Awhile ago I got a letter from a Boise Idaho high school student, @Shiva_rajbhandari, telling me that he and 9 other students were very concerned about the climate crisis and wanted to learn more about it but there were no high school classes that taught the subject. There was, however, a class on the climate crisis at Boise State and a teacher who would allow them to take the class. The problem was the tuition cost. Would I, Shiva asked, cover the tuition costs for the students? While it was pricy for high school students it was reasonable for me so I called Shiva and told him I would cover the tuition because I admired his guts and entrepreneurial spirit but that in exchange, I wanted all the students to commit to taking some sort of action around this issue. I suggested, for example, pressuring their elected officials to not support subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. (American taxpayers turn over more than $24 billion a year to these companies that are literally killing us! It’s an abomination and must end!).
The first thing they all did was write a short story about how global warming has impacted them and their families and send the stories to their elected officials. Here are the stories:

Stories are the best way to communicate and they plan on putting together their stories and more on social media. They also protested outside the Idaho Governor’s office demanding that climate/environmental studies be included in Idaho’s public schools::

Then, this last Friday, the students asked to have a Zoom meeting with me so that they could each present a power point of the project they were working on. The photo at the top of this blog shows the students and me behind them on Zoom. I was really blown away by what they are doing and where my simply agreeing to cover their class cost has led. These are smart, very impressive students and now it’s clear: They’re becoming activists!! They’re putting their concerns into action.

There was a project about why dams need to be removed on Idaho’s Snake River and the Salmon River to allow the endangered salmon to spawn. One young woman’s grandfather is a rancher and her project was about how to ranch beef in a more sustainable, animal and climate-friendly way.

Another student is creating a social media presence to make what they’re doing more widely know…and hopefully replicated. @i__CLEER is their Instagram.

One student is working to bring all art forms together with a focus on climate so if any of you have things to submit, you have their Instagram connection and, at the beginning, Shiva’s connection. They’re planning to organize a climate fair in the spring with all the art on display.

There was lots more, believe me. Great stuff. Here’s what Shiva just wrote me about his plans:

I didn’t get a chance to present the final project I completed for the UF 100 class, but I developed climate math problems. One issue with climate education is that it’s always in the science classroom. Some have developed curriculum like climate stories to bring climate change into English, but there’s nothing with math, which is something I’m rather passionate about. I put together problems for high school and college textbooks which I think could increase interdisciplinary learning as it relates to this issue.

I’m also conducting novel research on how students’ climate stories can advocate for local environmental policy in my AP Capstone Research class. I’m conducting interviews with science communications experts, campaign strategists, and students. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for people to reach out to for this project.

I am really jazzed by these young people. They give me hope.

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  1. So nice to learn about this, it gives me hope too.

    P.s. I remember your birthday is on winter solstice 🙂 I wish you all the best, have a great day and happy birthday Jane!

    Lots of love from Croatia,

  2. Fantastic story. Happy Birthday Jane. All the very best for you and your new year. Jason x

  3. Hi Jane! I am very happy to hear about these students, I believe it was the best birthday present you could ever receive, hope, hope that the future is not totally lost, there are still young people who want to fight global warming. I live in Brazil, unfortunately I’m out of high school, I’m at university and studying History, but next year, when the in-person classes return, I’ll do everything so that some environmental movement can also happen here. Here we have many problems with mining dams, now in the last flood of rivers in the Amazon, several ferries were installed on the main rivers in Brazil, and unfortunately nobody does anything. We are in serious global trouble, but we must not give up hope. Now with the arrival of new elections, we must seriously analyze the candidates and vote for those who want the best for the environment. Thank you Jane for always sharing stories like that, they motivate us. Happy Birthday, health and lots of love in your life. kiss Joana

  4. I wish you have a great day in your birthday!

    All my best wishes for you in the coming year!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing! This is incredible. And, happy birthday!

    Thanks again for all you do.

    Kennedy Davis

  6. Dear Jane, I wish you all the best for your birthday and especially health and happiness!
    I hope you will spend a few beautiful festive days with your loved ones. I wish you a blessed Christmas and a good start to the new year 2022!

    Best regards from Germany
    Barbara ❤🍀

  7. This is inspiring. Thank you, Jane for all that you do and give and for your caring spirit. And Happy Birthday, Jane Fonda! Your kindness inspires us all.

  8. Very cool stuff! Admirable young people. THE future!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Jane… you saved thousands in a time of war, thousands by promotion of good health and emotional, spiritual, physical wellbeing… you and Lily comforted and made us laugh in pandemic living,, and your presently saving the Earth for future generations ~ now that’s a meaningful, well-lived, purposed life!!!!! Congratulations 🎊 🎂🍨 🎉

  9. Happy birthday Jane❤️🎊I want to wish you good health and that this new year is one of many changes and that you can continue to share with us your love for the planet, I love you❤️❤️

  10. Was thinking of you today as it’s winter solstice and that always reminds me that it’s your birthday. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And Merry Christmas. I hope you get to spend it with some family and friends. All the love and support ( especially for Tulea). I know what you mean too. I had a dog once that was my soulmate. There’s others you love with all your heart but that soulmate bond can never be broken. Love from Newfoundland, Canada


  11. Dear Jane!

    Happy Birthday!!! I hope you had a wonderful day with people you love, and I wish you much happiness, health and love in the next year!

    I’m so sorry to hear about Tulea. I’ve had pets in my life since I was born so I know how hard it is to say goodbye. I hope you find some comfort in that she lived a long, wonderful life with you.

    It felt so good to have a Fire Drill Friday meeting the other day! I really miss having them weekly on Zoom, and engaging with the amazing community of people that regularly attends. It isn’t quite the same on Facebook since we can’t engage with each other in the same way as we do on Zoom. I know you’ve been incredibly busy finishing Grace & Frankie and the film you just wrapped (Congratulations on both!), but I’m looking forward to seeing what 2022 will bring for Fire Drill Friday!

    I continue to be very active as a volunteer with Greenpeace, and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming electoral work we will do in 2022. This is going to be so important. I’m currently a Greenpeace Ambassador and I’ve started leading national orientations for new volunteers via Zoom. It has been such a privilege to introduce newcomers to GP and watch them get involved. I’m also a coach for the Action Pod program that started over the summer, and I’ve guided pod leaders and their local groups as they organized rallies and petition deliveries, held call and text banking parties, and wrote letters to the editor on climate-related topics. This has all been very rewarding work and I’m looking forward to the projects GP has planned for 2022.

    I’m so grateful that you started Fire Drill Fridays since this is what got myself and so many others to start volunteering with Greenpeace. And our community of staff and volunteers is just incredible. It truly feels like a big family!

    I hope you are doing well and get a chance to relax every now and then during your projects.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!! See you in 2022!!!


    • This is very good to hear, Jenny, that the last Fire Drill Friday was important to you and you want more in the New Year. Me too. We’re working on it, deciding on the best way to move activism forward in 2022. This will be such an important year– for the climate and for democracy. xxx Jane

      • As a math teacher, I love that Shiva is creating math problems around this issue that can be used by others. This kind of interdisciplinary work brings relevance to math and teaches about climate change in various contexts. Bravo to Shiva and to you for supporting the curiosity and passion of these students.

  12. Wow! Very impressive! It makes me feel like our future is in good hands.

  13. Jane, I am moved and hopeful to see so many young people committed to climate change, this is a stimulus for us grandmothers to fight too, thanks for everything you do, I wish you a happy new year, in 2022 we will continue fighting for the world that we are going to leave to our brave young people💕💕

  14. Hi Jane!
    I wish you and all of us find the best way for our challenges in the coming year.
    Don Quixote tells very sweetly to Sancho, “As you are not experienced in the world’s things, all the things with some difficulty seem imposible to you, Trust the time that usually gives us sweet outlets to many bitter difficulties”.
    Today we could say “Worthwhile things are not inmediate or easy to get them but time can make them possible”. That’s what it will be like if we’re all together.
    Thank you Jane for all you do. My Christmas card.

  15. So impressed with these young people! We need more kids (all over the world) like these, who are committed towards making the world a better place for all of us!

    Hope this reply gets ‘approved’, Jane; it seems that none of my other comments on your blogs have been approved, although I am certain I have not said anything I shouldn’t 🤔🙏🏻❤️!

    Ruth Jane Davison

    • Ruth, don’t worry about your unapproved comments, I have a lot of it is not personal, Jane is very busy, she makes a great effort not to abandon her friends from this blog, when she enters she reads what she can and answers what she can , but we are very important to her, do not hesitate.

  16. Happy New Year, Jane!

    Thank your all you’ve done this year, especially elevating very important voices with Fire Drill Fridays! Cant wait to see what’s in store this coming year for Fire Drill Fridays! The last one of 2021 was especially empowering.

    2022 is going to be a critical year, and I am looking forward to fighting along with you and so many others in 2022!

    Kennedy Davis

  17. Do you have an idea of when the new movie you’re working on with Lily will be released? Will it be for only for the theatres or only by the streaming?

    This past year was not easy for Brazilians (my people!) we had so many losses on the enteirtanment world (with the actor and comedian Paulo Gustavo, he was incredibly funny and loved for everybody), many loved musicians left us, and it had all of the covid situation that I assume you already know, about our terrible president…

    I hope I get to watch you next year making the protest in front of the White House, always with a smile on your face and an uncontrollable desire to change the world!!!

    Xoxo, I hope you have an incredible 2022 with great health to continue giving us wonderful films and tv shows and to continue giving us hope for a better world.

    I wish that you, in a few years, be here celebrating your centenary with us, whether here on the blog, on the streets protesting, anyway, you got the message!!

    I love you so much and I’m thankful every single day of my life because I live in the same Universe, the same galaxy, in the same world that Jane Fonda lives. You have no idea how much you inspire me, and inspire young people too. 💗💗💗

    • I DO not know when our film will be released. probably next fall. My heart goes out to the people of Brazil. such a beautiful, complex, important country.

  18. Jane I would love for you to be an Almodovar girl, I love his films, you would be amazing in them, I read that he will make his first film in English, do you like his films? I see and see them several times.

  19. Jane, all your movies that were in my time, I’m almost 60, I watched them in movie theaters, they all came to Mexico, I studied and at that time we all went to the movies a lot, I always had something with you and I really enjoyed your performances , I lost you I found you with Grace and Frankie and well you already know my new story with you, but now on TV I can see and see some of them again, especially Golden Pond although I cry every time I see it, I cry bacause I am very happy for you that you had that opportunity with your father after many difficult years, you are very lucky for that, I never had that problem, my father was very difficult but I am one of these persons who have never been very complicated, We get along very well, perhaps better than with my mother, but I always got along with her anyway, this feels good, they leave and you feel well and you thanks God,for the time you had them.💕💕💕

  20. Jane, when will be released the last episodes of G&F on Netflix?
    hugs ❤

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