LOUISA MENADUE. Striking For Our Future.

On the 15th of March, I was one of the thousands of students from Australia who participated in school strikes for climate. Students from 105 countries worldwide are striking for climate because climate action is imperative. So many seem to view climate change as something far away that will have little effect on their lives, and for those of you old enough, maybe it is. However, for those of us with our lives still ahead of us, the climate crisis will devastate the world we live in. We have twelve years to stop the climate from worsening, and that requires a drastic change in the way we treat mother earth. Our current policies are killing the earth, and there is no planet B. 

In 2015, politicians from all over the world travelled to Paris, pledging that they would put forth an effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels and work to improve our environment. Australia’s parliament has done nothing to suggest that they intend to fulfil this promise. 

The last action we saw on climate change was the carbon tax, and while imperfect, it was a start. It had the potential to grow into something greater, but before it could grow to benefit our world, it was stopped. Politicians have done little since then to suggest they have the slightest care about climate change. 

But if things do not change soon, the world as we know it will end. 

This can be seen in countries such as Kiribati, the I-Kiribati people being the worlds first climate refugees. At the rate climate is currently going, the islands of Kiribati will be entirely submerged by water within the next twenty-five years and already the I-Kiribati people have been forced to make plans to leave their home country. The nation of Kiribati contributes next to nothing to climate change, yet they are the ones to suffer the consequences of our actions. An entire nation, drowned by the selfishness of first world countries such as Australia.

Kiribati will be the first of many nations to sink beneath the seas, and with time, every country on earth will follow. 

So why do our politicians not care? Why is there no plan for action against climate change? Why is it that students must fight for the right to a future?

We students may be unable to vote for policies that support climate action, but we do have a voice. And we will use our voice to the best of our ability. Until proper action is taken, there will only be more strikes. None of us wants to miss out on school, but we are given no say in the matter. Some say that the strikes are useless, that we should stay in school, get our degrees in climate science and then work on saving the planet. But by that point, any action against climate change will be too late. 

Climate action cannot start in five years time, it must start now. That is why we strike, that is why students have done everything in our power to promote climate action. School strikes may not be perfect, but without a vote, all we can do is make our voices heard. Climate action starts with stopping Adani, it starts with putting renewable energy first, it starts with politicians considering the lives of future generations. 

And until climate action starts, we will not be silenced. The climate is rising and so are we. 

Louisa Menadue is a High School student who works behind the scenes at P & I. 


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9 Responses to LOUISA MENADUE. Striking For Our Future.

  1. Avatar Chris Buckingham says:

    Great work Louisa. It is so embarrassing that we are having to rely on the voices of school students in leading the way towards action on fighting climate change.

    • Avatar marc hudson says:

      yep. Embarrassing and indeed shameful. As Greta Thunberg has said, she doesn’t think kids should have to be doing this! But it’s not like the “adults” have been behaving like adults…

  2. Avatar DrakeN says:

    Congratulations Louisa and all you other young people on your actions.

  3. Avatar P Boylan says:

    Across the world young people are taking action about climate change into their own hand. They might not be able to vote but their message is loud and clear and waking up the community. Good to see that P&I has possibly good succession planning in place.

  4. Avatar Rosalie Schultz says:

    Thanks Louisa for your passion and enthusiasm.
    My question is whether the idea that there are 12 years in which to take action is useful.

    In 2005 we were told it was the critical decade. There was a little action, then some regression. According to that estimate, it’s now too late. Probably it was too late already, since the great acceleration of human impacts on the earth began in the 1950s.

    We need to work together on this climate emergency now. It’s way too late, but the faster and stronger we act, the less devastating the outcomes. I don’t think that stating an arbitrary time frame in a moving target we have already missed is helpful. Worse – it feels like there’s a window for delay now, and in 12 years it will feel like it’s all too late.

  5. Avatar Charles Lowe says:

    Your clarity, assertion and truth-teling is that of your close realtive, Louisa.

    Not to mention your declared (and thereby courageous) commitment to our public good.

  6. Avatar Rex Williams says:

    Finding any group of politicians, Louisa, that can think past the next election and their secure, well paid salaries and disgracefully over-generous pensions is almost impossible. You are probably of an age when the lack of quality in that place has become painfully obvious to you as well via our mainstream media, such as that is as well.
    So there’s the rub.
    How do you attract people with a social conscience who are independent enough not to be dictated to by the likes of our current “leaders” with their party priorities which to date do not seem to include leaving behind a country that is able to support the numbers of people currently on the planet, let alone the numbers that are likely to be there in ten years time.
    So your starting point is appointing the right people to make such decisions for your future. I wish that I could give you a level of confidence that such a thing is possible. Yes, we have had very good people, all long since gone now but the numbers have been too small to have made any difference to date. We have different people today with different values. The problem you are so active in promoting has been with us for generations but it has always been seen as our role in life to trade in anything that one can dig out of the ground by companies, many of which are totally overseas owned. One cannot think for one minute that such corporations are the slightest bit interested in you, your future or your country.
    Having the courage to restrict matters such as that which is a federal concern when every state as a separate entity has to do its thing to maintain all the items that are their responsibility as well. Then local governments will again action plans that suit their little bailiwick. See the problem. We are not a single nation in any way but a collection of government and semi-government entities all total preoccupied with their own little domains.
    So we see an Adani, because Queensland needs employment, the Commonwealth needs taxation revenues and the various local governments need new industry, new roads, new facilities, and on it goes, ad nauseum. Stopping that once it gathers speed is almost impossible without motivation. Sadly lacking in this country.
    Nothing in the scenario that addresses “national” or world interests and needs. Certainly nothing that addresses your values.
    So add that to the difficulty in finding a group of decent, nationally minded, socially responsible representatives with worthy objectives is such that we may all be forced to wait for the likes of people like yourself to get to the age when you can stand for election in this often pathetic, always sickly copy of modern day America, and all that means now to a country that once had everything going for it, too many years ago to remember.
    Not now.
    But keep trying. Adults do need children to guide them in this day and age.

  7. Avatar Brian Dwyer says:

    It gives me some hope that there are young people following us older generation (I am 70) who really understand that action on climate change is required NOW (it has been required for the past 30 years).
    Louisa, I am quite fearful that unless the people who are presently elected to lead us, be it in politics and/or business, will not start doing something positive about climate change and that all there will be left is for your generation to endue are very different world and try to live with it.

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