Science & Tech, Home & Lifestyle, Community & Government

Reasons for Hope

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 12:47 min

Dr. Jane contends that there are four main reasons for hope: the energy of youth, the power of the human brain, the resilience of nature, and the power of social media.

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Topics include: The Energy of Youth • The Human Brain • The Resilience of Nature • Social Media


Today, we know the world is in a mess, socially and environmentally and economically. And there's a lot of reason for depression. And people are always asking me, Jane, do you really have hope for the future? You've seen so much suffering. You've seen forests disappear. You've seen chimpanzees tortured in medical research laboratories. You've seen crippling poverty. You've seen people harmed by conflict. Do you really have hope for the future? And I do have my reasons for hope, but I think the most important and meaningful reason for hope, for me, is the young people. Because now, wherever I go around the world, and I am traveling 300 days a year, I always try and get to schools. I always try and encourage young people to come together, the Roots & Shoots groups bringing their different projects, getting together, sharing their projects. And so wherever I go, there are these young people with shining eyes wanting to tell Dr. Jane what they've been doing to make this a better world, being utterly amazed and thrilled by the variety of projects. And because each child is encouraged to think of a project that they care about, they're all passionate. They're passionate about their projects. So the reason I have hope because of Roots & Shoots is it isn't that young people can change the world, they are. They are changing the world even as we speak, and not just environmentally, not just because they care about animal rights, but because they care about improving things for people as well. The same holistic message that's really threaded its way through everything I've done in my life is part of Roots & Shoots. So that's my main reason for hope. [MUSIC PLAYING] I have four other reasons for hope. And one of them is this extraordinary human brain. So as I've said, the biggest difference I see between us chimpanzees and other animals is this explosive development of our intellect, possibly triggered in part by the fact that we created this way of communication with words so that we can teach about things that are not present, discuss the past, plan the future, and bring people from different backgrounds together to try and solve a common problem. So we've used our brain, I'm afraid, for some pretty bad purposes. But because we have this intellect, we now have the hope of using it to solve the problems that are being created in part by our intellect. And the good signs, the good news, the hope, lies in all the ways, all the technologies that already allow us to live in greater harmony with nature. The use of solar power, it's free. The use of wind power, the use of the tides, we still have some way to go. We've still got to learn how using this will not harm bird migrations, not kill bats, and so forth. But nevertheless, we're taking big strides. And interestingly, the leader in solar technology, and probably the country that will be the firs...

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.

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Dr. Jane Goodall

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

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