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Young people get that there’s no Planet B

At shows and events where we collect signatures for parliamentary petitions opposing local open-cut mining, we are often approached by young people wanting to pledge their support to save our environment. When we tell them that they must be over the age of 18 to sign, many are disappointed that they can’t have their say.

Today’s young people understand that we need to recycle, stop littering and work towards having a sustainable future and tt water and our fragile ecosystems need to be protected. A recent world-wide movement by school and university students to strike on Fridays to protest climate change has seen demonstrations in 112 countries by hundreds of thousands of young protesters. Adults in positions of authority have both praised and criticised the school walkouts with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying, “What we want is more learning and less activism in schools”. The students say it is their future and that the lesson of climate change is the biggest they will ever learn. Their placard messages are to the point – “There’s no Planet B”, “Your profit is our loss,” “One day we will vote”.

In July conservationist Sir David Attenborough told British MPs that the most encouraging thing he saw is that the electors of tomorrow are already making their voices very clear.     “I’m OK, and all of us here are OK, because we don’t face the problems that are coming,” he said. “But the problems of the next 30 years are really major problems that are going to cause social unrest, and great changes in the way we live and what we eat. It’s going to happen.”
Environmental awareness ranks high for today’s singles and some rate it well above a prospective mate’s earning power. According to a small article in The West Australian in mid-July titled “Tall, dark and eco-friendly”, one third of singles “find a potential partner more attractive if they champion green issues, while almost a quarter regard eco-friendly habits such as recycling as must-have traits in a new date”.     And last month, a five-year-old wrote a letter to The Herald expressing displeasure at littering and called for all to take action. The captains of industry, of whom many are grandparents, don’t seem to give a toss about the environmental legacy they are leaving their descendants.     On the bright side, it won’t be too long before they will have to explain to their kids and grandkids why they have left them to clean up the environmental mess which they could have stopped.

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