‘Approaching a point of no return’ Goodall on climate change

British primatologist Jane Goodall, photo: Reuters/ Christian Hartmann
Jane Goodall, photo: Reuters/ Christian Hartmann

Earth’s climate is changing so fast that humanity is running out of chances to repair it, British primatologist Jane Goodall said.

Goodall, a pioneer of environmentalism, said time was rapidly shortening to stop the worst consequences of human-caused global warming.

“We are literally approaching a point of no return,” Goodall told news agency AFP, adding that she finds it terrifying to see what’s happening around the world with climate change. “We are part of the natural world, and we depend on healthy ecosystems.”

The 88-year-old Goodall is best known for her study of chimpanzees in Tanzania, which found “human-like” behavior among the animals.

Goodall said her own environmental awareness came in the 1980s while she was working in Mongolia, where she realized that hillsides had been stripped of trees. People were cutting trees -to sell wood or clear land to grow food- to make money.

“So if we don’t help these people find ways of making a living without destroying their environment, we can’t save chimpanzees, forests, or anything else, she said.

Goodall explained that the short-term thinking of economic gain takes precedence over the long-term protection of the environment.

“I don’t pretend to be able to solve the problems that this creates because there are major problems. And yet, if we look at the alternative, which is continuing to destroy the environment, we’re doomed,” she added.


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