At the start of this "anguished think piece", the naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham offers his "desperate thoughts about the climate crisis", said Jack Seale in The Guardian. As he speaks, his words are accompanied by the "unforgettable sight" of his face being slowly smothered in "thick, black crude oil" – an appropriate opening to a film that grapples with "profound" questions about how we should be living our lives, now that "the climate apocalypse is here".
With "fires and floods around the world", Packham confesses that he has lost faith in the political system to prevent a catastrophe, and wonders if "radical" activism is now necessary and justified: his interviewees include Andreas Malm, the Swedish author of "How to Blow Up a Pipeline". After all, he reminds us, Nelson Mandela and Emmeline Pankhurst "did not confine themselves to merely asking for change nicely".
Is Packham "dangerous or naive", wondered Anita Singh in The Daily Telegraph. Either way, the "Springwatch" presenter is certainly ignoring the BBC directive that its stars should be cautious about "expressing political opinions" (this show is on Channel 4). Clearly, Packham himself is torn, said Barbara Ellen in The Observer. I, however, remain convinced that he should not "turn to lawbreaking". Like David Attenborough, Packham is in a "uniquely persuasive" position as a mainstream broadcaster to advocate on behalf of the environment. "Surely, to risk losing that influence, that voice, would be hugely counterproductive?"
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Sign up to the Arts & Life newsletter for reviews and recommendations
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.