The Youth of Today

Martin Place was pretty busy on Friday afternoon, and not because of the hustle and bustle of businessmen and women off out getting their 4th coffee of the day.

There was a protest. It involved local Sydney Students. It was inspirational.

Some older generations have a pretty dim view of many youths in today’s society. “Young people go out partying too much, young people play on their phones too much, young people don’t work hard enough, and young people are rude”. There may be a hint of truth in one or two these grumbles and moans, but it feels like youths and students don’t get any credit where it’s due - and it’s certainly due here.

The protest was about climate change. Now some of you may roll your eyes whilst you’re reading those two little words, ‘climate’ and ‘change’. If that was you, you’re probably in the wrong place – after all, we are on the Clean Up Australia website! But, stay for a bit and let me see if this short little blog can change your opinion on the matter.

Now, these students were protesting about climate change, and one thing in particular- The Carmichael Coal Mine proposed by Adani Mining. After completion, it would supposedly be the biggest coal mine in the southern hemisphere. That’s pretty big. It’s true what they say economically though. Coal is cheap and efficient for providing energy. The creation of the coal mine will also give many people jobs in an area where they are very much needed.

But why do these kids care about a coal mine? Especially as it’s in Central Queensland, and not even the same state. I’ll tell you why these kids care about this coal mine;


Okay, that might have been a little dramatic, but really they are absolutely correct. The decisions which are made now are going to have a direct impact on our children, their children and our children’s children (you’ve definitely heard that anecdote before).

Why is coal bad though? Well if you don’t know already (and if you don’t where on earth have you been), coal is a fossil fuel, and when burned it releases carbon dioxide (Co2) into the atmosphere, which creates a blanket of gases around our atmosphere, trapping in the heat from the sun.

This extra heat may do wonders for your tan on a sunny summer day, and it may be good for SOME crop yields in the short term, but overall the cons outweigh the pros by quite a big margin.

Polar Bears? Yeah, we probably won’t have them anymore (there goes the Svalbard Polar Bears I sponsor!). You know that storm we had in Sydney just LAST WEEK? We will most likely get more of them. And you know I said this warming may help plants in the short term because heat helps SOME grow? Well, when you warm up water, it evaporates, so there goes your water supply for crops in the middle of the outback.

The students were fighting for green energy sources. This would be renewable energy, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Now I’m not sure about you, but I reckon Australia could make heaps of solar energy because it’s REALLY SUNNY – well most of the time. Yes, it may be more expensive to create and maintain, but if you think about it, we will still be forking out millions of dollars here and there in order to help people during forest fires, storms and droughts - which will all increase not only Australia - but around the world - if we don’t try and reduce climate change.

I really admire these students who are not just in Sydney, but all over Australia campaigning for what they believe in. They want a healthier future for humans and the environment, not filled with (even more) gases floating around our atmosphere or extreme dangerous weather or animal extinction.

We moan when kids aren’t making a conscious effort to Clean Up their room, but we don’t listen when they want to Clean Up our Country?

Oliver Emanuel 

Youth Project Officer 


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