Jane Goodall, renowned chimp expert and conservationist, spread her message of hope for the environment during a lecture Tuesday in front of nearly 5,700 people at the University of Rhode Island.
Goodall's talk was a part of URI's Fall 2017 Honors Colloquium lecture series. Her lecture was the most attended in the event's 54-year history.
Goodall said the planet is already seeing the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels. However, she believes things will get better because social media can now connect environmental advocates from around the world.
"We can bring the voices together so that the voices swell, so that people can feel supported, so that they no longer feel alone, and eventually the voice of the people will be so strong that politicians and businesses will have to listen,” Goodall said.
Goodall added people are also finding ways to live more environmentally friendly, such as recycling and thinking about where their food comes from.
"It doesn’t seem (like) much, but when billions of people around the planet are making ethical life choices like that, then it’s changing the world," Goodall said.
Goodall said other reasons for hope include children who want to make a difference environmentally, nature's resiliency to climate change, and the human spirit.
During her lecture, Goodall also shared stories about her mother, innate curiosity about animals, and chimpanzee research in Africa.