Democracy Cant Thrive in Chaos
Jane Fonda was arrested five times for environmental protest outside the Capitol this fall. She accepted a BAFTA film award while being taken into custody and photographs. The actor cast a striking figure in handcuffs in red will coat. It's a color fitting for the protests which are inspired by global school strikes and called Fire Drill. Fridays fresh from her arrest streak. The activists joined environmental justice campaigner and community organizer. Peggy Shepherd to record a live episode of Dare. I say in partnership with AMEX AT SAKS fifth avenue in New York City Peggy has been at the forefront of the Environmental Justice Movement in the US for a long time. She founded nonprofit organization. We Act for Environmental Justice in North Manhattan in the eighties. It helped low income New Yorkers in particular communities of color fight harmful environmental policies. It now fights for better environmental and health policies on a local and national level in the I live recorded episode of Dare. I say peggy and Jane discussed civil disobedience the green new deal resilience and why it is important for women to lead the climate conversation. How can we remedy empathy crisis? That has hurt generations of Americans. Why is the cult of rugged individualism driving climate disaster? What can older generations learned from teenagers at the decades on the frontlines? Peggy and Jane Have Not Stop Fighting. They are women who dare. Hi You know. We have a lot in common where activists arrested. But why have you decided to be arrested and to be active at this moment in time over Labor Day weekend? I felt great malaise because I drive an electric car and I do away with single use plastics and I make all those right personal lifestyle choices but I knew that they're not going to be able to scale up in time to get us where we need to be is a good place to start but it's no place to stop and so. I read a book by Klein that talked about a green new deal and talked about gratitude and it inspired me to get out of my comfort zone as Greta says we have to do and not behave business as usual as you know better than a lot of people. We have decades many decades more than forty years writing speeches and books and getting the word out about the science. What the science says. And we've marched and we've rallied and we've played nice and it hasn't worked enough and we only have eleven years left and so we have to up the stakes and I think we have to mobilize and go into the streets and put our bodies on the line and engage in civil disobedience and risk getting arrested. I don't WANNA BE ARRESTED. But you know you have to be willing to risk it so I went. I moved to DC for four months to win gaijin fired real Fridays because Fridays is the day that Greta and the student climate strikers have chosen to strike for climate so I want to support them and helpless their message teenagers today were born more than a decade after NASA scientists warned Congress about climate change in nineteen eighty eight. James Hansen told lawmakers at the time that he was ninety nine percent sure that human activity was causing temperatures to rise. Teenagers today have inherited the climate crisis. They have grown up. In a world of apocalyptic headlines and increasingly volatile weather. It's no surprise that they are extremely intelligent educated and now taking to the streets sweetest teenager. Greta Tonsberg inspired a wave of student protests across the world when she skipped school to strike outside of her country's parliament. And so how do you feel that? We really can motivate young people and youth to really be the strong activists that they need because they are going to inherit this climate this globe right now. What I'm feeling is I don't need to motivate them. They're motivating me. They're the ones because they see that we've taken their future not we. The fossil fuel industry has is robbing them of the future and we can't let them shoulder this burden by themselves. So Granny's unite. Older people have to get out there and and we have to stand along side them. This is a collective crisis that's going to require a collective solution that means all of us together because it is a stomach and we know that we can each take the issues that we need. Whether it's changing light bulbs whether it's recycling. We know that we can do all of those things. But we know that it's systemic and that we gotta come together collectively to educate our elected officials and to pressure the policymakers to really pass the kind of legislation that we all need. But we know that we can't do that with the message. Simply reducing carpet or a message. Simple energy efficiency. We've got a really embraced the values that appeal to all of our communities because Oliver Communities are not whole. They're not healthy. We know that millions of people in this country are living with bad air. They don't have clean water and they are disproportionately impacted by pollution and the Environmental Justice Movement has really for the last thirty years were to achieve environmental protection for all communities and we know also that when we talk about climate change and you hear people talk about climate justice. Climate Justice is not just a cool phrase. It's really a term that is focused on the most vulnerable communities. And how we've got to take action to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected because when that happens we're all protected and so we've got agreement deal and we know that that's been an important framework that's been proposed and it's wonderful that she was not prescriptive. Afc and the others who have talked about this framework we know that it has motivated sectors of of our country to get together and fill in the blanks. What they think is a green new deal what they need for their communities and for their lives and that's been a very important motivator. I think in this moment for a long time. There's been this rap that the environmental movement is white and elite. I think even Obama kind of felt that way but my experience is that that is not the case and then in fact people of color who live in the frontline communities have been very much at the forefront of the environmental movement and are the bravest strongest voices. It's a stereotype that people of color don't really care about the environment. Because they're really concerned with with jobs and food and of course we're all concerned with that but what? I've found predominantly above ninety sixth street when we have monthly membership meetings. It's not the more fluent Brown's donors who are coming out on these sites. It's people from public housing. We get so many calls about air pollution coming into their apartments about odors and emissions from trucks cars buses. We have worker training program for under employed young men and we invited them to come to our membership meetings to hear about issues of climate change or toxins in and chemicals cosmetics and they were able to understand the issue they were able for the probably the first time in their lives to talk to an elected official and tell them what they felt in what they needed and so it's about support. People know what they need. They just need some support to be able to advocate and to be able to. Maybe have a place to come and use computer. Have a place to come and ask some key questions. Let me just tell you that the upcoming mayoral public housing tenants are going to be a major factor in who gets elected and we're going to be organizing them and there's coalitions all over the city to ensure that some of the most vulnerable people are the ones who are going to be part of the solution and so I would simply say that the most vulnerable when we address them we lift all boats. It's not about trickle down. It's about lifting everyone up together and that's what creates an equitable and just society.