Students preparing to skip school on Friday for climate change strike. Organisers L-R Zac, Norma, Elia, Sunny, Alex, Claudia, Sara and Thea. Wednesday March 13, 2019. Picture: AAP/Megan Slade).
Students preparing to skip school on Friday for climate change strike. Organisers L-R Zac, Norma, Elia, Sunny, Alex, Claudia, Sara and Thea. Wednesday March 13, 2019. Picture: AAP/Megan Slade).

‘Why I WILL strike for climate change’

AUSTRALIA has been sitting in a climate crisis for decades - and no-one has done anything to stop it.

Now, it's up to the kids to take a stand for what's right, and push the politicians into making real, meaningful change.

School students around the world are fighting back - striking from school in an effort to gain widespread media and political attention for the issue.

As a student striker in Brisbane, I am excited to see the incredible and positive change we will bring.

On Friday, we expect to witness almost 1000 events taking place in more than 78 countries. This global movement has already gained traction as the biggest student-led action against climate change ever.

In Brisbane alone, we are expecting thousands of students to brave the heat with a march from Queens Park to Queensland Parliament House from 1pm.

Our message is clear, we want our politicians to Stop Adani's mega coal mine, No New coal or gas and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

 

Sara McKoy and Claudia Blomberg will take part in the Climate March. Picture: Supplied
Sara McKoy and Claudia Blomberg will take part in the Climate March. Picture: Supplied

 

It all started with 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden striking on her own, every Friday, in a desperate call for climate action. Her gesture may have been small but the recognition she received was not.

Soon, other students like myself were following in her footsteps and walking out of class in solidarity.

Together, we set out to demand that young people are listened to, and that politicians start responding to the voices calling out outdated climate policies. More and more young Australians have joined the movement.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg holds a slogan that translates to 'School Strike For The Climate’ at a protest rally in Hamburg, Germany on March 1. Picture: Daniel Reinhardt/AP
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg holds a slogan that translates to 'School Strike For The Climate’ at a protest rally in Hamburg, Germany on March 1. Picture: Daniel Reinhardt/AP

In November last year, almost 20,000 students rallied in various locations for a national protest. This year, it is anticipated that the number of national strikes runs is more than 50 with Queensland regional centres like Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Yeppoon and the Sunshine Coast standing up too.

One of the prime reasons students are taking action is to do with the IPCC report that came out in 2018. It highlighted the potentially fatal impacts of global warming, underlining that the Earth is quickly approaching the "limit" of 1.5C warming.

We have a mere 12 years to completely change our behaviour, warned the report. This involves transitioning to more renewable and more sustainable practices, and entirely reforming our lives as we know it. Unfortunately it's not going to be easy.

 

High school student Sara McKoy speaking at the Anti Adani protest outside Brisbane’s Parliament House earlier this month. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning
High school student Sara McKoy speaking at the Anti Adani protest outside Brisbane’s Parliament House earlier this month. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning

 

But it's not just a bunch of scientists telling us that the planet is dying and the climate is changing (even though that alone should surely be enough for people to act). We can actually see the impacts of global warming with our own eyes.

Climate change is happening literally in our backyards. In just these first few months of 2019, Australia has seen fatal floods in Townsville, drastic bushfires in Tasmania and Queensland, fluctuating weather events and severe heat.

Right now, Southeast Queensland is in a heatwave with reaching temperatures of more than 37 degrees in Brisbane and 42 degrees in other areas - during autumn. It is so blatantly clear that we are already facing the impacts of climate change, yet it continues to be ignored.

We students will not accept this wrecked future which has been left to us by a generation that failed to take appropriate action.

From now, students are going to fight back. It's time for everyone to take a stand and reject political complacency and societal ignorance on this matter. Young people are leading the way to a brighter, and more inspiring future.

Join us on Friday to strike for climate action and make a real difference in saving our planet.

This is not just a few kids anymore, this is a global movement and it cannot be ignored. It's time to put yourself on the right side of history.

Sara McKoy is a Year 12 student.



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