Suffer the children

Perth College student Bella Caruso, 11, is going on strike in support of action on climate change.

ScoMo didn’t get the message:

    whoso shall offend one of these little ones … it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Bella Caruso, photo above, was 11 years old. During November, 15,000 students from age 5-18 went on strike from school in every capital city and over 20 regional centres across Australia.

PM Scott Morrison told the students to be ‘less activist’ (YouTube here). From Junkee:

    Prime Minister would apparently rather the next generation of voters keep their heads in their books, telling Parliament on Monday that he wanted to see “more learning in schools and less activism”.

    “We don’t support the idea of kids not going to school to participate in things that can be dealt with outside of school,” said Morrison. “Each day I send my kids to school and I know other members’ kids also go to school but we do not support our schools being turned into parliaments.”

Also:

    we do not support our schools being turned into parliaments,” Mr Morrison told parliament on Monday.

    “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

Junkee’s report of the actual strike is in The School Strike 4 Climate Action Is Going Absolutely Off Because The Next Generation Rules.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan:

    reckons kids should stay in school so they can learn how to drill for oil and gas, “which is one of the most remarkable science exploits in the world”.

He also told them the only thing children would be learn from the protest was how to collect government benefits.

    “I want kids to be at school to learn about how you build a mine, how you do geology, how you drill for oil and gas, which is one of the most remarkable scientific exploits of anywhere in the world that we do,” he said.

    “These are the type of things excite young children.”

As it turned out, they were quite capable of holding up their end, and generally showed more wit and intelligence in their response. There was no shortage of signs:

I liked this one:

Some were very direct:

Some signs perhaps crossed a line, but climate was seen as an existential threat:

No planet, no future. In the end they marked the government’s work and came up with a report card:

    The groundswell:

    was inspired by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who pledged to protest outside parliament in Stockholm until the country caught up on its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Her protest caught the attention of Harriet O’Shea Carre and Milou Albrecht, both 14.

    The pair, from the Castlemaine Steiner School, and a group of other climate-concerned teens travelled to the nearby regional city of Bendigo, about 90 minutes from Melbourne, to hold their own protest outside the office of Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie.

    That in turn sparked Friday’s protests across the nation.

Here they are with friend:

Nimowei Johnson (R) Harriet O’Shea Carre, Milou Albrecht (L).

They now have a website School Strike 4 Climate Action and plan ongoing activities. Marches are planned for Saturday 8 December.

Climate change is a legitimate part of science education, and the activism is probably the best Civics learning we’ve seen.

In Adelaide:

    Organiser Deanna Athanosos, who is in year 10, said Mr Morrison’s rhetoric towards the strike made her laugh.

    “If you were doing your job properly, we wouldn’t be here,” she said.

One student said that they would stop acting like parliament when politicians stopped acting like children.

Meanwhile at the UN meeting in Poland to set the rules for the Paris Agreement David Attenborough offered a grim warning describing climate change as mankind’s “greatest threat in thousands of years”, warning it could lead to the collapse of civilisations.

The kids want a future, and have become acutely aware that we’ve stolen it.

12 thoughts on “Suffer the children”

  1. Not on the strike….

    These days, I believe many Aussie families love Christmas not because they believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, but because they love
    * children
    * babies
    * the miracle of new life
    * and life itself

    Albert Schweitzer called it Reverence For Life.

    Ambi

    PS : the above is not proselytising
    PPS : yes, many people have a miserable time at Christmas; that I recognise

    Here’s a misquote:
    “We do not leave this planet to our children, we borrow it from our grandchildren.”

    Stewardship
    not Ownership.

  2. Published in yesterday’s SMH and online Nov 2 is an op-ed by Clive Hamilton headlined School strikers are going places but the dole queue isn’t one of them. It begins with:

    The resources minister, Matt Canavan, last week told students that the only thing they’d learn by skipping school to protest over inaction on climate change would be how to join the dole queue.

    The history of protest in Australia shows the opposite. The protest leaders of the 1960s and 1970s, including many high school students, were denounced by conservatives as long-haired layabouts who would never amount to anything. In fact, they became the next generation of leaders in politics, universities, media, the public service, NGOs and even business.

    Have we seen the emergence of Australia’s future leaders?

  3. Hey teachers, how bout learnin them young-uns to turn off their lights and aircon when they leave their room.
    Or refuse to get in a fossil fuel driven vehicle.
    Or ask Santa for something with a negative carbon footprint.
    Perhaps unfollow any celebrities that have a carbon footprint bigger than your families has.

    Some actual constructive suggestions that THEY can do.

  4. In fact, they became the next generation of leaders in politics, universities, media, the public service, NGOs and even business.

    And millionaires Clive, 1%ers, don’t forget that.

  5. I love the government report card. Sooo on point.

    Denialist jumpy, always lurking in the shadows. Probably why he doesn’t understand how solar works.

  6. The hidden reality about kids is that in just one parliamentary term enough motivated kids can aquire voting age and tip an election. Until now there has never been one single issue that most kids agee on or feel strongly enough about to all use their voting power to advance. I think a new era and understanding of the “common good” has arrived. Arrogant politicians are yet to understand the social media interconnected hive mind that “kids” can present.

  7. BilB, your last comment nails it. The kids have become politically engaged, are more likely to enrol and vote. ScoMo has become a laughing stock for them.

    In retrospect the School Strike 4 Climate Action may be seen as a pivotal moment.

  8. Resources Minister Matt Canavan: reckons kids should stay in school so they can learn how to drill for oil and gas, “which is one of the most remarkable science exploits in the world”.

    Shame Matt wasn’t taught basic arithmetic properly. What % of Australians does he think have jobs in drilling for oil and gas? (Or did he drop out before they did percentages?)
    One of the ironies is that the Liberal party was founded by a leader who put a lot of effort into building up Tertiary education and science education in general. Just goes to show how a party can decline over the years.

  9. John Davidson (Re: DECEMBER 5, 2018 AT 9:58 AM)

    Shame Matt wasn’t taught basic arithmetic properly. What % of Australians does he think have jobs in drilling for oil and gas? (Or did he drop out before they did percentages?)

    And even less in a post- ‘peak oil’ and post- ‘peak gas’ world, coming soon. There will be far more jobs in the renewable energy sector.

  10. My favourite protest sign was

    “Schools have to be Parliament
    when parliament is a schoolyard”

    John Pesutto, while conceding defeat in Hawthorn, reveals his 17-year-old daughter went to last week’s student protest on climate change. Way forward for Liberals is to be inclusive of views such as this, he says.

    In fact many parents endorsed their kids protest and did not appreciate the usual troglodyte trolls, calling for the ‘uneducated, selfish, virtue-signalling little turds’ to stop using air conditioners and switch off lights. As if it mattered when the energy source is renewable. As in the link above, most of the trolling I saw was very similar as if it was spread from ‘angry old men yelling at clouds’ central cast. So jumps comments are not very surprising nor original. It seems the kids are better educated and informed than the troglodytes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *