Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison had criticized the school kids strike in thousands on the issue of climate change. He rebuked the students publicly and said that he and other members send kids to school for learning every day. They do not want the schools to be parliaments instead they want more learning and less activism in schools. He doesn’t support that kids are absent from schools to participate in things that one can handle outside the school.
However, in reply to the opinion of Morrison, the students gathered in thousands and coordinated rallies across Australia in almost 30 cities and towns including all state capitals and regional centers like Ballarat Newcastle, Townsville, and Cairns.
There were around 2000 primary and secondary students at Martin Place for Sydney’s Student Strike to express their displeasure on the role of government to try stopping global warming. The protesting students came in uniform and casual clothes armed with smartphones, held placards and shouted “climate action now” and “ScoMo sucks” against the Morrison Government.
In Melbourne, students blocked streets outside the Victorian parliament. These young activists also Instagrammed, documented and tweeted the event with speeches, slam poetry and live music.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported as told by a campaign organizer that Morrison’s words actually brought more students into the action and also boosted the profile of the protest. The number of the student’s almost doubled through websites and Facebook, and there was a significant increase in sign-ups. Moreover, there was a flood of media covering the rally.
The inspiration behind this movement is 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg who protested in September in Helsinki and demanded that Stefan Löfven, the Swedish Prime Minister to take necessary action to limit the emission of greenhouse gases and fight catastrophic climate change.
As per Australia’s ABC, the two 14-year-old kids from the Castlemaine Steiner School, State of Victoria, Milou Albrecht and Harriet O’Shea Carre staged this movement. Carre shared with BBC news that they were thinking about the climate change emergency for a long time. They wrote letters and did other things to make politicians understand, but all their efforts were in vain. Now, they believe that education is their power which they value and sacrificing that can make some difference.
The resources minister Matt Canavan told Sydney radio station 2GB that mining and science are things that excite young children and they should learn those to be great at it as a nation. Conversely, by resorting to a protest, they will best learn about joining the dole queue.
Australia’s ABC interviewed Trent, a parent whose eight years old child is protesting. Trent said that it was their education that was driving student’s activism. He heard the students talk about the IPCC report at the rally and also 700 odd days until emissions can rise even before exceeding to 1.5 degrees. He thinks most of the parliamentarians do not even understand the science in a way the kids do.
Despite the call of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to world leaders to drop off coal by 2050 to keep the global warming limit to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the Australian government will continue to exploit the coal reserves of the country. BBC News reported that the UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2018 says there was zero effort on the part of the Australian government to improve its climate policy since last year.
As per Morrison, Australia will fulfill its pledge under the Paris Agreement 2015 and lower emission of greenhouse gases to 28% of 2005 levels by 2030, but recent IPCC report says that they must reduce emissions to 45% of 2010 levels by that date.
The students want the government to respond to climate change genuinely and stop the investments in fossil fuel projects like Adani coal mine. They think that the focus of the nation should be towards 100% renewable energy.