Mandy Hager says: ‘I’ll be supporting the students on strike for the climate from 9am next Friday outside the KCDC offices. Will you?
Students should be congratulated…and supported
With the United Nations saying that we only have twelve years to limit catastrophic climate change and our Prime Minister saying it’s her generation’s nuclear free moment (yet short on detail or any real action as yet), these young people should be congratulated and supported for speaking out.
The fact that some schools are threatening to mark students who strike as truant exemplifies everything that is wrong with the generations who have come before them.
They are young people who face catastrophe
Procrastination, denial, escalation, misinformation . . . our young people are facing a potential extinction catastrophe, as well as terrifying weather events that will impact food and water security, and their ability to lead safe free lives is no longer certain.
They have every right to be outraged. Every right to demand more action and sooner. And, as Ministry of Education deputy secretary Ellen MacGregor-Reid said, awareness of the environment was an important part of the NZ curriculum. “The NZ curriculum also encourages students to participate and take action as critical, informed and responsible citizens.”
The ostriches of the right
Our inter-generational failure and disgraceful lack of empathy for the very real risks to future generations is clearly demonstrated in the responses reported from our elected representatives, particularly those from the National Party and Act.
Opposition leader Simon Bridges said: “It’s a serious issue but I certainly wouldn’t want to say anything that encourages students to be taking time out of their schooling. They’ve got a lot of time at other points of the day, the weekend to be doing this.”
He fails to understand that all the schooling in the world won’t help them if we don’t act now, and significantly, to stem the worst scenarios from manifesting.
National Party MP Judith Collins was even more dismissive of the protest action. “Their little protest is not going to help the world one bit,” she said.
Not only is this patronising and totally lacking in empathy or respect, it diminishes the seriousness of this unfolding situation and reflects the kind of dinosaur thinking on climate change that has not only caused this mess but continues to halt any real climate action.
These young people should be celebrated for their civic-mindedness and comprehension of the gravity of this situation.
They’re often bad-mouthed for being disconnected from political and community engagement, yet here they are taking a moral stand on the most critical issue in all our futures.
I salute them.
And I’ll do whatever I can to support them and to protect their futures.
I ask, with every fibre of my being, that you do the same.’