Jane Goodall may be in her late 80s, but she has the same drive, passion and energy as the next generation of climate activists.
The trailblazing environmentalist and animal researcher has a new book co-authored with Douglas Abrams called The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for an Endangered Planet, in which she lays out action plans for young climate activists and reflects on a planet in crisis.
In an interview with NPR, she said the ability to tackle such a large and overwhelming problem is about small shifts in mindset and perspective.
“I’ve met so many people who don’t have hope, who say they feel helpless and hopeless,” the 87-year-old activist and author of over 25 books told NPR. “And I say to them, ‘Well, that’s because we’re always being told to think globally, act locally.’ But quite honestly, if you think globally you’re just so depressed.”
Goodall does not gloss over any of the dire circumstances and reports from scientists about the state of climate change, and she speaks openly about her feelings of “eco-grief” — a sense of distress around climate change.
But distress is not the same as hopelessness, she insists, which is why she founded youth action program Roots and Shoots program three decades ago.
“We have not just compromised the future of young people, we’ve been stealing it,” she said. “But is there nothing they can do? Was that true? No, there’s always something to do.”
Goodall’s new book, published this week, is a sign that the eco-activist is not slowing down anytime soon. “I’ve never worked so hard in my life,” she told Conde Nast Traveler from her home in London. “I’m doing podcasts, Zoom conferences. It’s literally morning til dark.”