Our future, our say

08 Mar 2021 | 4 mins

Reuben Saggar knows that no one is too small to make a difference. But in order to be part of solutions to the big challenges of climate change, the language used needs to be accessible and understandable for all.  

My name is Reuben Saggar and I am 12 years old. I am a proud local climate activist, a TEDx youth speaker, but most of all, I’m a kid. Now, people can use that against me, saying ‘You’re way too young to get involved in climate action. You don’t need to worry about all that’, but I like to think of being young as a superpower. I get to see what adults don’t see about the climate problem, because being a kid allows me to know that the climate problem is not just happening right now, but will be a long-term issue. After all, in the future when the effects of climate change are really showing, all those adults who are making the big decisions now won’t be around anymore.

So, whilst the adults of today get to decide how we tackle climate change, it’s not like it’s really going to affect them. They can litter, make bad decisions for this world, and ruin the Earth, because in the end, it won’t make much difference to their lives - my generation will have to pay the price. And deep down, I think a lot of the powerful adults of today know that. 

This means that, as kids, we do need to know what’s going on, and how those decisions will affect our world. But we can only know all that if it is understandable, and not filled with difficult words that overcomplicate everything.

“I am part of a generation that has a lot to gain and a lot to lose. It’s our call which way that goes, but that’s going to be impossible if we don’t know how the decisions about our climate are being made.”

This means that, as kids, we do need to know what’s going on, and how those decisions will affect our world. But we can only know all that if it is understandable, and not filled with difficult words that overcomplicate everything.

So, when I raised this issue at the launch event for the original UWA Public Policy Institute Preparedness Report, I had the idea to write another version of the climate report. A version that - instead of being dressed up with big paragraphs and long words - could be understandable for everyone, including young people my age.

This Briefings edition is that second version of the report, completely free of all the daunting words and sentences that powerful adults so often hide behind. In fact, all the following articles have been read over and commented on by me, a 12-year-old, and two of the pieces are written by young people, Kai Lovel, Chair of the TedxYouth Panel, and myself, which just goes to show no one is too small to make a difference. 

I hope you enjoy reading this, because when everyone understands the whole truth, the greater goal is achieved.    

Reuben Saggar

12 year old Reuben Saggar is a local WA climate activist, committed to ensuring that kids get a say in the decisions that adults make about our world. He was born and raised in London, and only moved to Perth recently, but since then, with bushfires and floods ravaging Australia in the last two years, he has seen the effects of climate change first hand. When Reuben was 10, his three older sisters were taking part in the Fridays4Future movement, which involved skipping school on Fridays to protest the lack of action being taken on climate change. He desperately wanted to go and begged his parents to let him, but they simply replied ‘You’re too young to be skipping school.'

So Reuben took matters into his own hands and set up a lunchtime Fridays4Future Club at his primary school so that the kids who were too young to skip school could still feel part of the movement. The club ran for two terms, and when Reuben eventually left the school, other kids in younger years kept it going. Since then, Reuben has been continuing his passion for climate change in a number of ways and will continue to do so until proper action is taken.

Media references

Anneke Forster, Events and Business Support Coordinator, 08 6488 5825

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