So it’s taken a while, but I’m back – and what a day to start blogging again.
I’d heard about the Climate Change Strike which had been planned to take place across the UK and I have been following it all day on the news. Being on social media all day also gave me insight into the variety of different emotions and views that people had over this controversial walk out – some of which actually worried me a little.
While the majority of people were highly supportive of this demonstration my school children and young people from all levels of education, ages and walks of life, there were some people who seemed to be missing the point of the event entirely – and trying to devalue the message that these young people were trying to send to the wider world.
So what was the message?
To demonstrate against the use of fossil fuels and the continued degradation of the planet’s health
Pretty simple, right? Sadly many views from blinkered individuals believed this was “all a front” and these dedicated young people were simply “wanting time off school”.
Funnily enough, I don’t believe that for a second. You only have to take a look at the way these young people conducted themselves during their demonstrations to see that its not merely a case of bunking off for the hell of it – it’s about sending a message to those that can make a difference, and they can’t be in a classroom to do that.
It’s Their Future
All in all, whose future will the continued use of pesticides, fossil fuels and single-use plastic harm? Theirs. The generations before these young people all have had a part to play in the decline of Earth’s health. From the massive carbon emissions that have ravaged the ozone layer, the overuse of chemicals to help grow food for our ever-growing population… it’s all adding up, and the sad fact of the matter is that nothing is being done fast enough to slow that down.
These young people are going to have to suffer the consequences of the actions of their parents, grandparents, great grandparents and even great great grandparents’ generations. I’m sure that if all this information about climate change had been widely available to older generations, more may have been done, but it seems to me that many in these generations (and I say many, not all, because there are more than enough people from these generations supporting these young people and adapting their lifestyles to a more eco-friendly one) don’t actually realise that the future of the planet that these new generations will inherit has been a direct consequence of lifestyle choices and ways of life in the past.
Where Will They Learn?
I’m going to go out on a whim here and state that was it not for my own interest – and absolute horror – surrounding climate change, I wouldn’t be as clued up as I am today.
One of the main reasons people have been spouting against this wonderful uprising of the younger generations is that they will be missing out on vital education time where they could be learning about climate change in a structured environment.
I’m sorry, but if you believe that ancient textbooks will be able to give these kids the answers they’re looking for, then you are very wrong. Let’s look and see what NASA – you know, the people who are able to scientifically prove the health of our planet (not some fusty old school book) have to say about the onset of climate change:
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.1
We’re the cause. It’s happening rapidly. Earth is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old and in two centuries, we’ve managed to speed up a change in climate. No science book is going to be accurate enough to show our younger generation just how much climate change is affecting us as it is happening too fast.
The reason these people are taking time out of their school day, out of their lectures and seminars is to show that they care… and not simply because they’re relying on their school books to tell them. They can see it happening around them. Dramatic weather changes, species dying – climate change isn’t just something that you realise over time – it’s happening now.
The sooner we realise that our children and young adults aren’t as clueless as we think, the more we can help them achieve a healthier future – and that starts with opening our ears and listening to what they have to say.