A speech on Climate Change – by Olivia Pearson, KS3 student

Every day, we are presented with evidence that the climate crisis is worsening and festering, eating away at our planet. Yet, nothing is done; the aims for a better future are nothing but pretentious attempts to appear innovative and environmentally aware. Our generation does not have a future to solve other people’s problems, let alone our own. There are two contradicting arguments; should we drop our education in order to campaign for what is rightfully ours? Or should we work much harder in our schooling in order to become incredibly advanced in the future, where we could solve climate change? Both will be explored, but our focus remains the same. After all, the best time to change was 20 years ago, but the second best time to change is today.

Firstly, many people would argue that children should be protesting for the planet and advocating for a safe, thriving and environmentally-conscious future. This is primarily because taking action seems to be a last resort, and has had a history of being largely successful i.e The Suffragettes, The Civil Rights Movement. Getting the influential people in our society today such as members of parliament and celebrated figureheads to really listen and take action would be extremely difficult with our heads stuck in a chemistry textbook. What is the point of studying hard and earning our qualifications when reports from 20 different states of government tell scientists clearly that 100 Million people will die by 2030 if nothing is done to tackle climate change. A-levels won’t be of much use if we’re dead within the decade. This is why it is so important that we make climate change our first priority, above everything else, in order to save both Earth and ourselves. Deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and plastic pollution are all down to us, and if those responsible won’t take action then whose to say that we shouldn’t?

However, the contrasting argument is also valid. It can easily be argued that the best way to put an end to climate change is actually working extremely hard on our education in order to define our future instead of withering in it. It’s about perspective; is holding up a protesting sign in the streets productive, or is gearing up to become scientists, engineers and politicians more effective in the long run? Every single child can benefit by a change in curriculum meaning it is law that we have to study our climate in all aspects, but then again will that change come without protesting? It’s a hard matter to analyse, but there is evident support of how our schooling can help fight climate change by raising awareness, studying solutions and the planet and providing opportunities to become those who actively create climate-cooling green technology (wind and solar power, biodegradable materials and plastic alternatives). As one of nature’s guests, wouldn’t you want to take the most effective course of action? We are drowning in plastic seas, suffocated by air pollution and as scorched as the land that held populous rainforest, and we can soon reform and recreate. First, we need to learn how.

Overall, there are so many ways that both arguments can be correct. What really matters is our next step to approach the climate crisis. We all need to be doing more, so instead of bashing everyone’s different methods, we should be praising and supporting them for their efforts. Personally, I like enhancing different aspects of my life-style to be eco-friendly, but that isn’t to say i wouldn’t take part in a protest. I believe it’s a great way of getting a point across and with repeated, strong marches that we can make a change without giving up, but also producing a new wave of people interested in anti-climate change occupations will be beneficial for all. The climate shouldn’t change, but we can.Add individual feedback