Kids, we have your back #SchoolStrike4Climate
Posted by Meaghan Carmody on March 08, 2019 at 01:41 PM
This week, I felt a prickle of tears catch me off guard as I watched 14 and 15 year old climate leaders prepare what they were going to say to Ireland’s top politicians. It was the most inspiring meeting I’ve ever been too, and all I could think was, I hope by the time these young leaders are in power, it’s not too late to fix this.
“If you don’t act now, you are complicit.”
“You owe us a future.” “Please, listen to us.”
Next Friday March 15th is the global #SchoolStrikes4Climate - an uprising led by the students themselves. Across Ireland and the world, children are standing up and walking out of school, striking and marching for a safe climate. Everything we know so far is here . And some of the strike leaders will be on the Late Late Show this evening.
They shouldn’t have to fight this fight for a safe future, and they certainly shouldn't have to do it alone. They need the rest of us to stand behind them. Politicians love to pay lip service to young people but we need to show them that voters are listening to these kids.
Will you stand with these children next Friday at the event closest to you?
(The Friends of the Earth staff team will bring our banner to the rally outside the Dáil at 1pm. RSVP here if you can join us . We'd love to see you).
(Friends of the Earth has pledged at least €1,000 towards the cost of the stage and the sound system for the Dublin rally. Can you chip in to help us do that !)
Now more than ever we need to pressurise politicians to take adequate action on climate change. The Government is weeks away from releasing their Climate Action Plan for the next 10 years - the content of which will decide whether Ireland honours the future of its young people, or lets polluters make their profits at the price of all of our futures. Now is (literally) the time to strike.
Politicians are taking notice, but when push comes to shove, will they actually do what's needed? Leo Varadkar has publicly endorsed the strikes, yet simultaneously his party is blocking vital steps like ending oil and gas exploration in our seas. Now is the time to demand real action, to amplify the impact of these children, and stop politicians from squirming out of the solutions we need.
So can you join me, and show up for the climate strikers next Friday?
(This map has just gone live. Not all events are on it yet. More information here ).
When I was 15, I was worrying about the next hockey game, or whether or not I'd failed my most recent maths exam. I wasn’t worrying about whether or not elected representatives that I couldn’t even vote for yet were failing me, and tipping my world onto a path from which I couldn’t escape. I wasn’t worrying about rising sea levels, climate justice, solar power. But these words are in the mouths of today’s youth, who argue, ‘what's the point of studying and learning facts, when politicians are ignoring the fundamental fact that my future is at serious risk?’
Earlier this week, myself and Oisín (our Director) were asked to provide feedback to the students who were practicing their presentations. I witnessed children almost half my age manage a room of their peers, ensuring all voices were heard, making decisions by consensus and embodying the change they want to see. This is their future our politicians are playing proverbial football with, and it’s not fair.
This shouldn’t be on their shoulders. They should be enjoying regular childhood and teenage experiences, not carrying the existential weight of the failings of those put in power to protect them.
If you’re a parent, please think about bringing your child or children with you. You could ask the school to facilitate student involvement by taking students to the nearest rally, or organising something at the school to be part of this global movement. Anyone can host an event on the Climate Strike map by clicking 'host event'.
I know you didn’t cause the climate crisis, nor did I, nor did these children. But I know you care as you get and read our emails, and I, we, all of us, need you seize this moment for action.
We know the pathway to a safe climate. Yes, it won’t be easy. But the cost of inaction is the lives of these children, of the people who are being impacted right now by climate change, the people not yet born who will become habitants of a hothouse planet. Change must happen, starting now. Because the alternative is that these children’s futures are imperilled. The can has been kicked far enough down this road. We need action now.
Anything less is unacceptable.
Next Friday is a big global moment, so we need to show these children that we have their back, we will fight with them.
We can make this a tipping point, and I want to be there with these young leaders as they take ownership of the fight for their future. We have 10 years, just 10 years to cut our pollution in half. We just have to start now.
for the Friends of the Earth staff team
P.S. There are actions all around the country: join a local event or host your own . It doesn’t have to be a strike, it could be a banner-drop, a march, a sit-in. No action is too small, and all are needed.
P.P.S. Part a climate action group? Then you won’t want to miss 'Climate Connects' which we're co-hosting on Sunday!
Watch a clip of some of the students addressing TDs and Senators this week