Legendary primatologist, conservationist and naturalist Jane Goodall has spent more than 50 years on protecting the planet. From her famous encounters with chimpanzees as a young woman to her tireless work campaigning for the environment in her late 80s,Goodall is the godmother of climate activists. Her new book, The Book of Hope, shares her wisdom on how to find strength in the face of climate change, and why she still has hope for the natural world.
Goodall’s love of animals and the natural environment started when she was a young girl, and she says that she would spend hours reading books about animals in trees. Her groundbreaking work studying chimpanzees in Tanzania in the 1960s when she was in her twenties helped cement her place as a heavyweight in the conservation world, as her observations about the species creating and using tools was something that was believed, until then, to be unique to humans. She gracefully overcame the obstacles that came with being a woman in a male-dominated field, like being objectified and accused of receiving money from National Geographic because of her looks.
Now, at 87, she is still working vigorously on running her conservation empire; the Jane Goodall Institute, dedicated to protecting wildlife and the environment, has chapters in 24 countries, and there’s also Roots & Shoots, a programme to engage youth around the world to care more about the environment.
The Book of Hope
Through conversations with her co-author Doug Abrams, The Book of Hope draws on her lifetime of work, including her travels and activism, offering readers a new understanding of climate change and a path forward for all of us to create hope in our own lives and in the world.
Her “Reasons for Hope” include the Human Intellect, the Resilience of Nature, the Power of Young People and the Indomitable Human Spirit. Using questions from her remarkable life, research and career, the book explores questions like, “How do we stay hopeful? How do we inspire hope in the next generation?”
She calls the book “a survival guide for trying times” and says that it is part of her mission to reach as many people as possible. She says, “This planet, it doesn’t have infinite natural resources; they are finite. They can come to an end.”
She rejects the idea that we need to do a lot in our personal lives to be more sustainable, saying, “you don’t have to do it all. Even if you just pick one thing, like eating less meat. Just do something.”
Goodall wants The Book of Hope to serve as a manifesto of hope in a warming world, and to show that even in the face of great adversity and uncertainty, we can find hope in human nature, and in nature itself. It has never been more important to pay attention to our impact on the planet, and work to have less of an impact on it.
Get your copy of The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall here.
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