Thousands of UK students are taking the day off school today to demand action on climate change. According to the UK Student Climate Network, these are their demands:
- The Government declare a climate emergency and prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice.
- The national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority.
- The Government communicate the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now to the general public.
- The Government recognise that young people have the biggest stake in our future, by incorporating youth views into policy making and bringing the voting age down to 16.
We grown-ups have failed these children miserably. It is they who will be forced to deal with the global crisis that scientists are predicting will have unprecedented, catastrophic effects if we fail to take immediate, drastic measures to curb carbon emissions. They are facing a future of political instability and a breakdown of civilisation as we know it as the influx of climate refugees becomes too much pressure for our systems to bear.The current political systems, at least in the UK and the US, lead to short-term political decision-making rather than drastic changes for longterm effect. This is unless there is a surge of pressure from the public to make these urgent changes before it is too late. Today’s protests could potentially signal the shift in public opinion that is so desperately needed – but only if the rest of us sit up and pay attention.
We’ve buried our heads in the sand for long enough. Let’s listen to our children today. Let’s imagine for a second what it must feel like for your future to be set on such a horrifying path and to see the grown-ups around you not care enough to do anything about it. Let’s stand with them, adding our voices to their cries for urgent action on climate change.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE. BUT IT SOON WILL BE.
Will you be able to look your children and grandchildren in the eye and say you did everything you could?
Image via Pixabay