School Strike 4 Climate: This isn’t an issue for future generations; it’s the reality now

2019 School Strike 4 Climate at SA Parliament. Credit: InDaily.

My name is Anjali Beames and I’m a 15-year-old climate activist, and organiser for School Strike for Climate.

School Strike for Climate is a global movement run by students of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, and backgrounds. We are one of the biggest movements in Australian history, united by our fight for a future on this earth in the face of the climate crisis. The easiest way to join the fight in Adelaide is to join us at our strikes, or connect with us on Instagram at @adelaidess4c.

On October 15, students across Australia are leaving school to protest the federal government’s inaction on climate change. We are currently the last-ranked UN member on climate action, having no concrete policy to achieve net-zero emissions despite our trading partners and G20 companions having, at the very least, set a target.

Ahead of COP 26 — The United Nation’s Climate Change Conference — we demand that Scott Morrison put forward a substantive climate action policy that includes 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Unfortunately, the government has a history of ignoring the reality. Despite the Federal Court ruling that the Minister for the Environment has a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis, Sussan Ley has continued to ramp up the approval of new coal projects in spite of the findings of the ICCP report highlighting clearly that we cannot afford new fossil fuel projects if we wish to avoid catastrophic climate destruction.

For years, scientists have been warning us about the detrimental consequences of our overconsumption and pollution, yet all this time there has been little productive government intervention. Climate change is not being taken seriously enough by our leaders, and we as young people must highlight the impact this crisis will have on our country and on our lives.

Climate change leads to increased frequency and severity of extreme weather, the melting of polar icecaps, rising sea levels, and the continued warming of our planet, disrupting every ecosystem, and leading to loss of habitat for plants, animals, and humans alike.

In Australia, our farmers are facing extreme weather events head-on. Ongoing droughts have made it harder to grow food, and unstable growing seasons make consistent production difficult. Our main producers will be the first to suffer from the climate crisis, and before we know it, Australians will be in an era of famine.

This is not an issue for future generations; this is the reality now.

People are dying from prolonged droughts or extreme flooding. They are being displaced by rising sea levels. There will be 300 million climate refugees by 2050, and we are already seeing coastal and island nations go underwater.

Yet, in 2020–2021, the Federal government handed out $10.3 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. They will continue to line the pockets of these mining corporations who wreck our health, our land, our water, and our planet.

The world cannot afford leaders who refuse to act on climate change. Whether it be the urgency they do not convey, or the inability to phase out fossil fuels, the Australian government is failing to represent its people and the causes they support. Until political figures work towards creating systematic change, the climate will continue to deteriorate beyond a point of no return, and there will be no way to spare our planet as we know it.

We will not stop fighting for a Government that will commit to the crucial climate policy that we need to survive, and if Scott Morrison doesn’t get his act together, young people will vote him out. In the upcoming election, there will be 700,000 more young people who have registered to vote — and they will be voting for our future. We remind the government, that there are consequences to ignoring the facts, to ignoring the scientists, and to ignoring our voices.

Young people must mobilise and we must do it now, because delayed action is as good as no action. It is up to us to hold those in charge accountable. We are educated, we are empowered, and we are ready to make change.

Join us striking on October 15, join us in the fight against the climate crisis, and join us in voting for the future.

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Adelaide University student magazine since 1932. Edited by Grace Atta, Habibah Jaghoori, Jenny Jung & Chanel Trezise. Get in touch: onditmag@gmail.com

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On Dit Magazine

Adelaide University student magazine since 1932. Edited by Grace Atta, Habibah Jaghoori, Jenny Jung & Chanel Trezise. Get in touch: onditmag@gmail.com

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