Students from all over Lincolnshire skipped school today to join the Extinction Rebellion Lincolnshire; almost a hundred of adults joined them in support.
The young protesters gathered together with their parents, grandparents, teachers and other demonstrators at Castle Hill Square in Lincoln and marched down to the War Memorial on the High Street. There they were joined by around 40 University of Lincoln students.
One of them Seth Goddard, a 2nd year International Relations and Politics student at the University of Lincoln, walked with the protest march from the very start: “I am here today because what else can be done, really.
“I think that the government on a local and a national level doesn’t take this as seriously as they should. But the people here have an interest in keeping us alive.
“I genuinely believe that it can change something. Demonstrating has gotten women the vote and has done something against the segregation in the United States. It shows that people are upset.
“Especially in the lead up to the elections in May, I dare anyone to not take notice and make them clear that there is something important that needs to happen.”
A 12-year-old student from the Lincoln School of Science and Technology skipped his German class to join the strike: “I thought it was a good idea to come out here today, even if it was an unauthorised absence because it is our place to live and we need to protect it.
“ I am not trying to make it about us [students] because if climate change ruins the world, it ruins everyone. We should be at school, but this is more important.”
Jeff Jones, one of the founding members of Frack Free Lincs, brought a poster saying ‘There is no planet B’. The retired teacher would root for his students: “If I were still teaching, I would encourage my students to just go out there and do it.
“We are fighting to persuade governments and other authorities to start paying attention to climate change instead of wasting time discussing certain other matters.
“For example last week there was a debate in the House of Parliament about climate and only 40 MPs were in the chamber for that.
“That shows how seriously they are taking it. This gathering is for the government to listen.”
LSJ News asked some of the participants why they were taking part in Lincolnshire’s Extinction Rebellion. Something that resonated in almost every answer was frustration with the government’s failure to act.
So, why are you striking today?
Facts about climate change
- 63 years ago, in 1956, a news report from The New York Times was one of the first articles to outline how accumulating greenhouse gas emissions from energy production could lead to severe environmental changes.
- 2015-2018 were by far the four warmest years since modern record keeping began in 1980.
- By 2030, 60.000 people could die due to global air pollution caused by climate change, as high temperatures speed up the process of in which air pollutants such as ozone are created.
- In 2016 and 2017 the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef killed 50% of its corals. If the emissions of greenhouse gases continue like this coral reefs will be extinct by the end of this century.
- 2018 set a new record for ocean heating, which contributes to the rising sea levels – as water expands when it heats up – and the melting of glaciers like in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska, and Africa.
- The global sea level has risen by around 20 cm from 1901 to 2010. Every year it rises another 3.2 mm.
- Climate change can cause a global refugee crisis.