10 September 2019

Moruya school kids give leaders a lesson on climate action

| Elise Searson
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Child marches as part of the national Strike for Climate march in Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson

“Stop climate change, stop climate change”, yelled a child protesting on his dad’s shoulders as part of the national Climate Change Strike in Moruya.

Students marched from Moruya High School to the Eurobodalla Shire Council chambers and were met with a round of applause by adults in the community.

Council General Manager, Catherine Dale briefly addressed the protesters acknowledging their efforts.

Strike for Climate protesters, Charlie Brinckley,12, Tuross, Monique Lush,17, Moruya, Jade Padman,12, Mogo and Kye O’Connell, 12, Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson.

Jade Padman,12, of Mogo had no hesitation in skipping two classes to unite in force with her peers.

“This is something that means a lot to me, my family and it should mean a lot to everyone else, the council and to you, because it’s our environment and we need to preserve it,” said Jade.

Charlie Brinckley, 12, of Tuross fears climate change will make the planet unliveable.

“We’re destroying our ozone layer, we need to pollute less to fix it,” said Charlie.

Photo: Elise Searson.

As the convoy of kids and their adult supporters protested through the main street of Moruya they were greeted with toots of support by passing traffic. The strikers were pumped and proud to be heard.

Mallee Smith,17, of Moruya is part of a group of concerned community members who see the Climate Change Strike as an opportunity to speak out and be heard.

Mallee Smith, addressing the Strike for Climate march in Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson

‘It’s the future of our children and our grandchildren at stake here and we haven’t had our voices heard about it up until now”

“We’ve just had a big fish kill down in Meringo Lake and that’s due to the pollution and the heating that’s just messing with the whole ecosystem. People don’t see the mess until something like this happens,” said Mallee.

She commended her peers for attending the strike saying it’s one of the most important things they can do to help.

Mallee Smith, Moruya, organised the Strike for Climate march in Moruya. Photo: Elise Searson

School Strike 4 Climate reports 150,000 students walked out of school yesterday demanding politicians take them seriously.

Fourteen-year-olds Milou Albrecht and Harriet O’Shea Carre who kicked off the school strike movement in Australia with fellow students in Central Victoria, said, “A Federal Election is around the corner but our politicians are not listening to the Australian people. Extreme weather is all around us and we need our politicians to be climate leaders.”

“We may still be in school but we know the mining and burning of coal, oil, and gas is driving dangerous climate impacts, including droughts, bushfires, and heatwaves. We only have a decade to prevent the worst impacts of climate change yet our politicians are wasting time and putting our future in danger,” Albrecht said.

Photo: Elise Searson

Photo: Elise Searson

Words and photos by Elise Searson.

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Such a great article and photos, Elise. Well said Mallee, and the Moruya students with your signs. I attended the Canberra student strike since I was unable to be here in the Eurobodalla yesterday.

The world press coverage is heartening,and it was inspiring to march with the students in support of their urgent call to action on climate change. There was amazing support from adults of all ages, including a great contingent of uni students too. The huge crowd was vocal in their support of the student speeches.

It was disappointing to see via The Beagle that our Moruya students had a flatly unsupportive and uninformative response from our local council, apart from Clr Pat McGinlay. This highlights the need for those in power at every level of government to heed their communities or be elected out.

At every level of government – local, state and federal – our area (and many others) is constrained by the inaction and excuses of Liberal/COAL-ition economics. The most educated and respected scientists of the world are ignored and denied in favour of huge corporations with vested interests. No wonder kids are disillusioned and concerned.

I’d like to mention a series by The Conversation for teenagers in search of expert advice called ‘I Need to Know’ where teenagers can ask questions on any topic.The Climate Change article is here:

These students are so eloquent and succinct in their understanding and summing up of the climate change imperative. So proud of them all, and so proud to join them even though I had to be in Canberra on Friday…

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