According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in 2018 we now only have 11 years left to tackle Climate Change and despite decades of negotiations and pleas from the public very little substantial change has been implemented by governments as a response to Climate Change. It is the number one issue affecting life on Earth at the moment and yet it is not treated with that same urgency. We are standing at a tipping point of Earth’s history and yet many still do not recognise the severity of the situation. Even though it has been known for over 50 years that humans are doing considerable damage to the Earth and environment no significant change was implemented by governments and the international community. As young people, who are working hard for our future it is very alarming to see that future crumbling beneath our feat. That is why we are left with no option but to try get our voices heard through protest, demonstrations and strikes.
For that reason, together with fellow passionate students we formed the “Climate Action St Andrews” group to mobilise action for climate change and unite school children and student from around Fife to join us. We are not staying silent any longer. Along with people from around the world we will act and protest as long as it takes to implement real change for climate action. All over the world people are rising in the name of climate action and we stand in solidarity together with them. Data from the Youth Strikes around the world is being collected and those statistics of towns participating in protests signals an important message to the international community and therefore puts pressure on governments to act. St Andrews might just be a small town but since we are such an old university town with an impressive history and an international community, I think we can really make a statement, show how much we care and make a difference.
We need everyone to take action. It is not just one political side or perspective. It is not just a movement for environmentalists, but it is a movement for everyone. This is an emergency and we need action. For those who are criticising the Youth strikes I think it is important to question how bad it has got for children and students to be leading the climate movement? The fact that we must miss classes, go out into the streets and strike in order to stand up for our future and climate justice, shows that there is something very wrong with the system. We have been failed by past generations and now we have a right to stand up for our future. I hope that our strikes signal to world leaders and politicians that if no immediate action is taken, we are heading for climate catastrophe. Yes, at this point the transition to a low carbon world will be difficult, but because of inaction in the last decades we have unfortunately got to a critical point which will decide the future of life on Earth. It is not about what is easy but rather what is right.
On Friday the 12th of April we gathered around 100 people in St Andrews and marched around the streets of St Andrews chanting statement such as “What do we want? Action! When do we want it? Now”, “Whose future? – Our Future” and “Systems change not climate change.” One thing is for sure: we won’t stand silent any longer and we stand in solidarity with the Fridays For Future movement that is happening all around the world. Our future is in danger and we have a right to stand up for it.
My message is that if you care about anything in this world – you should be out there speaking up about climate change. You should be protesting, striking, supporting the movement and making your voice heard. We all need to push for change and become the leaders of the world we wish to see.
This is our Earth, our home and our mission.