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Book Club: Jane Fonda & Climate Change


Are you stressed about climate change and the devastating effects that it’s having on our planet? Do you worry for our future great-grandchildren? Or are you simply tired of seeing large corporations recklessly pollute Mother Nature? Jane Fonda is in the same boat. Climate change was and still is an urgent issue to Jane and she took it upon herself to do something about it. In 2019, Jane Fonda founded “Fire Drill Fridays”, an activist movement that would teach the world about the effects of climate change and promote a clear call to action. Over the course of four months, Jane Fonda and environmental experts taught hundreds of thousands of people across the globe about how climate change affects so many different parts of our world – the oceans, forests, health, economy and more. Every week, Jane and her team would bring in a set of experts to speak to the group about a topic concerning climate change and how people could take action to fix it. Her book, What Can I Do? My Path From Climate Despair to Action outlines her journey with Fire Drill Fridays and simultaneously teaches you about all of these important topics.

Feminist Book Club was honored to host a book club with the notorious Jane Fonda and leaders from Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization, Annie Leonard and Jess Wilson. Feminist Book Club members were able to come up with questions prior to the meeting and ask Jane, Annie and Jess about Jane’s book, climate change or general questions. At the end of the book club, Jane read the answers that our Feminist Book Club members asked – “What surprised you most about what you read?” or “How do you think about climate differently than before?”. All the questions lead to inspirational answers that left our members feeling empowered about the change they can create regarding the climate crisis.

A Feminist Book Club member asked Jane Fonda, “What would you tell your younger self?” to which Jane had a few answers. Jane first said, “Don’t be too fast to settle”. She discussed how she witnessed many people in her twenties getting married and having children and settling for a life that they weren’t ready for. She emphasized that you should take the time to become the most authentic version of yourself before settling down. She also gave the advice that “no is a complete sentence” – and if that’s not empowering, I don’t know what is!

A great question was brought up by one of our members about climate change education for children. She asked about what she could do to help educate children about the climate crisis. Jane answered that a great resource is “A Life On Our Planet” by David Attenborough. This documentary is his message to the world about the planet and what we can do about it and serves as a fantastic resource regarding climate change. A second beneficial documentary is Greta Thunberg’s, “I Am Greta”. By showing how much of an impact that a young person can make, it can really make a difference in a child’s life. Annie Leonard also chimed in to say that, although it’s important to learn about the issues, it’s also crucial to make small changes to show children that you can have an impact. Even if children band together to “get rid of disposable trays in the cafeteria”, these type of gestures give people hope that they can make change in small ways. When you look at the entirety of solving climate change, it seems extremely daunting. But when you break it down into smaller and achievable goals, it’s easier to encourage young people to get involved.

When asked about, “What is the best approach to get people to care more?”, Annie had a great answer that will likely save people a lot of energy. She stated that there are 20% of people who will probably not change their minds about these issues and that they’re not worth arguing with. But she also stated that there are 20% of people who are completely on our side and then a 60% in the middle who we can work with. That is an overwhelming majority that has the power to create change. The main takeaway from this question is that you should focus on educating the people that you think can have interest in this topic. Don’t waste your energy on people who won’t change their minds!

Jane Fonda, Annie Leonard, Jess Wilson and the entire Greenpeace team have made a huge impact on the fight against climate change. You can learn more about their work in Jane Fonda’s book, What Can I Do? My Fight from Climate Despair to Action, and do your part at FireDrillFridays.com. If you want to take action right NOW – text “JANE” to 877877.

How will you help save our planet?

Yasi Agah is a San Francisco native who loves to read, write, roller-skate and listen to Blink 182. Her favorite genre is definitely memoirs. Becoming by Michelle Obama makes her tear up every time she reads it.

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