Speech to City of Hope, NY, 6/8/23 Last summer, I was diagnosed with Low-grade B cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and began chemotherapy at St John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, CA. This was not my first encounter with cancer. I’d had breast cancer a number of years prior which was treated with radiation and then a full mastectomy. But this was my first time with chemotherapy and I anticipated my hair falling out and so I made it public. I was very impressed with the entire chemotherapy process…how my oncologist, Dr Carol Nishikubo, adjusted the doses if I had a reaction and sent me home with everything I needed to avoid nausea and pain. My hair never fell out I’d never given much thought to cancer research before this, but now I realized how much progress has been made over the years due to research and I am very grateful. I suffered very little with the chemo and, my cancer went into remission after 3 treatments. I have never given a speech at the behest of a hospital or any medical institution in my life, but I’m here today because my cancer experience has made me grateful; and because City of Hope is a ‘comprehensive cancer center’, which is the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute; it’s also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network; and because, decades ago, City of Hope saved my dear friend, the music genius Quincy Jones, from brain cancer. But I’m also here as a climate activist and I’d like for a moment to talk about the connection between cancer and the environment. During my chemotherapy, as I said, I was anticipating, actually hoping, that my hair would fall out and then, given all the new real estate that would become available, I was going to tattoo “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” on one side of my bald head and “WAKE UP” on the other. I would become a walking billboard in the fight to avoid catastrophe. But a friend who is a cancer activist told me that might not be a good idea. She told me that the cancer community doesn’t like to be mixed up in other issues. Hmmm. That gave me pause. And that’s also why, when City of Hope invited me to speak today, I decided to accept. I was born in 1937. Cancer was extremely rare during my growing up…it was considered a horrific, mysterious disease whose name we only dared whisper. By the 70s, cancer was becoming way too common and that’s when President Nixon launched the War on Cancer. The 70s were also when Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and I’ve always wondered if this was because he saw the connection between what he wanted to protect the environment from and the cancer he wanted to protect people from. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Nixon was the president who first made this connection? Today, of course, scientists know beyond a doubt that that cancer-causing chemicals and emissions are everywhere in our environment, the majority of them originate from fossil fuels…either in the carbon emissions from burning oil, gas and coal or from the chemicals and plastics and fertilizer that we refine fossil fuels into. Since Nixon’s War on Cancer in the 70s, the U.S. has spent more than $90 billion on cancer research, almost all of it spent on detection and treatment. Yet Cancer is epidemic today. All of us have either have it, had it, or know someone close who has it. One in three men and one in four women will get cancer in their lifetimes, according to the American Cancer Society. In a 2021 review of studies by the World Health Organization researchers found that people who live near oil and gas drilling are at far greater risk of developing cancer. Here’s a hard-to-believe story related to that: Last fall, a decade of protests, petitioning and lobbying, California’s Governor Newsom finally signed a bill, SB 1137, creating 3200ft health and safety buffers between oil wells and communities where people work, play and pray. Within weeks, Big Oil began an effort in which they spent $20 million to get a referendum on the 2024 ballot to keep this life-saving bill from being enacted. They got folks to sign by telling them that if the bill signed by Newsom passed it would make people in those communities sick and cause gas prices to go up. Total lies. And we’ve heard they’re planning to spend $100 million more to ensure they win…$100 million to defeat a bill that would have protected residents of those communities…largely people of color, poor and indigenous people with little power to fight off big oil themselves. Shouldn’t California’s Healthcare System be working with these communities to defeat Big Oil’s efforts and help protect the health of these people. Almost a million Californians live within dangerous proximity to oil wells and refineries. And in the limbo between now and when it’s decided in Nov 2024, the governor has already approved or allowed to be approved 600 new oil wells inside the very buffer zones he just signed into law. It’s unconscionable and variations of this attack on Democracy will become a nationwide problem if we don’t put a stop to it in California. Besides cancer, by the way, the chemicals in the air that these communities and others are breathing are also linked to learning disabilities, birth defects, asthma, immune disfunction, Parkinson’s Disease, endometriosis and neurological decline. The National Cancer Institute estimated the costs of this toxic pollution in 2020 alone, to be more than $160 billion dollars. Cancer has become a major pink ribbon industry. But over the years, the healthcare system seems to have gone from trying to prevent cancer to learning to live with it. This is not what should be happening… for myriad reasons. As a climate activist who is also a cancer survivor, I have to ask why isn’t the entire cancer community — hospitals, research centers and survivors — up in arms about what fossil fuels are doing to us, not just to our families and friends, but to our planet and our future? I’m sure you are all aware that burning fossil fuels is primarily what’s driving the climate crisis. And the climate crisis itself threatens the health of billions of people worldwide, not just because of the toxic chemicals involved or because of the extreme weather events, fires, droughts and floods that kill people, but also because of the new viruses that are being released as ecosystems are being destroyed and animal viruses are being transmitted to humans as was the case with Covid, and because of the disease-carrying vectors like mosquitos, ticks, etc that are migrating to new, unsuspecting regions due to warming weather. And our health care system is so not prepared for what’s coming. So, I ask you, why not rise up against this massive attack on America’s health? Why, instead, have the 4 big healthcare pension funds in the U.S. — the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, HCA Healthcare and Ascension Health –invested more than $4 and a half billion dollars in fossil fuel companies? Is this not a Faustian bargain that violates the Hippocratic oath: First, Do No Harm? The healthcare system investing in the very companies that are making us sick and killing us? How can this be? In learning more about this deadly paradox, I’ve discovered that the United States healthcare system is itself responsible for almost 9% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is roughly the equivalent of the annual emissions of over 125 coal-fired power plants and it’s because of the systems’ reliance on fossil fuels to run their facilities and their equipment, the petrochemical plastics used to make their devices, the anesthetic gases they use in the operating room, the food and drugs they purchase, and the fossil fuel-based transportation they use to get themselves and their patients to and from their hospitals. But here’s the good news: The Health community—led usually by its nurses– has made big changes before. When they learned that medical waste incinerators were the largest source of cancer-causing dioxin emissions in the United States, more than 4,500 incinerators were closed and hospitals learned how to reduce their waste, reuse and recycle what they could, and use safer waste treatment technologies to deal with infectious waste. And when it was proven that smoking caused cancer, the healthcare industry developed programs to help us quit and helped persuade young people to not smoke. They also banned smoking from hospitals. When the system learned that broken mercury thermometers were contributing to dangerous mercury levels in water and fish and ultimately our bodies, the health sector phased out mercury thermometers and found safer alternatives, not only in our country but all around the world. Already, over 1000 US hospitals that have committed to net zero emissions and thousands more around the world are on the same path. Over 60 governments have committed to design low carbon and climate-resilient health systems, including our own government. But we have to make them do it and that’s where the City of Hope comes in. They’re an influencer. Doctors and nurses are stepping up as leaders and advocates for climate action. When I was organizing my climate-focused rallies called Fire Drill Fridays in DC, an organization called Alliance for Nurses for a Healthy Environment joined me in large numbers at a capitol rally and then led the march to the Senate office building to sit in and protest the previous administration’s climate denial. This is as it should be. The healthcare community and hospitals in particular should lead the rest of our society in addressing this intersectional climate and health crisis, which the World Health Organization calls “the greatest public health threat we face on the planet”. Things are too dire, the window of opportunity to do what science is demanding is closing too rapidly now for us all to remain in our particular silos—health people here, economists over here, feminists over here, environmentalists there. We need to join forces in a common cause…reduce cancer and other diseases, phase out fossil fuels and make our healthcare system, as a whole, more resilient in the face of extreme weather, fires and flooding. During Superstorm Sandy, many NY hospitals had to be evacuated just when they were most needed. Some stored their equipment in the basements and were badly incapacitated. So how about this: Start to run hospitals on renewable energy, don’t keep essential equipment in basements, buy food and supplies from local sources to reduce carbon from transportation emissions. Doing these suggested things would also help the hospitals’ communities by supporting local, sustainable development, reducing single use plastics, eliminating dangerous anesthetic gases, turns out there are safe alternatives; Buying more local and sustainable food for patients and employees, electrifying the fleets, moving to more telemedicine, and wasting less drugs and other supplies. Healthcare is 18% of the entire US economy, think of the impact you can have if you committed to these renovations. It would be life changing. Literally. And much more so if you also joined in the efforts to protect vulnerable communities from fossil fuel poisoning. It’s called environmental justice. Health and justice should make good bedfellows, don’t you think? And doing these things also means helping to save our planet. As cancer spreads and the climate crisis worsens, more people are looking to the healthcare community to move from solely researching and treating chronic illnesses like cancer, asthma, diabetes and stroke, to addressing prevention by leading our society in kicking our addiction to fossil fuels and toxic chemicals. And, as I just said, that can start right in your own buildings and operations, your supply chains and pension funds. And perhaps the annual Race for the Cure can be reconceived as the Race for Prevention? Climate smart healthcare is preventative medicine on a grand scale. I mean, think about it: We can’t have healthy people on a sick planet. I wanted to say these things here today because City of Hope is one of the most prestigious Cancer Hospitals in the world. You can become the leader in this new vision of what healthcare can and should be and inspire the rest of the cancer establishment to do the same. I hope we can move forward on this together, climate and health united, committed to “doing no harm.” It’s time the healthcare community refocused its efforts on preventing cancer by making our communities healthier and safer places to live. It’s time they modeled the transformation to an economy where health and equity are core to their operating principles, an economy that is not reliant on fossil fuels?


I have been deeply moved and uplifted by all the expressions of love and support since I made public the fact that I’ve been diagnosed with B-cell Non-Hodgins Lymphoma. My heartfelt thanks to all. The messages of love and support mean the world to me. I want to say again that this is a very treatable cancer and much progress has been made with the medicines patients are given. Since last week, so many people have written to me or posted that they have had this type of cancer and have been cancer-free for many decades. Well, I’ll soon be 85 so I won’t have to worry about “many decades.” One will do just fine. Many have asked how I am feeling. Well today, about 3 weeks from my first chemo session, I must tell you that I feel stronger than I have in years. The doctor told me the best antidote to the tiredness that chemotherapy can cause is to move. Walk. And I have been walking. Very early before the record heat kicks in. Also working out. This is not my first encounter with cancer. I’ve had breast cancers and had a mastectomy and come through very well and I will do so again. As I said in my statement last week, I am painfully aware that the top-drawer treatment I receive is not something everyone in this country can count on and I consider that a travesty. It isn’t fair, and I will continue to fight for quality health care for all. Most of you know that I am focused on confronting the urgent climate crisis, caused by fossil fuels, through my ongoing work with Fire Drill Fridays (We just had our 10 millionth viewer last Friday!) and my most recent work with the Jane Fonda Climate PAC. This diagnosis has only made me more determined than ever to continue to end the deadly effects of fossil fuels. While most of us know that fossil fuels are the primary cause of the climate crisis, many may not know that fossil fuel emissions also cause cancer as well as other major health problems like birth defects, childhood leukemia, heart attacks, strokes, lung disease and preterm birth. We must find a way to come together to put an end to this deadly correlation. Too many families have suffered, too many communities have been forgotten, written off as ‘Sacrifice Zones,’ far too much pain has been endured. It does not have to be this way. We have it within our power to change this and I intend to do everything in my power to do so. This cancer will not deter me. Please visit to learn about our work to elect climate champions across the country and counter the outsized influence fossil fuel companies have on our government. Please sign up. Please donate. $5, $10, whatever you can. The website will tell you how or you can donate through ActBlue. We need you, your friends, your family and colleagues. With the crucial midterms around the corner, it’s all hands on deck! Please also visit to learn about how you can join actions throughout the country and tune into our next livestream on Friday September 9th featuring marine biologist John Hocevar, Director of Greenpeace’s oceans campaign who will tell us what happened at the recent UN Global Ocean Treaty. Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your loving thoughts!

Jane Fonda Climate PAC

Dear Friends, Today I am launching my new effort to stem the tide of climate change and address the outsize influence the fossil fuel industry has on our political system. It’s called the Jane Fonda Climate PAC. The PAC is laser focused on one goal: Do what it takes to defeat fossil fuels supporters and elect climate champions at all levels of government. A link to our launch video is here. Time is running out to avoid the worst case climate impact. After decades of advocacy, public education and other 501(c)(3)-compliant organizing for climate, our attention is shifting to the political roadblock that is preventing not just bold action but even the most basic no-brainers, like ending the billions of dollars of fossil fuel subsidies we give to coal, oil and gas corporations every year. The climate movement has many strong elements but has not engaged in electoral work at scale. The crushing defeat of the Build Back Better bill, after months and months of advocacy and massive public support, made it clear that we need more elected leaders working for people on the planet, instead of fossil fuel interests. You know the saying: “if you can’t change the people, change the people.” Over the last months, I’ve been working closely with my allies in the climate movement and have brought in additional help on the electoral front to launch this effort. We only have eight more years to meet science-based climate targets to avoid worst case climate scenarios, but that also means only 4 more election cycles. I don’t say this lightly, but I feel this is likely to be the most important thing I do in my life. 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. Today, I unveiled a new website with more information on how to get involved and donate to this effort. I hope you’ll join me. With Love, Jane


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:: View this post on Instagram A post shared by SHIVA RAJBHANDARI (@shiva_rajbhandari) 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.


It’s been a while. For months, it’s felt like all I could do was make it from one day to the next. No time or energy to write about it. All my energy went into working, keeping my spirits up and taking care of myself mentally and physically. It seems to me that self-care is critical right now. But there’s more air, more space now. Part of it was making the transition from the end of “Grace & Frankie” to the new film, “Moving On,” that I’m doing with Lily. Written and directed by Paul Weitz, it’s a dark comedy. The characters are very different from Grace and Frankie so there was the raw, vulnerable process of shedding one skin and, almost simultaneously growing a new one which wasn’t easy cause the film started 10 days after G&F wrapped. When you’re leaving one person behind and stepping into someone new, you, the actor, is in an in between, vulnerable space. It’s been interesting. Challenging. Because of making this switch so abruptly, I’m more aware than ever of the differences between TV comedies and movies. Perhaps this is especially true of a Paul Weitz movie. Like in my films of the 70’s, Paul isn’t afraid of silences, of revealing processes. I’m enjoying it very much. We finish on my birthday, Dec 21st, when my family is coming in for the Holidays…finally! Another event that has been profound for me: On Thanksgiving morning, I took my little Tulea to the animal hospital and held her in my arms as she was put to sleep. I knew it was coming. She started having seizures multiple times a day. I couldn’t bring her to work with me anymore. I tried to prepare but it’s never fully successful, is it? I just hung on to my gratitude for having had her loving, loyal companionship for almost 17 years. I miss her terribly. I don’t intend to get another dog. She was a soulmate. That’s one thing. But also, in the coming years, I feel I need to remain as unencumbered and flexible as possible—to go where I can make a difference, wherever that might be. I’ve also missed having a regular weekly Fire Drill Friday. I’m doing one this month that I’m excited about and, as the New Year will be a very crucial and complicated year given the midterm elections and the urgency of the climate crisis, I’m hopeful we can get back to doing them weekly. The most important contribution we can make is to not give up. I hope everyone has a safe, fun, and restful Holiday.


I’m getting excited that we’ll start filming “Grace & Frankie” again tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed having to learn my lines for my scenes tomorrow and Tuesday. I won’t mind having to get up at 4:30am. I’m used to getting up at 5:30 so no big deal…except getting to sleep at 8pm. Yep, that’s right, I go to sleep very early. Well, usually not at 8pm, closer to 9-9:30. I sort of keep farmer’s hours: to bed with the sun and up with the sun. The only one of my 3 husbands who felt as I do was Ted. Tomorrow is also Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. 6 months after it’s mirror image, December 21st, Winter Solstice, the shortest day and my birthday. It’ll be my 84th. COVID has so screwed up my sense of time that I feel winter is a few months from now, skipping all of summer. Which might be a good idea since weather forecasts for this summer shows record heat hitting the southwest and likely a very bad fire season. Heat is the most dangerous of all effects of climate change. We’re taking Fire Drill Fridays to once a month starting in July because it’s too hard to do them weekly when I’m working. Besides, I think we’re all suffering a bit from Zoom fatigue. I miss the Drills though and my Fire Fighters. I hope they are staying safe and willing to take action.


I feel badly cause I’ve gone silent lately in terms of my own writing. For instance no blog since I went to Minnesota. Lots going on. Some good some bad. Mostly good. Here’s some really good: Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer just cancelled the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline that’s been leaking worse than Rep Matt Gaetz’s buddy in crime, Florida tax collector Greenberg. Sometimes, like these last weeks (or has it been months?), every part of me feels filled up with things I have to do, things I have to figure out and deal with, people I have to spend time with. I am filled up with all this and there’s no room to compose a blog. I’m not the type who can write about every little thing I’m doing. If I do post a photo of something I’m about to eat you’ll know I’ve had a drink. maybe that’s it: I haven’t had a drink in ages. Even though I’ve been out a few times with people who’ve been drinking. Won’t name names. I’m so busy that I can’t afford to be at half-mast the next day which is what happens when I have even one drink. That’s what you have to look forward to in your 80s. But as Ted Danson said to me two nights ago when I told him why I wasn’t drinking, “But with age you have the wisdom to figure that out.” (That the next day I’d be at half-mast.) So okay, now you know that one of the people/places I went was to Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen’s home for dinner. They are about the absolute nicest human beings in the whole world and always so much fun. Here’s something else I must confess: See I never used to watch TV so I missed all the great. classic sitcoms like “Friends,” and “Cheers.” Well, during the pandemic I started to watch “Cheers” and now I have crush on Ted. I told him that. What a terrific show!!! And then I re-watched the film, “Body Heat,” with Kathleen Turner and William Hurt and Ted. OMG!!! I recently have become obsessed with the Israeli series, “Shtisel.” I would never have figured but several of my Jewish friends recommended it and, as I’ve seen all the Oscar films, I figured, “Why not?”. “Mare of East Town” too but I have to wait for Sundays for that. Kate Winslett is the bravest actor of all. I so admire her. As for the Oscars, I applaud the producers for doing as well as they did under the circumstances but I do hope we return to the pomp and glory of the big room, big stage, winners looking straight into the camera, snippets of the films and performances. I anticipated every single win up until the last two…Best actress and actor, Whew was I surprised I guess everyone else was too, along with the winners themselves. But I do love Union Station for its beauty and for its place in my life. See, when I was very young, people didn’t fly across the country, they took trains and that’s what I did, with my family, or relatives. And let me tell you, when the Green New Deal becomes a reality and we get light rail, electric, fast, I urge you all to take trains. You’ll see this beautiful country of ours and fall in love with parts of it you may not have known. And if you fall in love, you’ll want to save it. I so clearly remember the vast hall of Union Station where we’d arrive with steamer trunks. It all seemed so thrilling. I’ve run out of time and need to walk my dog, Tulea. She’s gotten very old, deaf with a bit of dementia. Makes me sad. But she still chases the squirrels…and I’m still feeding the squirrels and a pair of turtle doves were bathing in the bird bath I got when it was 112 degrees here last summer and I got scared when birds were falling dead out of the sky. See, my mind always comes back to the climate crisis…which is why I haven’t written more on social media. I’m pretty much preoccupied with all the climate ideas people have for me. Bye. Stay Safe.


It’s Sunday. The Sunday before the Tuesday election. The election that may well determine the future of the planet and whether or not it will be hospitable for human life. The latter will be challenging whoever wins but with a Biden win, at least there’s an acknowledgement that we face a climate crisis and must act. Biden’s history shows that incrementalism is his comfort zone. It will be up to us, the American people who are honest enough to admit there’s a crisis (and there are 10s of millions of us), to make the new administration understand that it’s too late for incrementalism. And the good news is that Biden can be moved to do what’s right. If we’d started phasing out fossil fuels 40 years ago when the fossil fuel industry was told by their scientists that what they were burning was warming up the atmosphere, the transition could have been incremental. But the industry lied and planted false stories. As a result, the time remaining to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% –what the scientists are telling us is essential if we are to avoid the tipping point—is growing smaller fast. I wonder how many of my blog followers will stop reading now. I hope not many. I hope you’ll hang in here cause it’s important if you care anything about saving this precious, complex, perhaps unique, interconnected web of life. The good news is that many of the steps needed to solve the economic crisis that the covid pandemic has wrought can, if implemented with this intention, move us forward on the path to a green, sustainable future. I’m scared. I have to confess. And what I do when I feel like this, besides meditate and workout, is I think about the Green New Deal. I learned to do this from Abigail Leedy, an 18-year-old working class climate activist from Philadelphia where people have died because of the heat, gotten sick because of the pollution spewed from the oil refineries next to her house. Last fall at a Fire Drill Friday, Abigail told the crowd that when she and her friends are feeling the burden of the climate crisis, they raise their spirits by thinking how their world will be under a green new deal. “Under a green new deal maybe kids won’t be poor,” she said. “Under a green new deal all the public schools have air conditioning and we’ll turn gas stations into parks.” It’s moving to me that we have this 14-page resolution laying out a vision for a 10-year mobilization to save the planet that brings hope to our young people and is, in essence, a major jobs program. Yet look what a job Republicans (and some Democrats) have already done on the GND, convincing many people that it’s socialism, that it costs too much, will wreck the economy, and can’t be done. Of course, they conveniently don’t factor in the costs of not doing anything. Get this: Over the last three years, the total cost of extreme billion-dollar weather events exceeded $450 billion! But the main reason they hate the GND is because it requires a strong government and an economy that actually works for all people. The oligarchs try to sell us a bill of goods about the free market system because they hate regulations that prevent them from running roughshod over workers and the environment in order to maximize their profits. Trump has rolled back over 100 environmental regulations! And listen to this: The above is the same reason the Trump administration has refused to mount an appropriate federal response to the covid pandemic. They don’t want us to see the government as an institution that actually helps people. They’ve made ‘Big Government’ a bad word but the size of the government isn’t what’s important, it’s who the government works for, right? Hasn’t covid taught us the importance of a functional federal government? We are right now experiencing the catastrophic impacts of a weakened government that refuses to protect public health and support people in the midst of a global emergency. Please keep reading. It’s important for us all to understand what the Green New Deal is…and understand that it’s not socialism. Like the original New Deal in the 1930s under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it proposes that the government funds many thousands of good-paying jobs, retrofitting and upgrading buildings for maximum energy efficiency, updating our water delivery infrastructure to improve waste quality and conservation, remediating toxic oil wells and waste dumps, and generally increasing this nation’s resiliency, safety, and affordability. Unlike that original New Deal, the Green New Deal (GND) explicitly calls out and centers the need for these investments to be guided by justice and equity – racial justice, economic justice, gender justice, and environmental justice. The GND calls for training people in skills that would be in demand in the new economy created by the transition off of fossil fuels and guaranteeing the right of all workers to organize, unionize and collectively bargain. The overseas transfer of jobs and pollution would be stopped.  It calls for guaranteeing family-sustaining wages for workers, good healthcare and retirement benefits. It calls for ensuring workers affected by the transition off fossil fuels will have the resources and skills to succeed in a new economy. The work would be local, and local communities would be the ones that benefit from these changes. See we need to stop having to move things like water and food and energy to and from faraway places. When you’re relying on sun and wind, communities can own, control and store their own energy. While polluting industries are being phased out, other, sustainable industries will replace them, spurring economic development. Investing in affordable, high-quality healthcare, housing, education, and social services will ensure all of us can thrive. And the GND isn’t just about urban centers. It calls for supports for family farming, investments in sustainable land use practices, restoring the natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions known as restorative agriculture. This would result in our food being far healthier and more nutritious and without the manipulation of big agribusiness. The genius of the GND is its inclusiveness. It doesn’t just focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Vulnerable communities including indigenous peoples, communities of color, poor and low-income workers, and people who live in rural communities are the primary victims of pollution and resource extraction. Under the GND they would be the beneficiaries along with workers affected by the transition off fossil fuels. When Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey first introduced the GND Resolution, I have to admit that I was one of those who thought, “Oh Lord, why not just focus on climate? Why include equality and justice issues? But I have come to understand that environmental bills that didn’t have justice at their center have invariably failed in Congress, not just because conservative Republicans opposed them, but because they didn’t get support from the working families, unions, young people, and communities of color whose support is vital to getting things done in Washington. And it’s not just about politics. We truly can’t address the climate crisis separately from the other issues we face like economic inequality and racism. Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities bare the largest burden of pollution. Millions of people are unemployed or working 2 or 3 jobs just to get by. One thing that was so game-changing about last year’s enormous, global uprisings by student climate activists was that the youth get it, they understand the need for inclusivity and justice. They get that that’s how we will build a movement big enough to win and ensure we leave no one behind. They’re right: To make the Green New Deal a reality, we need the broadest possible cross section of Americans to understand that they would benefit from what will be true systemic change. We all need to understand that what science calls for, cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030 and then weaning entirely off fossil fuels by 2050, is the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced and the opposition is powerful which is one reason why this Tuesday’s election is so critical. Let’s vote for a government that’s willing to mobilize trillions of dollars, putting people back to work in good union jobs, building a resilient, green economy, protecting peoples’ right to energy-efficient, safe housing and healthy water. And let’s not fall for the lies of the climate deniers, climate delayers and people who only care about their own wealth. Thanks to all who read this to the end.