hope and solutions.



  • SKU: MOV-DOC-NAT-1007

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