I am completely inspired and blown away by the students of Sydney, as well as their parents and other support systems who showed up to the student climate strike on Friday.
I think by this point, most everyone knows that the entire reason I’m in Australia is to make work about climate change and what’s being done to preserve biodiversity for the future.
I’m not often vocal about my beliefs, and thought my work is very much in the space of change making and environmental activism, this is actually only the second march I’ve ever been to (after the women’s march in 2017). I try to stay quiet on social media, because I frankly don’t love what I see, and find quickly digestible news snippets and clickbait articles to be part of the problem itself.
But after being at the strike, I knew I had to share some of shots I took, and to say a few words about what I’ve found in my research thus far. In the very least, I hope maybe these children inspire you, or make you think a little more deeply about the choices you’re making in your life. In our digital age it’s easy to talk the talk, but I think most of us know deep down that walking through this world as it stands is not the easiest of tasks.
In the few short weeks I’ve been in Sydney I’ve been fuelled more than ever by the scientists I’ve spoken to, ranging from those at the RBG to other scholars working with the coral reef and professionals in the exploration of space. It is with resounding agreement that everyone has expressed the same sentiment. It’s one that has been shared with me from the very start of my work with climate change, and may be surprising/upsetting for many of you to hear.
We have the answer to end this - to make the world brighter and better for your children and mine.
We MUST stop the mining and consumption of fossil fuels.
Yes, our reduction of plastic and recycling and day-to-day adjustments help. We should absolutely be doing these things, as everything positive helps in its own small way. But these focuses on the micro, the individual change, cannot be the one advances we make. These trendy social media campaigns and popular gadgets only scratch the surface of the issue at hand.
While in Canberra a few weeks ago, a scholar working with the coral reef very succinctly expressed where we stand, and it has been in my head ever since. She confirmed that though cutting back plastic is a huge help, and using coral safe sunscreen is obviously fantastic - all of that is pointless if we don’t start to tackle the bigger issue of the climate crisis. There will be no hospitable future in which the reef can exist, or that we might enjoy it as we have in the past, if we do not make a major change.
The state of the earth is truly a crisis. And yet we are stagnant. It is overwhelming to consider a change not only in our day-to-day life, but in the system of how we all function in the world. We cannot continue to live using the same methods we are comfortable with. Transportation, agriculture, energy, all these things must change. It is not a matter of when or how. They must change. There must be policy change, shifts within our political system (here in Australia and most certainly at home). I don’t have all of the answers, and I certainly don’t think any of this is easy. But at the end of the day, we truly have no other choice.
I hope that anyone who reads this takes even a few minutes to reassess how you are moving through this world, and find ways you might change. Not just in daily life, and not just because you read about it on Facebook. But in the way you think about this catastrophe, and what you’ll do to help.