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Dr Jane Goodall says we must do something about the unsustainable way that so many of us live

June 23, 2020 10:29 PM
By Brian Mathew

Jane Goodall talking at Green Lib Dems virtual conference June 2020 (Brian Mathew)

facebookHopefully you will find this interesting and stimulating in asking yourselves how you can make the world a better place. It is the question that I put to Dr Jane Goodall at the Green Liberal Democrats 2020 summer festival on Sunday, and more importantly her fulsome answer. Read on....

My question to Dr Jane Goodall and her reply:

Me: "Jane, you won't remember me but we met briefly in Dar es Salaam in 1995. First of all a big Asante Sana (thank you very much) for all the work that you did in Gombe and since to help save the planet. My question: We do need cross party consensus to solve the climate emergency but how do we achieve this when some who are more concerned with greed and their own massive wealth than humanity and this beautiful planet that we live on?"

Jane: "Well Brian I would say that changing the dynamic of the political system is probably more your job than mine. But it is perfectly right that everybody should get together, that party politics should not be involved with in the saving of the future of our planet. But I often get asks this question about the one thing that differs us most from chimpanzees and other animals, and they are all way way way more intelligent than we used to think, and we now know that chimpanzees can know more than 400 American sign language words as used by deaf people, they can do magic things on computers, they can do a whole series of complex tasks, some quicker than eight year old children, but we've designed a rocket that went up to Mars, and a little robot that crawled off and took photos and that puts us in a different category. The way that we are communicating now that puts us in a different category.

What is it about intellect that makes us more indifferent? How is it possible that the most intellectual creature that has ever walked the planet is destroying its only home? Because that is what we are doing. It seems to me that there has been a disconnect between the clever brain and the human heart, love and compassion. So, when I'm talking to somebody who is busily destroying the planet, whether it's a politician who is proposing the wrong bills or vetoing the right ones, or a CEO or something like that, I find it is useless to argue with them. Because by arguing they are thinking up ways to, you know, to get the better of your arguments. But the only way I ever succeeded is changing hearts, changing minds through the heart. And the best way to do that through telling stories. That was the approach I took when I was talking to the scientists in the medical research labs. It's the way I've dealt with difficult people all my life.

So when it comes to the future of the planet and climate change, some people I don't think have a heart, and you cant change a heart if it is not there to start with. There are politicians and business people out there who literally don't seem to have the heart that I feel I have, and I hope everybody listening to me has. So, if we at last realise that unless we can solve this climate crisis, which is not going back to business as usual. Then for our children and theirs the future is not just bleak it is probably finished. I mean we still have a window of time, but we have got to get together to find solutions, and I can't do that I can just emphasise again and again we are facing an existential crisis. And we go on destroying tropical rainforests at the rate of a football field a second around the world. And this our biggest weapon against climate change is protecting and restoring our forests as they are absorbing the carbon dioxide, and trying to clean up the polluted ocean, that is the other great lung of the world.

We must get together and think of these things and we must do something about the unsustainable way that so many of us live. We must do something to alleviate poverty, we must do something to even the horrible gap between the haves up here and the have nots down there. And only when we do that can we move forward and know that the future is safe for our great great grandchildren."

Dr Jane Goodall 21st June 2020


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