Heroes

Jane Goodall, along with 30 other world leaders, tells us not to lose hope over deforestation.

"Deforestation is changing our climate, harming people and the natural world. We must, and can, reverse this trend."

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Unilever and the United Nations

Would you destroy your own grocery store?

1.6 billion people worldwide depend on forests to live.

"Most of the indigenous peoples in Indonesia — their lives depend on the forest. The forest is their supermarket," said Abdon Nababan, Secretary General of Indigenous Peoples Groups Indonesia.


All GIFs via Avoided Deforestation Partners/YouTube.

And every piece of forest lost to burning and logging is like another aisle gone from the store for them.

That's one of the key messages 30 world leaders have come together to promote in a new video from Avoided Deforestation Partners. Former prime ministers and presidents, international CEOs ... they all want to see an end to deforestation.

Because at the rate we're going now, rain forests might be gone by the end of this century.

We've already lost half of our tropical forests. Cutting down trees to make room for cattle or other kinds of agriculture is the biggest problem, but logging clears massive areas of forest too.

If deforestation continues unabated, millions of people who have lived with the forests for generations will lose their livelihoods and their homes.

Not to mention all the animals and plant species that will be lost.

It may even have ripple effects far beyond the borders of the tropics as rainfall patterns change. People will have to deal with new droughts, storms, and food shortages.

"That means a lot more risk to human health," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, "devastating consequences for coastal communities and infrastructure, massive effects and impacts on the most vulnerable populations."

But this is actually a message of hope.

We have an amazing opportunity here.

"If we do protect the forests, it is the single quickest, biggest thing we can do to mitigate climate change," said Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

We don't need new technology or some sort of crazy geo-engineering to accomplish this. Countries around the world are already taking steps to protect their forests and the people who depend on them. We just need the collective will to extend these protections around the globe.

We have an amazing opportunity here.

"The destruction of our forests is terrifying," said Jane Goodall, "Deforestation is changing our climate, harming people and the natural world. We must, and can, reverse this trend. The time to stand together and ask more leaders to stop the madness is now."

There's time enough, but none to spare. Watch the full thing below.

Listen to Goodall narrate this fascinating and thought-provoking video:

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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