Dear Jane (Fonda),

I have been a fan of your acting in the past, and so as a fan, I feel an obligation to help you with your campaign against fossil fuels.

Photo Credit: Huffingtonpost

I heard you on CBC radio 94.1 FM this morning. It was reported that you had a jet fly you over the oil sands in northern Alberta, and as you were interviewed following the report, I heard you say that you believe that all oil extraction must “stop”.

Like you, I am passionate about the preservation of our environment – even the possibility of leaving it in a better state than we found it!

So, to that end, I believe that the best way to “stop” oil extraction is to stop using oil. This is the way a market change works best: no demand = no need for supply. To further our campaign efforts, can I respectfully suggest that you stop flying in your jet. Not only does your jet fly on fossil fuels, but the materials for its assembly were shipped via transport vehicles that operate on the same, and in all likelihood, manufactured in plants that use fossil fuels.

I had thought to suggest that we continue our campaign from your home, and simply do your interviews by phone, but then I found that most of the components of our telecommunication systems come from fossil fuels, as does television, radio and cameras – so these wouldn’t work very well in supporting our cause either.

I felt excited by the prospects of our postal service, until I found that the postal service also uses fossil fuels to deliver our message. Carrier pigeons could be used, but we can’t use paper to write on, neither can we use a pencil or pen – so maybe some birch bark and a piece of clean coal?

By the way, I noticed in one of your blog postings of a few years back that you take tennis lessons. Excellent! It is good for us to stay in top physical condition. I hope that you are not using a tennis racquet however, as they are made from fossil fuels, as is the tennis ball – and likely the tennis skirt, top and shoes you would be wearing. However, I encourage you to stay healthy and keep that ticker of yours in good shape – because you wouldn’t want to be in a position to need a heart valve replacement, as heart valves come from fossil fuels also. Oh, and we must take good care of our teeth, as dentures will be off limits as well.

This is hard, Jane, and I feel your frustration! It is so tough to lobby against fossil fuels and not be a hypocrite. I like to play the guitar, but I am going to have to find a way to do that without the use of strings, and I find that a difficult proposition. But much worse than that, I don’t know how I am going to store my food, because I have to get rid of my refrigerator, and all my appliances. I thought about an ice chest, but you guessed it, that won’t work either. In fact, I have a very long list of things that I am going to have to sell in order to join you in this campaign! Wow! It’s absolutely overwhelming – but, that’s the price of advocacy, and we must become the change that we want to see in the world!

I started to write a list of everything I would need to sell on ebay but realized that I couldn’t use ebay either, because the entire internet is based in fossil fuel components. Had I written the list, it would have been a long one. I find that I can’t sail or ride my bicycle (tires) anymore, and I can’t drive my car – not even my late model hybrid. When I contemplated all that I would have to do with the structure of my house, (I have to gut plumbing, flooring, windows, shingles and more) I decided it would be better for me to move out. I was going to buy a tent, but after discovering its origin, I decided on a soddie instead. Hey, our grandparents had these, so we can make do!

However, I confess that I am a bit concerned as to what I will do if I should happen to get sick. I can’t go to the hospital, because I would be literally surrounded by fossil fuels, such as the medication (capsules) anesthetics, antiseptics and antihistamines (to control my allergies), not to mention the origins of the equipment, and the entire structure of the building and all of its systems!

I worry about headaches (like the one I am starting to feel right now), as even Aspirin is off limits to us. My glasses and sunglasses were gone, but I am learning to squint just right so that I can read what I need to – with the addition of enough sunlight. Personal hygiene was a challenge for me (no soap, toothpaste/brush, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, etc.) but it has helped me to find out who my true friends are, and I am so thankful that I don’t have your challenges as a female. Wow! What are you going to do without pantyhose, nail polish, hair curlers, lipstick and hair coloring?

All of this has become a real challenge, but I assure you that I am still committed to our cause of a sustainable environment. I wonder, given that we will not be able to communicate our message by means other than birch bark, clean coal and carrier pigeon, if we should not alter our strategy somewhat. Maybe, as we work to reduce our extravagant use of fossil fuels, we could use our resources to invest in alternative fuel technology, and our current fossil fuel based technologies to promote them.

As I ponder this, I have made the decision to do just that. I am thankful for all of the life that our fossil fuel entrepreneurs have contributed to, and I will do my best to be responsible going forward with them as part of our community. Maybe together we can find the pathway to sustainability. I hope that you will find this alternative acceptable and join me in this.


David E White

PS. My wife is delighted with this new revelation and my decision to return to former hygienic practices!