School’s out for climate strike
STUDENTS from around the Capricorn region gathered at Yeppoon’s Main Beach on Friday to demand action on climate change.
The local Global Climate Strike rally began slowly as many students were involved in school exams, but parents and grandparents started filling up Yeppoon’s auditorium around lunchtime.
It was reported more than 137 countries around the world joined the strike, which called for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
The McCallum and Tracey families came in from Rockhampton where their daughters attend Rockhampton High and The Cathedral College.
“Climate change is this generation’s Vietnam,” said Shannon Tracey.
“If people don’t start doing something, it’s going to be a horrific future for everyone.”
Ali Cargill, who homeschools her children, began the day watching the 16-year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on social media to get them “revved up” for the strike.
“It’s up to parents to talk about what’s most important in the world with their kids,” she said.
“By homeschooling them we can have a long discussion about why people aren’t paying attention to climate change, about complacency and religion and science.
“At school they’d be lucky to talk about it for ten minutes.”
Lahnee Stoyles’ mother has a degree in environmental science, but she’s been raised to reach her own conclusions about climate change.
She said she was nervous to be speaking at the rally on Friday but she wanted to raise awareness.
“If I don’t speak up then other people won’t either. We only have twelve years before climate change becomes irreversible, and it seems like the politicians aren’t paying enough attention,” she said.
“We have to stop reducing coal emissions and focus on creating jobs in the area of sustainable energy instead.”
Lahnee said she gets a lot of support from students at her school and she’s not concerned by the ‘keyboard warriors’ who criticise young people for speaking out.
“I know what I believe and there are a lot of other young people around the world who stand with me.”