Our ice is melting, Fires are ravaging our home, and Attenborough is angry.

If you are not already doing so, I strongly urge you to come and stand with us at Climate Strike this Friday. This will be a strike that is occurring globally and represents a stand for our climate’s health and our collective futures.

The climate crisis is happening. Our world is burning. This is not fake news. This is not hysteria talking. This is science. Currently the facts stand as:

  • 97% of Scientists agree that climate change is happening, and it is a manmade creation
  • We are currently living in crisis. 150 -200 species of plants and animals go extinct every day. We are experiencing the sixth wave of extinction.
  • We are on trajectory for a 1.5o Degree increase. This will mean an increase in extreme weather events, forced migration and health risks.

The debate for climate change often gets hidden in layers of politics and jargon. Our government frames the climate crisis a ‘moral choice’. Angry right-wing media commentators’ position those who support action on climate change as ‘left wing hippy-dippy hipsters’, vilifying protesters as ‘eco-terrorists’. And as for the companies responsible for coal production, they take every opportunity to remind us that coal is the energy of the future, despite it being a finite resource.

All of these claims fail a basic fact check. The climate crisis is a threat to the planet, its habitats, inhabitants and natural systems. This threatens every aspect of our existence. Framing this crisis as anything other than and environment and existential threat fails to give it the respect it deserves.

Furthermore, the fearmongering of media commentators, their rhetoric and denial, are words that escape reality. Those who support the climate crisis aren’t crazy conspiracy nuts, they are scientists.  They are individuals who have watched their houses burn down in extreme weather events, they are farmers who have sold their livelihoods because drought means they can no longer operate. They are migrants from other countries who have been forced out of their homes by rising sea levels, they are students worried for a future that seems more and more out of reach. The Climate Crisis is present in every community.

Finally, for the companies that fuel this destructive endeavour, their rhetoric only serves the industry. They will not show support for climate action as they profiteer off it. Jobs are for now essential. Yes, we should respect those who work to keep our country running in its current state. But when this industry is giving workers black lung and is exploiting a natural resource that is going to run out – well, their job security and prosperity sure to be short lived. We might create the most emissions internationally, but we continue to lead in exportation of this resource, fuelling pollution overseas.

As we move closer and closer towards 2030, I increasingly see that we do not have the luxury of time. We do not have the luxury to wait. We have been removed of our right to focus on anything else without first addressing the climate. After all, no jobs on a dead planet, no human rights to abuse, no inequality to fight between the genders. All issues, dreams, hopes and fears intersect with the environment. They start and finish with the environment.

And it’s terrifying. As we watch our country get torn apart by hot winters, raging fires and sup-tropical floods, it becomes harder and harder to put-off action. Many of us feel hopeless, angry, useless. These emotions are not constructive, they only create greater apathy. The phrase ‘there’s nothing I can do about it, so why try’ is a phrase situated in privilege. It’s also unhealthy. Denying yourself of the stress, the worry, pretending that it doesn’t affect you is a losing battle as the effects of climate change get more and more present in our everyday lives. To acknowledge this crisis, to raise our protest against those who profit of it, and to create some momentum so that something might be done to protect our futures – that is the only substantive direction we have available.

So, whilst it may seem like small bodies standing in rows behind a banner, it represents so much more. It is not just megaphones and posters, it is a stand against the lies, exploitation and destruction of our natural world. To stand together in a collective strike is to show our government, media and corporations that we will not stand aside whilst our world is put under threat. And we need you to help to create this change.

After all, we cannot eat money. This is a challenge that, one way or another, will define our generation.