This Friday on the 20th of September 2019, millions of people from all over the world will unite under a single movement to demand action be taken against the climate crisis. Governments from all over the world will be faced with determined citizens who recognise an apathy that is incessant within our global politics. Despite this there are many that will not participate in the strike, unconvinced by their effectiveness or the rationale behind a strike at all. It is these people, who perhaps have already given in, willingly moulded by the powers that be.
The global climate strike will see citizens walk out of their homes, schools and their workplaces to call for an end to the age of fossil fuels. For while the sensible majority recognise the threat climate change poses to society as we know it, over governments and political leaders refuse to take the steps necessary for impactful change. What was once a far looming threat, has now become an inevitability if we don’t make a change now. Regardless of your political leanings, every rational personal recognises this and understands the very severe repercussions if action is not taken. And so, there are many who holds the opinion that the government should take action against climate change, and yet do nothing to stop it. There are those that understand that individual action is not enough and rely on government intervention to enable this change. Yet, when the government’s actions do not reflect this, the individual does little to address it. When all people believe in a need to combat climate change, and our government responds with complacency, one’s vote is of no more worth than the very trees that are logged to make the ballot papers by which we vote. When faced with such a threat, the inaction of our government are the actions of an unjust government. So, there are those that have decidedly taken action into their own hands; to recognise this injustice and respond.
Many people may look to the ongoing methods of groups like Extinction Rebellion and see excessive disobedience and unruly behaviour from environmentalists on the left. They see children protesting simply as an excuse to skip school without little knowledge of what they’re protesting. They see naïve utopians who don’t understand the democratic process. However, these people perhaps understand more than anyone that in order to remedy the behaviour of our government, waiting until the next election is too little too late. These environmentalists know the fate we seal if we wait for another election. These children know the future we condemn future generations to if we fail, and these citizens embody the courage that our government is lacking. What worth do our values and morals have if they are not embodied and exercised? What is necessary, if not imperative, is to utilise our ability to protest and materialise our morality when no one else will. It’s in exercising our democratic freedoms that we realise the power that we as individuals have in the face of an unjust government.
If we too grow complacent at the oncoming climate crisis, what hope is there? We have seen that the government will do little to address the issue, and our knowledge of how climate change will affect us has done little to sway them either. Despite the public’s understanding of a need to address this issue, our government has fallen silent. So, if you are hesitant to partake in the climate strike this Friday, I ask what else you are doing to right this wrong? When your vote has had little impact, and the consensus of the people is being ignored, then public disapproval is not enough.
If we do little more than vocally condemn the government without action, what are we but mere clay pawns? When our government’s actions do not reflect our will, what are we but subservient citizens to the decisions of the government? Is it enough to simply entertain the idea of combatting climate change and let unjust laws prevail? Or shall we take to the streets with our fellow citizens and do what is within our power to amend this wrong? I plead to every single person, this Friday on the 20th of September make yourself known. Let your government understand that in the face of injustice you will not stay silent. Let your morality be embodied. Go out with your fellow citizens and let demand the future that you wish to see.