On Friday, September 20th, there will be a Global Climate Strike, a protest led by school students who are calling on everyone to make their voice heard and demand action on the climate emergency. Ciara Murphy is joining them.
“I’ll be one of the thousands of people marching on Friday 20th September because I want things to change, and I want to contribute to that change. Together, as communities and a country, we need to and can do more for our environment. We need positive change, now. Climate breakdown is affecting us all, although the consequences are not shared equally.
It’s easy and understandable to feel helpless and become detached when we see environmental destruction on a scale we can’t fully comprehend, such as the recent Amazon fires. At home, the consequences may not seem as dramatic but we still feel the impact of climate chaos with extreme weather events like heatwaves and storms causing flooding and droughts becoming more frequent in recent years.
To combat this, certain individual actions and choices can make a difference but only to a point. What our individual voices are now more important than ever for, is amplifying the collective message. Together we can become a cornucopia of hope and change, demanding that governments become instruments of positive environmental policy. Real change will happen when those in power make it their priority. I’m protesting on Friday 20th to call on them to do that.
Pope Francis, in his 2015 encyclical letter Laudato Si’ urges us to care for the Earth, ‘Our Common Home’. He stresses that ‘Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience’. He recognises that climate change is an environmental issue but one that does not exist in a vacuum, independent of other environmental and social problems including water shortages, loss of biodiversity, pollution, decline in the quality of the human life and the breakdown of society and global inequality. These issues need to be assessed through an integral ecology lens, examining the impacts of our interaction with the world around us.
We need to be part of holistic solutions to address the source of the problem and not just its symptoms. Our efforts, for example, to refuse single use plastic, reduce private car use and conserve our environment needs to be supported by legislative changes which facilitate and incentivise change at a higher level than individual actions can achieve.
I look forward to being part of the collective voice of millions of people across the globe on September 20th who will be calling on our governments to act, now.
Will you join me?
Environmental Justice Advocate
For more information about your nearest strike or event click here