We are striking from school to tell our politicians to take our futures seriously and treat climate change for what it is – a crisis.By the end of this century, average temperatures on the surface of our planet are predicted to be more than two degrees Celsius or higher than today. The average level of the ocean surface could be more than a metre higher. Such changes will challenge the ways we live now. There are plenty of evidence-based projections of future climate readily available, such as the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But then there are denial, scepticism and misconceptions about climate change that confuse people and create unnecessary fear and anxiety, especially in school-age students. Young people are still developing their ability to critically reason, contextualise and realistically assess risk. They are vulnerable to emotion-charged information and less likely to understand the possible agendas of people with differing ideas.
Thousands of school students across Australia are expected to join in the global protest today calling for action on climate change. This isn’t the first time students in Australia have rallied against climate change – many took to the streets in March. But today is expected to be one of the biggest protests as they’ll be joined by others, including many workers. The participation of our school students is a sign of how seriously they see climate change. As the organising website says: