My wife insisted that I go to the Angelina Jolie press conference — even though AJ was focused on educating one million children affected by conflict, and not global warming. Fortunately, CGI had a wireless feed from all the working sessions, so I was able to get all the camera phone pix of AJ while I didn’t miss the woman I really wanted to hear, Jane Goodall.
I will say this for AJ — she is very serious about her work with refugees. And even with two hundred press crammed into this room for her, and photographers literally crawling over each other for photos — especially whenever she brushed her hair back — she very graciously brought many of the country experts into the Q&A.
Jane Goodall was full of quiet passion, as always. If anyone is a “must hear,” she is (here she is speaking at Google). She has devoted her name and her sober wisdom to Forests Now, whose declaration is “Forests Now in the Fight against Climate Change.”
Jane spoke with great eloquence about global warming and the need to save our tropical forests, not just because of the carbon they contain, but also the biodiversity — “I want children to hear the wonderful voice of chimpanzees” and then she imitated the call of her beloved primate. She pointed out that “orangutans, one of our closest living relatives, are hanging by a thread.” She poignantly quoted a native of the Arctic:
“Every day we in the north see what you in the south are doing to the Earth. We have seen what it takes to melt the Arctic ice. What will it take to melt the ice in the human heart?”
She warned about the dangers posed by biofuels, a point Climate Progress has made many times: “We already have examples in the developing world where biofuels could spell the end of tropical forests.”
She warned, “We have reached a point in time that if we don’t act now … it will be too late. Global warming is real.”
Kudos to this great lady for her tireless work on behalf of all primates, indeed, all species, including the one whose short-sightedness threatens them all.