From Dr. Jane Goodall's MasterClass

Humans & The Environment (Cont'd)

Dr. Jane shares the three main problems challenging the health of our planet and explains how we mustn't lose hope in the face of these seemingly impossible problems.

Topics include: Exploitation of Natural Resources • Three Interrelated Problems

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Dr. Jane shares the three main problems challenging the health of our planet and explains how we mustn't lose hope in the face of these seemingly impossible problems.

Topics include: Exploitation of Natural Resources • Three Interrelated Problems

Dr. Jane Goodall

Teaches Conservation

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It's pretty bad when we think back through human history how wealthy nations have moved in to the developing world and just taken over parts of the land. Think what's happened to the Native Americans. Think how they've been driven out of where they've been for hundreds of thousands of years and put on reservations. Think of the way people have been buying up the natural world like water resources, privatizing it so that ordinary people have to pay for something that should be free for everyone. And some people can't pay for it. And this is one of the big problems that we face today. And the gap between the wealthy and the poor is widening all the time. And this is why we get some of the political disasters that we've seen in recent years. It all ties down, I think it's all tied up with the exploitation of natural resources. I always get-- you know, I spend every year I spend time in Nebraska to see this incredible migration of the sandhill cranes. And they're with the snow geese and various other wood birds. It's one of the wonders of the world. And it's certainly reason for hope that there are still hundreds of thousands of wood birds and cranes flying through, building up resources for their long migrations to the far north. And every time I'm there it hurts to fly over that land. It hurts to drive along the roads. Because every where you see the center pivots. And this is machinery that drills down, down, down into the aquifer. It's going ever deeper because the levels in the aquifer are dropping. And this is drawing water to irrigate land that isn't suitable for growing crops like corn. And so this is stealing the water. And there are places, animals, environments, habitats that used to be flourishing and green and now they're dry and desert like because the water has been drained for agriculture so that farmers can become wealthy. And people are suffering. Animals are certainly suffering. People sometimes say, what do you see as the biggest problem on the planet today thinking about a sustainable future and how we're harming the planet now? And I see three main problems all interrelated. One, extreme poverty. Because if you're really poor and you're living in a rural area you're going to cut down the last trees because you need to grow food or because you need money and you want to make charcoal. You're going to do that because you have to. If you're living in an urban area and you're really poor you're going to buy the cheapest food because you have to. You're not going to be able to say how was it made? Was it ethically made? Should I be buying something else? You have to buy the cheapest if you're really poor. And as we all know, so many people on the planet today are living in extreme poverty. So that's one big problem that we have to address. And the second big problem is the unsustainable lifestyle...

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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.

Reviews

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

I think Jane Goodall is a remarkable woman with a great heart. I am glad to hear her stories and thoughts.

This class was excellent. I have ideas of books to read, programs to research, and how to learn more in general. In learning more I will see opportunities to act.

I was inspired to do something to help improve my environment and the world around me. Dr. Goodall's story is amazing and I learned so much from this lesson.

I have learned so much over the course of this class. Jane Goodall is so inspiring, and she has inspired me to raise awareness about global issues and make a difference in my everyday life.

Comments

Darya B.

I'm so glad that someone is helping to raise awareness of the corporate greed, environment and that animals are not very different from people with feelings and needs.

Sydney

This was such a thought provoking lesson for me, and a very important one, too. All three of the problems that Dr. Jane mentioned are major concerns to our planet, and it’s such a disappointment that not enough people are talking about this and making that extra effort to figure out solutions for them. I care so much for nature, and about the world that we call our home, and hope against all the odds that the human race can pull it together, and find ways to give back to the earth that has done so much for us.

Svanfridur M.

I wholeheartedly agree with her finishing lines and find that too many people are disregarding them. I say the exact same things nearly every day to my classmates, yet all of them take either one of three positions: hopelessness, a disregard for such problems as ones for the far-off future, and a lazy uncaringness. We need to get off our high western thrones of wealth and learn that these things will affect not only the poor and wildlife but us as well - and soon! This whole situation and the attitudes people have are scarily similar to a passage from Frank Herbert's book, Children of Dune. "This is the age of the shrug," he writes, "Our civilization could well die of indifference within it before succumbing to external attack" (sound familiar?). We're all so worried about how annoying our coworkers/classmates are, whether we'll get that promotion, with this competition. Whether Russia will attack, North Korea will nuke us, or our trade war with China will ruin the economy, that we forget to see the issues within: the blatant disregard many Americans seem to have for others! This problem is at the root of the three issues she mentioned, as well as the fourth major thing I think should be added to the list: climate change. If we don't change this attitude, we won't survive, and that is truly what is at the root of these problems.

ANGELA R.

About the interrelated problems, I believe Jane is right, but there is something actually missing: the capitalist mode of production. And I'm not a communist, but a system that thrives on accumulation, endless exploitation and the procution of a reserve army has to be overcome if we want to embrace a way of living that is sustainable and respectful. Also, I believe that the most unsustainable habit we have is the consumption of meat. Caring about the environment necessarily involves stopping the carnist food chain!

Mia S.

"If we paid more for the food, we would think more about wasting it - if we actually put a price on food, the real price, the price to the environment, the price to the future of creating it, it would cost a lot more and we'd think more carefully about how much we buy. We'd treasure it. I was really fortunate to grow up during the years of the war in England, because we valued every mouthful we took. I think it was one egg a week, per person, and coupons for everything. All our clothes were second-hand. A square of chocolate was a treat. It took me a long time after the war to feel OK about buying a bar of chocolate, a whole bar. Now we don't think twice about it. More and more people are getting wealthy and therefore the unsustainable lifestyle is having an ever-greater impact. Third - human population growth. It's very difficult to think of these three interrelated problems and how we're going to solve them; sometimes it feels as though it's impossible to solve them. Yet, if we give up, if we lose that hope, then what about the future, for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren? We must've give up, we must solve the problems."

Mia S.

"People sometimes say, 'What do you see as the biggest problem on the planet today, thinking about a sustainable future and how we're harming the planet now?' I see three main problems, all interrelated. One, extreme poverty. Because if you're really poor and you're living in a rural area, you're going to cut down the last trees because you need to grow food, or because you need money and you want to make charcoal. You're going to do that because you have to. If you're living in an urban area and you're really poor, you're going to buy the cheapest food, because you have to. You're not going to be able to say, 'How was it made? Was it ethically made? Should I be buying something else?' You have to buy the cheapest, if you're really poor. As we all know, so many people on the planet today are living in extreme poverty. The second big problem is the unsustainable lifestyle of so many of the rest of us. We have way more than we need. We very often have more than we even want. But it's just the thing to do, to store up material goods. The way some people live, it's actually painful to me to see how some people live and the waste. What a wasteful society we are; we are just throwing our waste out, filling up landfills, polluting the environment with waste."

Mia S.

"It's pretty bad when we think back through human history, how wealthy nations have moved into the developing world and just taken over parts of the land. Think what's happened to the Native Americans - think how they've been drive out of where they've been for hundreds of thousands of years, and put on reservations. Think of the way people having been buying up the natural world, like water resources - privatizing it so that ordinary people have to pay for something that should be free for everyone. And some people can't pay for it. This is one of the big problems that we face today. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is widening all the time. This is why we get some of the political disasters that we've seen in recent years. It's all tied up with the exploitation of natural resources. I spent time in Nebraska to see this incredible migration of the sandhill cranes. Every time I'm there, it hurts to fly over that land. It hurts to drive along the roads, because everywhere you see the center pivots. This is machinery that drills down, down into the aquifer. It's going ever deeper because the levels in the aquifer are dropping. This is drawing water to irrigate land that isn't suitable for growing crops like corn. This is stealing the water. There are places, animals, environments, habitats that used to be flourishing and green and now they're dry and desert-like because the water has been drained for agriculture so that farmers can become wealthy. People are suffering; animals are certainly suffering."

Lisa

My husband has been a missionary around the world, I have not, but in our home we are very careful not to waste any food because we know how precious it is to other people in other lands. So much more has to be done though. The destruction of the rainforest must cease. Intensive farming must be halting. It's crushing the family farmer. It's hard not to feel daunted at times.

Charlet C E.

I can fully relate to what she had to say about being impoverished. I was raised in So. Calif. where we were in the mid-lower class and in the environment we've been plunked into, we have a tendency to see ourselves as being helpless to do anything about it. As she said, we bought the cheapest because we had no choice, it's all preset. Any human initiative to live more "naturally" or more "mindfully" was repressed by the Los Angelene environment. I'm told it's even worse now than it was back in the 60s/70s when I was growing up. Now that I live in Arkansas, another struggling economic environment, we are in a better position to live in accord with nature, somewhat. However, it is still pretty-much a pre-set (what we must do in order to pay the grocery bill and the electric coop). It's a hard thing, to try to break out of the norms and routines established long before we were born, sometimes it is difficult not to give in and give up because one can feel so defeated. I believe that must be why those Last Alaskan and other homesteader programs are so popular now (God help me, NO, I am not talking about Clash of the Ozarks! Bless Crowbar's departed soul) But at any rate, I guess we just need to persist and keep educating the little ones, planting the seeds of hope for the future.

Zubair Abid A.

I hear her, we need to internalise the 'external' costs. Cost to the environment, cost to the society of waste, of irresponsible consumption is no where considered. It is not adjusted from the GDP of a country - then why would anyone care? If you buy a plastic water bottle, you should be charged the 'full' cost of consuming it, not just the cost of production but also the cost to recycle it, the decomposition cost etc.