The Guardian • Issue #2002


School Strike 4 Climate Change Perth

On 25th March 2022, while up to 1000 protesters gathered on the Domain in Sydney and marched onto Kirribilli House, fifty people mostly in COVID masks to match the WA Stage 2 Restrictions, marched for the Perth School Strike 4 Climate Change rally.

The protest in Perth was organised by Uni Students for Climate Justice and mostly attended by university students and a group of Aboriginal protesters from the Pilbara region.

They protested against exploiting state resources, including offshore gas, to “Save the Burrup.” The Burrup Peninsula is home to some of the world’s oldest and most iconic Aboriginal rock art, which is being damaged by the processing of ammonia and natural gas, causing the corrosion of these ancient art forms. The damage is about to get worse as the Scarborough Gas field is brought online, potentially threatening more of the thousands of artworks found on this rocky and beautiful peninsula. The gas from the Scarborough Field and the Gorgon Field on nearby Barrow Island currently contributes significant greenhouse gas emissions to the Earth’s atmosphere. It will continue to contribute to it in the future. The increase in carbon emissions from these non-renewable resource projects is contributing to the effects of climate change. We see the impact in the droughts, floods and bushfires of the last 10-20 years. Generations of people alive today have witnessed these changes to the Earth’s climate and know the causes, effects, and solutions.

At the rally, a student from Curtin University spoke of the influence of fossil fuel companies in determining the course content of many engineering courses at the university, including the School of Mines. This ensures the continued exploitation of non-renewable energy, including uranium, coal, gas and oil, as something natural and inevitable – when it should not be. Another student from the University of Western Australia spoke about how donations from these corporations helped to imbed their participation in academia, allowing them to peddle their wares which threaten the climate and life on this Earth.

The rally organisers had advised the police of their rally and intended march route. About fifteen police officers, some on motorbikes, accompanied the protesters on their march, first to the offices of mining multinational Rio Tinto. Then on to Chevron Energy which has a 47.3 per cent stake in the Gorgon Project which contributes 15 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. It finished outside the offices of nearby Woodside Energy which is responsible for the Scarborough Gas project which would contribute 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere over its 30-year life span. Renewables would contribute none, which is why we must move to 100 per cent renewables within this generation and not in 2050. Most leaders of the current government will not be around to bear any responsibility for the climate chaos they unleash by continuing to support the capitalist drive for profits and markets.

The Communist Party of Australia calls on governments in Australia and the world over to hasten the move to renewable forms of energy, end all government support for non-renewable energy, and increase the use and support of renewable energy, which is cheaper than non-renewable energy and increasingly more reliable. The increased use of renewable energy will contribute to decreased carbon emissions, the principal driver for climate change and the increased frequency and severity of climate events threatening the viability and sustainability of life on Earth.

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