Congratulations to students who organised and turned up for the student protest against inaction on climate change, in Armidale. Their actions demonstrated just how ludicrous were some of the comments being made in the media by politicians and so called education experts who should know better. Congratulations also to Adam Marshall who showed some support for the incredible youth in our community.
As a high school science teacher for approximately 40 years I have always been passionate about encouraging students to continue with studying science subjects beyond their junior years, particularly girls, in the areas of Physics and Chemistry. An understanding of the fundamental scientific principles which govern our very existence and future viability on this planet and ability to think logically and critically (an essential part of science), are important tools for having some control over our own destiny at both a personal and global levels.
I am alarmed at how we have educated a current generation of politicians, many of whom are scientifically ignorant and who in turn do not possess the skills that enable them to question the powerful, greedy and well organised corporations who are currently "buying" and determining many government opinions and policies. I am alarmed at the inability of many politicians to think beyond their own sphere of personal influence and the immediate future.
I am alarmed at the number of scientifically illiterate voters who despite all available evidence fail to recognise and have the potential to return to government, politicians that have failed so dismally.
I am however encouraged that we are now seeing a generation of scientifically literate young people who have the skills to see through our woeful politicians and call them to account. They deserve our support, especially by those that have been too complacent and comfortable in their own skins to act in the past to safeguard the environment they will leave for future generations.
Our youth do not deserve to be encumbered by governance of politicians such as Barnaby Joyce whose irresponsible policies have contributed to severe environmental degradation and done nothing more positive than make politics "less dull". Since the majority of these students will not be eligible to vote, their future depends on the integrity of those who can and we cannot afford to fail them.