Day after tomorrow, Monday the 21st, is the Winter Solstice. A year ago in D.C. at the Fire Drill Friday action on that day, I told the large crowd, “The solstice reminds us that even in the darkest time, the sun is not vanquished. Out of darkness, light is born. Out of disappointment and despair comes new courage and new hope. At Winter Solstice, a metaphorical seed is planted in us. Over the coming year, this seed, planted in the darkness of winter, will sprout and grow, becoming something manifest in our lives at harvest time next November. Let’s think about what we would like to bring forth to birth this coming year.”

I told them that what I wanted to birth, together with the young climate strikers and all of the climate movement, was a non-violent army of people concerned about the climate crisis, ready to commit themselves to activism on behalf of the planet.

Well, Monday is also my 83rd birthday and what I want to birth remains the same. I’ve been working all year on behalf of this goal and will continue . . . probably until I fall off the perch.

Let me give you a few stats to explain why this—building a non-violent army– is so important: Erica Chenoweth, political Scientist at Harvard, has determined through extensive research, that if one can win over just 3.5% of a population to one’s cause, you win. 3.5% indicates that your ideas have tipped beyond the usual suspects and seeped into the consciousness of a broader spectrum of the population. In the U.S., 3.5% equals 11 1/2 million people.

Okay. And there’s more: The Yale Program on Climate Communication has found that 23 million Americans are concerned about the climate crisis, know that it’s human-caused, but have not taken any action because– no one has asked them!!!

The same research program shows that 13 million Americans are ready to commit civil disobedience, but, again, no one has asked them.

There’s a ‘Great Unasked’ out there.

What this research shows is that if we commit to asking these Unasked, we’ll have way more than the requisite 11 ½ million people. We’ll have anywhere from 20 to 30 million Americans willing to step up and engage in non-violent civil action– assuming not all the ‘unasked’ will come through.

So, my Winter-Solstice-83rd-birthday pledge is to do all I can to accomplish this. This is what is needed. Right now. This is our time. We are the ones. The last generation that can ensure there will be a livable future.

Another bit of good news is that since last March when we went virtual, Fire Drill Fridays reached 8,068,000 viewers. Many thousands of them volunteered pre-election to join Greenpeace’s efforts to call climate voters in battleground states who had sat out the last election. The majority of these volunteers had never done that before. The Great Unasked! With all the horrors and grief we’ve experienced this year, I will enter the New Year feeling good because I have done my best to move the goal forward. I hope you’ll join me in the New Year.

Here’s something else interesting about Monday for you cosmic nerds like me: Jupiter and Saturn, the largest planets in our solar system, will move closer together than they have been since 1623. This event is known as a conjunction. But this will be the first time we can actually witness the conjunction since the Middle Ages in 1226. One friend said of the planets, “They’ll be kissing!” Another said, “It’ll be an exfoliation.”

This once-in-a-lifetime (at least for us older folks) event will happen just after sunset in the southwestern part of the sky. Use a telescope or binoculars if you have them but if you’re not in a huge city with too many lights you’ll see this rare astrological occurrence with the naked eye and the planets will look about as far apart as the thickness of a dime although, in actuality, they’ll be more than 400 million miles apart.

The photo at the top of this blog was taken by NASA and if you look closely, you’ll see a tiny white spot just above the lower, duller ring. That’s Earth, seen through the rings of Saturn. Keep that image in your mind Monday night when you look at the conjunction. You’ll be looking at Saturn and you now know what the reverse looks like . . . Saturn looking at Earth.

I have this photo in my bathroom because when I look at it, it puts things in perspective for me. We’re basically just a speck in the cosmos, yet we may well be, as Margaret Atwood says, the only “Goldilocks planet, neither too hot or too cold, neither to wet or too dry . . .” the only one that can sustain life.

We mustn’t take that for granted.

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  1. Jane,
    Happy new year! I wish nothing but the best for you and Firedrill Friday’s in 2021!
    Love always,

  2. Jane sorry for bothering you with the same, but please take care, today I read in various media that the situation in Los Angeles with COVID is again very difficult, it is many months but you be patient until you receive the vaccine, I hope it will be soon🙏🏻🙏🏻

  3. Hi Jane I’m Thrizha Anne Mae from Philippines I’m one of your fun here and super duper belated happy birthday to you i make some video of your few movie and I try to edit it im not good edit but I hope you see it and I hope it’s bond to your country and if not I hope you like it and i wish one day im gonna see you here in the Philippines

  4. Hi Jane,
    Happy New Year!

    In these days I’ve been seeing old movies, one of them was “Barefoot in the Park”, it’s a silly thing but I wonder why the Salamanca’s bullfight poster decorated your apartment, it’s a lot of funny, do you remember something about this poster? In a school’s trip when I was about fifteen I bought one like that with my name on it, ha ha!!. I must say that Salamanca is one of the most beautiful cities in my country, I like it very much!, the movie too!!

    • Floren, That was some 50 plus years ago and I don’t remember. Sorry.

  5. I’m sorry Jane i can’t message the video that i edit because i don’t know how to send it here but i try to send it on your messenger in Instagram i hope that video is not bond to your country but if it’s bond I’m sorry but still i try it

    Love Thrizha from Philippines

  6. Jane,
    It’s a great day! Freedom of journalistic expression and transparency win! Julian Assange will not be extradited to the US (for now, at least). Like Ms Fonda in the 70’s, he wanted the world to know about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, (and more…), and both got “intimidated” by the US government. Long live the Fourth and Fifth Estates, and US government – go screw yourself!

    Also a great day today, as Donald Trump was banned from coming to the British Isles. Equality and justice for all! Hey, Donald, pardon Julian and maybe someone will want to play golf with you again. Can’t wait to see you go.

    But now Georgia is on my mind.

  7. Coucou Jane <3
    que ce nouveau circuit autour du soleil soit rempli de douceur, de sérénité et surtout, d'une prise de conscience globale quant à la protection climatique de notre jolie planète.

    Non seulement vous êtes bellissimamissima, vous êtes pour la moi la fille la plus lumineuse, la plus audacieuse et la plus déterminée.


  8. Dear Jane,
    Astonishment, disbelief, indignation, sadness, a lot of sadness…. Words are not enough to express what we felt yesterday when we saw the images that came from Washington D.C., I can’t imagine what this has meant for good Americans, nor how you’ve been able to endure these last years with serenity. America doesn’t deserve this!
    Trump’s ego has inflicted too many wounds, deep wounds that will be difficult to heal.
    “Michael Moore at Trumpland” comes to my mind and I think he actually fell short, impossible to believe! but I don’t think even he could imagine this ending.
    The Spanish adjective “Tramposo” sounds like “TRUMPoso” and means a person who do cheats, funny coincidence! Ther’s no doubt that he is.
    Cheer up!, I’m sure everything will be fine!

  9. Wow Jane, congrats, sold out!!!! https://premierecollectibles.com/jane

  10. Happy New Year Ms. Fonda and also to the members of this page. Thank you Ms. Fonda for you continued righteous activism. I have but few heroes, and you are a solid one. And thank you members of this page, for giving her the support she deserves. As someone who is usually posting on the very negative parts of the internet, coming here gave me new hope, to see so many supporting a true American hero. I am sure I will be defending her lifetime actions again soon enough. But this year, may more people wake up to the truth and listen to those who not only speak it, but mobilize it…. people like Jane Fonda.

    All the best!

    Thomas Jayne

  11. Jane, It’s DAY ONE and I am high on the beauty of hope! I’m wanting to share this with you. I think you must be here in spirit with me but you haven’t found the time yet to makes the words to connect us. So just saying, I’m feeling this day deeply and can’t help but think that you are too. Dona

  12. Jane,
    I’m over the moon for you. You’ve got your New Year wish come true – and so fast. The Paris Climate Agreement is resurrected!
    And kudos to the pipeline ban.
    Best wishes,
    Bob xxx

  13. Wow, Jane! Another great FDF for the books! Dr. Stokes was incredible! Very informative and cleared up A LOT of questions that I had been harboring. Can’t wait to see what next week brings!

    Since the inauguration, I have been feeling especially grateful for everyone around me, especially my Greenpeace Friends and Fire Drill Friday’s. The words in the title of your book “My journey from climate despair to climate action” really described what I’ve been feeling and what many others experienced as well. Fire Drill Friday’s has been a HUGE step in my personal journey, showing me all kinds of ways to get involved and take action.

    I just wanted to take time to thank everyone who has helped me on this journey, and you are one of those people! You are a great role model to women of all ages and I strive to have your courage and empathy.

    I hope that you and your family stay safe and very excited to see who the next guests will be on FDF!

    All my best,

  14. FDF Jan 22nd. What high energy vibes between two people who have passion for solving the fossil fuel problem. Dr. Leah Stokes was a great find in this field. I jotted the two books down to buy and refer to my cousin who is working on his degree in at U of W. All We Can Save and Short Circuiting Policy. This will be right up Brooks’ alley. And Revolutionary Power by Shalanda Baker for another activist friend. I’ll see if I can see Merchants of Doubt and Rachel Maddow’s Blowout. I’ll look into “securitization” so I’ll be armed to send letters to Senators Sinema & Kelly. (Got to work this AZ blue to death.)
    In my first letter to Biden I gave a wish list starting with the Green New Deal; 2nd, ERA passage; 3rd. An Apology to all persons of color including descendants of slaves for slavery and all systemic racism which would include a promise of a turn a round to end it.
    I’m struggling with my position on wanting to have Trump impeached over moving on. I want it all and wonder if I really have to chose another time of walking away from what is right, just to get everything else done.
    I learned a lot today from Dr. Leah. You have the “repeater” mode down very well. Thank you for sharing. Dona

  15. Hello Jane, or should I say Bonjour puisque je suis Française ?

    Anyway, I’m new here, and I have many things to tell you! First of all I’d like to thank you for being such an inspiration! Oh my God, I mean you’ve been through so much highs and lows but someway somehow your strength, your courage, your resilience always allowed you to go forward without looking back. I have to say that all of this is very impressive. So congratulations for the big achievement that you’ve made of your life and once again thank you.
    As I said, I’m a young French girl, I’m 22 and I kind of reflect on some things you’ve been saying through interviews, books or films. It is hard, well, I find it hard to be on my 20s, not really knowing what’s ahead of me, what’s waiting for me or what I am making myself wait for. I’ve already wasted a few years trying to be perfect and pleased everybody but thank God, or thank therapy I’d rather say, I’m finally making my way through it and now I’m just trying to please nobody but me. It’s tough but it feels awesome.
    I know that ambition is a must-have today, and I believe in myself, I know that I am capable of things, of good things but fear keeps me from trying and daring. So I just lay low and hope that things will happen on their own, thinking « if it’s meant to be it will be » and I hate myself for being such a sissy. But watching you taking actions on so many levels is empowering and encourages me to do so.

    Vous êtes une force de la nature, un exemple à suivre et un témoignage de volonté. Thank you for being a guidance until I find my very own purpose.

    I wish you the best, thank you for all that you’ve done and everything you’ll keep on doing.

    xx, Marion

  16. Hi Jane! Me and my two best friends love you so much. We discovered you through Grace and Frankie and learned all about you and your activism and we admire you so greatly. Their birthday is in a few months and I was wondering if you would send them a happy birthday message! it would mean the absolute world!!

  17. Jane, I am very annoying and I know it, but please get vaccinated now, if you are going to give interviews or go out when you receive The award you need to be protected, with the two dose, I hope the interference does not bother you but I want you to be safe💕💕

    • Thanks, candita. I’m getting vaccinated tomorrow. And I’ll not be going out to receive my award. I’ll do it via Zoom

      • How good Jane, for the safety of you and your fans it is better this way.

      • Jane I read in your instagram post, many people with feelings against the vaccine, it is true that it was done hastily and may have errors but here in my country perhaps due to the situation of poor nutrition, obesity and others I have seen people of my own age friends and schoolmates die horribly from COVID if the vaccine is the alternative I take it without great questioning, that is what I think, each person is free to decide about their body, but it makes me calmer than you have done it, of course I keep praying for you every day💕💕

  18. Hi! I’m a huge fan from Finland – living in Portugal- 35 year old mother of 2 little boys. I’ve been following the climate change news during my maternity leave and starting to freak out and thinking what kind of world are my kids going to live in, in the future!? Even though Europe acknowledges climate change and generally we are doing a fair fight against it, I’m struggling to handle the anxiety. How are you handling fear and worry of the future of your children?

    I’m very impressed and proud of what and how you live your life and I have to admit you are one of my biggest role models. Thank you for your great efforts! Lots of love and happiness for this new year!


  19. Hey Jane! Hope your little Tulea is doing ok! I absolutely adore Cotons and I once came across a video you posted on YouTube of her humping your arm, which was not what I expected to pop up in my feed!

    I hope everything’s okay and glad that you finally got your appointment for the vaccine! Looking forward to seeing you and participating in the rally this week!

    I just finished filming an episode for a documentary-series that you will be featured in a couple of hours ago. I was pleasantly surprised when a producer for the show found my comment on one of your blog posts and asked me to come talk about how you played a big part on my activism journey. I hope you enjoy getting to hear it and know how many young women you have inspired.

    Stay safe and sending all my love to little Tulea!

    • OMG, I wondered how they were going to find people to talk about me that way. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say.By the way, do yoiu feel I should not have posted that video of Tulea pumping my aqrm? I was torn, but I think nit’s so funny. A spayed female????

      • Jane is my favorite video of yours, very good that you have published them, my dog ​​does it on my leg and I enjoy seeing that my husband and my daughter get a lot of discomfort for it, for me is funny, we are very different, maybe that’s why we are together.

      • No! Jane, omg it was so funny! I just didn’t expect it and it cracked me up because my dog does the same. The look you gave to the camera was priceless! Also can we talk about how AMAZING Terry Tempest Williams was during the rally! Just… ahh!!! Such inspiring words!

        The documentary came to me as a surprise! It was very fun and now I’m buddies with Jenna the director and one of the producers. It’s always nice to make connections, especially since it is so key to actors just starting out. I really wanted my letter for the documentary to be about how you played a key role in my activism journey, but I could write a completely different letter about how you have inspired me as an actress. I poke a little fun in my letter about how you should “stay tuned for me”, although I don’t know how much work will be available to me considering my age and location. I’m trying to stay away from union productions so I can hold of from becoming a SAG member for a little while longer (I’m only 16 and don’t have a lot under my belt yet) But I just signed with a new agent so maybe something will come my way! Ok… blah blah blah back to the important stuff. (Sorry, you just seem very easy to talk to… even through a computer screen!)

        Is Tulea doing ok!? I know several of my Greenpeace Volunteer friends are worried! Hope all is well <3

        Anyways, definitely leave that gem of a video to public viewership… definitely the reality of being a pet owner!

        Looking forward to FDF and hearing your thoughts about the documentary!

        Ally my best,

  20. Jane,
    Congratulations for being the recipient of the Cecil B.Demille award at the Golden Globes. So happy for you. Hope all is well.

  21. Another great FDF. It sheds so much light on dire situations when you bring in people from the frontlines to tell the story of their first-hand experience. So thankful that you and the FDF team were able to bring Tara on today, she is incredibly powerful and I learned so much from her story. Also, love the new segment you guys are adding onto the end, don’t remember the name exactly… “Stories from the Frontlines”? Regardless, it was great and I loved hearing Nalelli’s story.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed my letter. It was a great experience for me (even though it was FREEZING when we were filming) and I’m glad I got to take part. Looking forward to seeing it when it airs. Someday I hope to meet you in person and once again express how grateful I am to you for inspiring me as an actress and activist and -unknowingly- playing a huge part in my journey. I’d love to pick your brain on your experiences as an actress and your personal experience with activism. (Maybe someday, if I’m lucky enough, we’ll work on a production together! Unlikely, but hey, you never know 😉 )

    I look forward to future Fire Drill Friday’s and continuing to fight alongside you and so many other amazing activists. Keep up the good work and the good fight! See you next Friday (in the chatroom, of course, haha)


    • Also loved the One Fair Wage event today! I’ve pulled some similar stunts to Lily’s in the time that I waited tables. Gosh, she cracks me up!

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