Sending a message with third march for change

Business as usual is not good enough.

That is the message hundreds of school pupils, tertiary students, parents, workers and others hope to spread during another School Strike 4 Climate march through Dunedin next week.

Event co-ordinator Zak Rudin (17) said the impacts of climate change were now being felt in the form of record hot temperatures, droughts, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, melting ice and rising sea levels - all while the Amazon rainforest, one of the biggest carbon sinks in the world, burns thanks to massive unregulated deforestation.

"Business as usual is not good enough. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cited that the `business as usual' approach will inevitably lead to a global and unprecedented ecological disaster.

"If we carry on the way we're going, we can expect to see global food shortages leading to widespread famine, mass influxes of climate refugees, flooding of coastal regions and entire islands, massive shocks to the global economy and unprecedented extreme climate effects.

"We are currently living in the sixth mass extinction which scientists have directly linked to climate change."

The issues will be highlighted during a police-escorted march from the Dental School, down George St in Dunedin, next Friday at noon, followed by a rally in the Octagon.

"The September 27 Climate Strike is planned both nationally and internationally," Zak said.

"We encourage everyone, not just school students, to join us.

"We further encourage all businesses to close their offices or allow their staff to join us on September 27, thereby sending a powerful message to central government."

The strike will be the third run this year by School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand, giving school pupils a chance to express their anger and frustration over climate inaction at a governmental and systemic level, where substantial and profound change is made.

"This is now an opportunity for us to unite and join forces with other environmental organisations and everyone concerned about the growing climate crisis.

"School Strike 4 Climate demands that the Government creates a legally binding Carbon Bill which sets the date for carbon neutrality at 2040 at the latest, heavily incentivises the transition to renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro-electric, and places regulations upon intensive farming which comprises around 50% of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions.

"School Strike 4 Climate condemns any further exploration of fossil fuels.

"The fossil fuel industry is dying, let's not die with it."

This story is part of the Otago Daily Times' contribution to Covering Climate Now, an international campaign by more than 170 media organisations to draw attention to the issue of climate change ahead of a United Nations summit on September 23. To read more of our coverage, go to


Expecting teenagers to control their impulses or resist peer pressure is like expecting a 6-month-old to walk, say experts in neuroscience and adolescent psychology. Their brains are still under construction and, contrary to adult perception, won't be fully mature until they are in their early to mid- 20s.
Knowledge gained through MRI imaging reveals that the teenage brain is stunningly different from that of an adult. While some areas - particularly those focused on motor control and hand/eye coordination - are as good as they will get, others, like the prefrontal cortex just behind the forehead, which dictates complicated decision-making and moderates social behavior, lag far behind.......

"which dictates complicated decision-making".......And yet we seem to be happy to let these young underdeveloped minds dictate our direction, these days.

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