Unlike the commodities in which they deal – fresh water, clean air, icebergs, habitable land, glaciers – there is no dearth of climate change documentaries streaming on Netflix. Brave Blue World: Racing to Solve Our Water Crisis adopts the superstar approach to taking action, with Matt Damon and Jaden Smith joining narrator Liam Neeson and assorted engineers, inventors and philanthropists in highlighting a still largely ignored emergency that affects us all, not just “the poorest people on Earth”. Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet sees Sir David Attenborough upfront in the company of professor of environmental science Johan Rockström. Apparently, there is still a chance of a reasonably bright future for “the modern world as we know it”, even though our own geological time period – the Anthropocene – is nothing to be proud of, its name indicating that climate change is being driven (disastrously) by human action. As another eminent scientist puts it: we’re contemplating “a Mad Max future”. One hundred million sharks – those killed by us annually – don’t need reminding how we are obliterating marine life. But we do; and the deplorable truth can be found in Seaspiracy , which notes that “stopping shark’s fin soup is only half the picture” because it’s merely an Asian, not a global, calamity. And “shark’s fin city” – Hong Kong – provides plenty of evidence when the plucky documentarians begin filming undercover. Sustainability shows are easy to find. Unlike documentaries that confront this fact: every impending planetary catastrophe stems from human overpopulation. You heard it here first. Nature is metal (and stinky) It measures a metre (3.2 feet) across, has “teeth”, is a parasite and stinks of death. And it is one of the bill-toppers in the first instalment of the BBC’s latest wow-factor wildlife series, The Green Planet (BBC Earth, via Cable TV channel 721, myTV Super 401 and Now TV 220). The Rafflesia, one species of which has the world’s biggest flower, was named after Singapore’s favourite son, Stamford Raffles. It hangs around in the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo – and in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines – doing nothing very much for five years. Then, as Attenborough tells us here, it blooms briefly, releasing the odour that inspired its other name: the corpse flower. Attracted by the apparent smell of rotting flesh, carrion flies dive into the plant, then inadvertently pollinate this botanical monster: just one example of natural-world symbiosis, filmed in astonishing detail, in a wildlife series with a difference, having been produced from a plant’s-eye world view, not that of animals. And the plants’ is a world shown to be aggressive, dynamic and competitive, as well as functioning as the thermostat that regulates ecosystems. A “wow” dimension is par for the course for every landmark documentary from the BBC’s celebrated Natural History Unit, but this one, four years in the making, is also remarkable for the innovative technology employed to realise its five, globe-spanning episodes: Tropical Worlds, Water Worlds, Seasonal Worlds, Human Worlds and Desert Worlds. From the shadow of Mount Kinabalu, cuddly Sir David takes us elsewhere in the Malay Archipelago to climb (via some vertiginous drone ascents) the tropics’ tallest trees, consider the beauty of the seven-hour flower and ponder the transactions between flora and birds, bats, insects, reptiles and pigs – whose Hong Kong cousins are being exterminated – that help sustain life on Earth. A motion-controlled, time-lapse robotic camera named the Triffid is revealed as the conduit through which many of the unique sequences in the series were captured. As governments continue to foist upon us their various climate change cop-outs, the importance of such innovative equipment becomes obvious. It shows us more clearly than ever what we are so complacently destroying.