Jane Fonda Discusses Her Climate Activism

Jane Fonda has moved to Washington D.C. to launch “Fire Drill Fridays,” where each week she will spearhead climate protests outside of Capitol Hill. Partly inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s activism, Jane lit up social media after being arrested during her first climate protest on Friday. She discusses her activism with Christiane.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: What specifically in it, what moment did you trigger into this action whereby you get up from California in your home and you move to Washington to do this?

JANE FONDA, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: I can tell you exactly, it was Labor Day weekend and I was reading Naomi Klein’s new book called “On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal” and I was hearing the Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate striker and it really hit me how urgent this issue is and that I wasn’t doing enough. You know, I drive an electric car, I recycle, I’ve gotten rid of plastics. But that’s a good starting place, it’s not a good finishing place. This is a collective crisis. It requires collective action. And so, I decided to use my celebrity to try to raise the sense of urgency and I moved to Washington and I’m going to get arrested every Friday.

AMANPOUR: Every Friday. Well, I’m going to ask you, of course, Greta Thunberg, we’re very proud of her. We’ve interviewed her on this show. Naomi Klein has been on this program as well. But let me ask you because you, I think, mentioned that the new type of arrest, i.e., these plastic ties that you were arrested with are different from the metal handcuff that you endured in previous protests. And that, you know, you are 82 or so and it’s kind of difficult to navigate into the back of a police van without your arms.

FONDA: That’s the least of it. You know, you’ve been talking about the Syrian crisis and the terrible situation that happened there. That war, I am told, began because of the terrible drought that happened there. I mean, there is so much going on in the world. And over it all is this ticking time bomb. The intergovernmental panel on climate crisis told us last year that we only have — well, last year they said 12 years now, it’s 11 years. We have 11 years left to try to turn this fossil fuel disaster around so that we don’t completely past the tipping point and it becomes untenable. Untenable to govern, untenable to have a stable economy or any kind of human rights or anything. It’s — there’s just going to be one disaster on top of the other. But we do have time. We have time and it’s going to require that people in every country all around the world organize and mobilize and, if necessary, bring governments to a halt, if we can’t make them do the right thing. I mean, it wouldn’t have to be this radical and fundamental if the fossil fuel industry hasn’t lied to us for 30 years. They knew 30 years ago that they were hurting the environment and they knew what the implications were and they lied and hoodwinked us.

About This Episode EXPAND

Shiraz Maher and Dr. Kori Schake join Christiane Amanpour to analyze the situation in Northern Syria. Jane Fonda discusses her activism combatting the climate crisis. Raj Chetty tells Hari Sreenivasan how he’s harnessing data to propose solutions to economic inequality.