The time for action has arrived. On September 20, people all over the world will take to the streets to protest the biggest crisis of our times: global warming. The Global Climate Strike is expected to see millions of workers and students walk off the job to participate in peaceful but vociferous rallies around the globe.
When it comes to taking time off work, there is no cause more worthy than this – but first you need to get your boss on the same page. Here’s how to get involved in the strike without jeopardising your job in the process.
After Australia’s historic 1983 America’s Cup victory, Bob Hawke famously remarked: “Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.” By this token, any boss who disciplines staff for participating in the Global Climate Strike is a colossal arsehole.
It goes without saying that tomorrow’s event is a lot more important than some silly yacht race. Scientists have warned we have a decade – at the most – to reverse the man-made rise in global temperatures before our planet reaches the point of no return.
Hopefully, your manager will be behind you 100 per cent. Realistically, they should be marching alongside you (it’s their Earth too, after all.) But if you anticipate copping some flak, here are a few tips to ensure there are no repercussions with your boss for attending the rally.
There’s no shortage of media coverage explaining what tomorrow’s rally entails and why it’s so important. Start with the official Global Climate Strike page – it contains all the relevant information about the protest. Also point them to the #NotBusinessAsUsual movement. This is a consortium of leading Australian businesses who are actively supporting the global climate strike and their employees’ right to participate.
You should also take the time to dispel some of the flagrant bullshit peddled by the fossil fuel industry. Casually leave this myth-busting guide in the office Slack channel (or email it directly to your boss if you’re chummy enough.)
Don’t take the piss
Most of tomorrow’s rallies are set to kick off at noon. It’s therefore not imperative that you take the entire day off.
Remember, the Global Climate Strike is more about raising awareness than deliberately putting a dent in the economy. Yes, we want the world’s leaders to sit up and take notice, but the same level of visibility will be achieved regardless of how long we march for.
Instead of using the event as an excuse to sleep in, go to work as normal and then take a (very) extended lunch break – that’s what we’ll be doing.
What if your boss is a global warming sceptic?
You’re screwed, basically. You could try these debate tactics, but you’re probably not going to change their mind in a single afternoon.
If your boss thinks global warming is a bunch of hippie nonsense, just call in sick – it will be the most noble sickie you will ever chuck. Even if your boss suspects you’re putting it on, it’s highly unlikely any action will be taken; the resulting PR would be catastrophically bad.
Now that you’ve hopefully cleared your attendance, it’s time to prepare! Click here for a comprehensive list of Global Climate Strike events, locations and rally points.