Rhett Butler: Hope is Sharing Knowledge to Empower
Play • 31 min

In this episode of the Hopecast, Dr. Jane Goodall is joined by Rhett Butler, an award winning journalist and the founder and CEO of Mongabay, a nonprofit environmental media organization. Rhett and Jane’s conversation offers a look at how news outlets can inform the public of the detrimental effects of climate change and environmental destruction while also highlighting the many positive stories of effective action and change. When Rhett was 17, he went to Malaysian Borneo and had a magical encounter with a wild male orangutan in the rainforest, when the orangutan stood within 30 feet of him and paused for a few moments to look at him. Rhett came back home to California and kept in correspondence with the scientists there. Several months later, Rhett found out that that same forest he had that surreal experience in was pulped to make paper, and became an oil palm plantation. This experience, among many others, pushed Rhett to take action to spread awareness. What was once meant to be a book became what is now known as Mongabay. Rhett and Jane discuss how news outlets, journalists, and whistleblowers can hold corporations accountable and encourage individuals, as well as policy action to ultimately protect our one and only home. Rhett shares stories that Mongabay has covered that keep the public informed, center indigenous and local communities, provide success stories, and have even prevented further devastation from occurring. Listen to this hopeful conversation about how sharing knowledge with storytelling can create positive change for humans, wildlife, and the environment.

At the End of the Rainbow: Stay to the end of the episode to hear a clip of Jane speaking about how a different future awaits us, one where rainforests are prioritized and protected, and how we can be a part of creating that future.

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