The Power of One

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I derive the most hope from the energy and hard work of young people. Roots & Shoots, J.G.I.'s program for youth from preschool through university, is now active in 70 countries. The name is symbolic: roots and shoots together can break up brick walls, just as citizens of Earth together can overcome our problems. The more than 4,000 groups of young people are cleaning creeks, restoring prairies and wetlands, planting trees, clearing trash, recycling--and making their voices heard.

We have huge power, we of the affluent societies, we who are causing the most environmental damage. For we are the consumers. We do not have to buy products from companies with bad environmental policies. To help us, the Internet is linking small grassroots movements so that people who once felt they were on their own can contact others with the same concerns.

I feel deep shame when I look into the eyes of my grandchildren and think how much damage has been done to Planet Earth since I was their age. Each of us must work as hard as we can now to heal the hurts and save what is left.

For more on Goodall's work with chimpanzees and other conservation causes, visit

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