School Strike 4 Climate + Not Business As Usual This Friday

School Strike 4 Climate

Two actions on Friday aim to send (yet another) clear message to the Morrison Government that clinging to fossil fuels is simply not on in what needs to be a net-zero world.

School Strike 4 Climate Australia (SS4C) was kicked off in October 2018 by three teenagers who were inspired by Greta Thunberg’s strikes outside Swedish Parliament.

“We are striking from school to demand that our politicians take our future seriously & treat climate change as what it is: a crisis,” states the SS4C website.

The first planned strike action in 2018 was met by an admonishment from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who copped a cheeky reply from the organisers. Around 15,000 school students participated in that first strike.

Similar actions followed in 2019, but COVID-19 threw a spanner into many activities last year. In 2021, it’s game on again.

This time around coal is getting somewhat of a back seat as coal-fired power generation is screwed in this country; although the final nails in its coffin can’t happen fast enough and we’ll likely still be exporting thermal coal for some time to come.

At this Friday’s SS4C event, the protesters have gas and the Morrison Government’s lust for it in their crosshairs.

“On May 21, we’re striking to tell the Morrison Government that if they care about our future, they must stop throwing money at gas.”

A bunch of COVID-safe events have been organised around the country, with more still being added. You can find out what’s happening and where on this page; along with other information for students, parents and schools.

Not Business As Usual On Friday

Coinciding and combining with School Strike 4 Climate events is an action from the Not Business As Usual alliance. Led by Future Super, NBAU is a collective of businesses supporting more than 15,000 employees in joining the SS4C student strikers on Friday. The NBAU action is demanding:

1. No new coal, oil and gas projects
2. 100% renewable energy generation & exports by 2030.
3. Fund a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and communities.

“The government’s business as usual agenda is that fossil fuels are good for the economy,” says Future Super. “But as the businesses that make up Australia’s economy, we say they’re not.”

Among the 317 businesses supporting employees to take time out to protest are Patagonia, Bank Australia and Who Gives A Crap1.

The kids get it, business by and large gets it, many local and all state/territory governments get it (to various degrees) – what will it take for the folks meant to be running the bloody country to understand the urgency of the situation and act appropriately?

It was a rhetorical question.

Footnotes

  1. That’s the company’s name, not me abruptly succumbing to apathy; although its bittersweet call has tempted me from time to time. Who Gives A Crap produces 100% recycled toilet paper (they need to word that differently) and donates 50% of profits to build toilets in developing countries. The company did roaring trade during the Great Toilet Paper Rush of 2020, and good on them.
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Des Scahill says

    I was somewhat incredulous at learning that our feckless leaders are going to throw some $600 million of taxpayers money at a ‘new’ natural gas project in the Hunter Region, which will be owned by Snowy Hydro.

    It’s clearly a ‘political’ decision, and this ‘Signal’ program on the ABC at:
    https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/the-signal/new-gas-power-plant/13350926 spells out pretty clearly various underlying reasons that are driving this LNP decision.

    One of the claims made by Energy Minister Angus Taylor is that this government investment will be very profitable, and it will help drive down electricity prices while at the same time ‘firming’ the supply.

    Seeing that Snowy Hydro is 100% owned by the Federal Government, it is also a complete ad-hoc reversal of the general privatization policy under which the energy market is supposed to be operating. But, it will likely help Snowy Hydro pay its bills for a while.

    The aim of the project is to replace the output of the 50 year old Liddell coal generating plant which is scheduled for closure in early 2023 and was producing 1680 MW in 2018. The federal government committed in September 2020 to replace that output with 1000 MW of new capacity.

    The proposed natural gas plant will be capable of producing 660 MW, which will add to the 340 MW or so already fully committed by the private sector, some of which has already been built.

    However, overall advice from the industry and external experts is that there is no need at all for the Government to build this new natural gas plant as the remaining 660 MW would have been built anyway.

  2. Chris Thaler says

    Could a knowledgeable person confirm the current owner/s of the Proposed site at Kurri Kurri. Somewhere in the back of my mind there remains a memory of a defunct power station in that area sold off for a pittance to some ‘friends’.

    • Geoff Miell says

      Chris Thaler,
      From Katharine Murphy and Adam Morton at The Guardian yesterday in their article headlined “Labor demands government release business case for $600m Hunter Valley gas plant”, includes:

      “The Kurri Kurri site was previously an aluminium smelter. It was bought by Hunter Valley property developers Jeff McCloy and John Stevens in 2020. Officials in the federal energy department were asked last month whether they were aware that McCloy “was found by NSW Icac to have made illegal donations to Liberal party politicians?” The officials said they were unaware of that history.”
      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/may/19/labor-demands-government-release-business-case-for-600m-hunter-valley-gas-plant

      Methinks it stinks. Time for a Federal ICAC.

      • Des Scahill says

        If the site was once an aluminum smelter, then there is a risk that nearby water could become acidic from various dissolved byproducts. That acidity severely affects a lot of life and can have very adverse consequences on humans

        See: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258348898_Environmental_effects_of_aluminium

        What also seems somewhat vague is the extent to which it will be used. It’s touted as being pretty much only a ‘reserve’ to be called upon at times when demand exceeds supply, or during a major grid ‘outage’. So it would pretty much sit there doing nothing, most, if not all the time.

        There is as yet no gas pipeline to the proposed site, and there is a distinct possibility that such pipeline may not be completed until after early 2023.

        The fact that none of our major energy generation businesses are totally dis-interested in the project, and want nothing to do with it; says it all.

        The whole thing smacks of a pre-election stunt, intended to shore up support in various seats. Yet another dead white rabbit is being pulled out of the magician’s hat and excitedly displayed for all to see.

        The LNP ‘energy roadmap to nowhere’ continues…

        • Des Scahill says

          Ooops – the 3rd last sentence should read… ‘The fact that all of our major energy generation businesses are totally dis-interested in the project; and want nothing to do with it, says it all.

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