Marching for Action on Climate Change, Jane Fonda Warns Against Arctic Oil Drilling

The actor joined the March for Jobs, Justice, and Climate in Toronto on Sunday.
Jane Fonda. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Jul 5, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Jennifer Swann is TakePart’s culture and lifestyle reporter.

Earlier this year, Grace and Frankie actor and lifelong political activist Jane Fonda urged women at the Sundance Film Festival to shame the studios for being so gender-biased.

Now she’s calling on the international community to shame President Obama for what she called an "inconceivable" act, according to The Hollywood Reporter: allowing Shell to drill oil in the Arctic Ocean. The practice creates the potential for an oil spill and poses significant threats to the environment and wildlife, Fonda and other environmentalists say.

To get that message across, Fonda is joining thousands of activists in Toronto on Sunday for a rally dubbed March for Jobs, Justice, and Climate. The march, organized by dozens of nonprofits, labor unions, and environmental activists, including Canadian author Naomi Klein, aims to show businesses and politicians alike that climate change is inherently linked to issues that may seem unrelated: employment and social justice, in particular. In an interview with The Toronto Star, Fonda credited her activism to Klein’s 2014 book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

The March for Jobs, Justice, and Climate comes less than a month after Fonda spoke out against Arctic oil drilling at a Greenpeace rally in Vancouver, Canada. It’s also just days ahead of the Climate Summit of the Americas, a Toronto conference aimed at developing ideas for a worldwide low-carbon economy, which has the potential to boost business investment and employment opportunities, organizers say. Since implementing a carbon tax in 2008, for example, British Columbia has reduced its fuel use while growing its GDP and population, according to research cited by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

So, Why Should You Care? Conversely, proponents of Arctic oil drilling, which was approved by Obama in May and is set to begin within the next two weeks, say Shell is bringing jobs and money that will help revive the local economy off the coast of Alaska. But there’s no climate-friendly way to use any of the oil and gas below the Arctic seafloor, according to scientists. Drilling may come at the expense of harming local ecosystems that are home to endangered polar bears, whales, ice seals, and Pacific walruses. An internal report prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada suggests that the Canadian government is unprepared to deal with an oil spill if one were to occur in the Arctic, according to CBS News.