by Kathie England

Reason for Hope

“Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall we all be saved.” (Jane Goodall)

TIME magazine’s September 23, 2019 Special Climate Issue included an article by Jane Goodall that reminded me of her book, Reason for Hope. Published in 2000, Reason for Hope talked about how we are destroying our planet, yet she still had hope.

Few people have traveled more widely to raise awareness of this destruction that is even more imminent today. In 2000 Goodall stated, “If we truly care about the future of our planet, we must stop leaving it to ‘them’ out there to solve all the problems. It’s up to us to save the world for tomorrow: it’s up to you and me.”

In 2019 Goodall believes we can slow the climate crisis by solving four problems that seem unsolvable: eliminate poverty, change the unsustainable lifestyles of so many of us, abolish corruption, and manage our growing human population.

Her reasons for hope today are: the resilience of nature, the human brain, social media, and the power of young people. Just as many young people are working to end gun violence in America (March for Our Lives), many others like Greta Thunberg are rallying the entire world to take action about climate.

In 1991, Goodall launched Roots & Shoots, a program where young people from kindergarteners to university students create projects to make the world a better place for animals, people, and the environment. This program now exists in more than 50 countries.

Perhaps this crisis still feels too overwhelming, so I want to close with the words of Malala Yousafzai, another young person who is making a difference.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful!”

How will you use your voice today?