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    Article: Dec 1, 2020
    Dr Jane Goodall recorded at a GreenLibDem fringe on 28 September 2020 during the Autumn LibDem Conference



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    Keith Melton: Okay well my computer is telling me that it's noon it's 12 o'clock we've got 50 minutes and there are 60 odd people and people are arriving fairly quickly. So I think we will start properly and formally. Really my pleasure is to be here and able to welcome Dr Jane Goodall for this session. We had the pleasure of her company in the meetings that we arranged over the summer for the Green Liberal Democrat conference and festival of green events, and when Jane was joining us on the 18th of June it was just the day that it was announced that she had been awarded the Tang prize in sustainable development. That's awarded every two years and is the sustainable development equivalent of a Nobel prize. In my introduction of Jane I will actually say what the tang prize was awarded for. it was awarded to Jane Goodall recognizing her groundbreaking discovery in primatology that redefines human / animal relationship and her lifelong unparalleled dedication to the conservation of earth's environment. So really introducing somebody who needs no introduction... I'm going to hand over to Jane for a talk, and then we will have questions in about half an hour. so without further ado Dr Jane Goodall, Jane over to you

    Dr Jane Goodall: Well thank you Keith and because probably many people have had a very busy morning and thinking about lunch and maybe a little bit weary.

    I'll start off by bringing into this conversation a voice from the animal kingdom who so often get left out.

    And so here is a distance greeting from the chimpanzees of Gombe

    That simply means: "this is me, this is Jane" and so I thought this was a good way to start.

    Well as we all know only too well right now we're in the, well still probably in the middle of a pandemic, a pandemic that has caused immense suffering, loss of life, loss of jobs, economic chaos around the planet. And the tragedy is that to a large extent we have brought this upon ourselves by an absolute disrespect of the environment and animals. We destroy habitats. This means that some animals get pushed into closer contact with people. And sometimes this can lead to an opportunity for a pathogen like a virus or a bacteria to jump from an animal to a person where it may form a new so-called zoonotic disease. And we hunt animals we kill them, we eat them we shoot mothers to take babies to sell them for training, for entertainment or as pets we traffic them. We send animals or their parts around the globe we send animals from different parts of the region or even different parts of the world to the wildlife markets in Asia the bush meat markets in Africa and also the international mostly illegal trade in pets of exotic animals.

    And in the wildlife markets of Asia it is thought that this pandemic began the conditions in which the animals are sold in these markets for food, for pets, for medicine, are usually horrific, very cruel, and it's a perfect opportunity for in this case the Covid-19 virus which was a virus hopping from an animal to a human forming this new Covid-19 disease, unfortunately for us very contagious and spreading around the world. But it's not just in Asia. HIV AIDS, that horror began with eating chimpanzee meat in the bush meat market in Africa. Mers began from domestic camels in the Middle East. And we must not forget the intensive farms where billions of animals are raised in horrific conditions for us to eat cows pigs, sheep and masses of poultry. And here again manynew diseases have started when a pathogen jumped from an animal to a person. And so what I want to say at this point is that I spent many many years studying chimpanzees. It was a dream come true, I dreamed of going to Africa and living with wild animals and writing books about them when I was ten. Had huge support from my mother who told me if I really wanted this I'd have to work really hard, and if I didn't give up it might come true, which is a message I've given to young people especially in disadvantaged communities all around the world. Because people laughed at me, how will you do that? You don't have money, Africa's far away, and you're just a girl. But thanks to my mother I hung on to that dream - it came true.

    Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives we share 98.6% of our DNA with them. In their behaviour; kissing, embracing holding hands, patting one another, they show empathy, they show altruism, they can be compassionate, sadly like us they have a dark side, they're capable of violence, brutality and even a kind of primitive war. It became very obvious after my first two years in the field that the differences between them and us were very small. At this point my mentor Louis Leakey famous palaeontologist told me I had to get a PhD, I hadn't been to college by the way, and he sent me off to Cambridge University where I was the eighth person in that University's history to get a PhD without a BA.

    So as I was nervous you can imagine my shock when the erudite professors told me I'd done everything wrong chimpanzees should have had numbers not names, and I couldn't talk about them having personality, mind or emotion, because those were unique to us. Fortunately when I was a child I had a wonderful teacher, and he here is my dog Rusty, he taught me that in this respect the professors were wrong. And because of my descriptions about the behaviour of chimpanzees my first husband Hugo van Lawick's film that took this behaviour onto people's screens around the world, and because of the increasing understanding of the biological similarity, science had to come out of this reductionist box and admit that we are not the only beings on this planet with personality, mind and emotion, and we are part of and not separated from the rest of the animal kingdom. So this opened the door to understanding better other animals, and we now know today that so many different animals and birds are sentient beings, they have feelings, sometimes similar to ours, of happiness sadness, they can all feel pain and fear. And so when I'm talking about the way we've treated these animals in the wildlife markets, shooting and hunting and killing them and the intensive farms, we're doing this to individual beings, it's not just a sea of animals out there, these are individual feelings animals with their own personality and just because an animal is being bred for food and in intensive farming, doesn't mean that it's not capable of fear and sadness, in fact we now know that pigs are as intelligent as dogs, more intelligent than some. And we're learning more and more about the amazing animals with whom we share this planet.

    Well, to go back to the pandemic: we shall emerge from this pandemic we always manage to, we came out of the black death and Spanish flu, but we are in the middle of, and we'll have to come to terms with the climate crisis which is a far greater threat to not only our future but the future of all life on earth.

    Before I was shut down in my home in Bournemouth from where I'm speaking to you now, I was travelling about 300 days a year all over the world, and I saw with my own eyes the effects of this climate change. I stood in Greenland and watched the ice cliff melting, great ice bergs crashing down into the ocean. This was where the Inuit elders I was with told me that even in the height of summer the ice used not to melt and this was early spring...

    I met people who'd had to leave their island homes because at high tide they were no longer habitable because of rising ocean levels I've talked to people whose homes have disappeared into the ocean. And we all know about the increased really bad hurricanes, the hurricane season this year in parts of the world is probably going to be the worst in history. The wildfires, last year Australia was devastated, losing homes, billions of animals dying and now these fires are raging throughout western united states I talked to a friend of mine there last night and he said it looks as though most of the vineyards in the great Napa valley where so much good wine comes from will be burned, and it's the same in France because of drought.

    So we see droughts, we see floods, and again this is due to our disrespect of the natural world. Does it make sense that we can have unlimited economic development globally on a planet with finite natural resources?

    Already we're using up, we're stealing those natural resources in some places faster than mother nature can restore them, and this is as a result of our making decisions based on the bottom line, always putting economic development, another shopping mall, another road another mine, another dam, at the expense of the protection of the environment. And mother nature is screaming for help right now, we look around and we see the destruction that we've wrought and it is shocking, it's painful, it keeps you awake at night. The main difference between us and other animals is this explosive development of our intellect and yes, animals are way way more intelligent than we used to think. Think what our intellect has enabled us to do it's nearly full moon, people take for granted now that people walked on the moon - but next time you look up at the sky just try and get that feeling of absolute awe that hit me when there was the first landing on the moon. Science fiction for me, when I grew up there wasn't even any television let alone computers and smartphones and just try and get that wow we put people on the moon, so how come this most intellectual creature is destroying its only home?

    I think we've lost something called wisdom, where we make decisions without thinking of the effect on the planet or on future generations. Travelling around the world I was meeting many people, including young people, who seem to have lost hope. The case is the same and worse today. I talked to the young people and asked them why they felt apathetic or angry or depressed.

    They said: Well you've compromised our future and there's nothing we can do about it. We have not just compromised their future, we've been stealing it, and we're still stealing it today, and there are people who plan to emerge from this pandemic not thinking about how can we establish a better relationship with the natural world and animals, but how can we get back to business as quickly as possible, business as usual. So these young people were right, except when they said there was nothing they could do, I thought that wasn't true, we still have a window of time, a window of time when if we get together around the world and try and make the right decisions it's not too late

    So I began a program called 'Roots and Shoots' in 1991 and began with 12 high school students in Tanzania where I did my chimp research (which is still going on by the way, it's our 60th anniversary of when I began in Gombe) and these students were concerned about different things happening around them. Some were worried about the illegal dynamite fishing that was destroying the coral reefs, some were angry that the government wasn't prosecuting the poachers killing animals in their national parks, some were worried about the street children with no homes, others were worried about the cruel treatment of stray dogs. And so I told them to get hold of their friends from these eight different schools, and we had a big meeting, and the roots and shoots program was born with its main message every individual makes some impact on the planet every single day and we can choose the kind of impact we make.

    What began with these 12 high school students is now in 65 countries and growing, it's a program of the Jane Goodall Institute, and here in the UK we have over a thousand schools involved. It's my greatest reason for hope because every one of these roots and shoots groups between them choose, we don't dictate to them, they choose projects to make the world a better place. One must help people, another must help animals, another must help the environment. Because I learned in the rainforest the interconnection of all these different aspects of life, and how each little species, each little action ,has a role to play in this tapestry of life. And so these young people in these 65 countries, now ranging from kindergarten (of course they need help with them so little), but university they're changing the world even as I speak to you now. They're changing the world in China, in the Middle East, across Europe, throughout North and South America, and all the time we're getting new groups, we keep hearing about them in far away places, and it is a great reason for hope, because young people when they understand the problem, and they're empowered to take action, they have so much passion, so much dedication, so much hope. .

    We hear: "think globally, act locally" but no, because if you think globally you can't help but be depressed, can you, I mean the news, the media, it's full of doom and gloom and yes, indeed there is doom and gloom, but it's not only doom and gloom. I travelled the world as I say, and I met so many incredible people doing amazing projects, and it is possible to restore environments that we have destroyed so that once again they support life. Animals that have been on the brink of extinction have been given another chance plants too. We are in the midst of the sixth great extinction we must slow it down and our actions against animals and the environment must change, our responsibility is to future generations not just the here and now, what's best for me, and what's best for my next political campaign, think about the future, think about your children and your grandchildren, and theirs, think about the health of the planet, think about all the billions of animals who are suffering at our hands.

    'So what can we do as individuals?' That's what people are always asking me. Well first of all as I've said, every day we make choices and we can make choices in what we buy, what we eat, what we wear, buy something, ask yourself, did it harm the environment in its production, was it cruel to animals?

    Is it cheap because of child slave labour somewhere, or inequitable wages paid to people in some other country? Think about these things. Meat, I talked about the cruelty of the factory farms. It's not just cruelty to animals that we have to be concerned about, all these billions of animals worldwide have to be fed, huge areas of habitat cleared to grow the grain, masses of fossil fuel is used to get the grain to the animals, the animals to the abattoir, and the meat to the table. And water in some areas, water is becoming increasingly scarce, it takes a lot of water changing vegetable to animal protein. And then finally all these billions of animals in their digestion producing methane gas.

    We know that fossil fuel emissions are causing these greenhouse gases, there's the main gas, carbon dioxide CO2, but methane is another very very virulent greenhouse gas, and a very large percentage of that is as a result of this intensive animal agriculture. And on the subject of agriculture think how we're poisoning the soil, growing food sprayed with chemicals, poisonous chemicals very often does that make sense? Yes, you might be able to grow a bit more food but if you're poisoning people at the same time, doesn't really make sense does it?

    So here we are this intellectual creature, destroying its only home, but at the same time there is this hope, the resilience of nature, places we've destroyed as I've said can be given another chance. I left my paradise of Gombe in 1986 when I realised that right across Africa chimpanzee numbers were decreasing and forests were being destroyed, and I felt I needed to go and try and see for myself. So I got together a bit of money I managed to get to six chimpanzee range countries where they were by then being studied, and I learned a lot about the plight of the chimps, how they faced the destruction of their habitat as human populations increased, and as logging companies and mining companies came in from outside, and how they are subjected to all our human contagious diseases. And I also learned about the plight of so many people living in and around chimpanzee habitat. The crippling poverty, the lack of good education and health facilities, the degradation of the land.

    And it came to a head when I flew over the tiny Gombe national park, where we're still working after 60 years they're being the same groups of chimpanzees, there's only about 100 there now. To my shock, this little national park which in 1960 was part of the great equatorial forest belt that stretched right from western east Africa to the west coast, it's now a small island of forest surrounded by virtually completely bare hills, the only trees left on the really steep sides of the valleys, and it was clear there were more people living there than the land could support, and they were too poor to buy food from elsewhere, and that's when it hit me if we don't help these people find ways of living without destroying their environment, we can't even try to save the chimps

    And so the Jane Goodall Institute, JGI began our program 'Take Care' or 'TACARE' , a very holistic program, there's no time to go into it now, but it first of all addressed what the people told us they needed most, and it wasn't a bunch of arrogant white people going into the 12 villages of Bangombe. It was local people selected because they'd have some experience in agroforestry or education or health. And so we began by helping the people restore fertility to the overused farmland (without the use of chemicals by the way) and working with the Tanzanian government to improve the education and health facilities. And then as the people came to trust us (because they lost faith in many of the NGOs who came in basically to write a PhD or something and then left), we stayed, and this began in 1994 and we're still there. It's been so successful, we've now introduced up-to-date cutting-edge technology of satellite imagery and all these all these technologies that I don't really understand but I do understand how useful they are, GIS, GPS, and this has helped the people plan out their land use management, and from each of what is now 104 villages throughout the whole chimp range in Tanzania villages provide volunteers who learn how to use smartphones, they monitor the health of their forest reserves, village forest preserves, and they have chosen to record illegally cut trees, animal traps or on the other hand the sighting of a chimp or a pangolin, or something, and this gets uploaded into a platform on the clouds. They're very proud of this.

    It's incredibly important because most chimps in Tanzania are not protected, they're in these village forest preserves. Now, the people have understood that protecting the forest is as much for their own future well-being as it is to protect the animals, they have become our partners in conservation, and we've introduced roots and shoots in all the villages where we work. The program has now spread to six other African countries with plans to spread it further because it works. So the hope is the energy of youth, the resilience of nature, how we can prevent an animal from becoming totally extinct if we get together and really try and give that animal another chance.

    But we've got to tackle three major problems first.

    They talk about making ethical choices every day. If you're very poor you cannot do that you're going to cut down the last trees because you're desperate to grow more food, or to make money from charcoal. You're going to fish the last fish because you've got to feed your family. If you're in an urban area you're going to buy the cheapest junk food because you can't afford anything else, you can't afford to ask those questions about whether it's been ethically produced. And so we have to do something about poverty which is what we're trying to do in Africa and also through our roots and shoots programme

    Secondly the unsustainable lifestyle of most of the rest of us. I have more than I need, I try to leave a light ecological footprint every day, I do my best. And as I grew up in World War Two I know what it's like to have much much less and to not take for granted what we take for granted today. And of course as we alleviate poverty the people who come out of poverty will want to emulate this unsustainable lifestyle that the rest of us are living.

    It was Mahatma Gandhi who said the planet can provide for human need but not human greed.

    And on top of all of this we have a growing population. 7.2 billion of us today it's estimated there'll be 9.7 closer to 10 billion in 2050 and with people rising out of poverty what's going to happen? Fortunately, and this is from our work in in Africa, once women's education improves (and we do provide scholarships for girls), they don't want the large families they used to have to help them farm the land, they want to educate their children, and they have received with open arms family planning information, we don't give it to them, it's local people who go to workshops, and they deliver it into the villages, and even men have come up and asked for vasectomies because they say we can't afford a big family, we want to educate our children, we want them to have a good life. And so the expectation of numbers of children has dropped where we're working. And I get accused of all sorts of terrible things if I talk about population but we can't hide from it, we can't hide from it, we have to realise that one child in an affluent society is using up up to ten times even more natural resources than a child in a poor community.

    So we've got to somehow overcome these three problems

    But then my final reason for hope: the indomitable human spirit, just think of the people you know who tackle things which seem impossible to solve, and they won't give up. Think of the people you know who may be crippled by some terrible disease, and yet there they are with this indomitable spirit, leading lives that are inspirational to others, and so the thing is that each one of us has this indomitable spirit, but we don't always realize it, we don't let it grow, we look narrowly in front of us, we're not looking at the whole picture, we're not gazing with these wise minds that we actually all are given into the future, we're not thinking about what can I do today to make the world a better place.

    So thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my ideas with you

    Ketih: Well Jane thank you very much for taking the opportunity to be with us. We have at least two former MEPs in the audience, one of them is our GLD President Martin Horwood who in the chat says: "I hope we're recording this so we can send it far and wide on every channel"

    We can and indeed Martin, we are recording this so we will have it on the Green Liberal Democrat website as soon as possible.

    The first question to come from the audience (and there were several in the chat I have been watching that as as we go through), the first is a slightly gloomy question from Tony Woods: We've seen during the pandemic how quickly pollution dropped and air quality improved. If (when) Homo Sapiens goes extinct how do you think the world will react?

    Sorry to be a gloomy question but you might have an optimistic answer to it

    Jane: One of my native American names given to me by a tribe, (which by the way is a great honour), is Sister of Mother Earth
    So if I'm sister of mother earth I can answer that question on behalf of mother earth and say: We shall be so glad when humans are extinct, they're a worse virus for us than this pandemic is for you. Once human beings have gone we shall gradually build ourselves up again into the beautiful paradise we were before the fall

    Keith: Okay, a little note from Catherine Bearder one of the other former MEPs we have here says hello to Jane, I wish we could host you again in the European Parliament and sends you her best wishes. okay I'm just scrolling down to see the next question.
    The next question is: "How are we going to recognise that the way we treat animals is a serious condition, how do we communicate the fact that treating animals in the way that you've remarked, how do we communicate that to the people who perhaps don't realise it?"

    Jane: Well I've found that the best way to communicate something like this to people who don't see eye to eye with you is, the worst thing to do is to start arguing with them pointing fingers at them and telling them they're wrong, because they won't change, or very seldom. Most people aren't like that. So to me rather than trying to make an argument to reach the brain, is to reach the heart. I find the best way to reach the heart is by telling stories, I've got so many amazing stories about the things that animals do, the relationship between humans and animals ,and anybody who's thinking that what I said about factory farmed animals is perhaps not true, please google not Picasso the artist but pigcasso just google that: or actually ecosia is a wonderful search engine because every time you use ecosia (that's e-c-o-s-i-a) trees are planted, and of course one way that we can really start improving the environment, mitigating climate change, is to protect the existing forest because they absorb the CO2, clean up the oceans (because they too absorb CO2 and both give out oxygen), and plant trees.

    So when we plant trees we're planting trees for the health of the future of the planet. Now we must protect the existing forest. We have destroyed about half of the forests of the planet today which is shocking. We need to protect not just the forest but the woodlands, the peat lands, all the different places that will absorb carbon dioxide and store it in the soil

    Keith: Talking of soil I have a question here from Jackie Charlton: "We have to start at the soil level as so much starts there. How can we learn more, educate more and share more about the importance of soil? How do we get that message across?"

    Jane: I've been talking to quite a few people who are working with the soil. It's a huge unexplored terrain. It's the kind of thing to explore the different life forms in the soil healthy soil that's the kind of thing that our roots and shoots kids sometimes if we share the information they get all excited, and you know that's what I want to do and they do it so we put out information like this on our JGI website, we have a global website we have a global JGI. We have 24 Jane Goodall Institutes around the world and so we put this information out and surely people will pick it up and other people can put the information out on their websites as well

    Keith: Okay thank you we will certainly do that on our website. I can't just find the question but I did see it written down from one of our members of audience about how we manage to get young young girls, young ladies involved in research, you spoke about the attitude that you were confronted with as a young girl wanting to do this kind of research how do we enthuse the young girls now to get involved with the kind of research that you were involved in when you were -

    Jane: you know I've had so many messages, letters and emails from young people and they've all said the same thing we're doing what we do because we read about your life and you taught us that because you did it we can do it too and I think one reason why women have shied away from science, one it was a male-dominated area of research and women weren't welcomed they were kind of scorned, women can't do that kind of thing always reading stories about that even today and thank goodness for my mother who told me I could do it and I should follow my dream and thank goodness for Louis Leaky who said he wanted somebody who hadn't been to college, because he wanted somebody whose mind was uncluttered by the reductionist thinking of the time, and he wanted a woman because he felt that maybe we'd be more patient and have a better relationship with the animals. So all I can say is that I would say thousands of young women have moved into science because they read my story. So that sounds a bit boastful but it's not meant to be boastful, it's just what people have told me and told me again and again and again, either from coming to one of my lectures or reading one of my books, and so the other reason I think that women shied away from science is it tends (no I think it's changing) but certainly when I went to Cambridge it was cold it was objective, I was told you cannot be a scientist and have empathy with your subject . Well that is so stupid because if you have empathy with your subject, I mean I'm watching a group of chimpanzees and they're doing something which is hard to understand, and I think about it and I feel how they're feeling, and I think well probably you know, they're feeling like I would feel now. I can be a scientist now, I can look at my little aha moment and say is it true or not? So we need to have empathy and it's this lack of empathy with our subjects that's led to so much horrendous cruelty. I didn't mention the cruelty to animals in medical experimentation and even worse in pharmaceutical testing what's happened to animals in both of those situations is absolutely inhumane and -

    Keith: I can only agree with that and one of the earliest campaigns that I remember being involved with with the Liberal Party, way back, even before the Liberal Democrats was formed, it was about animal testing in the cosmetic area and that has changed, we have cut back a lot on that. even though I think it still goes on a little bit
    Okay we have another question from Sally Povolotsky (I hope I've got that right) Sally a question for you Jane:
    Do you think politicising climate emergencies encourages action or creates further procrastination and lip service rather than sustainable solutions

    I think that's really a question of how you in your shoes perceive what we as politicians are trying to do to politicise the events, are we succeeding or do we need to do something different?

    Jane: I think an awful lot of people feel that politicians talk about what should be done, but they don't actually take the action to do it. I've seen with my own eyes people who really care about the environment in the future going into politics, but then that's their career, and now they're thinking about being re-elected, and if the majority of their constituents are not behind them, if they propose something which is really good for the environment that might cost us another penny for each product, then people don't support them any more. So you know we can we can blame the politicians, also many politicians are kind of in the pocket of big business because big business is very often paying for campaigns and therefore they have a hold over the politicians.

    But we mustn't underestimate the power of the consumer, and I'm not talking about those living in abject poverty, I'm talking about the rest of us. Because if we care about the environment and we see that a company is producing in a way that is environmentally unfriendly then we mustn't buy their product, and that is really really important. So you know we must take responsibility too, and it's working. Consumer pressure has actually changed the way a lot of businesses work, and consumer support for politicians could make a very big difference too, at least that's what I think.

    Keith: I think the general population is probably a rather a long way ahead of politicians in their in their current view of how to treat the world. We could do with a bit of listening to the way people have expressed their views just recently, apparently 72 percent of the population think that we should be doing more to green the economy as we come out of the coronavirus that was something that was said in a meeting yesterday

    Jane: was that Europe?

    Keith: It was the UK, it was a survey done by zero carbon commission when they were looking at whether we should introduce carbon tax and there seems to be a general feeling that as long as it's fair we should be charging more for pollution.
    I did find the question about young ladies, young daughters from Gwydion Jamieson Ball I think if I'm pronouncing that correctly:
    I've two young daughters aged five and six nearly five and six about six and a half, both at school and they're both showing a keen interest in wildlife and environment I wish to ask on their behalf what advice you could share with young female researchers just starting out, I know you've talked about the role model aspect but how do young ladies of five and six express their views about what they want to do

    Jane: I think that my advice is that they look up the rootsnshoots.org.uk website and join the Roots and Shoots because then there will be all sorts of other young people and a whole support system for young people like that and honestly I've had videos and messages from children that age about what they've done, and how they've thought up ways to raise mone,y and even if it's just a few shillings and they've done it, and it's very moving actually what young children are doing to make the world a better place, it's not just girls it's boys as well.
    And I think at this point one of my favourite stories is from an indigenous community in Latin America and it was the chief of this community and he said to me, Jane we think of our tribe as like an eagle and one wing is male and the other wing is female, and only when the wings are equal will we fly high. I love that story, because you know we need to call it we need both, men and women are different they have different skills and expertises and ways of thinking, we need both, we need discussion we've just got to stop this divisiveness which is permeating the world right now

    Keith: Just talking about indigenous populations I'm married to a Brazilian unfortunately she's locked down in Brazil at the moment and I'm locked down here, we do manage to talk to each other every day so that's good. But how do we approach the situation about dealing with Bolsonaro who seems intent on cutting down as much of the Amazon forest as he could possibly sell, do we boycott Brazilian goods, as we did with south African wines and so on in the era when we had apartheid? Is that a sensible way or is it just simply going to punish the people in in Brazil who are making these things?

    Jane: Well I don't think that's a question for me it's more a question for you I don't know,I don't know but it's not just Bolsonaro that's the problem but him, we've got Donald Trump we've got various African leaders who are moving towards despotism and you know it's very hard to know how to deal with them. I'm just hoping that after this pandemic there's going to be enough people who live in big cities who for the first time have had the luxury of breathing clean air, and looking up at the night sky and seeing stars bright instead of through a haze of pollution, or even not at all, that there will be a ground swell that builds and builds and builds until things have to change, going back to Bolsonaro and the Brazilian people, I don't know I think maybe your wife would know better than me

    Keith: Well I keep asking her I'm not sure she knows entirely either/ Interestingly enough you mentioned the moon landing earlier on which was also something that it was news to to me as a young young man. I was talking with Fatima last night and as she was walking along the street, and I happened to notice that the moon was behind her head, and I looked out of our window here and I could see the moon as well, so from two sides of the globe we saw the same moon. I was looking south and she was looking north, but that was that was quite an eye-opener. Clive Trussell, just talking of the last thing you said about politicians and and what we think of world politicians, Clive Trussell is asking I wonder what Jane thinks of the Donald , have you a view that you can say without being very rude?

    Jane: Well as you know, and I think the whole world is fearful of the November election in the US coming up, and so we have to be a-political being an NGO however, a message goes out from us and especially from me, saying first of all it's really important to vote, secondly before you cast your vote think about the environmental platform of the person you're voting for, do they care about climate change do they listen to science, do they care about the environment, do they care about the future of their children, only then cast your vote.

    Keith: We will make sure that when this is recorded onto the Green Liberal Democrat website we will pass the message to all of our contacts in the United States and hope they will see it as well. There are 143 people here in the room according to the details on my screen, and somebody has just made a note in the chat that's about one-sixth of the whole number of people here in the conference all together, so that's a pretty good turnout. Somebody else has complained why the other five-sixth weren't here, but we'll have to ask them later. Is there another question for Jane in the in the chat that I haven't seen, because we are now getting to the last few minutes of the session. so if there's anybody else wants to ask a burning question, please put it into the chat now, and I will pass that on to Jane

    Jane: In the meantime I'll tell you one more thing about roots and shoots while they think of them. And that is that although it wasn't planned at the beginning the program has as much as possible brought young, especially the older ones together from different countries, it's usually virtual ,even before the lockdown it's usually virtual, because of money and everything, and as a result of this virtual or actual face-to-face meeting, young people have come to understand that far more important than the colour of your skin, or your culture, or even your religion, is the fact that we're all human beings. And it's really made a big difference. So we're pretty excited right now, we're growing a very strong group of groups out of roots and shoots in Israel, and starting in Palestine. If you aim for the stars you might reach the moon if you aim for the moon you might reach the top of Everest, so I like always to aim for the stars. So my dream is of a group of young people who truly understand we are one human family, who understand yes, we need enough money to live, but we shouldn't live for money unless it's to make the world a better place. And I think we need a new definition of what it is to be successful, must it be tied up with accumulating wealth and material goods? Isn't it enough to have a life where you have time to, as they say smell the roses, be with your family, do things you love to do, have enough, but not always be motivated by greed,

    Keith: yes indeed, in fact we had one of our fringe sessions over the conference has been about well-being and talking about the quality of life Jason is just reminding the audience if anybody wants to join or help the Green Liberal Democrats email him. The email is put in the chat there.
    Question from David:
    Jane you were one of my inspirations to work with mountain gorillas in Rwanda and had 12 very happy years with WWF and five more with IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare). what are the most at risk habitats in Africa at the moment and what can we do to help?

    Jane: Well I can't answer that, I don't know, I mean so many habitats are at risk and all the time new risks are coming up, I mean I just heard this morning that Total is planning to make some kind of pipeline across Africa destroying you know, fragmenting various habitats, and so I can't pick one, the worst. But climate change is affecting them all and we fight and fight to save the Gombe forest, but if really the droughts continue and get worse then the forest will turn into eventually savannah, and whether or not the chimpanzees survive will be another matter. But almost every country in Africa has areas, habitats that are endangered from one reason or another

    Keith: And a question from me, chairs don't often have the freedom to ask questions when there are so many questions in the chat uh one of the things that has been apparent from all of my involvement with the environment way back from 1971 onwards, was that you referred earlier on to it about the world population level increasing, and clearly we are more of a danger in the West where we use a lot more a lot more goods per person, but how do we tackle the issue of population without it becoming such a controversial issue in terms of people complaining about the sort of people they don't like having children. How do we do it in a way that isn't going to be divisive I suppose is my question

    Jane: Well I think you know, first of all set out the facts, don't take a side just say we have so many now, we shall have so many then, we're raising people out of poverty as fast as we can, and if they all emulate our lifestyle, what's going to happen - and always stress how it is us who are having the most divisive effect on the environment, but as other people move out of poverty they'll want the same So what's going to happen? So rather than saying we've got to do this and that and the other you know, have fewer children, just lay out the facts ,say what do you think about this, what's your solution, what's going to happen, what should we do?

    Keith: yes we need to be asking that question of all of the people in the audience we're really close to the end of our session now. I've been privileged to have a conversation directly with you and I hope our audience have been enjoying the chat that we've been having I would like to thank you very much Jane and what I'd like to see perhaps in the chat is lots of applause applause, because that was that was absolutely superb and brilliant thank you very much indeed

    Jane: well thank you and I hope everybody listening gets their children involved in roots and shoots because it makes such a difference, that's the only reason I say it, we don't make money

    Keith: okay thank you very much thank you and goodbye and goodbye to the audience thank you bye bye bye everybody thank you, I think people can still hear us but I am going to close the session now so we will suddenly disappear thanks Jane, much appreciated thank you


    Links:

    "I am in complete awe of this woman" says Martin Horwood


    Quotes by Emma Teresa Oliver


    an astonishing tour de force - by Martin Horwood


    Let us all champion her message says Rowena Stone


    "The antidote to hopelessness is to take action" by Martin Horwood


    "nobody's doddery Aunt Jane, but a titan of our age" by Jed Marson


    Support rootsnshoots.org.uk
    asks Dr Jane Goodall


    Thanks to Sanne Dijkstra-Downie for subtitle editing


    Edited by George Miles

  • COVID-19 (https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23312)
    Article: Nov 29, 2020
    By George Miles

    Green Liberal Democrats November 2020 Newsletter

    * AGM 16 January 2021
    * Green Liberal Democrats AGM & Elections
    The GLD AGM will be held on Saturday 16 January 2021 via Zoom.
    http://grn.lib.dm/p5G3

    * SIGs: Join our new GLD Special Interest Groups :
    Quality of Life Economics + Doubling Nature + Renewables and Energy Efficiency + Food from Farm to Table
    http://grn.lib.dm/p7G4

  • Ed Davey speaking at Lib Dem Rally - Stop Brexit March (Kevin Daws)
    Article: Nov 27, 2020

    A Green Economic Recovery for hope: tackling the climate
    emergency with the jobs and technology people need


    The Liberal Democrats' ambitious ten point plan for UK Net-Zero


    As we look to beat the Covid health crisis, we should be doing far more to tackle the two crises
    that will still face us - the jobs crisis and the climate emergency.

  • Ed Davey MP (Graham Neale)
    Article: Nov 27, 2020
    By Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey MP, Sarah Olney MP, Lord Oates, Jürgen Maier

    Dear Boris and Alok,
    We had hoped to be writing to welcome fully your government's action plan to achieve net-zero.
    However your Ten Point Plan in no way matches the scale of what is needed to generate a Green
    Economic Recovery, let alone fast track the UK towards tackling the climate emergency.
    In Government, the Liberal Democrats delivered a historic increase in the UK's renewable electricity,
    devised and led policies that have made the UK the world leader in offshore wind power and
    developed a range of global firsts, from the world's only CCS-gas power plant project to roadmaps
    for decarbonising the UK's energy intensive industries. Since 2015, we have regrettably seen five
    largely wasted years, with significant mistakes such as the scrapping of our Zero Carbon Homes law
    and our CCS projects. We had hoped your plan would be a turning point, but instead it is deeply
    disappointing and a massive missed opportunity. We urge you to revise the scale of your ambitions
    immediately
    Your investment programme of £12 billion is totally inadequate. Set against what other developed
    countries are investing, the scale of the opportunity and what you claim to want to achieve, it is
    simply not credible. Even on basic programmes, such as energy efficiency and insulation, the
    extension of the Green Homes Grant by just one year lacks any long-term thinking, when any serious
    expert recognises that industry, firms and business need much greater certainty if they are going to
    invest in skills and equipment. We all know decarbonising heat is challenging, so surely it makes
    sense to do far more on reducing the nation's heat demand and thereby also tackling fuel poverty?
    On power, it is welcome that your Conservative Government appears to have been converted to
    offshore wind, but again the detailed policies to make this growth happen are sadly lacking, whilst
    there is little serious commitment to other renewable electricity options, including onshore wind,
    solar and tidal. Moreover, the scale of ambition and commitment to technologies that support a
    radically deeper penetration of renewables, including interconnectors, battery storage, smart grid,
    demand side response and pumped hydro, is sadly lacking. Instead, despite the evidence from
    Hinkley Point C, which we know well, that nuclear power has not come down in price and remains
    very expensive once its true costs and risks are properly accounted for, you have opted to expose
    consumers and taxpayers to these much higher costs.
    On transport, your plans for zero carbon vehicles falls far short of what is needed - both to support
    the supply-side and really help the UK automotive sector to become a world leader, and to support
    the demand-side, and provide the different incentives to consumers that will be needed. In the
    aerospace industry, which is crying out for a future-focused strategy, your programme lacks any
    serious targets or direction to deliver zero carbon flight domestically and even on short haul within
    the timescale of the climate emergency and our economy demands.
    It is good that some action is at last being taken on promoting hydrogen and reversing the shocking
    lack of support for CCUS in recent years. However, once again, in comparison to other countries and
    the scale of what is needed, the proposals seem shockingly weak. These two technologies are likely
    to prove crucial both for decarbonisation and for minimising the economic challenges as Britain's oil
    and gas industry transitions, and are both sectors the UK could be a world leader in. However, it
    looks as if the scale of the opportunity may be sadly missed.
    There is another way. The Liberal Democrats have detailed plans for a Green Economic Recovery
    Our proposals are a bold and strategic bid to fast-track the UK to net-zero and to provide the jobs
    people need and deliver the technology our economy needs We want to see a £150 billion public
    investment programme to fire-up progress to UK net-zero over the next three years, and to help
    British people and businesses to become global leaders in the technologies of the future. It is good
    that the Treasury is at last addressing policies to help private capital markets play a bigger role in
    financing a green recovery and the climate transition, yet once again, the scale of the ambition does
    not meet the need or the opportunity.
    With the UK hosting the COP26 global climate talks next year, and with the international opportunity
    presented by the victory of President-Elect Joe Biden, now surely is the moment for the UK to show
    true leadership in tackling the climate emergency.
    The UK must aspire to lead the world again. Our plan presents a far more optimistic vision of new
    climate economics, where people, businesses and communities across the UK can dare to hope
    again. We would be happy to share it with you and explain why you now need to make the tough
    decisions to secure Britain's green economic recovery.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey MP - Liberal Democrat Leader and former Secretary of State for Energy and
    Climate Change
    Sarah Olney MP - Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Climate Emergency
    Lord Oates - Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Climate Emergency (Lords)
    Jürgen Maier - Chair of the Liberal Democrat Business and Economic Council and former Chief
    Executive of Siemens UK

  • Similar houses (yourlivingcity.com)
    Article: Nov 26, 2020

    CPRE and FoE want councillors and others to sign this open letter

    https://takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/68213/petition/1


    Defend local planning and ensure your community's voice is heard

    An open letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

    This open letter is about the government's proposed changes to the planning system, as announced in August 2020 in the White Paper - Planning for the Future. It's open for signatures from currently-serving councillors and MPs from all political parties and will be sent to the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, at a later date. The purpose of the letter is to demonstrate the widespread concern at the local level about the government's plans.

    You can add your name by filling in your details . The list of signatories will be available shortly.

    The letter is being hosted by CPRE, the countryside charity, and Friends of the Earth. If you would like to find out more about the campaign we are running in opposition to the government's proposals, or if you have any general questions, please email Sam Keyte: SamK@cpre.org.uk.

  • Article: Nov 26, 2020

    Liberal Democrats are calling for £150 billion in funding for a Green Economic Recovery.

    Today the Government announced their Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

    Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey said,

    Sadly, it fails to undo the damage the Conservatives have done to the UK's progress on climate change over the past five years.Their plan not only pledges to continue selling fossil fuel powered hybrid cars past 2030 but it also extends the Green Homes Grant by just one year

  • Article: Nov 26, 2020

    November's meeting opened with a discussion with Ed Davey in which he outlined his plans for the Parliamentary Party going forwards. Collectively we deliberated on how to make sure all parts of the party are collaborating effectively and making best use of Ed's overarching strategy.

    The Moving Forward Programme

  • Emissions
    Article: Nov 26, 2020
    With the upcoming decision about the Westbury incinerator by Wiltshire council in the near future, this article highlighting the increase in Carbon emissions from waste disposal because of the expansion of energy-from-waste incineration plants is highly relevant.
    A coalition of campaigners has warned that by by 2030 the government's push to increase incineration of waste will increase CO2 emissions by 10m tonnes a year, mostly from the burning of plastics, the groups said. They argue that the growth in energy-from-waste incineration means the UK will not be able to meet its commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • ogw6 (Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash)
    Article: Nov 26, 2020

    The government has announced a 10 point plan on addressing the issue of climate change

    The 10-point plan comprises:

    • A ban on combustion engine sales by 2030, with grants for electric cars, and funding for charge points. The sale of some hybrid cars and vans will continue until 2035.

    • A previously announced pledge to quadruple offshore wind power by 2030, to 40GW, enough to power every UK home.

    • Moves to boost hydrogen production, with the promise of a town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.

    • Investment of £525m towards new nuclear power, based on "the next generation of small and advanced reactors".

    • £1bn next year for funds to insulate homes and public buildings, using the existing green homes grant and public sector decarbonisation scheme.

    • An extra £200m invested in carbon capture initiatives.

    • Support for greener energies in the aviation and maritime sectors, with £20m committed to the latter.

    • 30,000 hectares of trees planted every year, as part of nature conservation efforts.

    • Moves to promote public transport, cycling and walking, although no new schemes were announced.

    • A pledge to make London "the global centre of green finance".

  • Good cycle lane
    Article: Nov 26, 2020
    By Paul Fishwick
    On 12th November Wokingham Borough Council announced the completion of the A329 London Road cycle route, stating "The new off-road cycleway will provide a link for cyclists from the Coppid Beech/A329M roundabout into the town centre." In reality, however, the off road route (a shared footway and cycleway) ends at a point between Rances Lane and Binfield Road (see photo), just over 1 KM short of the town centre.

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Keith Melton is the 2020 Chair of GLD -
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The Green Liberal Democrats AGM will be held on Saturday 16 January 2021 via Zoom.


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