MEDIA RELEASE 15 Mar 2019

One of the core values of the Australian Mental Health Party is connection. We believe that our connections to people and places around us shape who we are and what we become. This isn’t just about personal relationships with other people, but also our deeper sense of connection with the world around us. Looking after the environment we live in is one crucial piece of the puzzle on that point. After all, if you don’t have a sense of meaningful connection to the environment, then why would you look after it?

Today we saw tens of thousands of young Australians attending Climate Strike protests right across the country. Personally, I think you’d have to be completely out of your mind not to care about climate change. We human beings are a part of this planet’s story. For now this world is our home. Our immense power to change the environment comes with the responsibility to be gentle. Likewise, our ability to reflect and think about what we do, brings with it a need to take great care and consideration about the impact of our actions. It would be a massive mistake to threaten the fragile balance of life that we all depend upon.

The Australian Mental Health Party is driven by humanistic and existential philosophies. From this perspective, the core focus is on people, their experiences, and how we can improve our way of living. Our way of looking at this issue raises some really big questions about how important it is for people to live in a healthy world. If we think of our planet across time and generations, we might ask what impact our choices today might have on people tomorrow? There’s a strong case to be made that your choices today will restrict your freedoms tomorrow. That’s why we need to think in terms of real people, not just economic theories, when it comes to climate change.

We are calling out the big parties in Australia who are having a go at young people for speaking up. Our PM says our schools should not be turned into parliaments, but I’m afraid that quite the opposite is going on here. The very nature of this strike arises from a sense of powerlessness at not being heard by our leaders. If young people were more empowered and being heard on this issue, then we would surely see a greater commitment from politicians to address the issue. Our party knows that young people need to have their say and be taken seriously. Anyone with kids knows how important it is to them that we look after this place we call home. We are just looking after it for them and their kids. One day that responsibility will rest on their shoulders. Let’s not make the lives of future generations any harder to live.

It fills me with hope to see young people expressing their feelings about the environment. The rest of us grown ups should take that in, explore our own feelings for the world, and do better. Our party wonders, where do the rest of you stand?