BIG Green Idea: Global Climate Strike

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Why have youth organised a global strike for climate action? How can this make a difference?

Writing this article days out from the strike, I hope that everyone will respect the passion, fear and dedication of strikers and their supporters. The climate strike was organised by those who are too young to vote because they are desperately concerned about their own future and that of the planet. As we watch huge fires raging in September and see the report of inland cities running out of water, it is clear that this is a problem NOW.

Australia is still heavily dependent upon fossil fuels for electricity generation. We travel long distances in our petrol and diesel vehicles and large areas of land are still being cleared. This means that we punch well above our weight in global carbon emissions. However, there are many existing solutions to these problems.

Companies like BHP are getting out of thermal coal and into minerals needed for renewable power generation and storage. Renewables plus storage are already cheaper than new coal and nuclear plants. Innovative farmers are finding ways to improve pasture while capturing carbon in soil. Electric cars are increasingly available and affordable, while hybrid vehicles are common.

The UN is holding a Climate Summit on 23 September. All nations, governments, businesses and individuals need to work together to solve our collective problem. This is not a partisan political issue, but a human crisis affecting all aspects of our lives. We need to improve our stewardship of this planet in every way possible. Everyone can do their part through actions as small as changing the way you eat and taking public transport more often, to investing in sustainable technologies and implementing them at home.

Need ideas about what you can do? Project Drawdown has a comprehensive list of solutions and their effectiveness. Time magazine has devoted an entire issue to the Fight for Earth. Please join the fight!

A student perspective from Sophie Fox, Year 8

Why I am striking from school:

The school strike for climate movement is a global initiative to make our leaders take action on climate change. We don’t want to strike from school, but we are being left with no option. All strikers are striking for different reasons, but here are a few.

The climate situation is becoming increasingly worse, to the point that it has turned into a climate emergency. We are running out of time, so it's time to move into emergency mode and take action.

In places such as Bangladesh, people are having to become refugees because of the climate situation. People in the past have become climate refugees because of natural disasters; however, several thousands are having to flee because of climate change. It is estimated that 150-200 million people will become climate change refugees before the year 2050.

We have the solutions for the climate emergency; however, they aren’t being implemented. We are striking so that these solutions are implemented from a national and global scale. We are part of a growing movement to make the change that we need. 

For many people, striking is not an option. They can still reduce their own carbon footprint and put pressure on the government so that we can have a liveable future. 
 

 

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