Why we're striking from school for climate action

School students rally for climate action, outside Victorian parliament in Melbourne on November 7. Photo: School Strike 4 Climate/Twitter

It seems ridiculous that children have got to the point where they realise that the adults who are supposed to be in charge are not doing enough to protect our futures from dangerous climate change. So, together with kids from Kindergarten to Year 12 we have decided to strike from school to show them that this simply isn’t good enough.

There are already so many solutions to climate change but politicians are not doing enough to put them in place. Instead, they are approving huge new coalmines that will wreck our future.

Us kids are going to be living in this hot world far longer than the adults. This is just not fair.

We want a world that is safe to live in, and futures we can look forward to.

We are scared about ferocious bushfires in the community where we live here in Central Victoria.

We feel awful for the farmers who are suffering through drought year after year.

We feel sorry for the future generations who do not even get a say in the world that we are creating, who will have to deal with even more extreme weather, who will never get to see the Great Barrier Reef and other threatened icons and species.

We want them to be able to experience the beauty of our natural world too.

Why are our politicians allowed to take this away from any child?

By making bad choices about climate change, we feel that the leaders of our country are destroying the chance for us to have a safe and good future. We believe we have a right to flourish.

We kids didn’t create this problem, but we are going to do all we can to help fix it. And our politicians should too.

We want them to treat the climate crisis for the emergency that it is. Climate scientists keep telling us that if we do not act now it will be disastrous. We need our government to listen to the wisdom of these experts and act on their advice.

We have decided to go on strike from school to show our leaders that, right now, tackling climate change feels more important than our education. What is the point of learning facts at school if the people in power ignore facts?

We have to know that we will have a liveable planet before we can get excited about our future careers.

We are temporarily sacrificing our education to save our futures.

Actually, going on a strike seems educational in itself. We are learning how to use our voices and stand up for what we believe is right. That’s the point of school anyway.

We cannot vote yet, which means we are not getting a say in the decisions that our politicians make. So we must do what we can to be heard. Striking is one way.

We feel that our lives have been really lucky so far. We have grown up surrounded by incredible people who are not afraid to speak their minds and stand up for what is right. They have taught us not to be followers but to be leaders and to go in whatever direction we want.

Now we are putting their teachings to use and passing their wisdom on.

Please do not say that because we are children we cannot think for ourselves and that we have been brainwashed. This is an excuse adults use to ignore kids.

Being children may mean that we are less mature, less educated and less articulate, but it does not mean that we cannot think for ourselves and make our own decisions. Please see past our age and hear what we have to say about the climate crisis.

We know that what is happening to the climate is wrong. If our politicians will not recognise that on their own, then kids across this country are here to make them.

[Harriet O’Shea Carre and Milou Albrecht are Year 8 students from Castlemaine, Victoria. Throughout November, school students across Australia will be joining Big School Walk Out events. To learn more visit schoolstrike4climate.com, where this article was first published.]