Editor's note

Most Australians accept climate change is real, but we continue to live much as we always have. Young people, writes Blanche Verlie, are shaking off this delusional paradox. Climate change is more than just an “issue” for the next generation: it’s an urgent existential threat to their future. Today more than 50 school strikes are planned across Australia, as part of protests in 82 countries. Profoundly concerned about climate change, which has been a reality for longer than most of the protesters have been alive, these students are creating a new cultural identity in opposition to the complacent, politicking adults running their countries.

And politicians have slammed skipping school to participate in the protest as an act against education itself. But Karena Menzie-Ballantyne argues by taking part in the protest, students are actually learning. They are demonstrating understanding of contemporary global issues, ability to think critically, to communicate and work effectively with others, as well as values and attitudes that focus on the common good beyond their own self-interest.

Madeleine De Gabriele

Deputy Editor: Energy + Environment

Top story

Sixteen year-old Greta Thunberg inspired global climate change school strikes. Stephanie Lecocq/AAP

The terror of climate change is transforming young people’s identity

Blanche Verlie, RMIT University

Facing up to the horror of climate change can help us work towards a more sustainable culture. Young people are leading the way.

Why would striking students end up in the ‘dole’ queue’ when they’re seeking to understand a global issue, taking action and clearly articulating their perspective? Julien De Rosa/AAP

Students striking for climate action are showing the exact skills employers look for

Karena Menzie-Ballantyne, CQUniversity Australia

When politicians caution against student strikes for climate action, they are going against the aims of Australia's curriculum to develop citizens with a social conscience, willing to take action.

One way to see the value of meaning is to share information and cooperate with others. Mario Purisic/Unsplash

What do we mean by meaning? Science can help with that

Jamie Freestone, The University of Queensland

The self-help books are full of advice on how to get meaning in life, but it helps to understand what meaning actually is. Science may be able to provide some answers.

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