Dalkeith grandad shares his fears for his grandson in latest climate change study

A 60-year-old grandad from Dalkeith admits he “feels anxious” about climate change, as new research reveals ‘boomers’ and ‘zoomers’ are united on the issue.

By Kevin Quinn
Friday, 15th October 2021, 2:26 pm
Dalkeith grandparent James Slight with his grandson, Jackson.
Dalkeith grandparent James Slight with his grandson, Jackson.

New research commissioned by People’s Postcode Lottery has revealed strong cross-generational support for urgent action on climate change, as world leaders prepare to gather at COP 26 in Glasgow.

The research reveals that 89 per cent of Scotland’s grans and granddads are fearful about the ways climate change will impact future generations, and share the same worries as their younger Generation Z and Millennial counterparts.

Eighty-two per cent of Scotland’s grandparents polled feel the climate emergency should be treated as an urgent problem to resolve, as do 83 per cent of 16 to 34-year-olds.

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Kingfishers are among wildlife at threat from climate change. Credit -JonhawkinsSurreyHillsPhotography.

Jim Slight (60) from Dalkeith, who works in customer service, said: “If we start seeing more extreme weather and getting very dry summers and very wet winters then that will impact on food production.

“I’m older so it’s not going to affect me as much as it will my kids and my grandson so of course I’m worried about the type of climate they’ll be living in, and how it will affect their health, their finances and then their mental well-being too.

“You can see kids want action, they want to make a change now rather than inherit the problem and do something when it’s too late. But we can’t leave it all up to them.

“If we take action now then we can turn the tide on the way things are going. I hope the climate talks in Glasgow bring about the change we need for the younger generations.”

Water voles are at risk from climate change. Credit - Terry Whittaker2020VISION.

Managing director of People’s Postcode Lottery, Clara Govier, said: “As a parent myself, I share the concerns echoed by the grandparents surveyed, we need to make changes now and that’s why I’m proud our players are supporting organisations working to tackle climate change.

“Players of People’s Postcode Lottery are raising millions of pounds every year and providing vital support for charities working to achieve a safer, greener future for all of us.

“It’s heartening to learn there is such strong, cross-generational, support for climate action and to see the crucial role played by environmental charities being recognised by the public in this way.”

Friends of the Earth and The Wildlife Trusts have received more than £28.2 million in funds raised by players and partnered with People’s Postcode Lottery on the survey.

Nine out of 10 people surveyed are concerned about the impact on wildlife. (credit Andy Rouse2020VISION)

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time and it is great that across age and social groups most people want to see action on climate change.

“A really important finding is that, while people are willing to make changes to reduce climate change emissions, they are clear that government and business are also responsible. Whether it is making sure public transport is cheap and reliable or turning the recycling habit into a massive change in how and what we consume, the public want the right systems so that making the right choice for the environment is the easy option.

“It is heartening to see the high level of trust that the public put in the information that comes from environmental charities like us.”

The findings also show that more than 9 out of 10 Scots (91 per cent) are concerned about the harm a rise in global temperatures is causing to wildlife and animals.

Dougie Peedle, head of policy at the Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “Climate change is one of the biggest threats to Scotland’s wildlife, both on land and at sea. Tackling the climate emergency needs action from all parts of society.

“This research provides useful evidence to demonstrate to decision-makers that people in Scotland see climate change as an urgent issue, and that they are prepared to take action to tackling it. It’s also clear that people need help to learn what they can do to combat climate change and that environmental charities can play an important role in providing this information.

“Throughout COP26 and beyond we will be highlighting how restoring nature at scale can help to fight climate change, as well as practical things people can do to help wildlife and the climate at the same time. From planting a tree in the garden to volunteering with the Scottish Wildlife Trust, there are lots of ways to get involved.”

Mark Diffley, director of Diffley Partnerships, which designed the survey, said: “This exciting and timely new research offers invaluable insights that go beyond headline findings, and drills down into the detail of the public’s concerns, motivations and behaviours.

“The findings challenge established preconceptions and pervasive stereotypes around who is worried about climate change.

“It also advances practical and actionable solutions to the obstacles that individuals face, and identifies ways to facilitate positive environmental behaviours through strong partnerships of governments, businesses, charities and individuals.”