This is a speech Taree student Evie Wood McGuire gave at a recent climate change rally.
“My name is Evie Wood McGuire, I am 12 years old and I am speaking on behalf of the people of tomorrow, the people who will have to live on an exhausted planet.
Despite climate change becoming more obvious every day, politicians continue to delay action. Everyone knows our planet is dying. And yet governments continue with business as usual. Last summer, Australia was ravaged by droughts, fires and floods, yet adults tell us everything is fine. Entire ecosystems have died, and governments do nothing.
Children and teenagers are skipping school to protest, and leaders turn away. Can you not see? We need to do something. We need you to do something. For 30 years, scientists have told governments they need to change, but they just ignore them. I shouldn’t have to do this. But I am here, telling you that if you don’t act, tomorrow will not be a nice place to live. Today’s politicians’ actions will affect every single child in this world.
Over 30 councils have declared climate emergencies in Australia. To date, millions of children have attended school strikes all over the world. But nothing changes. We want action now, not “we’re sorry” later. Governments constantly create diversions from the looming disaster to turn our heads away. They regularly turn a blind eye to major polluters such as miners and loggers because they contribute to our economy. I don’t care about economic boosts, or the inconvenience of switching to renewables, I care about the future of our planet.
Politicians think they can pick and choose which animals to protect or which to leave defenceless. They tell us that they care about us, yet they don’t do anything when corporations decide they want to dig up our backyards. They tell us a gas lead recovery is the way to go, when really, we should have converted to green energy by now, let alone building new power plants! Our politicians claim to have clean motives, but the real motivation is always money.
Some parents refuse to tell their children about climate change because it’s too scary. It is scary. Our planet is dying, right in front of our eyes. The rich and powerful know what is happening but they don’t do anything. And, worst of all, it’s our future. All future generations are going to be left with a hot, dead, wasteland, all because governments refused to change.
Natural disasters are becoming more regular. Hundreds of millions of climate refugees will be without a home. And, yet the media still don’t find it necessary to mention global warming regularly. When the world is crumbling, surely you’d fix it. Yet adults do nothing and expect us to go about life as usual.
Don’t underestimate how long we’ll persist. Because I’m dreaming of a future where our Prime Minister doesn’t jump ship when our country is burning.
I’m dreaming of a future where children aren’t afraid. I’m dreaming of a future.”
Evie Wood McGuire is a student at Cundletown Public School. At twelve she doesn’t know what she will do in the future but says she has a few years to figure it out.
It is the Evies of our world who shouldn’t have to fight to save their future, but their voices are strong and put our generations to shame. We all need to fight and vote for those who see how the future should be for our next generation.