BOISE STUDENTS ROCK MY BOAT

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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54 Comments
  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,
    Mirela

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

    http://www.couchtheatre.org

  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!

    https://youtu.be/J3ddOdNAuM0

    https://youtu.be/RhSx2847ecU

    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.

    Best,
    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

    Lesley

  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!!!

    Jenny

    • 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.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yHcVMJwrkwyuVnPkUeVEBPvrqXapTJkC/view?usp=sharing

  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.

      • Thank you; I know Jane is very busy…I naively thought she had someone approving posts for her 😊! I won’t worry at all now I know she looks after the blog replies herself…😊😊!

  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!

    Best,
    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.

      • Thank you, Jane, Your words about Brazil let my heart so happy. Many brazilians love you, thank you for all the beautiful things you do for uor world!!!

    • Lindas palavras, Giovanna Banho!!!

  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 ❤

    • Not sure. Maybe FEbruary or March.

      • Hi Jane, End of April for G&F, apparently 😉! Hope all goes well when you start filming ‘80 For Brady’ on March 14th 😉…do please update us when you can 🙏🏻❤️

        Ruth Jane Davison

  21. Jane, I felt that something was happening to you, it’s strange I thought you had covid, I didn’t worry too much because you are vaccinated, now I know what happened, I hope you recover soon💕💕💕

  22. Jane,

    Great FDF today! Excited to see how the community can get involved in the March 4th show!

    I just saw the trailer for Apple TV’s “Dear…”! Filming that episode here in Indiana last January will be something I will look back on for the rest of my life. The crew was incredible, and it was such a learning experience! I can’t wait to see the other letter writer’s stories and to hear your thoughts! It was sort of funny watching the trailer and seeing how much I’ve grown and changed physically, in my activism, and my career.

    Right after I filmed that episode, I got involved in local climate organizations, and then in June, I attended the Treaty People Gathering, met some amazing people, and since then we have held rallies and protests at multiple bank branches in urban areas of Indiana, temporarily put on hold now for safety reasons. But we’ll be back out there as soon as we can, doing our part to stop Line 5!

    You said in the show “I can’t make my life longer, but I can make it deeper.” From my point of view, you have accomplished this and more. I know for a fact that you’re books, activism, and acting have given countless people new ways to look ahead in their life and to examine the past to become whole. By sharing your journeys and your wisdom, you have played a part in helping people all over the world find their paths.

    I hope your shoulder heals very quickly! Stay safe out there!

    Best,
    Kennedy Davis

    • Really good to hear news of you, Kennedy. I’m so proud. Stay strong!!! Love, Jane

  23. Hi Jane! I am so sorry you have had shoulder surgery! I had mine done several years ago and I am sure you will do fine! As you told me when I had my back surgery, do what the doctors and physical therapists tell you and you’ll be just fine!! Mine was caused from osteoarthritis that you and I both have. We take a licking and keep on ticking! You are an inspiration to all us! We have to keep these bodies going. We have so much work left to do! Take care and rest!
    With much love and admiration!
    Elaine

  24. Jane I am praying every day for you so that you recover quickly and it does not hurt too much you are very brave I need to learn from you💕💕

  25. Jane, look is from your fan page, It’s very good.
    https://www.instagram.com/tv/CZowLhWDvAx/?utm_medium=copy_link

  26. Jane please, kill me if you want but if you see the comment where I put something from my instagram, delete it my page appears and you believe me that my situation at this moment is delicate and I shouldn’t do that, and this comment the same, sorry for being so annoying.🙏🏻🙏🏻

  27. Hi Jane,
    I want to say you that at last I’ve found your book “What can I do?” in Spanish and finally I’ve been able to read it. First of all, I would like to thank you and Greenpeace also for the ongoing struggle and information tasks regarding climate change that’s reflected in this book. Thank you also for your work in Fire Drill Fridays.

    There’s something that has surprised me in the book like the relationship of individualism with the lack of sensitivity towards this problem, I’ve thought about it a lot and I think it’s true. The three countries that you mention as individualists, USA, Canada and UK may also be the Western countries most involved in the fossil fuel businesses and maybe that’s why changes could be more difficult for them. The most countries in the world even Europans ones are small in size compared to the US and Canada (It’s not the case with UK, by the way, in all senses they see themselves great and try to seem great but that time is over…) and maybe this size allows that all issues be more easy to handle included climate change. Each country in Europe isn’t itself a power and therefore we’ve fewer economic interests. The end of fossil fuels is rahter an opportunity to get out of the current dependence of them and time to undertake the change to renewable energies where we can compete more equally, I think because of that there’s a less resistance to change.

    I’m glad you mentioned in the book the necessary social protection within the Green New Deal, but I think it must be now, the implementation of this measure also supposes a fight against inequality. In Europe we’re trying to create the so-called “welfare state” where no one is excluded from education, health, …. basic rights…. and guarantee a salary when someone loses their job, this social protection has worked perfectly with the pandemic where many people have lost his job for months, if this protection had not been, we would have a social crisis never seen before, we avoid it and I’m proud of it.

    With no offence I must say that I’m very worried about democracy in USA, about voting restrictions and your strange electoral system, …. in fact many people in the world are worried too. What is happening with the Republicans? It’s insane! you know the rest of the world needs USA to be a strong democracy in order to move towards fairer societies and obviously to fight against climate change, I deeply wish and hope so!.
    We’re citizens in the world and our greatest responsibility is to exercise the right to vote, we must elect the right government to undertake the transition to clean energy. Each country must take on this challenge, in my country it has already happened with coal a few year ago.

    The film “Don’t look up” reflects the irresponsibility of our leaders and just at the ending of the movie, just before the tragedy take place, it’s very inspiring when someone say “we really did have everything, didnt’we?” I hope it never happens with climate change. I’m very very gratefull for your activism. Congratulations for the book!!

    I wish you a soon recovery for your recent surgery.

    (It would be interesting if some of your guests in Fire Drill Fridays will speak about a future with new energies and how the necessary transition would be approached)

  28. Jane I am happy I just received your book in Spanish, I read it in English but with the dictionary next to me, reading it in my language is amazing, by the way I miss you in the blog😢😢

  29. Lovely Jane, I honestly can’t begin to express how much you matter in this world. You really rock.

    Keep fighting like you always do. I’m from the UK and I genuinely want to visit the USA just to be on Fonda’s turf! You’re so cool 😎

  30. Really great blog… love to see inspired young people propelled forward with the encouragement and resources of such a solid, committed and authentic rolemodel.

  31. Miss you Jane😭😭

  32. Jane, I’m stuck in another decision-making mess, you helped me in another similar mess with perhaps the best advice I’ve ever received in my life: “when you really want something, you find the strength” that’s what I try to do now, thank you very much for the valuable advice. But this is very difficult, I try to be positive, there are good days and others not so good, thanks again your example has been very valuable for me.

  33. Lovely. That insight that storytelling is the best way to convey something is what New Journalism was crafting in the Sixties – – the transparency about ALL news stories being narratives that are structured by reporters and editors. And now this blog too is a narrative overview of something ongoing. So one way and another JF didn’t just donate, she got creative just as her students (and I like to think of them as having an extra tutor because what’s that Zoom call if not a group tutorial) are getting creative with an evolving narrative of their own. JF has street smarts as well as being a fab fine actress.

  34. Hi, Jane❤!
    What’s your position regarding Russia-Ukraine war? What do you think about both the ways in which Putin and Zelensky are managing this military conflict? How about Biden’s position?!
    I live in the Northern part of Romania and we share two borders with Ukraine.

    sending you love,

    • I think what Putin is doing is criminal, horrendous and must stop. But how? I agree with Biden that the US and all other counties must avoid having this escalate into a world war. We, the US, must not get into a war with Russia but must help the Ukraine in whatever ways we can short of going to war. It’s a terrible thing.

      • I totally agree with you about avoiding another world war, but where helping Ukraine must stop?!
        I hear more and more often about a possible military support of Ukraine from NATO states like Poland and Romania (my country)- the closest ones to Ukraine. But that would be a potential trigger for Putin to expand the war. Don’t you think?
        stay safe, ❤

  35. Jane I just watched your episode of “Dear” I loved it and it hit me a lot and I even needed a glass of wine and maybe more, in 1 week I’ll be 60, congratulate me please although I don’t really deserve it much, but I need it , age is hitting me and the fact that I’m doing exactly the opposite of what I want is worst😢maybe later, thanks for the inspiration. Love you!!!

  36. Jane, I must thank you, the influence you have had on me since I discovered you is very valuable and important to me, you have helped me a lot without knowing me, love you💕💕

  37. hello Jane, it was just my birthday and im going to see company on broadway im very happy.

    I wanted to share with you my cupcake shop https://northwoodsfarmcupcakes.com its my own shop dedicated to My father our farm is called Northwoods farm anyways I was wondering I would love to send a couple boxes to your grace and Frankie set and to you.

    is that possible.

    ruby

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