Daily Maverick’s Our Burning Planet and Maverick Citizen are partnering with the Climate Justice Charter Movement to report on issues central to our survival – the climate crisis and people’s democratic alternatives. This article is part of the series and focuses on the challenges young people face as they try to organise to raise awareness and catalyse action on the climate crisis.
As we face the realities of the climate crisis, the effects of which increase daily, the future looks bleak. Youth from all over the world are uncertain, we are scared of what our futures hold. Even scarier is the not-so-ridiculous possibility that we won’t have a future at all. However, the greatest horror is how world leaders have reacted to the climate crisis.
The science is clear and the facts are available in abundance. Their ignorance and apathy is deliberate.
In January 2020, my matric year, I began to boycott school every Friday, demanding that the South African government and the Department of Environmental Affairs declare a climate emergency. I sat outside the school gates, alone on the first day, in a desperate attempt to force them to listen.
This was around the time of the Australian fires,…