“They are revolted!” –  Coverage of Australian #ClimateStrike goes international

“The young people of Australia look to the actions of the government in this place, and they are revolted.” (…) “You have underestimated the young people of this nation.”
~ Senator Jordon Steele-John

“What we want is more learning in schools, and less activism in schools.”
~ Prime Minister Scott Morrison

On 26 November 2018, during question time in the Australian Parliament, Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the school strike for climate action that is taking place in 30 cities and towns across Australia on Friday this week.

The story was quickly picked up by CNN:

» CNN – 26 November 2018:
Less activism, more learning – Australia’s PM rebukes schoolchildren protesting climate change

News Corp gave the story an unusually balanced coverage:

» News.com.au – 27 November 2018:
PM Scott Morrison slams student protest, Greens say he is ‘out of touch’
“Scott Morrison has been branded “unbelievably out of touch” and “even worse than Tony Abbott” after slamming a student protest.”

Not just “out of touch”, though. Deliberately and carelessly wrecking their future in his misguided attempt to protect the life style of his generation.

Senator Jordon Steele-John spoke up brilliantly for the young and upcoming generation in Australia:

Hang in there – let’s for a brief moment take a step back with a little info box – just to remind you what is wrong with the government’s climate policy and why Steele-John speaks against it so passionately:

The Australian government acts as if we will be fine with a 4.4°C warmer world

Australia’s carbon emissions are rising – at a time when they should be falling, as they actually were for a couple of years at the time when Australia had a price on the carbon pollution:

When signing the Paris Agreement, Australia committed to collectively limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. But new research has highlighted that if the whole world were polluting the atmosphere at the level as ScoMo’s Australia does, we’d currently be heading for a 4.4°C warmer world.

“The Senate just voted for a motion to support the #ClimateStrike and call for the government to have a climate policy! Thanks to everyone who stood on the right side of history, everyone else can get stuffed.”

Senate passes motion in support of student strikers

In response to the Prime Minister’s statements, the following day, on 27 November 2018, the Australian Senate passed a motion in support of the student strikers who are calling for a national policy to tackle dangerous climate change.

» Schoolstrike4climate.com:
Senate Stands with Students Striking for Climate Action

As the Australian Youth Climate Coalition tweeted in reply to the question, “Will the climate strike work?”:

“It already has. It has shown that young people all around the country are frustrated with the lack of climate action from our major parties. It’s time for politicians to listen to the next generation.”

Australian media interest explodes

Another thing the kids have also already succeed with, is that they have managed to create a new and national conversation around the topic. Initially it was 15-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden who created a media breakthrough in the Nordic countries back in August – now the baton is being carried forward by numerous students both in Australia and around the world. 

And what’s so good to see: the debating ball seems to continue to roll in the Australian mainstream media – as it just did in The Drum on the national broadcaster ABC:

Australian media has all of a sudden taken interest in Greta’s and the students’ school strike – with reports currently being prepared on ABC, SBS, Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10, and more…

Viewed over 70,000 times on Facebook already by 29 November.

On Friday, the school kids will be on Sunrise Breakfast at 7:20 in Sydney, and they are on BBC, in New York Times, The Guardian and so many newspapers and tv stations from around the world.

Jean Hinchliffe, who was on SBS three weeks ago, will be on The Project on Channel 10 on Friday evening.

Kids asking climate questions

A #MyClimateQuestions initiative by the British newspaper The Guardian was another example of this:

“School students plan to go on strike in protest against inaction on climate change. Whether you approve of the strike or not, you were invited to submit questions here to be answered by climate experts and young campaigners.”

» Read more questions and answers on www.theguardian.com/environment/live

The Danish newspaper Information interviewed students from Australia, Holland, Finland, Denmark, Canada, Belgium, Sweden and Germany. [The article is in Danish language]

From Australia, the Danish journalists talked with Vivienne Paduch, 14, North Curl Curl, New South Wales – Aisheeya Huq, 16, Auburn – and Ruby Walker, 16, Inverell.

Letters to the editor

“I was amused by Scott Morrison’s banal response to the planned strike by school students protesting against the lack of government action on climate change (‘Morrison ‘out of touch’ over protest’, November 27).

He said that ‘we do not support our schools being turned into parliaments’. Of course, if the federal parliament acted like a parliament should, and actually worked to ensure a sustainable world for future generations, there would be no need for school students to protest.
~ Alan Morris, Eastlakes – letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 November 2018

“Morrison doesn’t support ‘schools being turned into parliaments’ yet is happy to turn Parliament into a kindergarten schoolyard.”
Bob Cameron, Coffs Harbour – letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 November 2018

“The latest IPCC 1.5°C report gives us twelve years to radically turn the tide on carbon, or we face getting to the point where whatever we try it will be too late. We are hurtling to the point of no return for our biosphere, the cradle of all life. And it is because of fossil fuels, specifically from large corporates who want to do nothing, except pollute.

All round the world people are rebelling against this corporate extinction agenda. Our kids are going on strike on November 30th. The solutions are there, but our politicians are impotent, or worse. Its election season. Let’s force political change and fast climate action. No stupid plans for new coal, no Adani mine, and full speed on an emergency transition to clean energy, protecting forests, regenerative agriculture and natural carbon drawdown.”
~ Sally Newell

» Petition: Support the #SchoolStrike for climate action!

On 29 November 2018, 55,945 had signed this petition.

Melbourne this Friday

The school strike in Melbourne starts on Friday 30 November 2018 at noon. On Facebook, 900 people have stated they are coming. Close to 3,000 have marked that they are “interested”.

» Friday’s school strike in Melbourne – event page:

» A list of Australian cities where school strikes have been announced can be seen here:

» Follow the latest news on #ClimateStrike

Now, this was one person’s idea – thank you, @GretaThunberg! – this is what the determination of one single person can bring about within just a few months. We can only imagine what can happen when even more of Australia’s four million students begin to get engaged in this issue in 2019. 🙂