“You say it’s either our future and our problem, or we’re too young to understand. Which one is it?”
Young people in Southampton and across the world marched and sang and danced in the streets today. This was not a celebration, but a protest about the party the grownups have been having on this planet we call home. Not only have the adults filled it with rubbish, trashed the furniture and left the car running & spewing out fumes, they have managed to set it on fire.
Our children have power. They can shame us into taking action. By joining in the international #ClimateStrike protests they are showing us that they are prepared to do what it takes to get us to take notice. By gathering today in Guildhall Square they forced those in power to make a statement:
“No ifs, no buts, there is a climate emergency.”Chris Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council, 15th February 2019
But this is only the beginning. A politician’s fine words in the sunshine won’t necessarily translate into serious action, even if accompanied with council motions for a climate emergency. We need to keep the pressure on and we need to support our young people to get the change they need.
“If you teach the children about climate action it will be a part of them, they will believe in it.”
What do they need? In Southampton today we asked students for their ideas and these are just the start:
- Effective action – not just words – by business and industry on carbon emissions
- Our politicians taking responsibility for the climate crisis
- Climate change as a mandatory subject in school and college
- More information & images of local and global action shared on social media
- Support for youth-led petitions
- Better and cheaper public transport