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March for climate change action

Geoff Helisma|

Last Friday, an estimated 260 people – students and adults – marched in Grafton to call for governments to take more action to ameliorate climate change.

At a national level, estimates of around 300,000 people calling for action joined the millions who protested on the same day around the world.

A quote by Swedish climate action leader Greta Thunberg, 16, was a rallying cry for those who participated, said McAuley College student Shiann Broderick, 17: “We need a system change rather than individual change, but you cannot have one without the other.”

It’s a retort to those who like to accuse young people of being hypocrites because they have a phone, computers, use cars, etcetera – or missed school to participate.

“It’s quite concerning to see [the amount of hate on local social media sites],” Ms Broderick said.

“I find it

[hard to accept]

what people, those adults who say we are uneducated, say; when I and others have done a lot of research.

“We are not brainwashed; we are not just trying to get a day off school.

“It’s the only way to get people to listen.

“Any significant movement in the past that has made change has involved protests.

“We realise that [those criticisms] are a massive issue that need to be [addressed].

“We didn’t choose what we grew up with; but have to travel and communicate.”

On Monday, the World Metrological Organization (WMO) released its climate report (for the five-year period from May 2014-19) “for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, underlining the glaring – and growing – gap between agreed targets to tackle global warming and the actual reality”, the WMO website states.

“The tell-tale signs and impacts of climate change – such as sea level rise, ice loss and extreme weather – increased during 2015-2019, which is set to be the warmest five-year period on record,” WMO’s media release states.

“Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have also increased to record levels, locking in the warming trend for generations to come.”

Ms Broderick said she was pleasantly surprised to see the increased numbers of protesters compared to the last rally held on March 15.

“It was good to see so many young people and older people concerned about the issue and prepared to get out and voice their concerns,” she said.