All around the world the signs of Climate Change are becoming clearer. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, island nations sinking, more severe and frequent storms and cyclones are causing destruction all while politicians and corporations are continuing business as usual. The people that are most affected are the one’s who have contributed least to Climate Change and gained little benefit from the capitalist world economy.
As young people, we are told to work and study hard for our future, but with Climate Change progressing the question arises: what future? According to the International Panel on Climate Change, we have 11 years left to tackle Climate Change. 11 years that will decide the fate of our planet. 11 years that will decide our future. We were born into a world threatened by environmental destruction. For decades scientists have been speaking up and for decades politicians are talking. Yet, nothing substantial has been done!
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year- old climate activist from Sweden, has mobilised an entire generation to stand up in the face of Climate Change and government inaction. St Andrews might just be a small town and we might not be able to gather a crowd as big as a city, but we still want to demonstrate how much we care. Together with cities and towns from around the world, we joined the Youth Climate Strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg on Friday the 15th of March.
In the two weeks leading up to the strike we, as a group of passionate students, formed a group called Climate Action St Andrews and rallied the troops by spreading the word on social media, posters and through word of mouth. Even though we did not have much time, on the day we saw the impact that a small group of passionate individuals can make. With as little as a day’s notice school children from as far afield as Anstruther joined us in St Savator’s Quad at 10 am, sporting provocative signs and loud voices. We chatted, chanted, stamped our feet and united in name of climate action:
“What do we want? – Action! When do we want it? Now!”
We quickly realised that with such a large crowd we could split the demonstration and have double the impact. One half stayed outside the Quad whilst the rest of us made our way past the library, onto the Scores, past the Cathedral, along South Street, passing by Market Street and back onto North Street. Everyone involved was enthusiastically chanting phrases such as “System Change, not Climate Change!”, “Climate’s changing – why aren’t we?” and “No more coal, no more oil – keep your carbon in the soil!” Whilst we ended our demonstration back in the Quad, the other group made their way to the town hall carrying their posters and demanding climate action.
One of the aims of these protests is to get the government to declare a Climate Emergency. There have been mixed reactions to the movement with some politicians being outraged and others publicly supporting the demonstrations. Either way, our future on Earth is at stake and we will continue standing up for climate justice.
This is only the beginning of our climate action journey. The signs are clear, and Climate Change is escalating more quickly and dramatically than previously expected. We as the young generation cannot stand by and continue living our lives as usual when we are the ones who will have to pick up the pieces of the past generations. This is a climate emergency and we need everyone to act that way.
JOIN YOUR LOCAL CLIMATE STRIKES. LET’S FORM A MOVEMENT SO BIG THAT IT CAN NO LONGER BE IGNORED.
This is OUR EARTH. OUR HOME and OUR MISSION.
Link to Article in the Courier:
Link to my Podcast with messages from students and school children at the climate protest: