As part of The Big Smoke’s Next Gen program, Cara Barnard (11) shares her concerns of the future, and what she’d say to the Prime Minister of the present.



Student: Cara Barnard
Mentor: Leigh McGaghey
Topic: Cara (11) lives in London but she has a message for the Australian PM.


If I could speak to the Prime Minister of Australia, I would say quite a lot of things. One of those many things would be about animal testing. Lots of people think that animal testing is alright but I think that it is a very barbaric method of scientific enquiry. Over one hundred million animals get tested each year and nine out of ten of those tests go wrong and leave animals dead or tortured. In the European Union, testing cosmetics on animals has been banned but many companies still do it. Animal testing should be banned all over the world, even if it is supposedly used for the so-called “benefit of humans” and used for curing human beings.

I would then speak about the issue of litter. Every single bit of litter and rubbish that is not disposed of in a bin or by some other similar method can harm land creatures. All of the rubbish that has affected land creatures’ lives then ends up in the ocean and kills and hurts animals there. For example, a fish could swallow a microplastic bead and die. If lots of fish did that, then that could affect the food chain. When the bottom of a food chain is destroyed, no other creatures can get food, which means that eventually every other animal on the food chain would die out and be left extinct. I think that microplastic beads (which are cunningly hidden in many cosmetics and toothpastes) should be prohibited in Australia so that more animals can survive freely and without death due to humans. Also, I think that people need to stop being so lazy that they don’t even walk to the nearest bin to throw away their rubbish.

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Another of the issues I would speak about would be climate change. Many different people have many different opinions on climate change. My opinion is that more people should be more aware about it. Polar bears and penguins are affected by global warming a lot. Their homes are being destroyed and they cannot feed or look after their young. Can you imagine if your home was being destroyed, brick by brick? Your children unable to survive because another animal is too selfish to cut down on something they do? Personally, I would hate it. Not only all of your family dying but you as well!

As cars are a major source of greenhouse gas, which causes climate change, there should be a ban on the amount of cars used, bought and owned. Everybody should have one car at the maximum. Similarly, everybody should walk more or use more public transport. For example: walk to a bus stop and use a bus because more than one person will use that bus and therefore make the most of less petrol. The more petrol people use, the more creatures die. The public needs to be more aware about the consequences of everyday life things that they do. On billboards and other forms of advertising, it should be saying how to cut down on things they do that will hurt the planet in some way. Advertisements should not be wasted with people saying, “Come and buy our products that will help destroy the planet” because many of the advertisements are advertising items that cause many environmental issues. It should be advertisers saying, “Do this and you can help restore what we have already destroyed”.

Finally, I would say that even though there are many different issues and problems on Planet Earth today, it is not too late to start helping. There are still plenty of beautiful and wonderful things in the world and they should be allowed to thrive and grow just like humans. Nobody should ever forget the beauty of our planet or the dilemmas that we still have to solve. Our world will be a better place when we all start helping it. That’s what I’d tell the Prime Minister.


This article is part of a series for The Big Smoke Next Gen.

The Big Smoke Next Gen is a program which matches professional and experienced writers, academics and journalists with students who wish to write non-fiction articles and voice their opinions on what is shaping the nation.

For more information about our program at The Big Smoke, or to become a mentor, please contact us.


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