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Australian Kids Plan “Big School Walkout for Climate Action”

“When young people try to have a voice in politics, Scott Morrison is shutting them down, yet he’s happy to listen to the coal lobby and big corporations who continue to profit from making climate change worse.”

 “We’ve got involved because at this stage we can’t vote, we’re not politicians and we want to make a difference. We can’t stand around waiting.” (Photo: schoolstrike4climate.com)

“We’ve got involved because at this stage we can’t vote, we’re not politicians and we want to make a difference. We can’t stand around waiting.” (Photo: schoolstrike4climate.com)

The climate rebellion is growing. Over the weekend in London, over 2000 protesters, part of the new Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement, took part in demonstrations, including holding a memorial in the famous Parliament Square to “mark the loss of life our planet is experiencing”. As part of the ceremony, activists carried a coffin with “our future” written on it.

In a statement, Extinction Rebellion, who have repeatedly criticised the UK Government for its inaction on climate change, said: “We Rebel because we love this world. It breaks our hearts to see it ravaged, to watch so many people and animals all over this world already dying, to know that this will soon happen to our children without urgent changes.”

The group added: “There is no way forward without giving credence to our grief. We are serious, this is an emergency, this is our home we are watching collapse.”

“There is no way forward without giving credence to our grief. We are serious, this is an emergency, this is our home we are watching collapse.”

But the UK Government is not the only one under fire. Any regular reader of this blog will know we repeatedly criticise the Trump administration for its lack of urgency on climate change, including most recently here, in a blog entitled Black Friday; Black Planet.

Just hours after this blog was written, the US Government released its US National Climate change assessment, a 1,656 page work by 300 scientists and 13 federal agencies, which is the most comprehensive study to date outlining the consequences of climate change to the US.

It concluded that climate change was “presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.” The issue was set to “disrupt many areas of life” in the future.

With a predictability that is now beyond shameful, the Trump Administration immediately set out to downplay the findings of its own climate change assessment. A White House statement said the report was “largely based on the most extreme scenario”, leading to scientists to criticise its response.

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and a report co-author, responded that the White House’s statement was “demonstrably false”. She Tweeted: “I wrote the climate scenarios chapter myself so I can confirm it considers ALL scenarios, from those where we go carbon negative before end of century to those where carbon emissions continue to rise.”

It is also noticeable that the Trump Administration issued the report on Black Friday, a good day to bury bad news.

Trump is not the only one to be criticised though. A week on from Black Friday, Australian children are planning a “Big School Walkout for Climate Action”, to demand greater action by the government of climate denier, Scott Morrison.

Morrison has been labelled “out of touch” for telling children to stay in class later this week, rather than protest to protect their future. Morrison said: “Each day I send my kids to school and I know other members’ kids should also go to school but we do not support our schools being turned into parliaments.”

He added that “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition responded by saying it was “shocking see our prime minister condemning students as young as eight, who are sacrificing a day of schooling to stand up for a safe climate future.”

Spokesperson, Laura Sykes, said: “When young people try to have a voice in politics, Scott Morrison is shutting them down, yet he’s happy to listen to the coal lobby and big corporations who continue to profit from making climate change worse.”

One of those organising the walk out in Sydney is 14-year-old, Jean Hinchliffe, who said: “We’ve got involved because at this stage we can’t vote, we’re not politicians and we want to make a difference. We can’t stand around waiting.”

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Andy Rowell

https://admin.commondreams.org/author/andy-rowell

Andy Rowell is a staff blogger for Oil Change International in addition to working as a freelance writer and investigative journalist who specializes in environmental, health and lobbying issues. Follow him on Twitter: @andy_rowell

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