On March 15, a global day of school strikes has been called with around 60 countries taking part.

It follows a day of action in February when thousands of young people took to the streets to voice their anger and frustration at political inaction in tackling the ecological crisis.

The movement was initiated last year by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg who made her first protest outside the Swedish Parliament.

Since then there has been a growing mobilisation of young people making protests in towns and cities across the world.

The clock is now ticking on the capacity of our natural world to support life and it is a wake-up call for humanity, the planet and the survival of our species.

It will be a tragedy for future generations who will inherit the consequences because our global leaders stuck their heads in the sand and failed to act.

On an individual level we have become addicted to consumption and our lifestyles. But at what cost?

The environmental damage caused by cars and planes, fast, throwaway fashion, obsolescence built into products, our obsession with the latest gadgets, not to mention single use plastics and disposable coffee cups (in the UK 2.4 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away into landfill every year.)

These facts are but the tip of the iceberg.

Worse still politicians make speeches about the need for action but then reduce the argument to how it can be paid for. Apparently, this is a far more important question than the cost of not fighting ecological disaster.

To put it starkly – fiscal responsibility and balanced accounts trump human survival.

We balanced the books but destroyed the planet.

Greta Thunberg, in a speech to the UN, told the assembled adults: "Our house is on fire [and] our leaders are behaving like children."

If we care about a future for our children then it’s time for us all to grow up.

Prue Plumridge

London Road, Maldon