PM Morrison Admonishes School Strike 4 Climate Action

School Strike For Climate Action

Image: School Strike 4 Climate Action via Facebook

Thousands of Australian school students may ditch school on Friday and head to parliament to protest lack of action on climate change and renewable energy.

The initiative, also dubbed the Big School Walkout For Climate Action, was triggered by a trio of 14-year olds from Castlemaine, Victoria who planned to skip school along with many of their classmates to protest at Victoria’s Parliament House.

News of the action spread and it seems the group could be joined by many more of their peers around Australia, protesting at parliaments across the nation.

The Schools Strike 4 Climate Action web site states:

“In Australia, education is viewed as immensely important, and a key way to make a difference in the world. But simply going to school isn’t doing anything about climate change. And it doesn’t seem that our politicians are doing anything, or at least not enough, about climate change either.”

The action is demanding politicians stop Adani’s Carmichael coal project in Queensland, put an end to new coal and gas, and to work towards 100% renewable energy by 2030.

“We want a safe future, powered by the wind and the sun, not dirty and dangerous coal and gas.”

The initiative was brought up in Federal Parliament yesterday by the Greens’ Adam Bandt MP during question time.

“Prime Minister, will you join me in praising these students for having a go, and will you meet with and listen to these kids, who are demanding action from your government to keep coal in the ground?”

Prime Minister Morrison was very clear that he didn’t support the action and said schools should not be turned into parliaments.

“We don’t support the idea of kids not going to school, to participate in things that can be dealt with outside of school,” stated Prime Minister Morrison. “… what we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

As we all know, the best way to get young ‘uns to do something is to tell them they shouldn’t do it, so Friday could be an interesting day and one that PM Morrison probably won’t be looking forward to. However, parents may rein in a number of enthusiastic activists, compelling them to stay in class.

The organisers were defiant of Prime Minister Morrison’s admonishment, stating:

“ummm @ScottMorrisonMP look hope you don’t mind but we’re not going to follow your advice. we’re striking for climate action and no-one can stop us, not even you.”

Even if it doesn’t turn out to be a huge event, the initiative has again put a spotlight on the Federal Government over the issues of climate change, carbon emissions and renewable energy; shone by a section of the community with a lot at stake.

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

    A major reason ‘schools are turning into parliaments’ because even teenagers who can read, watch the news, and form opinions think that both the politicians in charge of running things and to some extent the parents who voted those politicians in, have made a complete shambles of things.

    Suicide rates amongst young people are currently the highest they’ve been in the last 10 years: Here’s some recent statistics:

    : Suicide rates for 15 to 24-year-olds at highest rate in 10 years
    : A third of all deaths of young men are due to suicide
    : 41,000 young people aged 12-17 have made a suicide attempt
    : Twice as many 15 to 19-year-old women died by suicide than in 2005
    : Suicide rates have increased for children under the age of 14

    I got those numbers and details above from a November 2016 article I found on the ABC News site at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-30/system-for-suicide-prevention-rates-highest-10-years/8076780

    I know from speaking to my own grand-children and some of their friends some months ago, that they felt concerned about the state of the world in general and somewhat ‘hopeless’ about the fact they were ‘powerless’ to do anything about it.

    That attitude of mind is NOT helped by parents who say such things as ‘Oh, I only think about positive things’ and who refuse to watch the news because its ‘too depressing’. (there are more of those people around than most realise).

    ‘Ignoring’ a problem in the hope that it will therefore magically go away has never been a successful life strategy.

    I should add that I did NOT raise climate issues etc with them, I just happened to notice them clustered in a small group with rather worried looks on their faces and simply asked them ‘Whats wrong?’

    I can’t say I blame them for being ‘worried’ – major rivers drying up world-wide, China in particular has some extremely serious issues with its water supply and there are obvious implications for food supply.

    It’s worth reminding ourselves too that in a couple of years time, many of these ‘children’ will be eligible to vote.

    ‘Good on them’ I say, and if your kids are going to assemble and march, pay their bus fare.

    It just so happened that I watched our Federal Parliament in action on the ABC this afternoon. Was not impressed at all by the lavatory humour, and snide remarks, but, to their credit, neither were some among the politicians themselves.

  2. Luba Thompson says

    As an ex-teacher, I am so proud that students are standing up for the environment and protesting about the government’s in-action about climate change. Children are the future and Scott Morrison’s admonishment just shows how little he knows or cares about the democratic process and the loves of children including his own.

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