The next global climate strike is happening – and this time, we need everyone’s support

Rebecca Vassarotti MLA 9 September 2019 101
The May Student Climate Strike attracted thousands of people to Garema Place. Photo: supplied by School Strike 4 Climate.

The May Student Climate Strike attracted thousands of people to Garema Place. Photos: Supplied by School Strike 4 Climate.

The global student climate strike movement is a phenomenon that keeps growing. The next action is planned on 20 September at Glebe Park from 12 pm, and this time everyone is encouraged to attend.

It was less than a year ago that we saw students here in Canberra and across the world walking out of school and demanding more action on climate change.

Despite inclement weather, the first student strike at Parliament House in November attracted hundreds of people.

Despite inclement weather, the first student strike at Parliament House in November attracted hundreds of people.

There have been multiple actions of this nature since then. The largest was in March when more than 5000 students and their supporters turned up in Garema Place to call for greater action on climate change. This was part of a global strike involving more than one and a half million people worldwide.

Despite being chastised by the Prime Minister and other senior politicians, the students are not going to go quietly and have continued their activism with events at politicians’ offices, meetings with community leaders and public presentations at events all over Canberra. Another major action was in May, when the students once again braved the rain to gather at the offices of federal politicians demanding they do more to prioritise the climate in the lead up to the election.

It is pretty clear that these students are not going to stop, and will continue to strike and call for more action.

In May, students gathered at the offices of Parliamentarians to demand more action on climate change.

In May, students gathered at the offices of parliamentarians to demand more action on climate change.

Friday 20 September is set to be the biggest event yet. A global climate strike is planned that is garnering support across the community. This action is student-led, but these young people are calling on everyone to get involved. Here in Canberra, they are hoping to have 10,000 people come and join the calls for greater action on climate change.

In Canberra, unlike its federal counterparts, the ACT Government has issued a statement of support for the students and the action planned for 20 September. With the government having declared a climate emergency, our local government understands that there is a role for governments to play.

This action is also seeing business get behind it, with Australian tech company Atlassian encouraging its workforce to get involved in the strike. A host of unions have also thrown their support behind the strike, as has the Uniting Church.

Some people have questioned what the point of these actions is. Since the last major action, we have seen Government continue to back coal projects such as the Adani Carmichael coal mine. We have seen Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rise. If we want to ensure our future generation has a hospitable place to call home, the time to act is now.

Climate change actions like the ones we are discussing now were never designed as a short-term fix. This is about building a movement that is led by the people who will be the generation that have to live with the consequences of inaction on climate change. This phenomenon has not just inspired, activated and mobilised a generation of young people, it has also demonstrated to the generations ahead of them that action is urgent, that everyone’s voice is important and there are things that must be done.

As the ACT Government has shown, moving to emission-free activity is not only possible (as shown by the way we will meet our 100 per cent renewable electricity target by 2020), it is inevitable. Even in the face of government inaction, business is moving to innovate and introduce new ways for us to reduce emissions and transition to a carbon-free economy.

The question now is how just this transition will be, who will bear the costs, and what environmental damage will be done while we dither.

I will proudly stand beside my children as they participate in the next global climate strike on 20 September at Glebe Park. Will you?

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101 Responses to The next global climate strike is happening – and this time, we need everyone’s support
Obi Wan Obi Wan 6:14 pm 26 Sep 19

Why they don't turn off their iphones, ipads, etc?

Acton Acton 10:05 am 20 Sep 19

Psychologists are now treating mental health issues reported by the little eco-worriers, traumatised by climate change fear-pedalling. Catastrophising kiddies are suffering anxiety disorders as they fret about mythical global warming, ice caps melting, ocean levels rising, mass extinctions, the re-election of Donald Trump and the end of the world. Meanwhile those of us who survived Vietnam, the Cold War threats of nuclear armageddon, oil shocks, 17% interest mortgages, terrorism etc will try our best to comfort the little snowflakes.

Obi Wan Obi Wan 12:58 am 20 Sep 19

They should at least to learn a bit more about this, ops! the teachers won't let them see it.

JorgeMoita JorgeMoita 12:48 am 20 Sep 19

They should learn to research and think by themselves, instead of being used to support a lie created for political reasons

Amanda Pitt Amanda Pitt 6:23 am 16 Sep 19

Ben Hyland apparently not 19th but 20th!!!

Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:04 pm 14 Sep 19

I wonder if these children will forego their jet aircraft travel in their gap year. After all, given that jet aircraft now contribute about 5% of all greenhouse gasses, wouldn’t that be real action against “climate change”?

tfx1 tfx1 8:56 pm 14 Sep 19

I love all the actions and comments about climate emergency. For a long term research project I think it provides incredible empirical evidence to either prove or disprove the reverse Flynn effect on intelligence of different generations. This website and the region it covers would generally be regarded as appealing to people of above average intelligence. In the long-term we may be able to see that the reverse Flynn effect is having a greater impact on those currently ranked more intelligent than the average. Emotions, feelgood-ism and simple slogans will overwhelm thinking and empirical research.

Sami Mac Sami Mac 8:33 pm 14 Sep 19

It's taken Australia a long time to produce another generation of youths with the balls to demand action from the government on such a wide-reaching issue - more power to them ✊👍😊

Geoffrey Bell Geoffrey Bell 3:29 pm 14 Sep 19

Let go of trying to change the world…change yourself.

Jamie Pippinpadilopsicopolous Keys Jamie Pippinpadilopsicopolous Keys 2:23 pm 14 Sep 19

They give you it off to go raid area 51. Don't let them down

Mark Northcott Mark Northcott 10:21 am 14 Sep 19

I've got no problem with kids going off and protesting something as important to them as this but they need to question the rhetoric on all sides and make informed decisions for themselves.

I'd prefer it if they used the day to just get together, listen and talk about it, rather than carry sloganistic cards down the street. I hope they do.

    Sami Mac Sami Mac 8:30 pm 14 Sep 19

    Mark Northcott how do you know that these kids haven't done their share of informing themselves & talking amongst themselves? We've needed a generation of youths who are willing to do more than just talk since the 60's - social evolution begins in the classroom & speaks from the streets ✌✌✌

    Mark Northcott Mark Northcott 12:47 pm 15 Sep 19

    Sami, don't understand how you got that I didn't think they weren't informed. However, I know neither whether individual young people are or aren't.

    This generation is like every other, a collection of different people with different abilities, biases, levels of knowledge, and informed opinions.

    A young person is no more enlightened about climate change than an older person is ignorant based on their generation.

Ken Williams Ken Williams 9:08 am 14 Sep 19

The climate will always change, ice ages will come and go, sea levels will go up and down, deserts will become jungles, jungles will become deserts, the continents move around the face of the planet, life will evolve and adapt. Do humans affect climate change? Too right they do, just like everything else affects climate change. But the real issue is not climate change (a long term issue) but environment change, which is a much shorter term issue, which we CAN DEFINITELY influence. I’ve been waiting for people to put two and two together but as usual, cause and effect is muddled. The root cause of environment degradation and consequently a more pronounced effect on climate change is there are TOO MANY PEOPLE on the planet. As the population grows, more resources are consumed and the stress on the environment gets more and more pronounced. Forests are cut down, lakes and oceans are polluted, land is polluted, air is polluted, water is polluted, prices for housing increase, traffic clogs our roads, beaches are crowded, the rich get richer and the poor get it in the neck.

How many people does the world need? You want to freedom to have as many children as you want, then feed them, house them, make their lives enjoyable, but don’t expect others to fund your poor decisions.

Everyone should be entitled to a fair go, not just the lucky, not just the rich, manage population levels so they are sustainable and reject they current mindset of unending growth because that is what is driving human induced climate change.

Peter Collins Peter Collins 7:13 am 14 Sep 19

And Canberra people wonder why the rest of Australia thinks Canberra is a bubble removed from the real world. The explanation is in the thinking behind the majority of comments to this post.

Jamie Barton Jamie Barton 6:11 am 14 Sep 19

What a bloody disgrace do you not have something better to do then this garbage.

Acton Acton 8:56 pm 13 Sep 19

OK kiddies. Pay attention.
Lesson 1. Climate change does happen and it caused ice ages. Climate change is global cooling causing ice to form and ocean levels to fall. Climate change is also global warming causing ice to melt and ocean levels to rise. Climate change is a natural cycle.
Observation: Ice ages have been happening before humans even evolved.
Conclusion: Therefore humans cannot and do not cause the climate to change.
Do not allow yourself to be deceived by climatologists, the new high priests of a lucrative religion, where ‘climate deniers’ are the new heretics.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 6:34 pm 13 Sep 19

To people who think that school children are not capable of thinking about the future and the changes that are needed, in the early 1970s while at school, I was writing articles for my school paper about pollution and the like. No one directed me to write about this. My family never discussed things like this; nor did any of my friends or teachers. I was able to figure this out by myself. No one brainwashed me to write these articles; in fact it was a tiny bit brave of me to do so and go against local thinking, living in a conservative small country town.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:27 pm 13 Sep 19

Rather than wasting time on collective outrage in Glebe Park, strikers and other protestors should make their views known outside the embasssies of China, the USA and India, with a swing-by the Russian embassy for good measure –

The argument that we must set an example for the big countries ignores the reality that they do exactly what suits them – always have, always will. We could shut down the entire Australian economy (except perhaps for some of the more useful mines) and they couldn’t care less.

    astro2 astro2 12:26 pm 14 Sep 19

    Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just blame someone else (and they too, can blame Australia, the largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases and largest coal exporter). Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. If you don’t think global efforts to reduce carbon emissions could be successful trying doing a little reading about reducing the hole in the ozone by using different technology. This campaign worked and so have others. It is quite remarkable what humans can do as a combined effort when necessary. (It’s actually how we evolved as species). So you are half right (i.e. self interest is a big motivator) but there are gaps and flaws in your logic.

Vindalu Vindalu 3:52 pm 13 Sep 19

More power to the dissenting classes! Actually getting out from behind their keyboards. I hope they get a nice day; a strike can be quite a jolly event.

Raffy Sgroi Raffy Sgroi 12:40 am 13 Sep 19

It’s a serious concern and I am glad new generations are so committed to save our planet. I see so much protesting asking Governments to act to save the planet, however protesting without a solutions plan won’t take you nowhere

Acton Acton 9:38 pm 12 Sep 19

Ahh, that’s so cute. Let’s change the climate, hey kiddies. And everything will be better. Then the oceans won’t rise and the ice won’t melt and the dolphins will sing with the whales. Well at least you will give your teachers some time off. Maybe next week you can solve some real problems like plastic contamination, energy policies and the Marry-Darling water crisis.

    JorgeMoita JorgeMoita 12:43 am 20 Sep 19

    Very well said, a bunch of kids being manipulated by teachers, luckily my grand-kids listen to me and think by themselves like the old days. This whole climate change is a hoax, a scam

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