Friday, May 24, 2019

Climate Change: Strike!

Tens of thousands of students are skipping school today to strike for the climate. If you don't understand what this is about, you haven't been reading the news. The planet is burning, and their future is at risk. So, they're standing up for that future, and demanding change.

But don't take it from me. The Spinoff has given space to some of the students to explain why they're striking (again). And they've included a helpful list of demands:

  • That the government acknowledges the magnitude of the climate crisis by declaring a climate emergency. This move will set the narrative for the urgent pace at which we need to act on climate change, but must uphold our democratic systems and obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • That all parties in parliament support passing an ambitious zero carbon act into law that puts into place a legally enforceable plan to get to carbon zero by 2040.
  • That the government ceases all new exploration and extraction of fossil fuels, including not granting extensions on existing permits.
  • That the government invests in building a renewable and regenerative economy now. This includes immediate investment in retraining and the provision of alternative jobs in clean, sustainable industries that do not harm the ecosystems on which we depend for survival.
These are the changes we need to make if we as a species are to survive this. And while that 2040 target will be tough, does anyone really think with the way things are going that zero by 2050 will be enough? The selfish old will be going "I don't care, I'll be dead". But if you or people you care about expect to live more than 30 more years, if you have children, friends or relatives with children, or you're just not a sociopathic arsehole, you need to care about this. This is about the world we leave to future generations. And if we want their lives to be as good as our own, or just not completely fucking miserable, then we need real action, now. If you see striking students today, show your support. And if you want to get involved, the international school strike movement is calling for a global general strike for the climate on September 20. Mark the date, and be prepared to stand up for a future.