Our Future || Schoolyard health becomes a burning issue

We’re being told to to stay in school, but what about when it’s 45 degrees?

I spent the long weekend before my first day of Year 11 sweating through 40-degree-plus temperatures out in Western Sydney.

After that, the thought of going back to school in this heat is not appealing.

But I have to go to school, even as heatwaves become more frequent and intense.

The long periods over 40 degrees are unbearable, and right now, we are in uncharted, record-breaking territory.

It’s normal for schools to have inside lunch rules for rainy days - but for the past five years we have had to stay inside during summer, too.

It’s not safe for kids to run around outside when it is hotter than 35°C.

Being stuck inside for six hours straight isn’t fun or healthy.

I’m lucky that my school has air conditioning, but what about our activities outside the classroom, and what about schools without air conditioning?

I can’t imagine what it is like for kids across the country who are heading back to school in temperatures closer to 50°C.

Studies show extreme heat has a real impact when it comes to our ability to succeed in exams.

One study found kids are 12 per cent more likely to fail the same exam on a 32˚C day compared to a 22˚C day.

This isn’t a problem that’s can be solved just by whacking more air conditioners onto school buildings.

My science class tells me that heatwaves are intensifying due to climate change, and that fossil fuels are largely to blame.

So it’s a pretty stupid idea to have more air conditioners while still running our energy systems on coal and other fossil fuels.

It’s only going to make things hotter in the long run.

Experts say we have the solutions to move to 100 per cent renewable energy today.

It’s clear that if we ditch fossil fuels for clean energy, we’ll not only stop climate change from getting worse, but also allow people to stay cool without worrying about the cost.

If you had asked me about climate change a year ago, I would’ve said it wasn’t that important.

But like more and more people, I now understand how global warming is already affecting my life and my future.

I’m urging our politicians to show leadership too. Our future depends on it.

Aisheeya Huq is a year 11 student from Auburn Girls High School and a member of the School Strike 4 Climate Action.