The planet is heating up and so is the action to address climate change as Fire Drill Fridays activist Jane Fonda launches a new PAC.
Actor and longtime activist Jane Fonda is getting more serious about climate change every day. At 81, she created the Fire Drill Fridays climate protests in 2019 and was arrested numerous times during the weekly protests in Washington D.C. Now, she’s putting her star power behind a climate PAC.
“Scientists have been very clear: We have to cut our fossil fuel emissions in half by 2030,” Fonda said in a video announcing the PAC last week.
“We have eight years — that’s just four election cycles — before the point of no return. And there’s no question that the obstacle between saving the planet and not is the money that has a stranglehold on our politicians,” she said.
According to Fonda, the PAC’s sole goal will be to do “whatever it takes to defeat the political allies of the fossil fuel industry, no matter which side of the aisle they’re on.”
The fossil fuel industry spent more than $350 million in federal campaign donations and lobbying efforts in 2020.
Fonda tackled this issue in her video,
“Let’s send a message to the politicians who are bankrolled,” Fonda said. “You should be as scared for your careers as we are by the climate spinning out of our control. We will not back down.”
The PAC is particularly focused on the fossil fuel industry. It will point its efforts toward supporting “climate champions” in primary and general elections at local, state, and federal levels, the group says. It will work with nonprofits and grassroots organizations to further its efforts.
“I don’t say this lightly, but I feel this is likely to be the most important thing I do in my life,” Fonda said on her website.
“The climate crisis poses unprecedented threats to our communities, our environment, our economy, and our security. It’s not too late to change course. But it won’t happen as long as oil, gas, and coal companies maintain their stranglehold on American politics.”
The PAC’s primary adviser will be Ariel Hayes, formerly the national political director for the Sierra Club.
The Jane Fonda Climate PAC is Fonda’s second. In the 1970s, she and her then-husband Tom Hayden registered the Campaign for Economic Democracy, a PAC that funded several different progressive causes.
Fridays for Future: ‘We Don’t Care’
The news comes as Fonda’s Gen Z counterpart, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg‘s Fridays for Future campaign released a new promotion dubbed “We Don’t Care,” to announce the next Global Climate Strike on March 25th.
The spot was conceived by the campaign’s frequent partner, Fred & Farid Los Angeles, and aims to answer a simple question: “If current generations don’t care about the future of our planet, who will?”
Previous campaigns include Greta Thunberg’s “House on Fire” spot in 2020 and “1%”. Last September, Fred & Farid Los Angeles and Fridays for Future launched the film “The Denial,” which shows a man running into a wall as a metaphor for climate denial.
In the new film, that hearkens to ’90s-era public service announcements, the unfazed teens address climate change concerns to the camera, encouraging a sense of urgency while remaining lighthearted; the teens are skateboarding, singing, and being playful.
But despite its lightness, the teens deliver a message that climate change is serious, and taking immediate action even more so.
“Climate is a racial justice issue. Climate is a gender issue. Climate is a socioeconomic issue. Climate is a threat to disabled communities, and continues to amplify current systems and structures of oppression. Climate is everywhere, and we must act on it now,” reads the video description.
“The good news is that scientists believe limiting warming is absolutely technically possible,” Katharina Maier, Organizer with Fridays For Future U.S., said in a statement.
“With renewable energy technologies, changes in farming and transport, and shift in our society’s norms, we can limit warming and avoid even worse outcomes,” Maier said.
“However, most of us are not shifting our way of thinking, way of living, way of consuming, way of communicating, etc… It is urgent to act to save our planet before it’s too late and together we can. If we don’t care, who will?”