On Friday October 15 at Cotton Tree Park in Maroochydore, Olivia Murray, a Year 11 Nambour State College student read out a speech that was penned by an old student from her school to the assembled students, musicians, speakers, parents, grandparents and dogs at the Sunshine Coast School Strike for Climate.   

It was written specially for the occasion by the 26th Prime Minister of Australia, the honourable Kevin Rudd. AC. In the speech, he wrote of the injustice of climate change, which would ultimately fall on the shoulders of the youth of Australia, affecting, in his words, “your ability to seize every opportunity to achieve your full potential in life.”

While the federal politicians quibble over whether they should or should not commit to net zero emissions by 2050 at the upcoming UN Glascow Climate talks (COP26), the students understand the urgency and that it is their future that is at stake.  

As Kevin said, “All the scientific and economic modelling is pointing us to where we need to go.  We know what the problem is and what we need to do to fix it.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our political leaders thought ahead, listened to the science and planned for a safe future for our children, so students did not feel the need to skip classes to strike for real action on climate change?