Climate students to be ‘congratulated and not scorned’
The World Meteorological Organization has confirmed that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has hit a new record of 405.5 ppm (up 46 per cent over the last 250 years) and average global temperatures for year 2018 are set to be the fourth highest on record.
Concurrently, a US government report warns that unchecked climate change will cost their nation hundreds of billions of dollars and severely damage human health and life quality. Global warming is upon us now they say; “it is deadly serious and without urgent dramatic change, outcomes will be catastrophic”. Against this backdrop the Australian government continues to “back coal” in defiance of dire IPCC warnings that the world has just 12 years to avoid climate change catastrophe.
Recognising this, many thousands of students from schools around Australia (including Castlemaine Steiner school) marched in protest against the inaction of politicians and their failure to effectively mitigate climate change. Scott Morrison remained dismissive of the student protest telling them to “stay in class”, adding “more learning and less activism” should be their course. Matt Canavan was equally insulting to their intelligence by saying: “The best thing they’ll learn from protesting is how to join a dole queue”.
Here we have a government (without even a science minister) telling educated, intelligent students that “more learning and less activism” is desirable when it is apparent that most government ministers are the ones whom should embark on “more learning”, in science subjects particularly. Both Mr Morrison and Mr Canavan’s response to the students activism is disrespectful and insulting, clearly illustrating their own poor understanding of the gravity of global warming. The students protesting recognise our government as incapable of acknowledging the climate crisis and inept at addressing climate change. Mr Morrison; this is democracy at work coming from a very intelligent base. The students are to be congratulated and not scorned. They are after-all our progressive leaders of the future.
Ian Cooper, California Gully
‘Tin-ear’ Scomo could have been kinder to students
Congratulations to those young people who found the courage to leave school and protest about our Government's lack of progress implementing solutions to climate change.
I had hoped that our Prime Minister would have been kinder and more Prime Ministerial in dealing with this protest. He could have acknowledged his differences with the protesters, and reminded them of his earlier words that in his Australia “those that have a go will get a go”! He could have reflected on his religious inspiration: “Suffer the little children to come unto me”, or “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings”, as acknowledgement that the voices of the young are valued.
Instead, in Parliament, it was tin-ear Scomo. Speaking as if his voice was not being amplified, he shouted that the place for children was in school, not in parliament. The young students countered with humour, intelligence and passion: “I've seen better cabinets at IKEA” said one poster. Hopefully they will continue the struggle for a better world – one degraded by our generation which did not deal with the consequences of our fossil-fuel burning practices.
Bernard Cannon, Golden Square
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