Failing our future?

A blog post by Young Reporters for the Environment

Young Reporters for the Environment
Guest blogger

Posted 01/11/2021

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World leaders have arrived in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference known as COP26. While they make important decisions that will impact the future for us all, we have invited young people across Scotland to articulate their views through the internationally recognised Young Reporters for the Environment programme we run in Scotland.   Here three pupils from Clydeview Academy write a powerful blog for us on how climate change is a crucial topic they need to learn about and take action on. 

Welcome to Scotland, known as one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, well only from a distance.

We all live our own lives, participating in all sorts of activities such as; walking, swimming, going to our jobs or school. But no matter what we do, pollution and climate change is affecting us all.

On our day to day school walk, we pass towering trees with birds whistling beautiful melodies as the sun has just risen. The breeze whistles over rooftops with the gulls swooping over the town eyeing out for their next bag of chips or discarded fast food. The cars whizzing past blowing their exhausts in our faces dissipating the fresh morning air, polluting it before the day has barely begun. This is our teenage existence.


We arrive, the school day begins and we embark on our futile learning. Listening to lectures about fractions, World War 2 and ionic bonds. Lessons we are told are important for our future, “Do you want to end up with no job?” the teachers will ask, and the popular “this is your future, you must learn.” But, this isn’t what we feel is currently as important for our future, no matter how much they try to educate us, because our future is precarious.

World leaders were warned decades ago about the effects of climate change, to which they buried their heads in the sand, and did next to nothing for our planet and future. The problem has grown to such an extent our generation has begun to question if we will even make it to the next century. You see, algebra is not going to help me save the planet and history may make me learn from the past but there is no point dwelling in it. Especially, when the weight of the future hangs heavily upon our shoulders. At no time in history has there ever been such a colossal, global crisis impacting our entire planet.

Global warming is a large contributor to our changing climate and it is all man made. The planet is sitting on one large Bunsen burner, it’s a matter of turning off the gas tap.  

It will take a lot, getting 7 billion people to turn off their tap, but we believe it is achievable, we have faith and that might even be the definition of “young and foolish”. It is that hope, that gives us a chance. This is the future of the world as we know it. Action, not, discussion, is essential.

Littering is a huge part of the problem also. There will always be those people who think that just one singular bit of litter won’t make a difference so off they go and chuck it into the nearby bush. This type of mind set needs to go, otherwise we will never get anywhere close to saving the global environment. Haven’t you ever been told in school that your ‘school is not your personal bin?’ Well that applies everywhere you go. Changing people’s habits and behaviours is exceptionally difficult, but not impossible! A shift in society is required to reduce the impact, by making the majority of litter louts into a minority.

Plastic production alone in 2019 introduced more than 850 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. Although this is a small percentage of the whole volume of greenhouse gases getting circulated around earth it is still a contributor.

We did not know this, it is research, so why do we, the ones it will effect most, not get taught this at school?

Even in Inverclyde, our small community, the effects of climate change are tangible. To us Inverclyde represents a microcosm of society despite its small size. Our issues may not be on such a large scale as those globally, but the issues are the same nonetheless. With the abundance of litter, carbon emissions and greenhouse gases increasing annually - we need to take action immediately. Do not abandon us to clean up the mess that you leave behind.

There are many countries and places in the world where climate change and global warming has completely wiped out their homes and communities’ with endless scenes of hurricanes, flash floods, bush fires resulting mass fatalities and irreversible damage to our ecosystems and surroundings. The animal kingdom is suffering, it’s devastating, all these creatures are completely oblivious to the problems humanity has caused and inflicted on them. Many animals are on the verge of extinction, the dinosaurs were wiped out by the universe and the natural ways of the planet let’s not be the next fossil.

We don’t want our generation to be a forgotten species.


Written by S5 students - Nina Kirk, Alex McFarlane and Mya Nathwani

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