Why I am skipping school to protest for action on climate change

Climate change is an issue with a ticking clock and the fact that adults and politicians are not doing enough is, simply put, repulsive, writes Aisheeya Huq, 16-year-old volunteer at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

climate justice washington
Youth activists rally for climate justice in front of the US Capitol in Washington,DC. Across Australia last week, children skipped school as part of the School Strike 4 Climate protests . Image: Lorie Shaull,CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Climate change is absolutely undeniable. The effects of climate change will cause distress, loss of life, and various troubles all across the globe.

In Australia, a country which is supposedly one of the most progressive in relation to contemporary issues and ideas, we are most definitely NOT doing enough to prevent such disastrous effects.

On a legislative level, our politicians are responsible for our wellbeing and futures - for the youth’s wellbeing and futures. If they are not willing nor seemingly interested in representing our concerns it is only inevitable that we will take action and protest!

Personally, I feel responsible to simply do something. If striking from school will gain the attention and consideration of our Parliament, then so be it. Due to the risk that a lack of climate policy will clearly pose to MY future, I feel I have an obligation to participate in and contribute to the strike this Friday!

My friends and I will be most affected by the disastrous ramifications of climate change (should our politicians decide not to do anything about it in the very near future).

To an extent, it is understandable that adults are not as passionate, nor as considerate of the phenomena that is climate change, as we are. This is because adults may not have grown with the access to scientifically compelling data that the youths of today are constantly provided with.

HOWEVER, this is no excuse for the same adults to be ignorant and dismissive of such a current and cogent issue! I feel this way especially in regard to politicians - you have been given the role of ensuring our safety and welfare, how could you delay this any further? The science is available to you, now. The statistics are available to you, now. The effects (which are clear as day) are affecting both you and I, now.

Climate change is an issue with a ticking clock and the fact that adults and politicians are NOT doing enough is, simply put, repulsive.

Activism is a prominent aspect of my generation’s schooling and extracurricular activities. We’ve finally come to a point in time where, in most countries (Australia being one of many), young people feel they have the right to protest. Where we feel we can express our concerns to our government by taking appropriate actions.

I am confident that the condescending rebuke provided by Prime Minister Scott Morrison will push Australian students to strike more passionately, more often, and more frequently - myself included.

Scott Morrison, we, the youth of your country, want you to establish an impactful, effective, and sustainable climate policy as soon as possible. By delaying the implementation of this; you are risking our wellbeing, futures, and the livelihoods of the generations that will come after us. You have said that our education is important - you are correct!

You have also said that it is more important than our climate strike - incorrect. We are striking in order to gain your attention, in order to gain our Parliament’s attention.

We want to express to you that we believe the priority lies with our Earth. We want you to understand, that at some point in time, there will be no going back. We plead you to do the most that you can in order to prevent crossing that tipping point. So once again, please HEAR US!

This story was published with permission from Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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