Greta Thunberg, take a bow.
As I type this, it’s been reported over 150,000 school age kids in Australia joined kids from over 100 countries in a strike from school to pressure politicians all over the world to act on climate change.
But before we get into that, who is Greta Thunberg? That would be the diminutive teen activist from Sweden who has just been nominated for The Nobel Peace Prize. The 16-year-old called on students all over the world to cut classes and join together in protest demanding action on climate change.
Thunberg began staging her Friday strike last year, and has subsequently missed 42 days of school since beginning her protest movement for change. Despite her strike action, she proudly declares her grades as ‘still good and I have not missed out on what I need to achieve in school.”
On Friday 15 March, over 150,000 Australian school kids took part in as many as 55 separate protests as part of School Strike 4 Climate campaign. 150,000! But wait, there’s more!
The Australian student collective have a decent campaign website that clearly speaks to their organisational skills. The site has an impressive nav bar including sections for resources, news and even a section called solidarity that lists all the unions supporting the campaign. Of course, they’re on all the social platforms you’d expect and even have a Slack group for organisers – and let’s not forget media spokespersons. Oh – and their network is student led, decentralised, grass roots, non-partisan, inclusive, non-violent, mission-focused ambitious and creative.
This is nothing short of marvellous.
And you can just imagine they had the right answer to the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack telling them to forget about striking and stay in school.
“We can see that our politicians refuse to listen to the educated, so why should we be sitting in history class when we could be on the streets making history itself?
Said 15-year-old Sydney school striker Jean Hinchliffe.
Even one of the 2019 Australians of the Year, retired vet and Thai Cave rescuer, Craig Challen, said he felt it was his duty and honour to support the students and would be attending the Sydney protest.
His advice to people like the Deputy Prime Minister who are vocal in their opinion these kids should be in school and not on the streets participating in a peaceful protest?
‘I say that there are some lessons that cannot be learnt in school.’
Why am I writing about this?
Because young people are amazing.
This is simply a shout out to The Kids.
The ones who stand to inherit the climate change disaster we’ve nurtured carefully for them over the past 30 years. The kids who are prepared to do what, inexplicably, none of the rest of us have been able to do, and raise the roof with their demands for a better future. For everyone.
I’m writing this because it’s given me a bucket load of hope and optimism that Australia just became a little better than it was yesterday.