Watch this gorilla use sign language to warn humans about their impact on the earth.

You remember Koko the gorilla, right?

Koko was born in the '70s at the San Francisco Zoo. Francine (Penny) Patterson, then a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford, started studying young Koko's linguistics capabilities and eventually taught her a rudimentary version of sign language.


Image via Noé ONG/YouTube.

Over the years, Koko has become a gorilla celebrity and spokes-ape for global conservation efforts. She adopted a kitten (several, actually), helped sell an award-winning children's book, befriended a ton of celebrities, and Dr. Patterson went on to start the Gorilla Foundation.

At 44 years old, Koko is still thriving. And spokes-ape-ing.

In this video compilation created by Noé Conservation and produced for the 2015 COP21 climate change meeting outside Paris, Koko is shown signing directly to the public. (Note: Koko was coached for this and followed a script, and the video is heavily edited to portray her as able to comprehend these issues. While she may be extraordinarily intelligent and talented, gorillas do not understand environmentalism.)

In the video, Koko tells us she loves people, and she loves the Earth.

All GIFs via Noé ONG/YouTube.

But then the tone of her message changes.

But, Koko! I thought we were friends...

And Koko ends her message with a gorilla-sized request.

Here is this gorilla — kind, tender, and clearly intelligent — asking not just her handlers, but all of us to clean up our act. Whether it's protecting biodiversity (like rare gorilla species), stopping poachers, limiting deforestation, or any of the myriad of issues gorillas and other endangered species face.

Koko would do it herself, but she can't ... at least not until the (increasingly likely) gorilla uprising happens. So, for now, she's doing what good friends (human and gorilla alike) do best: Call each other out on their b.s.

She's right. We need to fix Earth. We need to help Earth. Right this second.

Nearly 200 nations answered Koko's call at December's COP21 meeting on climate change.

196 nations adopted an agreement that set the ambitious goal of curbing the world's rise in average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. Since studies show we may already be halfway there, this agreement couldn't have come at a better time.

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres, Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, Foreign Affairs Minister and President-designate of COP21 Laurent Fabius, and France's President Francois Hollande celebrate after the adoption of the climate pact. Photo by Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images.

Each country's government still needs to seal the deal. But if they don't, they'll have to deal with millions of angry citizens, and one gorilla who's had it up to here with their inaction.

What's the sign for, "Finish the job or sleep with one eye open, world leaders?"

Got a minute? Watch Koko's message in its entirety.

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less