David Pocock has slammed greedy corporates and politicians while hailing the thousands of students who will walk out of classrooms on Friday for the climate strike march.
The Wallabies star is the first Australian athlete to voice support for the students, who have come under intense fire from politicians and media commentators.
“This school climate march is pretty exciting, for so long we’ve just ignored future generations and have very much built up wealth at the expense of the planet,” Pocock told Rugby Confidential.
“You’ve got a whole bunch of kids now who potentially won’t even be voting age before some fairly serious climate breakdown, if scientists are correct.
“So to see kids actually decide that they want a voice, and to organise something like this strike on Friday, I certainly think it’s exciting for democracy and Australia’s future.
“Hopefully our leaders take notice and take some action.
“We have to be making decisions with a long-term view, there’s no point having wealth and prosperity, and in a few decades time not having a liveable planet.
“That’s the challenge for younger generations, to push for that and create an environment where those hard decisions get made.
“I certainly don’t remember a school strike, that’s a real sign of young people standing up and getting involved.
“People are starting to realise we live on this incredible planet that is clearly finite, yet we’ve got this economy that seems to think we’ve got infinite resources.”
Pocock, who seems destined to have a political future ahead of him once his rugby career is finished – potentially by the end of this year due to persistent injury – has been engaging with several students recently about climate change.
“Young people have grown up in a country where politics has largely been irrelevant, there’s never been a poor economy or recession, so young people have taken that for granted in Australia, largely for white middle-class Australians,” Pocock said.
“Obviously if you’re Aboriginal or part of the Sudanese community, you know the impact that politics can have.”
“But they’re learning all this stuff about climate change in school and asking, ‘What’s happening? Why aren’t our leaders acting?’”
Interview by Jamie Pandaram. The original article first appeared here.