Classrooms around Australia were unusually quiet this week as thousands of young students skipped class to make their voices heard on a pressing issue.
On Friday 30 November, young Australians from more than 200 schools around the nation put down their books and picked up their placards to demand better climate policies from their government.
The idea for 'Strike 4 Climate Action' was initially started by two 14-year-olds in Melbourne, but in the end, the march took place in every major city in Australia, bringing together children of all ages, from kindergarteners to seniors in high school.
While bushfires rage and coral reefs shrink, as extreme storms and flash floods spread their destruction and drought grips the land, young Australians are doing everything they can to get the government's attention.
And that includes defying the Prime Minister himself. On Monday, after hearing about plans for the strike, PM Scott Morrison told Parliament that he wants "more learning in schools" and "less activism."
"... we do not support our schools being turned into parliaments," he said.
Echoing these remarks, Resources Minister Matt Canavan said that students would not learn anything by "taking off school and protesting."
"The best thing you learn about going to a protest is how to join the dole [welfare] queue. Because that's what your future life will look like," he said on Sydney's radio station 2GB.
It was like striking a match to put out a fire. Many students said that these remarks only bolstered their resolve to protest.
"We'll be less activist if you'll be less shit," read one student's sign.
Kids across Australia skipped school today to take part in massive climate protests. The signs are so good, they're making me a bit homesick. pic.twitter.com/GN4vgokiAS— Mike Stuchbery💀🍷 (@MikeStuchbery_) November 30, 2018
"We wrote letters and did different things but they never seemed to make a difference," Harriet O'Shea Carre, one of the founders of the protest, told the BBC.
"Really, education, is our only power. By sacrificing that [on Friday], it's making a big point."
While Morrison has promised that his party is committed to acting on climate change, many young Australians, like Harriet, think the government's climate policies are inadequate.
And the data appears to be on their side. The government's own figures, released this week, show that Australia's carbon emissions are once again on the up and up - the highest rate of growth since 2004.
The trend does not bode well. According to a new UN report, Australia is not on track to meet its 2030 emission reduction targets. And even if the country manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat, the report found that in the end, these targets are not nearly ambitious enough to keep warming at 'safe' levels.
Sure, the protests were based on serious and legitimate concerns, but participants brought a sense of levity and humour to the situation, in a way that only young people can.
Many of the signs were obvious jabs at the older generation, the same folks who got our planet into this mess in the first place.
"I've seen smarter cabinets at Ikea," one sign read. Others were more direct: "Stop killing us you dicks."
One kid even whipped out his clarinet and embarked on a musical solo like an absolute legend.
Ladies, gentleman and all those who lie outside the binary, for your pleasure, meet the next generation of climate activists:
some fave signs from today's protest ! i'm so passionate about australia and how beautiful it is, i'm honestly scared for the future so please, don't keep quiet about climate change 🌏💞 pic.twitter.com/YuC9ELluoZ— 🦔 betty | 8 (@fadingfastash) November 30, 2018
So encouraging: Thousands of school children in Sydney, Melbourne and almost 30 cities and towns across Australia - from primary school through to high school - skip class in mass protest demanding government action on #climate changehttps://t.co/Yg5JczjAAT #climatestrike pic.twitter.com/If3gZdXW2o— Assaad Razzouk (@AssaadRazzouk) November 30, 2018
Well played that student. pic.twitter.com/G0cxY8o4ya— on (@jonkudelka) November 29, 2018
Melbourne CBD:— Melbourne Inc Alert (@incidentAlertMe) November 29, 2018
A protest by students will disrupt parts of the city including Parliament around lunchtime so please take it easy around the CBD.
We wish the #ClimateStrike protesters well and we appear to have a bright future!
pic: @bobburtonoz in Hobart yesterday pic.twitter.com/J0NIeK71nz
Truly, the next generation is alright. We just need to do better by the planet they're inheriting - as they are so evidently telling us.