Once, a night in with David Attenborough promised the TV equivalent of a warm blanket. It was a chance to watch spectacular creatures revelling in the beauty of their natural habitats, as the man with a voice as soothing as ice-cream described what we could see, from the violent to the serene. Those days are gone. Attenborough’s recent move to Netflix, for Our Planet, was deceptive: a seemingly gorgeous nature documentary that doubled up as animal kingdom snuff movies in which the beauty of those natural habitats was revealed as a crumbling paradise, ruined by people and particularly by greed. One of the main points of praise for Our Planet, which was well received, suggested that Attenborough was no longer tiptoeing around the issue of climate change, the implication being that he had done so before.
You sense that Our Planet was unfortunately timed for the BBC. In Climate Change: The Facts, the gloves are now not so much off as thrown to the floor in a certain rage. It’s right there in the title, bold and stark. This hour-long documentary, part of the Our Planet Matters season, is wide-ranging yet concise, easy to understand, not blighted by the ego of, say, An Inconvenient Truth, and it is designed to do for climate change denial what 2017’s Blue Planet did for single-use plastic.