Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

A Dying Planet

A Dying Planet

Qoratolain Hadika Naeemi

Year 12

The earth can only handle a 2° C increase in temperature before the earth becomes uninhabitable. What a terrifying reality, projected for the next 20 years. The next 20 years as in my future, but the ironic part is I have no say. My friends have no say. We the people who will be greatest affected can do almost nothing to act against the changing. We can walk, and we can protest, but at the end of the day, it's the legislation put in place that will affect the outcome of our planet. What else can be done when the youth who is affected don't have the power to vote and those with power clearly do not have our best interests at heart. What else will it cost to create change? The Great Barrier Reef is dying, temperatures are rising but nothing is happening. As a society, it shows where our priorities and values lie when a major party is confidently walking into a federal election with no policy on climate change. It says something about what matters to Australian society when there is only a marginal swing away from a party that is willing to sacrifice the lives of their youth to put some extra cash in their pockets. When a 15 year stands in front of the EU and make more sense than the adult politicians. When students walk out of their classrooms to show lawmakers, this is what matters to us, saving the planet and making a change that will affect everyone. This is what creates fear. This is the fear in the youth today who are told they will never be able to afford a house, but who will not need to because they may not be alive until then. This is the fear in the youth who are not willing to dream of a future that may not exist, and hope is difficult to hold. The fear in the youth who are seeing a continually declining population because who would want to bring a child into a dying world. It's not fair, we are denied a future by those who will never see it. This is a question I pose to the adults of the world, the current leaders who are to pave the way for the future. Where is your compassion? When did we as a society decide to toss the notion of children as our future to make an extra buck? Most importantly, why are you willing to pay the ultimate cost, to continue using coal at the expense of the planet? The planet who continues to love its inhabitants, caring and nurturing us while we are willing to kill it. We are willing to kill our own planet, to feed our greed and gluttony. We live on a dying planet, a planet that we, as a society are killing.