Who better than Dame Judi Dench to proclaim her love for trees on BBC’s film My Passion for Trees, or Margaret Atwood (author of the Handmaid’s Tale) to advocate for free speech? Authors, actors, and comedians all understand the power of words, and their ability to provoke positive change.

That’s why artists such as Alec Baldwin, William Shatner and Jane Fonda are standing up for free speech and forests, for the love of the planet. Using their star power, over 200 authors, playwrights, actors, and poets have put their name on paper and signed a pledge with Greenpeace to defend three key points in protecting our planet:

“Freedom of speech as a pillar of democratic and peaceful societies”

“The right of individuals to organize and protest without intimidation”

“Those who peacefully protect the world’s forests.”

If you like what these famous people have said in their respectable published work and performances, chances are you’ll like what they’re saying about their pledge to save the planet:


1. Rebecca Solnit (Author, Men Explain Things to Me)

Rebecca Solnit

“There is no free society without free speech, and when we say that we mean free as in freedom, as in liberty. But lawsuits that make speaking up unaffordably expensive are one way to quash that liberty arising from the free exchange of words, ideas, beliefs, truths. I’m proud to stand with Annie Leonard and Greenpeace for the liberty of speaking up for the climate, the natural world, and all of us who depend on it. ”


2. Yann Martel (Author, Life of Pi)


“Ultimately we all benefit from free speech. If Resolute Forest Products manages to shut Greenpeace up with its heavy-handed legal tactics, we ALL lose. This is not just a question of preserving our environment but our civil society.”


3. William Shatner (Actor)

William Shatner

“Can you believe that trees have DNA that has similarities to human DNA? The implication is that not only is all humanity united but all animals and more recently the discovery that plant life is related. We’re all one large organism. We are in fact LIFE. In destroying nature, we are destroying ourselves. Self-preservation is also a basic instinct. Let’s follow it.”


4. Lauren Groff (Author, Fates and Furies, 2015 Book of the Year)


Courtesy of wnyc

“It is the moral imperative of every human being to speak up for vulnerable living things that can’t speak for themselves. We should all be thankful that Greenpeace is a valiant and ferocious defender of our common rights to a clean and healthy planet; we should all defend Greenpeace’s ability to call out companies for their wrongdoing.”



5. Stephen Fry (Comedian)


“Speaking as a serial blasphemer, I take freedom of speech very seriously. It’s not just about the satisfaction you get from speaking your mind, it’s also about telling uncomfortable truths that need to be heard, and Greenpeace has been incredibly successful at exposing what the powers that be want to keep secret. But this case goes beyond Greenpeace to threaten every whistle-blower and watchdog with information that the rich and powerful want suppressed. I’m worried, and I think you should be too.”


6. Margaret Atwood (Author, The Handmaid’s Tale)


“The endings of The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984 and Brave New World are written. Ours is not. This is a chance to stand up for freedom of speech, the freedom to advocate for change, and the freedom to question authority, and to strengthen their protection under law. As a society, we need a positive outcome to this story.”


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