My name is Scout Cook-Collins. I’m almost 13 years old and live in a small town in Lincolnshire, England. I am an ordinary child attending an ordinary school. My parents were Methodist Mission partners, so I have lived in Central America for nearly 4 years, but I have settled back down in England again. When I was 11 years, I attended my first climate protest. Having become aware of the climate crises years previously, I knew what it was all about and was passionate. When I attend protests, I feel I have found somewhere I belong, somewhere I fit in. I have rarely met people I am similar to, but these climate protesters had something in common with me – we all wanted Climate Justice.
I have now taken part in more than a few protests, but they are never large. But that didn’t matter, because we were focused so it didn’t matter if we were embarrassed. Our first couple of protests were based around a petition. This petition was then presented to the County Council, who, very reluctantly, declared a Climate Emergency. The last few protests, for me, have been bad. barely anyone attended and we were jeered at more than ever. But at least I was contented I had done my bit.
The past few years, my family have always looked carefully into companies and bought the Organic products where possible. We’re not rich, but we make the choice to spend our money on things that are healthy for the planet. Most of our food is ordered in bulk from a company called Suma. Once a month, my parents do a fill-your-own-tub shop, encouraging people to use less packaging and waste less.
I know it’s probably not my job to say this, but we should be ashamed of our government. We have given them the truth but they have denied it. They have disappointed my generation. They have given us no choice but to rebel. We need them to co-operate, but they have made up their mind. But we can be strong; we have the power to change our future. The truth is terrifying, for we know it is us it will affect. I just want to say that if there’s anyone out there like me, don’t give up; you’re not alone.
To the strikers, the fighters, the system changers; the jeerers, the haters, the ignorers; to you. I want you to panic. I want you to panic like your house were on fire. Because it is.