Climate Crisis Weekly: Jane Fonda arrested for protesting, how to talk to your kids about the climate crisis, more

  • Jane Fonda arrested for climate crisis protest in Washington, DC.
  • How to talk to your kids about the climate crisis.
  • Cocaine isn’t just bad for your body — it’s also causing climate change.
  • Japan buckles down yet again as Typhoon Hagibis is set to break violent-storm records.
  • And more…

Jane Fonda was arrested by the US Capitol Police during a climate change protest on Friday. Fonda was one of 16 people who were arrested for “‘unlawfully demonstrating on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol,’ Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki said in a statement to Variety.”

Fonda’s website states that she has moved to Washington, DC, and implemented Fire Drill Fridays, “to be closer to the epicenter of the fight for our climate. Every Friday through January, I will be leading weekly demonstrations on Capitol Hill to demand that action by our political leaders be taken to address the climate emergency we are in. We can’t afford to wait.”

Fonda says that she was inspired by Greta Thunberg and the youth climate strikes. She is calling for a Green New Deal, among other demands.

Lily Tomlin’s protest-loving character, Frankie, who pairs with Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie, would be ever so proud of her buddy’s protest arrest.

Kids and teens aren’t just talking about climate change and observing it in the news. They’re marching, and writing letters, and striking. They’re watching Greta Thunberg and groups like Extinction Rebellion take action.

Brussels Climate Strike

“More than 7 in 10 teenagers and young adults say climate change will cause a moderate or great deal of harm to people in their generation,” reports the Washington Post. They’re frightened. (I know the feeling.)

So what’s the best way to talk to your kids about climate change? The New York Times spells it out very clearly in logical steps.

  • Ask your child what they’ve seen or heard about the climate crisis and how that makes them feel.
  • Gently correct irrational fears, but don’t downplay anxieties. You have to establish trust.
  • Talk about people and organizations that are working to solve the problem. In other words, share good news and positive steps.
  • Talk about what you have done — or could do — as a family to reduce your carbon footprint. Action can alleviate fear.
  • Lead by example. Our kids are always watching.

Photo: Pauline Loroy/Unsplash

On October 8, the Verge ran a story about how cocaine is causing climate change and deforestation, as well as migration, according to reports that focus on Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Those areas are suffering some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. They explain:

To move cocaine to its North American consumers, South American drug traffickers cut through Central America. To avoid law enforcement, the traffickers are using increasingly remote routes, including protected national forests. To launder their money, they invest in ranching and agriculture, two businesses notorious for bulldozing and burning forests to make way for livestock and crops.

So what can be done? Researchers say to protect the people who live in the forests. Or as the article puts it, “Protecting the local people protects the local forest — and in turn, protects the entire planet.”

Japan hasn’t even had a chance to catch its breath after Typhoon Faxai, and now Typhoon Hagibis — which might cause the country’s heaviest rain and winds for 60 years — is bearing down on the country. Climate change is causing stronger, more intense storms.

Faxai was one of the strongest storms to hit Tokyo in a decade, with record-breaking winds, and Hagibis might be worse. Faxai damaged 30,000 homes.

The typhoon, expected to hit as equivalent to a category 4 hurricane, is expected to hit Japan’s most populous island of Honshu Saturday morning.

The BBC says: “It could be the strongest storm the country has faced since Kanogawa Typhoon in 1958, which left more than 1,200 people dead or missing.”

Some depressing statistics from Unilever (and yes, they themselves use a lot of plastic):

Just 14% of the plastic packaging used globally makes its way to recycling plants, and only 9% is actually recycled. Meanwhile, a third is left in fragile ecosystems, and 40% ends up in landfill.

Now the good news, which can also be found on the link above. Unilever is committing to use less plastic, better plastic, or no plastic by moving to what they call a “circular economy”:

This means that materials constantly flow around a ‘closed loop’ system, rather than being used once and then discarded. As a result, the value of materials, including plastics, is not lost by being thrown away.

The consumer goods giant, co-headquartered in London and Rotterdam,  announced this month that it will work to achieve the following by 2025:

  • Halve the amount of virgin plastic it uses in packaging.
  • Help collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.

This includes refills and reusable packaging. They are also looking at glass, aluminum, and paper, as well as package design. Here are just two examples:

In France, we are piloting a laundry detergent dispensing machine in supermarkets for our Skip and Persil laundry brands to eliminate single-use plastic.

We launched our REN Clean Skincare packaging with 100% recycled PET (rPET) bottles.

These are encouraging steps being taken by an enormous fast-moving consumer goods company — because it has to come from manufacturing companies like Unilever, who are encouraging other companies to get on board. (Maybe they could have a stern chat with Nestlé and Tim Hortons in Canada.)

Now, this is definitely good information to share with your kids (see above).

Guess British prime minister Boris Johnson was wrong about describing Extinction Rebellion as a group of “uncooperative crusties” and “importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters.”

On Wednesday, a 91-year-old man named John was arrested for protesting the climate crisis in London. (John, you forgot your nose ring.)

#FridaysForFuture is still at it across the globe (just search the hashtag on Twitter), and Greta Thunberg, who didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday, didn’t let that stop her as she led a climate crisis strike in Denver — where a record-breaking temperature swing of 70 degrees Fahrenheit occurred this week.

But here’s something to make you smile as you start your weekend from the Natural Resources Defense Council — the optimism of youth.

Check out our past editions of Climate Crisis Weekly.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.