When people come together to support a cause, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Lines and lines of people protesting for a cause? Marching up to a Town Hall to demand action? How about a giant inflatable Earth tossed around in the streets? Well, maybe not that last part.

In Australia, thousands and thousands of students did just that, with a giant inflatable Earth. To give you a better impression of the large scale nature of this event, around 25,000 students and parents marched through the streets of Sydney as part of Sydney’s Schools Strike 4 Climate protest. Almost all of these students had one vision in mind: to put up an indisputable fight for climate change with their government. They were able to accomplish just this by making a bold statement. Many of these students had skipped their classes to partake in an event that they felt affected them the most. With signs and banners targeted towards their current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, students criticized his current actions towards helping our current climate change situation, with special regard to Australia.

One of the lead organizers is a 15-year old student, Jean Hinchliffe. She tells the media that she has always felt passionate about climate change and is especially troubled by current efforts to make real changes about our planet’s condition. She claims that the purpose of the protests was three-fold. Students participating in the rally are standing up for stopping the Adani mine in Queensland from progressing. Secondly, they want reassurance that there will be no new sources of fossil fuels in their country. Lastly, they are demanding 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2030. Students know that this is not much to ask for either considering they haven’t seen much effort from the administration’s side of things.

This attention to our climate has been a long time coming. It might even be late according to environmentalists. As a matter of fact, the world received word from the UN on yet another climate change report that reveals threatening statistics on the health of our planet. They state that we are entering a defining moment in our history and that much of the damage to the Arctic seems to be irreversible. It might not seem like much to those that have continuously heard coverage on this issue but this is a serious matter. At this point, if we as a society are unable to put our words into actions, there might not be a planet to give to the generation that tries to follow in our footsteps. In fact, there might not even be a planet in good enough condition in about a decade’s worth of time.

Besides the disastrous news, the report also touches upon a Climate Summit to take place in September 2019. It is set to address the accelerated action that needs to be initiated to see real changes. The protests in Sydney have already sparked discussion within the country. It is only about time that we spark discussions in other countries with powerful leaders capable of change. World leaders are to report the actions that they will or have already taken at this summit. While only world leaders will appear at the meeting, it is important to know that even in Canada, there are steps that any citizens can take to move towards a healthier planet. And, no I don’t mean to sound mainstream, we really need to take some sort of actions.

Now, over the past few months, I think it is fair to say that we have begun dealing with global affairs on a more recent basis. With the rise of extremist ideologies, it is somewhat comforting to hear that people are willing and motivated to fight for matters that will directly impact our lives. If we won’t stand up now, when will we? As the leaders of the generation, it is our responsibility to fight for our future, even if it means missing one day’s worth of classes. What purpose does a single day of classes serve in the larger picture of our battle with climate change anyway?

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