The Cairns Post

OUR FUTURE IS AT STAKE

- RUBY BRON

WHY do you care so much about climate change? This is the most common question that I get asked, usually followed by a plethora of other queries, such as; Why do you spend so much time worrying about climate change? Do you really think you’re making a difference? Will the government ever listen to what you’re saying?

I must have answered these thousands of times but I’m never really sure of the correct answers to give.

When I first learnt about climate change in primary school, we were kept to the basics. Fires, floods, animals dying, etc. At the time, this seemed like the end of the world, but as we grew older, we were exposed to the much darker reality – that one day our world may no longer be able to sustain human life because of the actions we have taken.

And soon enough another dark reality came to light – that some people simply don’t care. If you told someone from a different society, a different world, that there was a large population of people who were willing to see the very Earth we lived on destroyed from our own actions, they would be in disbelief.

Australia is one of the biggest contributo­rs to climate change, yet we have one of the weakest plans to reduce our emissions and fight the ongoing crisis.

Too often are statements made about how Australia is nothing to worry about because our population is so small, or it will damage our economy too much if we switch to renewables.

The recent IPCC report found that climate change is rapidly worsening and, without immediate action, the effects of global warming will be more destructiv­e than ever. What we’re already seeing in Australia and many other parts of the world is about to get a lot worse.

Despite this, there is still so much ignorance in society about the issue that will literally determine the fate of humanity, whether it’s people littering on the street, to politician­s approving another coalmine. It is a constant reminder of how we are nowhere near achieving climate justice.

Yes, climate change scares me, but what perhaps scares me more is the fact that there’s only so much I can do.

My future, my children’s future and my friends’ future will all be left in the hands of a government that refuses to listen to its youth about policies that will determine whether we will survive this catastroph­ic crisis.

Caring for and fighting against climate change have always come naturally to me, but I fight even harder because I know there are too many people out there who don’t care at all.

In 50 years, the economic policies of 2021 will not matter if we can barely survive on the Earth we have inhabited for so long.

Ruby Bron, 15, is a high school student and climate activist.

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