Science & Tech, Home & Lifestyle, Community & Government

Climate Change

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 09:44 min

Learn about the many kinds of waste we release into the environment and the effects they have on our interconnected world.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Methane & The Meat Industry • A Growing Awareness


We only have to think of pollution, and the reckless burning of fossil fuel, and the agricultural industrial and household waste. Have to think how the land, the air, and the water are being contaminated. Think about the destruction of the rainforests. Think about how this is leading to increased desertification, affecting fresh water supplies. Think about the pollution of the ocean, the acidification of the ocean. And as oceans become less capable of absorbing carbon dioxide, CO2 from the atmosphere, and as rainforests disappear with their capacity for absorbing and holding CO2, and, at the same time, burning recklessly fossil fuels, emitting all kinds of so-called greenhouse gases, creating a blanket of these gases that surround the globe and trap the heat of the sun, leading to gradual heating of the Earth's surface, the heating of the ocean, the melting of the ice. And this is creating what we now know is a major threat to the planet, as a whole. And that's climate change. I've seen it firsthand. I've traveled enough to see a lot of these things firsthand. I've been to places in China and India, where the pollution is so terrible that people have to wear masks. And I've been in Greenland, with a lot of the Inuit elders. I've seen the ice melting, the icebergs carving, the water rushing down into the ocean, and the Inuit elders telling me, even in the summer, the water never used to run free here. It was always frozen. And going straight from that freezing of the ice to Panama-- it just happened that way-- and there I met many of the indigenous people, who'd been forced off their island, because of the increased level of water in the oceans, due to the melting of the ice. And this is true for many people living on small islands around the world. It's, for me, a major tragedy that forests are disappearing. They are home to so much biodiversity, and so much of the richness of the tapestry of life, the web of life. As the oceans become increasingly acidified-- they, too, are host to so much biodiversity-- this is gradually being destroyed. What are we doing to the future of our children? I believe, honestly and truly, that it's only when we learn to operate with head and heart in harmony that we can achieve our true human potential. I've learned so much about what we're doing to harm this planet, it sometimes keeps me awake at night. [MUSIC PLAYING] [HELICOPTER SOUNDS] I think most people now know about carbon dioxide, CO2, nitrous oxide, the main greenhouse gas ingredients. But there's another ingredient of greenhouse gases, which is an even more potent gas, and that's methane. And one of the main contributors to the increase of methane, and the other greenhouse gases, is the modern agricultural farming of animals-- these intensive farms. As more and more people around the world get wealthy, as in China, it becomes a status symbol to eat meat. ...

About the Instructor

There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.

Explore the Class
Sign Up