High school student: 'I am a climate warrior and you should be too'

Students mobilise outside Labor MP Anthony Albanese's office in Marrickville Sydney on May 3. Photo: Rachel Evans

Fifteen-year-old Parker Craig gave the following speech on April 27 before a screening of Accelerate, a film by 350.org, at the Parramatta Activist Centre.

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I would like to acknowledge and pay my respects to the original custodians of this land. It is upon their ancestral lands that we meet and I extend my respect to elders both past, present and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded.

I’m a 15-year-old activist and climate warrior.

If you had asked 5-year-old me what I was scared of, I would’ve said the monster in my cupboard. Ten years later and I’m scared of the monster in Parliament House.

I am not scared of Scott Morrison himself, I am not scared of the Liberal party, but I am scared of what they will do, or much rather what they won’t do.

I am absolutely petrified about their ignorance and utter blindness to climate change.

I am scared of the future that they are creating, the future that they are actively taking away from me, and from you!

I am scared of their inaction! That they can simply turn a blind eye to extreme drought, to record temperature highs, to frequent natural disasters and still do nothing.

I am scared that they can sit on their high chair and be spoon food their lunch of mashed banana and not even be able to do the connect-the-dots correctly.

Let me give them a hand:

1. You burn fossil fuels;

2. This warms the Earth;

3. This warming creates uneven dynamics in the Earth’s atmosphere; and

4. This then creates climate change.

Unfortunately, you can’t just skip number 4.

Just know that we’re coming for you, Mr Morrison, and the rest of the Liberal party and the climate deniers (whose names I can’t even be bothered wasting my breath on).

You don’t deserve my oxygen, but you do deserve my challenge; Our challenge.

As I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, we have three, simple, demands: stop Adani; no new coal or gas; and 100% renewable energy by 2030.

These three demands that have been reiterated at every school strike, and at every Stop Adani rally.

But there is one small obstacle. Money. Our politicians have chosen the allure of grubby wealth, over health, over happiness and over life.

Our futures are in the pockets of the wealthy. It seems they would rather watch the world around them crumble and burn, rather than take action. They would rather sit in their high chairs, as our Earth drowns below them, than meet our three demands.

But, we can’t just accept this fate. As much as I like being a pessimist, we do need to fight.

This is going to be a long and hard battle, but we can’t give up now. There is so much being planned and we need you to stay active to demand that MPs and political parties take climate action.

I urge every single one you to make this the climate election.

As someone who won’t be able to vote for another three years, that’s too late!

The United Nations has said we’ve only got 11 years to lower our carbon emissions before we reach an irreversible domino effect of climate disaster.

We can’t keep voting in fossil fools who continue to ignore the public voice and disregard science. We need a government that’s going to do something. It is time for change!

I need a future, and so do your children. Even if you don’t have children, every single child on this Earth is your own, and you have a responsibility to save the planet they will inherit.

It is your absolute duty to preserve a safe and beautiful future for every single human on this planet. We need you to keep fighting. My future is in your hands.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how crazy it is that such a small percentage of people can have so much control and affect on people’s lives. But you know what? They don’t.

We’ve got the control. The power is in the people’s hands. This is our time. So please, stand up, make some noise, and make this the climate election.

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