The primatologist and eco-activist explains that humans are not the cause of climate change and why optimism is encouraged.
Jane Goodall is a primatologist who is recognized as one of the world’s leading chimpanzee officials.
She has spent 60 years researching the chimpanzees living in Gombe Stream National Park, and is a leading advocate working to preserve the great apes and their habitats through many foundations.
For her efforts to preserve and restore the environment, she has won awards from the UN and various governments.
She stars in The Beginning of Life 2, a Netflix documentary. You warned last June that, unless we make drastic adjustments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis, mankind will be done. Have you seen any signs of dramatic changes like this? Closing the window.
Business as normal will not continue – the ever-accelerating use of natural resources.
We are also consuming resources faster in certain instances than they can be replenished.
And there are implications we can see.
Look at the evolving world.
In the future, this is not something that may happen; we are still witnessing terrible hurricanes, flooding and fires.
This adds up to an inferno. When you think that way globally, it’s very, very depressing…. Do you feel that expectations have changed or that the pandemic has generated a sense of urgency? The most important lesson from this pandemic is that we need a new link with animals and with nature. The conditions for zoonotic illnesses to occur are created by our disrespect for animals. In factory farms, bushmeat and wildlife markets and the illicit trade in wildlife, the same disrespect is evident.
Around 75% of all human diseases that are arising are zoonotic. What more needs to be done? We need to shift to a partnership with the natural environment that is more sustainable. We need an economy that’s greener.
That will generate a lot of jobs if countries switch away from fossil fuels and subsidize renewable, green energy.
There are tremendous benefits to planting trees in a community – it cools the temperature, filters the air, stabilizes the soil against floods, and, to name a few, enhances mental and physical health. We need to minimize waste as well.
During the war, I grew up when food was rationed and you couldn’t throw away anything. Like indigenous people do, we need to respect food more. Do you think that policymakers and the public are focused enough on this challenge? As the harm peaks, visibility is increasing as well.
But concentrating solely on the issues doesn’t help. Yes, it is important for the media to point out the harm we are doing.
But all the amazing rehabilitation services taking place across the world should be given more space – it brings hope to people and they will be more likely to contribute.
If you’re losing hope, then why bother? Where are you willing to find a reason to hope? Shift is occurring.
Wind and solar power was turned to millions of people, cleaning up lakes or picking up garbage.
Consumers are changing the way businesses do business.
I keep meeting amazing people who are doing great projects to help biodiversity rebound.
A lot of them in China. There are a lot of different ways to move in the right direction.What about at the national and international level? The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report found that the international community has not fully met any of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed in Japan in 2010 to slow the loss of nature.
Can we expect anything better at the next big UN biodiversity meeting in Kunming, China, next year? To be honest, all I’ve seen is more decision makers talking about change and making plans, but not doing enough to implement them.
There is so much talk and so little action at these big meetings.
But now we’re seeing more action from youth.
Kids are standing up and influencing their parents, business leaders and politicians. You and David Attenborough both seem more active than ever.
But has your approach changed? In the past, you’ve focused more on individual responsibility.
Is it time now for something more radical, for a change in the system? I think we need many different approaches. E