21 September 2019

Alison Hassall walking the climate to a better place

| Lachlan Roberts
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12-year-old Alison

Twelve-year-old Alison Hassall faced her fears to fight climate change. Photos: George Tsotsos.

Thousands of adults and students gathered in Glebe Park on Friday afternoon to protest against the Federal Government’s lack of climate action.

With signs such as “I’ve seen smarter cabinets in IKEA”, “Make Earth great again”, “Why should I study for a future that won’t exist?”, “Scomo skipped school the day they taught science”, “There are no jobs on a dead planet”, A fatal climate error has occurred. Please restart your government” and “Have some respect for your mother”, Canberrans of all ages sent a loud and clear message to the government.

But maybe one of the quietest and smallest people at the strike had the loudest message of all.

Getting up to speak in front of around 10,000 people, 12-year-old Alison Hassall said she felt a little sick in the stomach but facing her fear was the least she could do for her planet.

“I normally freak out when I have to do public speaking,” Alison said. “But I am passionate about this and it’s important for me so I’m happy to do it.”

Canberrans of all ages gathered at Glebe Park for the Climate Strike.

Alison’s short speech was a reminder to students about what actions they can take to fight climate change and a reminder that even the smallest of the choices they make can make a difference.

But the Majura Primary School student isn’t just letting her voice do the talking.

“Really, it is just little things you can do. It all impacts the big picture,” Alison said. “You can ride to school, reuse, recycle and try to do everything you can to make the world better.

“I walk or ride to school every day. It only takes 25 minutes to walk to school from my house.”

Canberrans weren’t the only ones crying out for action on climate change. Over 300,000 people went on strike in over 100 cities and towns across the nation.

The protests across Australia called for the Federal Government to commit to ending all new coal, oil and gas projects (including the Adani mine development), to move to 100 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030, and funding for a fair transition into new jobs for fossil fuel workers and communities.

Canberra’s message to the Federal Government was clear.

Fellow protester and Dickson College student Dhani Gilbert, aged 17, said the current bushfires burning across Australia were a clear indicator the climate crisis is real.

“Climate change matters because it is threatening our future,” Dhani said. “Climate change is killing people and livelihoods and you can see it in Australia. We have massive droughts, we have massive bushfires.

“They are threatening not only our environment but people’s lives. While some people might not want to acknowledge it, it is happening and we can’t stop it unless we do something about it.”

17-year-old Aoibhinn Crimmins agreed.

“We know what we have to do to avert the climate crisis and we have the means to do it, all we are missing is the political will,” Aoibhinn said.

“People are demanding climate justice: a safe and healthy world for all, regardless of age, nationality or socioeconomic standing.”

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I went to the Climate Strike in Glebe park and was emboldened to see our future leaders in action as well as the large turnout of concerned citizens at the inaction by the current federal government. I encourage anyone with an interest in the facts to read the Climate Council report https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Climate-Cuts-Cover-Ups-and-Censorship.pdf

To all the school kids going on ‘strike’ for Climate Change:
You are the first generation who have required air-conditioning and heating in every classroom.
You want TV in every room and your classes are all computerised.
You spend all day and night on electronic devices.
More than ever, you don’t walk or ride bikes to school but arrive in caravans of private cars that choke local roads and worsen rush hour traffic.
You are the biggest consumers of manufactured goods ever and update perfectly good expensive luxury items to stay trendy,
All of these consumer goods require energy to make.
The adults behind your protests are the same people who are inflating population growth through immigration, which increases the need for energy, manufacturing and transport.
The more people we have, the more forest and bushland we clear and more of the environment is destroyed.
So tell your teachers to switch off the air-con. And the heating.
Walk or ride to school. Switch off your devices and read a book.
Make a sandwich instead of buying fast food.
If this doesn’t happen it is because you are being selfish, gullible and naive.
Learn to research facts and think for yourself. Do not blindly accept the words and thoughts of others. Especially don’t listen to hypocrites who tell you to ‘save the planet’ but then work in big offices, travel overseas to conferences, take taxpayer funded research grants and enjoy lucrative tenured employment They are using you.

Fixing climate change would involve a single world government. No country can ruin its economy and not get taken over by a bigger power.

Capital Retro6:22 pm 20 Sep 19

Why weren’t they outside the Chinese and Indian Embassies?

For the same reason they weren’t outside the US embassy or British High Commission – because we don’t palm off the problem to somebody else. Besides, the number of people who turned out wouldn’t have fitted outside of any embassy.

Capital Retro3:51 pm 21 Sep 19

But all the people who turned up were virtuous non-carbon emitters with no action plan for a non-problem whereas India and China, who are still building new coal-fired power stations and who also have ridiculous emissions concessions, are creating massive carbon pollution which is what I thought the protest was about (read the slogans).
They didn’t turn up at those embassies because that wouldn’t fit the narrative.

Huge turn-out. Very impressed with the organisation and speeches by young students at the rally. Well done to them.

A bit more evidence for the reverse Flynn effect on IQ levels.

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