The need for everyone to work together to find solutions for Climate Change proves increasingly critical as the world’s climate becomes more unstable by the day. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) we now only have 10 years left to tackle Climate Change before we reach critical turning points that lead to Climate Catastrophe. We all like to think that we have a future. We plan out our lives, our dreams, our goals and our careers, but what if all of that was taken away from us?
We fool ourselves to think that we can continue our lives as normal and still have a habitable planet. Greta Thunberg stated, “I want you to act as if your house is on fire. Because it is.” When considering the fires ravishing the Amazon Rainforest as they incinerate the most important trees on Earth –those which provide us with a sustainable source of oxygen– it becomes evident that our house really is on fire. This past year, school children, students, parents, scientists, doctors and concerned citizens have been standing up and protesting for climate action all around the world. This Friday the 20th of September promises to mark the biggest day of global climate strikes to date. It is going to be a historical event all around the world. Millions are gathering together to stand in solidarity for climate action. To stand behind the science. The question is – what are YOU doing today, Friday the 20th of September?
Climate Change is not just a topic for scientists, activists, hippies or politicians. It is about everyone. It affects everyone and it the biggest collective threat that we as a civilisation are facing. What are we doing about it in St Andrews? What is the University doing? What is the town doing? We are a sea-side town, so what are we going to do if the sea levels rise? What are we going to do when there is a mass extinction of species? What are we doing while our house is on fire?
This Friday the 20th of September we want to show the world that we in St Andrews also care about Climate Change and that we stand in solidarity for climate action. Students, staff, school children, parents and concerned citizens are gathering together for two massive events in St Andrews: The Climate Strike starting at St Salvator’s Quad at 11am followed by a march along the streets of St Andrews down to West Sands beach. On the beach, citizens, children, students and bagpipers will collect for speeches by visiting politicians, including North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins and university representatives before forming a massive line along the beach to reflect on climate change and the crossroad of history that lies before us. This symbolic Line in the Sand aims to highlight the critical turning point in history that we as a civilisation and society stand for. There will also be speeches and five minutes of silence to reflect on the Climate Emergency and our responsibility to do everything we can to safeguard our home. It is a call for action both on a political and organisational scale, with a clear message that we as citizens are ready and aware of the massive change that needs to occur in order to ensure that we have a future. It is not just politics that have to change, WE have to change too. We have to demonstrate that we are ready for change. This is our future and we have the right to stand up for it.
So, let me ask you again: where will you be today Friday the 20th of September?
At 11 am we will gather in St Salvator’s Quad and then march along the streets of St Andrews leading down to West Sands Beach. At 12pm the Line in the Sand event at West Sands will kick off with speeches, bagpipe music and messages for climate action. This will be followed by forming a massive line in the sand and 5 minutes of silence to reflect on the crossroad before us. This event gives us as a community the chance to reflect on what Climate Catastrophe means for us and our responsibility to act. This is our opportunity – let’s not take our future for granted.