Kiah Hamilton-Adams, Chair of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Environmental and Geographical Society (MMEGS) discusses the global climate change strike.
Featured photograph: Merle Blume
As a geographer, my time studying is almost solely focused on climate change and its effects. They seep into every part of our lives, affecting everything from the food we can buy, to the weather we experience.
Today’s global climate strike brings the issue to the streets and by entering public sphere and making themselves seen, the protesters are putting climate change in the forefront of everyone’s minds. This will make it harder and harder for people to ignore the global crisis that is climate change.
Our government is currently not on track to meet any of the 2020 climate goals set by The UN and with the distraction of Brexit they are unlikely to make any changes soon. Therefore, the issue of climate change has been left to us, both the individual and the collective, to try and make a change no matter how big or small.
Protesting is important to making a difference, especially in Manchester a city built on the history of political activism. Today’s march is sure to be the first of many and that is something that should be celebrated however, our efforts should not end there. There are many other effective ways to create change, protest is great to raise awareness for an issue, but action is needed to solve the problem. For instance, boycotting products that are not sustainable will force businesses to change in accordance with the public want. Cutting out plastic whether it is single use or not makes a strong individual difference. There are now companies that deliver household products in glass bottles and swap them when they’re empty, much like a milkman.
A great local company is M20 refills I can highly recommend them. If you find the idea of starting to combat climate change individually daunting, look up MMEGS, Manchester Metropolitan’s Environmental and Geography Society. MMEGS is a mixture of social and serious events focused on the study and continuation of the world.
Climate change is a global issue, one that transcends race, class and creed. Any individual can make a difference, but the large changes will be made as a collective and I hope the strike today is the start of collective change.