Climate Warnings – 'Possibility for Corrective Actions Running Out'
"We are literally approaching a point of no return"
The Earth's climate is changing so fast that humanity is running out of options to take corrective action, warns leading scientist Jane Goodall.
Goodall, a world-renowned environmentalist, anthropologist and activist for many decades, said time is running out fast to halt the worst effects of human-caused global warming.
"We are literally approaching a point of no return," the scientist told AFP.
“Look around the world at what is happening with climate change. It's scary. We are part of the natural world and depend on healthy ecosystems," he said.
Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking six-decade study of chimpanzees in Tanzania, which identified "human-like" behavior among the animals, including a propensity for war, as well as the ability to display emotions.
Now 88, the British scientist is also an author and her books have been the subject of films. She has also been transformed into a Lego figure and a Barbie doll.
Goodall said her own environmental awakening came in the 1980s while working in Mongolia, where she realized the hillsides were being stripped bare.
"The reason people cut down trees was to have more land, to grow food as their families grew and also to make money from charcoal or timber," he said.
"So if we don't help these people find ways to live without destroying their environment, we can't save chimpanzees or forests or anything else," he said.
Goodall says she has seen some changes for the better in recent decades, but called for faster action.
He said we know what we need to do and we have the tools, "but we're dealing with the short-term position of financial gain versus the long-term protection of the environment for the future."
"I don't pretend that I can solve the problems that the crisis creates because there are big problems. And yet, if we look at the alternative, which continues to destroy the environment, we are doomed," he said.
Goodall spoke last Sunday on the sidelines of an event for the Templeton Prize, an annual award given to individuals whose work uses science to explore questions facing humanity.
The prize money went to the Jane Goodall Institute, a global wildlife and environmental organization that runs youth programs in 66 countries.