Youth speak out against climate catastrophe

November 17, 2007

History is in our hands

Climate change isn't going to go away — not after this election, and certainly not before I get the chance to vote! It is an issue of the future.

We have forced our government to acknowledge that climate change is a fact. Now we need real solutions. PM John Howard likes to tell us that nuclear power is the way to go, but given the amount of energy it takes to mine, enrich, transport and dump uranium, as well as to commission and decommission power plants — not to mention how incredibly dangerous nuclear power is — we can see that nuclear is not the solution. The opposition, on the other hand, argues that "clean coal" is going to solve all our problems, provided we are willing to take the time to wait for "that one break-through" that would make it a reality and not just a slogan.

Young people cannot afford to tolerate these non-solutions. Throughout history, young people have played a significant role in changing the world. We see no other way, so we take action and we inspire others and in the process have challenged governments and changed society. We protest today so that we have a tomorrow.

Kate Fletcher

[Kate Fletcher is a Year 9 high school student.]

Taking back the power!

We are the last generation with the ability to make a change and stop global warming. Currently, a 68-year-old man, behind a group of ageing politicians, is calling the shots in Australia's fight against climate change. John Howard is ignoring the pleas of people who will be affected by our country's inaction on climate change.

Howard's worried about keeping the big industry bosses happy. He isn't willing to listen to reason, or compassion. Climate change is real. Our power as a united youth force is real. But we have to get angry. We've got to take the power back! The powers-that-be aren't willing to provide real solutions and strategies to combat the climate crisis.

Our own pathetic excuse for an environmental minister, Malcolm Turnbull, isn't willing to accept the only real solution to climate change is renewable energy. Australia needs a renewable energy revolution. And we're here to demand it! Up yours, Howard!

Shantelle Munro

We can have a brighter tomorrow

By joining the Walk Against Warming youth blocs we have voiced our indignation at the governments inaction on climate change.

We have shown is that we need action and that an issue of such magnitude and importance cannot be left to mindless major party procrastination. Neither party has put forward realistic policies for seriously tackling one of the direst situations ever faced by humanity.

But we can have a brighter future! A future that is free of coal-fired and nuclear power plants. If the Australian federal government invested the same amount of funding that it currently does on a single fighter jet into renewable energies, it would be possible to convert the entire energy base of Victoria to wind power. We have the resources. We have the funds. We simply need to use them wisely, thinking about the health of our planet instead of the pockets of multinational energy companies.

We have our feet, and we have our voices, and most importantly we have each other. Together we will win!

Karl Amati

We won't stop fighting the pulp mill!

A student walkout against the Gunns' proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill was held in Launceston on November 8. I was one of the organisers, along with Jacob Atkins and Joe Shrimpton.

I have been involved with the campaign since 2005, volunteering with the Wilderness Society. One thing I noticed was that everyone is old! I don't know if the youngsters didn't care about the pulp mill, were too busy, or not radical enough. They just weren't there!

When I heard about the student walkout that was held in Hobart, I knew that this was when the students would become active. I called my friends and we started to tell everyone. And guess what? Everyone told everyone and suddenly everyone we knew and more were coming! Students have started to realise that this is a serious situation; our future is under attack.

On that day, we stood together talked, listened and yelled! There was one strong feeling shared among those present: We will not stop fighting to protect our forests, our oceans, our air and our wildlife from this disgusting, dirty, stinking pulp mill! It's important that we don't give up and let Gunns and their best friend, Labor Premier Paul Lennon, take over Tasmania.

Anna Bickel

[Anna Bickel is a member of Students Against the Pulp Mill in Launceston.]

Four handy climate campaigning tips

Here are a few suggestions about the way that you may be able to help combat the global warming trends.

1. Simple things like walking, riding bikes or taking public transport are a start; you can turn lights off when you leave.

2. Get involved in movements and groups that work against climate change.

3. Try to start up some sort of environment club at school. It may just help nudge some of the school populace to action.

4. Join an already existing group that fights for the environment. I'd suggest Resistance as I've had a great experience with the group and received huge amounts of support for my own activism.

Tess O'Brien

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