School strikers: “What we are doing here today is change”

A three-minute report from the ‘school strike’ for climate action in Geelong, Australia, with interviews with some of the students who bravely walked out from their different schools in Geelong on Friday 23 November 2018.

The #FridaysForFuture action took place in front of Labor member of federal parliament Richard Marles’ office.

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23 November 2018: Climate strike day no 26, 14th week. Total: 17 countries, 70 locations

Greta: interview in Melbourne newspaper

Greta Thunberg has seen her Friday vigils for action on climate change copied in many parts of the world, including Finland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Canada and Britain. “And Australia of course!” she says.

“The thing I think surprised me the most was that it was so easy,” she tells Fairfax Media, via email.

“I remember thinking before I started ‘why has no one ever done this before?'”

The solution, she says, is to keep climate change in front of the public’s attention.

“All we need to do is treat it like a crisis with headlines and news reporting all the time. And I mean A L L the time,” she writes. “As if there was a war going on.”

Greta wants her Australian acolytes to know she is aware of their actions: “I would tell them that they are making a huge difference. I read about them in newspapers up here in Europe and it’s hopeful beyond my imagination.

“And Australia is a huge climate villain, I am sorry to say. Your carbon footprint is way bigger than Sweden and we are among the worst in the world.”

Greta says leading by example is important, as is “saying the things that are too uncomfortable to say”.

“We may not like that we have to change some of our habits, like flying or eating meat and dairy. But we do have to. Because our carbon budget has been spent and there is nothing left for future generations or the ecosystems we rely on,” she says.

» The Age – 25 November 2018:
Why aren’t they doing anything?: Students strike to give climate lesson

» BuzzFeed – 26 November 2018:
Australian Students Are Skipping School For Climate Change
“They could do so much but they’re just not. I don’t understand why they’re not doing anything.” Australian students are walking out of schools this week to take a stand against political inaction on climate change.

“Sustainable parenting means taking the well-being of all children into account — not just our own — when deciding how to live in the world and what to model around the ethical use of the world’s resources.”
~ Mary DeMocker, author of ‘The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution’

» Grist – 31 October 2018:
How to build a climate movement before your 17th birthday
Watch Grist’s short doc on how Jamie Margolin and Nadia Nazar, together with a distributed network of climate-conscious youth, created Zero Hour — and what they’re giving up to fight for a just and sustainable world.

» Daily Mail | Australian Associated Press – 10 November 2018:
Aussie youth strike for climate action
“At least 50 Victorian children have gone on strike over inaction on climate change, walking out of school and into their local MP’s office. Hundreds more could join them as social media sites spring up calling for students to walk out of school and protest at their local federal politicians’ office rather than sit behind a desk.”’

“I’m sick and tired of our politicians not taking any action against climate change.”
~ Jean Hinchliffe, in an interview on SBS The Feed on 8 November 2018

Walk outs all over Australia

NB: Friday 30 November 2018 will be a big day in Australia for students walking out of school. Read more about the Melbourne action, which starts at 12 noon:

Background interview

Listen to The Sustainable Hour’s six-minute radio interview with co-organisers Laura Kelly and Jude Corbet which was broadcasted on 94.7 The Pulse on 14 November 2018:

Youth protesting, politics and people power

» The Sustainable Hour – full podcast

School strike and #StopAdani doorknock in Geelong

“In school, these young people have been learning about science, politics and the economy. They’ve been learning about fairness and democracy and how to stand up for what’s right. They’ve been doing the maths. And that’s how they’ve realised that there’s something that doesn’t add up.

These kids understand the science behind climate change, and why we need to keep global warming down under 1.5°C for a liveable world. They can see that fossil fuel industry dollars is contributing directly to government inaction. And they’ve done some simple sums: more emissions now means an increasingly air polluted, drought-stricken, bushfire-ridden Australia in the future. That means their future.”
~ Blair Palese, CEO, 350 Australia

“What you see here today is only a tiny tip of an iceberg from maybe five or six schools in Geelong. We are four million students in Australia. 10,000 different schools. So you wait. Once the word about this gets out… ”
~ Student participating in the school strike for climate action in Geelong

Indigo and Tilly sing for a better future

Solli Raphael’s Facebook post

» Find more info about the Australian school student movement on, and

» More about the international movement on

Fridays for Future

“15-year-old Swede’s climate strike spreads all the way to Australia”
Headline in Danish newspaper

“What you adults do now, we children cannot change once we have grown up. Many people are saying that because we are such a small country in the global perspective, it doesn’t matter what we do. But I think if a few girls can make headlines in news media all over the world simply by not going to school for a few weeks, imagine what we all would be able to accomplish if only we wanted to.
Every person counts. Just like any emissions. Every single kilo. Everything matters. Please treat the climate crisis as the emergency crisis it is and give us a future. Our lives are in your hands.”

~ Greta Thunberg

“What began as a small local protest is growing into a nationwide movement.”
~ The Guardian

“Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So we can’t save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.
Everything needs to change. And it has to start today. So everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience, it is time to rebel.”

~ Greta Thunberg, speaking at the Declaration of Rebellion, Parliament Square, London, 31 October 2018

Dig deeper

» BBC Newsnight:
Why we’re heading for a ‘climate catastrophe’

» The Real News – 9 October 2018:
Michael Mann: We Are Even Closer To Climate Disaster Than IPCC Predicts

#FridaysForFuture   #ClimateStrike   #SchoolStrike