Business, Politics & Society


Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 14:14 min

Water is one of our most precious resources. And yet, Dr. Jane says we take it for granted. Here’s how we should think about water before it's too late.

Dr. Jane Goodall
Teaches Conservation
In 29 lessons, Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.
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One of the real big threats that we face in the future is shortage of fresh water supplies. And people are always saying, we'll eventually run out of oil and gas. We can live without oil and gas. We know the alternatives. We cannot live without water. Life cannot exist without water. It's what people search for when they find a new planet circling around another sun, might it sustain life, is there water there. And unfortunately, we are so many people are just taking water for granted. They-- a major problem is because of human population growth, and because of this idea that we can play around with nature, huge amounts of water being diverted from the underground aquifers to irrigate areas to grow crops which should not be growing crops because the water supply isn't sufficient. So bringing this water up from deep down below, draining the aquifers, at the same time the runoff from the agriculture polluting that groundwater and then down into the deep aquifers. You know, this is causing huge, huge problems. And I've actually spoken with people who said, well, on this farm there used to be little pools and little springs. And everything was green and .. But now, in order to get water, we have to drill down. And each year we have to drill a little bit deeper. So where will this end? Some people foresaw a future where water shortage was going to lead to war. And I'm told that certain companies sent people around to actually buy up the rights to aquifers in different countries. And it's tragic that there is so much waste of water. And it makes me really upset that you can go into a shop and you can buy water from Fiji, and it boasts that it's come 2,000 miles over the sea, and it's fresh water from Fiji. And to bring water from Fiji, what's it doing to the ecosystem in Fiji? And what about the fossil fuel used to bring it. And yet, people will buy a bottle. They'll have a glass full. And the rest will get thrown away. We waste water. People are not thinking because-- and I think it's especially true in the United States. You go to every gas station, and you press a button, and you get free ice coming out. And that ice is just to keep some drink cool in your freezer so that you can enjoy a cool drink. And then the ice is all thrown out. And water is being wasted, wasted, wasted. Fortunately, some restaurants are beginning to offer you water. And would you like your glass refilled? But most restaurants, they just fill you up automatically. And then what happens to the water? It's wasted. [MUSIC PLAYING] Thinking about the importance of water leads us to think about the ocean, because it's into the ocean that the streams and the rivers drain. And what's happening to the streams and the rivers in so many places is that the runoff from industrial and agricultural and household waste is draining down...

Take action

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.


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

I would like to learn more and help with conservation even if it is in a small way.

Love her classes. Going to apply her wisdom and knowledge on practice

I love Jane! Jane has taught me that change doesn't have to be big, small changes, when accumulated can also bring significant impacts.

I have gone from someone wanting to learn what is unknown. I want to bring others along with me on the journey for that knowledge in making our world better.


René P.

There is a very straightforward way to cut your own personal water consumption. It's the adoption of some form of a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet (WFPBD) By sidestepping the production process of transforming vegetable and plant protein into flesh protein. The benefits of a dietary choice such as a WFPBD are realized in many other areas of human physiological health and stewardship of the larger environment, but the amount of water that can be left alone and safeguarded is a convincing reality. Estimates vary, but practitioners of a WFPBD stand to cut their own personal water consumption levels in half. And as a bonus your carbon footprint is also reduced by about half of a conventional Western Diet....and the majority of adopters experience and report better and improved health, energy levels, disease remediation, and so on.


It really is terrifying to know how much water is being wasted on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully humanity can better understand this fact in the near future and find at least some new solutions for this massive problem. I loved how Dr. Jane incorporated many important facts in this lesson about water, and about the whole plastic issue (it has to be said more often so people can realize why they NEED to always recycle), and a lot of what she mentioned was so informative yet so shocking, that you just have to sit back and shake your head at how many things us humans can be better at when it comes to conserving something so simple as fresh water.

Mary H.

The film Chasing Coral, recommended to me by a student, is interesting.

Mary H.

legal action to stop water pollution


As a creative copywriter I used to imagine and put words on big companies campaings which were shockingly greenwashing their wrongdoings, making their consummers focusing about "fake solutions", buying themselves a brand new clean consciousness. CoCa Cola is one of them. Advertising agencies are paid to do so everyday for clients from all sectors. Now imaging using that same energy and all these people toward clever solutions, best practices and better reusable products. Companies with strong ethics. Admen and women promoting a better way of living for all (fish included). We all are consummers therefore we are all powerful. We should feel responsible for what we buy how we buy and why. Get to know the companies you are buying products from and question their products and actions. It is causing more harm than it is doing good? Are you ok with this? Would your children be ok too?

Louanne F.

Wow, lots to think about with this one! I loved her comments about cruise ships and golf courses - we are so spoiled in this world to take pleasure at the expense of the environment, I'm sure that if you thought about everything you do from day to day you would be appalled by the amount of waste we all do without even a second's thought.

Brandon B.

I can safely say that all water and energy issues can already be solved using a nuclear technology that was developed by the United States called LFTR. The project was abandoned due to the fuel source not being weaponizable. Strangely enough, the fuel the reactor used (thorium) is abundant in all dirt but is controlled as a dangerous waste. Which caused almost every rare earth mine to shut down in the United State. Where uranium is almost as rare as platinum costing billions of dollars to extract and form. Not to mention the reactor design developed was inherently safe, meaning if there was an accident the reactor by design would shut itself down. All I want to point out is that solutions to the problems we've created for ourselves and the environment are out there. The only problem comes in that business won't move unless there is money in it. Providing people with this kind of technology will destroy scarcity of all kinds.


In the south, most homes could benefit from having a rain barrel, I've seen made reasonably with a large yard trash can and a spiget cut into the bottom area with a circular drill (like for a doorknob but smaller), the top is mesh and the gutter runs into it...helps in the summer to water the garden and when there are water restrictions by the municipalities.

eddy L.

Humanity needs to stop studying mars because we are turning earth into mars! :)

Mia S.

"I think at least people are beginning to understand that water is A) very precious and B) a diminishing resource. The big companies are beginning to understand this. I was really sort of angry but amused that Coca-Cola are now using, as an advertising ploy, the fact that they understand that they're using a lot of water, and they're trying to conserve it. But they're going on using it all the same. Very clever advertising, some of these big companies - you have to take your hat off to them. What can we do? First of all, we need to understand that what we do makes a difference, and if we have in our own personal habits that we need to conserve water, that it's precious, and I know many people who collect rainwater off their roofs. People are beginning to realize that it's better to plant indigenous species in their gardens in desert-like areas, because they don't need watering in the dry season. Then there's golf courses - huge amounts of water. But not only huge amounts of water wasted keeping a golf course green, but also all the herbicides put on the grass. That's washed down, and that adds to the pollution of the streams and ultimately the ocean. If golf courses have to be green and smooth, it should be artificial grass. The cost in the long term for the future will be cheaper than going on polluting the land and wasting water. Do we need to take a very long shower or a huge bath? They're putting more water on their body than their body needs. King George Vi, he told us water was very precious, and it was needed to water the garden, to grow the food - the 'victory gardens' they were called - so we could be self-sustaining in case of a Nazi siege or something. 'You must never have a bath that's more than six inches deep.' You go to most places, you don't have flush toilets, you have long drops. There are toilets made now, compostable ones - they don't smell. And we just happily flush the toilet - we waste all that water in order to have a pee. And you think of all the people flushing the toilet so many times a day, and then that water all gets mixed up and it's just tragic. We must learn to value water."