Chapter 17 of 29 from Dr. Jane Goodall

Industrial Agriculture

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The need to grow copious amounts of food to keep up with human population growth is harming our planet and our society, as Dr. Jane explains.

Topics include: Monocultures • The Dangers of GMOs • GMOs Have Far-Reaching Effects

The need to grow copious amounts of food to keep up with human population growth is harming our planet and our society, as Dr. Jane explains.

Topics include: Monocultures • The Dangers of GMOs • GMOs Have Far-Reaching Effects

Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall Teaches Conservation

In 29 lessons, Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.

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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.

Watch, listen, and learn as legendary naturalist Dr. Jane Goodall shares decades of her work and observations.

A downloadable workbook with lesson recaps is available in two versions: one for adults and one for families.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Jane will also critique select student work.

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This brilliant class changed me in subtle ways. Her passion is contagious, her connection with the world profound, and her sense of justice inspiring.

I loved the conversational nature of the course. It's been a few years since I sat down with Jane in Bali but this medium is certainly the closest you'll find to actually being in the same room sharing poignant conversation with the good doctor herself.

I have hope! Even if what I do does not change the whole world it can change my small part of the world and could inspire a young person open their eyes to even greater possibilities.

This is the most inspiring class I have ever taken. Thank you so much!

Comments

Louanne F.

I hope that the upcoming lessons will offer some action steps we can all take to hopefully raise awareness of these issues, etc. It's frustrating and heartbreaking to hear all these things without a way to help combat them. But thanks to Jane for giving us all this information in such depth.

Mary H.

I marched against Monsanto holding a save the bees poster. It was well organized. https://www.facebook.com/mary.hollowell.315/posts/772772696393097

Mary H.

https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/news/2006/06/sibiol-conference-at-nus-with-dr.-jane-goodall-and-orchid-naming-at-singapore-botanic-garden

eddy L.

Soil was never meant to be ever cultivated. Cultivating soil or turning soil only kills the important microbes in the soil, like exposing intestinal bacteria to direct sunlight. We have been farming wrong for thousands of years. If we dont control the human population, none of this will matter....

Mia S.

"These [GMO] plants have been advertised as saving the world, as providing enough food, as the human population grows - that these plants are the only ways that we can feed these populations. In 'Altered Genes, Twisted Truth' Steven absolutely debunks this.... I've read about the harm that can be inflicted on the poor old laboratory rat, they've been tested with various kinds of genetically modified food; the bad effect on the health of rats, rabbits, pigs - it's pretty conclusive that we are not safe, that we too can be affected by these genetically modified organisms. Because plants have been genetically modified to the attack of the pests that attack agricultural crops, it means - say the companies - that you don't have to spray anymore. Of course, what's happened is, as these plants grow, these plants will automatically kill any pest that dares to bite them. But of course, pests gradually become resistant. There are now these, they're known as 'superbugs' in the agricultural world... which can resist the toxin in the plant. That means that even more pesticides have to be sprayed onto the crops than they did before the plant was created, and so the soil becomes even more poisoned. Our health becomes even more at risk; bees are dying because of this, butterflies, ladybugs. Big companies are always trying to refute the evidence that proves that this is dangerous. Now you can spray the agricultural weeds with these herbicides, and your crop will resist this. But of course, the weeds develop resistance too. And this is one of the scariest things for agriculture - some of these agricultural weeds that have developed resistance are growing really fast, really huge. The farmers don't know what to do; several years ago, there were now 22 different weeds that were resistant to the herbicides. What's going to happen?"

Mia S.

"I was learning more and more about the number of plants that are already extinct or facing extinction. We find that many endemic species are gone forever, even before they've been described. Some friends of mine, botanists, were on an expedition - they discovered an unknown orchid. By the time they'd identified it and described it, it was the last one of its species, because the forest in which it grew - the only place where it grew - had been destroyed. The forests are destroyed for timber, destroyed to grow palm oil plantations... but they're also destroyed because of the need to grow ever more and more grain. That's partly for the meat industry, the agricultural farming of animals. But it's also, as human populations grow, the need for more land and ever more land to grow crops. One of the big problems, when you cut down old-growth forests, is that - although the soil is very fertile for a short time, very soon it loses its fertility and becomes a desert. So the deserts around the planet are increasing, and the human populations are growing, and people need more and more food. This is leading to a situation which is really shocking. When I think of children in the future, it means that we have to try and do everything we can to fight industrial agriculture. Because it's industrial agriculture - the growing of one single crop, a monoculture, on a huge area of land, forcing these plants to try and produce two crops a year when normally they would only produce one means putting more and more artificial chemical fertilizer into the soil, and this is poisoning the land. It's washing down into the streams and the rivers, and eventually polluting the ocean. One of the big problems in agriculture today is that companies are trying to grow more food, more cheaply. What's now known as conventional agriculture, small family farming - where people used to grow different crops, rotated them; they would leave land to lie fallow, to recover its fertility and move to another piece of land; they would run sheep, cattle and chickens over the land that had been used so that the natural fertilizer was restored, and then they would plant again... But as human populations grew, and as big companies wanted to make more money, that kind of agriculture they felt didn't yield the kind of crops they wanted fast enough. So they began planting monocultures of corn, wheat, soy and so forth. Very quickly, the land became infertile because these crops were being forced to grow. More and more artificial fertilizer was used, the more the soil became infertile, the more it was necessary, and it was poisoning the land in the end. If a disease springs up in this monoculture, then the whole crop may be lost."

Molly

I recently learned about Masanobu Fukuoka and I like his organic farming approach. He would mix different kinds of seeds into clay balls and just toss them anywhere in his garden. No tilling required and the plants will grow where they are fittest. He used hay for keeping weeds under control. Seed balls could be used to help return native plants to the land. Just toss some wildflower seed balls out the car window onto a median strip or to other areas in need. https://youtu.be/u8SLovl3Se4 https://youtu.be/HveaqQy9hUc

Carola S.

I have studied agriculture in the 90's and I have learned how to produce crops, etc. in the traditional way. Meanwhile I studied at the University I traveled to Germany where I worked in a organic farm. I learn how to be productive without chemicals, to take care of water and the soil. To get my degree as Engineer I present my final project about organic wine production and it was rejected, because teachers found it not valid. I have to wait 25 five years to see that I was right.

Kay K.

Companies (Monsanto) are unfortunately destroying economies that refuse to grow their crops. Not only are their crops unhealthy for our bodies and environment, the companies are becoming bullies...

Juleen D.

Is it true that growing more than one type of plant in a field can reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides? I think it is crazy that everyone wants to plant a monoculture of one type of grass in their yard and you have to mow it. If we are all going to plant a monoculture, can't we find one we don't have to mow???

Transcript

When I was writing the Seeds of Hope, I was learning more and more about the number of plants that are already extinct or facing extinction. And we find that many endemic species are gone forever, even before they've even been described. For example, some friends of mine, botanists from the Leiden Botanical gardens were on an expedition. And they discovered an unknown orchid. I'm rather attached to this orchid, because they named it for me. But by the time they'd identified it and described it, it was the last one of its species, because the forest in which it grew, the only place where it grew, had been destroyed. The forests are destroyed for timber. They're destroyed to grow palm oil plantations. But they're also destroyed-- huge areas of forest-- because of the need to grow ever more and more grain. And that's partly for the meat industry or the agricultural farming of animals. But it's also, as human populations grow, the need for more land and ever more land to grow crops. And one of the big problems when you cut down old growth forests, is that although the soil is very fertile for a short time, very soon it loses its fertility and becomes a desert. So the deserts around the planet are increasing. And the human populations are growing. And people need more and more food. So this is leading to a situation, which is really shocking. And when I think of children in the future, it means that we have to try and do everything we can to fight industrial agriculture, because it's industrial agriculture, the growing of one single crop, a monoculture on a huge area of land. Forcing these plants to try and produce two crops a year when normally they would only produce one, means putting more and more artificial chemical fertilizer into the soil. And this is poisoning the land. And it's washing down into the streams and the rivers, and eventually polluting the ocean. [MUSIC PLAYING] One of the big problems in agriculture today is that companies are trying to grow more food more cheaply. And what's now known as conventional agriculture-- I don't know how it got that name. Because, to me, conventional agriculture is small family farming, where people use to grow different crops. They rotated them. They would leave land to live fallow to recover its fertility and move to another piece of land. They would run sheep and cattle and chickens over the land that have been used, so that the natural fertilizer was restored. And then they would plant again. But as human populations grew and as big companies wanted to make more money, that kind of agriculture, they felt didn't yield the kind of crops they wanted fast enough. So they began planting monocultures of corn, of wheat, of soy, and so forth. And very quickly, the land became infertile, because these crops were being forced to grow to produce two crops a year, instead of just one. So more...