MADISON, Wis. -- Few names in the scientific community are as widely known as Dr. Jane Goodall's.
On Sunday, the world-famous conservationist and ethologist -- known for her groundbreaking discoveries about animal behavior while observing wild chimpanzees in Tanzania six decades ago -- will hold a talk reflecting on her time studying the primates and how lessons from her time advocating for environmental causes could give younger generations a ray of inspiration for dealing with the climate crisis.
In an interview with News 3 Now on Friday ahead of her talk, Goodall said many of us still have a lot to learn from the non-human world, including the realization that intentionally or not, humanity is destroying the life everyone on earth depends on.
"If you look at the complex ecosystem as a beautiful living tapestry, every time a species from that particular ecosystem disappears, it's like pulling a thread from the tapestry," Goodall said. "And if we continue to pull threads, then that tapestry will hang in tatters, and the ecosystem will collapse. And that's happening."
At 88 years old, Goodall is still driven by a desire to learn as much as she can, and her passion for learning extends to helping others do the same. Goodall pointed to her organization's education initiatives, like the youth education Roots and Shoots program which has a presence in 68 countries, as an example of helping people make connections with the natural world early in their lives.
Education, though, is only one part of the solution. Institutional challenges, mainly poverty, play an even bigger role in the global challenge at hand. Where there's a lack of resources, there's a lack of choice, Goodall said.
"Changing attitudes depends partly on alleviating ignorance so that people truly understand what's going on in the world today," Goodall said. "It is also enabling people to get the education they need to get enough money to make ethical choices. So again, it's a complete inter-related mixture."
The final layer to finding a solution to the mounting pressures of climate change, Goodall said, is human connection. Whether in the form of stories or conversations, that's how people's minds are changed.
"When you're trying to change people's minds, you have to reach their hearts," Goodall said. "If it's really going to make a difference, they need to change from within, and I have found the best way to plant seeds of change within people is to tell stories; tell a story that can actually reach their heart."
COPYRIGHT 2023 BY CHANNEL 3000. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.
Logan Rude is the assignment editor and a digital producer for WISC-TV News 3 Now and Channel3000.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a tip or news story you would like to see covered, e-mail it to email@example.com.