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You're listening to Comedy Central. Now, Dr. Jane Goodall, welcome to The Daily Social Distancing Show. Well, thank you so much for inviting me to join you. I feel like it's not even my invitation to give you or somebody who has been in the hearts and minds of so many people across the globe. You've been studying our primate cousins for six decades now. I mean, arguably, we know more about the world of primates because of you than we ever would have had you not gotten involved.
Have we learned everything there is to know about our primate cousins?
I don't think so. I mean, after 60 years, we're still learning new things about the same chimpanzee community. And especially when I into the fourth generation, you know, they can live to be about 60 years old, but studied them all this time. You can see they think of different kinds of mothering you could look at. Now we can detect the fathers by doing DNA analysis from their fecal samples so we can say, well, does the paternity have any influence on the personality of the child?
All questions like this are absolutely fascinating.
I've always wanted to know how did Jane Goodall, at twenty six years old, decide, you know what, I'm going to go and study chimpanzees and what makes them tick and who they are?
Well, it actually all began when I was 10 years old, growing up in England, growing up in the days before TV and computers and cell phones, spending time outside. And then when I was 10, I went to some of the apes and I decided I'm going to go to Africa and live with wild animals and write books about them. Everybody. Now, how would you do that? Well, who is writing? And you're just a girl.
But my mother, my amazing mother, she's right here behind me. She just said, if you really want something, you're going to have to work really hard, take advantage of every opportunity. And if you don't give up, maybe you'll find a way. And that's the message that I take to young people around the world, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
We seem to be the only species that at an alarming rate destroys our environment. You know, we we don't see any other animals doing this. We see a natural balance in nature. We see an understanding of one thing affecting the other. But it feels like more and more and you discuss this from the perspective of an animal researcher. Habitats are being destroyed. The world is changing. Do you see those effects within the chimpanzee communities that that you so often frequent?
Well, no, but you know something, I think if they developed an intellect along the lines of Oz, they would probably do exactly the same. And I feel that what we're doing to destroy the planet is because we can do it a while, got ourselves into this situation where we can cut down forests just like that. And what's the result of it? Well, we basically bow to a pandemic on ourselves and we basically brought about the climate crisis that we've done that.
And it's high time that we step back and say, gosh, we don't. We care about the future of our children, that we care about the health of the planet because we're part of this natural world, not separated from you have become even more famous over the over the past few years, not just for your research and your work, but also as being an outspoken climate change activist.
Over the past few months. In fact, we've seen your social media explode with people just engaging with you and connecting with you. And you really have become one of the loudest voices calling for change when it comes to our fight to stop the climate from getting warmer. What do you think people don't understand in the conversation?
I think people are burying their heads in the sand. I think, you know, even climate change deniers have begun to say, well, yes, the climate is changing. I mean, you can't deny it, can you? I mean, you cannot deny the fact that temperatures are hotter. You can't deny the facts of these terrible fires, this arranging in so many parts of the world. You can't deny that the ice is melting and you see the ice on the tops of the mountains disappearing in the snow and you can't deny the drought.
So, yes, but there are still some people who say, yes, yes, but that's just natural. It's nothing to do with us. Well, those are people who refuse to listen to science because the scientists have proven that the levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, have risen exponentially and in a way never seen throughout the whole course of evolution. So. What do we what do we say to them? I don't know. They refuse to believe it, but young people, they're beginning to understand the beginning stand that it's our fault.
But there's a tendency now for people to lose hope because some signs saying we've reached the tipping point, there's nothing we can do that I refuse to believe in the window of time. And if we get together, then we can at least start to heal some of the harm we've inflicted.
What would you say to a young person who has lost hope, a young person who wants to change the world but feels like they cannot?
Yeah, well, that's why I started this route. And it's because I was meeting young people like that who said, you've compromised our future and there's nothing we can do about it. That's when I said, no, no, you're wrong. And the main message of this program is that every single day we live, we make some impact on the planet. We get to choose what sort of impact we make, what we buy. Where did it come from, the time the environment?
Was it cruel to animals? We can choose, however, those living in deep poverty and those so many of them, they can't choose to destroy the last trees to try and grow food, to feed their families or feed the fish and to buy the cheapest junk food because they have to survive. So changing the gap between the haves and the have nots, alleviating poverty, thinking each one of us about our environmental footprint. These are the things that really matter.
Now everybody can get involved. If you roll up your sleeves and you say, well, I can't change the world, I can clean the stream, and then that stream water will run clean into the river. And there are many of the people cleaning streams and the rivers getting cleaner and cleaner and eventually water into the ocean. Then you know that all around the world of people tackling the same things that you care about, then the cumulative effect of individual action starts to hit you and then you feel hopeful.
It's when you take action that you leave this feeling of despair and the hopelessness.
Why I hope as many people take action as possible. I thank you for changing not just my life, but I think the lives of many, many millions of people around the world. Dr. Jane, thank you so much for joining me on the show. Well, thank you.
And you're doing exactly the same purpose, so shake on it.
Thank you so much. The Daily Show with Criminal Ears Edition once The Daily Show weeknights at 11:00, 10:00 Central on Comedy Central and the Comedy Central Watch full episodes and videos at The Daily Show Datong. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Daily Show on YouTube for exclusive content and more. This has been a Comedy Central podcast now.