Thousands of people around the world joined a global climate change protest yesterday, with pupils walking out of schools and workers downing tools to demand action. The British demonstrators numbered about 100,000.
The British Education Secretary Gavin Williamson predictably said “every child” should be in school. “They should be learning, they shouldn’t be bunking off and it’s very irresponsible for people to encourage children to do so.”
One demonstrator is quoted as saying, “School is important but so is my future. If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need – and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way – then I would not have to be skipping school.”
Another said, “If we’re going to sustain this planet we need to get to net zero emissions a lot, lot quicker than 2050 [the government’s target].”. Unbelievably, yet another is quoted as saying that her employer declined to give her time off work to join demonstrators “because they didn’t think it was important”, (a lack of imagination to day the least).
I personally will never see the full effect of climate change, but it should be an Epicurean imperative to protect the planet and the lives of all our young people, (my own grandchildren included). For a start every country, including the United States, should be signed up to the Paris Agreement, which commits signatory nations to keeping global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial time. It seems to me incredible that, with all the dire weather events we have been having, there are still climate change deniers out there at all. I realise there are deeply entrenched special interests, but even oil company employees must read the news and feel uncomfortable about their company money going to politicians as a sort of protection racket. We should support, not criticize the children. A day missing school is nothing in comparison to mass migration, homelessness, insecure food supplies, foreseeable violence and misery.
( The quotations come from a BBC report on the demonstrations)