Joining Greta Thunberg, Jane implores us all to act ”like our House is On Fire”
The Fossil Fuel Industrial Complex does not like Celebrities or Movie Stars speaking out against the crime of doing nothing about the threats of climate change. They will scream “hypocrite” or claim, through paid-for pseudo scientists, that the data is “inconclusive”, then willfully, and perhaps illegally, hide the truth for decades. None of this will stop the shift toward grass roots action and now Jane Fonda is at the forefront, which is not surprising.
Of all people, Jane Fonda is no stranger to activism. She has advocated on many fronts throughout her life including protesting war, violence, discrimination and now her current focus is on the climate crisis.
At Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards, Fonda stated that she hasn’t met Greta Thunberg, but that her life has changed because of her. She further reflected in an interview on how compelled to action she became, inspired by the young climate fighter.
Fonda then helped to launch the climate crisis campaign called Fire Drill Fridays. The name was inspired by the book “On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal” by author Naomi Klein and the stand out quote from Greta “act like your house is on fire”. The actress then uprooted her life to move to Washington in order to protest on a weekly basis each Friday for a total of 4 months. Jane aims is to bring continued awareness of the climate crisis and advocate for the Green New Deal, an initiative aimed directly at the climate crisis that lays out demands to phase out the use of fossil fuels and completely be replaced with 100% renewable clean energy by 2030.
Her protests and engagement in civil disobedience on Capitol Hill have thus far resulted in five arrests, with another arrest on the 15th almost a certainty. Fonda has even brought several of her celebrity friends to join in the cause, all of whom have also been detained, including Rosanna Arquette, Catherine Keener, Ted Danson, and Sam Waterston.
The Dark Side and Backlash towards Activists
Fonda has felt both sides of the spectrum in her many years as a political activist and resister; she has garnered much respect for her courage and bravery during protests at the U.S. Capitol, however the actress didn’t always hold positive public regard. Quite the opposite, almost half a century ago, Jane was heavily criticized, with some branding her as a traitor, and many harboring hate for decades after her protests surrounding the anti-war movement.
In 1972, Fonda took a trip to North Vietnam where it was revealed that the U.S. was unjustly bombing farmlands and targeting innocent people, during her trip she also spoke on Hanoi radio about the wrongdoings she had witnessed, sparking massive controversy. However the tipping point that drastically changed public perception of her for many decades stemmed from a photograph that she apologized for and yet was never forgiven by her critics.
In many ways this experience of negative backlash, which was particularly fierce due to her being a female movie star, makes her the perfect person to stand up to some of the same powerful forces she defied in her youth.
The fact is that the fossil fuel industrial complex has denied and deflected and at the same time perpetrated a crime against all of us, rather than contributing to sustainable alternatives, for at least 50 years. Who better to Join the ranks of those seeking to bring attention to this failure of government and industrial power elites than Jane Fonda, veteran advocate and icon.
In her “Fifth Act” at 81: Staying True to her Beliefs
Despite all of the ups and downs, Jane Fonda has endured during her life as a political activist. She, clearly, is not stopping. She is not backing down and will continue to use her celebrity to raise awareness. As an elderly woman, the actress is willing to risk continued arrests in order to call out to governments that continue excessive use and even promotion of fossil fuel systems that they must stop immediately.
With only a limited amount of years left for any of us to turn the fossil fuel disaster around – there is a countdown, that if not addressed will result in dire and irreversible planetary consequences. Scientists have sounded the warning bell time and again for years about global warming and the climate crisis, yet insufficient governmental action, and even willful resistance, to positive change has been the norm.
The fossil fuel industry have known for years of the negative environmental implications yet continue, in the name of profit, to cause increases the CO2 emissions to be dumped into the atmosphere. All through lack of support for alternatives and even active promotion of existing deadly technologies and systems.
Mass mobilization and civil disobedience including Fonda’s Friday Drill Fridays, Extinction Rebellion and big names like Greta Thunberg and Leonardo DiCaprio will, no doubt continue and increase. These and other positive grass roots actions are essential in order to force governments and private industry to finally wake up and listen, then take the drastic and immediate steps needed toward solving this global problem.
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