From Olivia Kelly - Irish Times Tuesday September 15th

Adults warned of climate change dangers


ADULTS MUST stop ignoring the threat of climate change if future generations are to be protected, a 16-year-old Tipperary student has told an international heritage conference.

Eamonn Hayes, a transition-year student at St Mary’s secondary school, Newport, Co Tipperary, was the keynote speaker at the opening in Dublin yesterday of the 13th International Conference of National Trusts. Past and present generations had done “horrific damage” to the environment, he told delegates.

“It is obvious that many adults pay no attention to preserving our natural resources and the environment. It is for this reason that I plead with you to spread the word among your friends, colleagues, communities and countries.” Primary school children had got the message about the causes and effects of climate change, Eamonn said. His own former primary school, Ballina national school, was a member of the Green Schools project.

“Green Schools influenced me to take special care of our world, in easy ways like recycling waste materials, switching off un-needed lights, sockets and computers and by shutting windows and doors to keep in the heat.” The school continues to operate a “strict regime” of keeping water and power usage to a minimum, Eamonn said, and since he left it has installed water-saving flush buttons on its toilets.

However, he said it was past and current generations of adults who had created the climate change problem and it was today’s adults who needed to change their behaviour. “The rise in temperature is melting the polar ice-caps, spreading desserts, and flooding many other areas. This is your legacy damaging the world for my generation. It is your duty to put an end to climate change. Your duty to cut carbon.”