Opinion: Why I'm skipping school for School Strike 4 Climate

OPINION: Firstly, a message to students: If you told your school you are "sick" today, call them back and tell them where you really are. Even if you're not at the rally, every absence counts. 

Knowledge of climate change is not new to us. I learned all about it back in year nine. I learned that it's simply a scientific fact that human activity has contributed to the warming climate.

So I'm here protesting to get the message to our politicians because apparently one protest wasn't enough. We can't simply cut all C02 emissions by 2050, that's too late. I'm afraid I won't have a chance to retire. I wonder if it's even ethical to have children knowing human extinction is now a real possibility.

I came here today to hopefully plant some trees with my friends as we know trees reduce C02 emissions. I know some kids are here to just skip school - maybe they haven't been educated on the issue, and to be honest that's just as good. If the Government sees "actually kids aren't going to school because of this", then we all hope our ADULT politicians will do something more.

I'm mad at the teachers who don't support us, the parents who don't let their children come, and the politicians who think this is "just an opportunity to skip school". You adults are everything that contributes to the normality of warming climate. This isn't normal. The planet shouldn't be warming this fast. It is getting hotter than young Leonardo Dicaprio and that's just too hot.

If climate change isn't real (it definitely is, but for all the uneducated) what's the harm in cleaning up our beautiful planet? We have so much to be grateful for on Earth and have simply been taking it for granted.

 I am amazed at the lack of respect us teenagers have received. 

How come it's us 17-year-olds, leaving school, with three assessments due, committing to something we believe in. How come you can't recognise we aren't here for fun?

This is a sad time in our lives. As a 17-year-old, I know what I can do to reduce my carbon footprint but it's the people running our country that can do something effectively on a national or international scale.

It's time for the people running our country to step up and do their jobs.

Danica Sheward is a 17-year-old student from Waitakere College