OPINION: Student protesters need to walk the talk on climate change

Raelene HallMidwest Times
The student climate change protest at St Georges Cathedral in Perth.
Camera IconThe student climate change protest at St Georges Cathedral in Perth. Credit: The West Australian

The protest by students around the world against climate change was very impressive. If they are going to inherit the world, they have the right to fight for it.

Is every student doing it for the right reasons or because they fully understand the issue? I’m not convinced that is the case. It is very easy to get caught up in a protest without having a full understanding of what you are protesting about.

Watching the vision of the protest, my thoughts turned to the banners. Not so much the words but the products they were made from.

Were they all made from recycled products or were they purchased new? What was done with them after the protest? It would appear many were just dumped, which makes you wonder how much they really care about the climate and environment.

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If you are going to protest about the use of fossil fuels, one would hope that you would walk or ride your bike to join the protest, or at the very least use public transport. How many students drove or had parents drive them to the protest?

What are these students doing to reduce their carbon footprint? Are they growing their own vegetables, planting more trees, not buying the latest electronic gadget and not drinking bottled water?

If students want to take a day off school to protest about climate change, then they have to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint.

Some of the simplest things to do include recycling ink cartridges, carry your own reusable drink bottle, switch off the light every time you leave a room, always use both sides of a sheet of paper, take two-minute showers and ride your bike or walk instead of driving or getting a lift.

To me, it would be far more impressive if every student who took the day off school in protest of climate change committed to doing small things every day of the year to reduce their carbon footprint.

Oh, and one more thing: stop blaming the previous generation! Our carbon footprints were, and possibly still are, far smaller than yours are today.

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