Letters: Adult climate decisions impact on kids’ futures, says Josie Law, 14

As a student in Scotland, I am learning to be a responsible citizen.

Monday, 11th March 2019, 1:56 pm
Updated Monday, 11th March 2019, 1:57 pm
'People like councillor John McLellan have failed my generation'., writes 14-year-old Josie Law. Picture: TSPL

The Curriculum for Excellence doesn’t teach me that I am only allowed to be responsible and stand up for what I think is right outside of school hours. I am learning to do the right thing all the time, not just out of school time, and not just when adults tell me I can.

I was born in 2004 into a world shaped by the decisions of the people that came before me.

John McLellan refers to climate change as a ‘theory’ (News, March 7) but in geography class I have learned about the evidence of the negative impact humans have had on the climate and the wider environment.

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In 1960, 5% of seabirds had plastic in their stomachs, now it’s 90%. Since 1900 global wetlands have decreased by over 50%.

Current rates of species extinction are 100 to 1000 times the background extinction rate. Since 1970, vertebrate species numbers have dropped by 50% worldwide. (Source: Living Planet Report 2018: Aiming Higher).

In the last 130 years the world has warmed by about 0.85 degrees Celsius. The number of reported weather-related natural disasters have tripled since the 1960s and every year these disasters contribute to around 60,000 deaths worldwide (Source: World Health Organisation: Climate Change and Health, 1 February 2018).

The decisions that the adults of today have made and are still making are having a direct impact on my future and the future of the children that will come after me.I cannot change the bad decisions they have made. I cannot vote, and I have no say over my family’s lifestyle and consumption choice. The only way I can make my voice heard is through peaceful civil disobedience.

I will continue to do this whether or not I am given ‘permission’ to do so by adults, because although I value my education, I value the future of this planet more. I am prepared to pay the price to do what is right, and to suggest I am being used as a political pawn is insulting and patronising. I am using what power I have to change the world, because people like John McLellan have failed to me.

I would ask him not add insult to injury by suggesting that I have no valid political opinion of my own and that I am only acting upon the wishes of others.

Josie Law, Age 14, Broughton High School

School pupils should strike in own time

AS much as I agree it’s good for school pupils to take part in climate protests, especially as they are going to inherit the global problems, surely to be allowed to miss school to attend is not a good way of doing so.

Where will it stop ? I am sure that there will be more and more protests organised if this is allowed and possibly not just for protesting climate change.

Can they not set a date either a Friday afternoon, Saturday or Sunday; or they could do it on one of the many holidays they have so they are not affecting a school day, and whoever does attend on these days is there to protest, not just an excuse to have a day off school.

There are other options, I am sure there will be a few parents uncomfortable with this.

C Naysmith, Mountcastle, Edinburgh

20 may be plenty but too few drivers agree

I live on the south west side of Edinburgh and I see very little compliance with the 20mph speed limit. At a wild guess maybe one driver in 10 complies.

Politicians and councillors imply that the roll out of the 20mph speed limit is a success. I disagree. These people imply that it is a success, because they must justify their own dogma and cost to the city. I watch the traffic, so I can judge.

The residents of Edinburgh were never given a vote on this policy because councillors knew what the result would be - a strong No.

Tom McLaren, Woodfield Park, Edinburgh

Car parking levy is a big bill for workers

I can’t help thinking that our councillors don’t seem to understand that £400 is a lot of money to working people when they consider imposing a work space parking levy.

They say its not a tax on motorists, so therefore its a tax on working people. I truly hope that common sense prevails and this tax does not go ahead.

Surely if a company owns its own land it’s up to them if they let their staff park free of charge or not.

Come on Edinburgh councillors, give us a break please and show us you really do listen to the people you serve.

Mrs Susan Smart, Penicuik

Tram budget lessons not been learned

the first phase of the trams ran massively over budget and because of this we set up an enquiry panel to see what could be learned.

Before the answers have been found our council show they have not learned anything and have decided to go ahead anyway with taking the trams to Leith. They are already telling us that the cost could go up and they have not even started yet.

They have never taken on board the wishes of the people that work and live here. They are now firmly part of the Edinburgh disgrace.

Raymond Ross, Hutchinson Avenue, Edinburgh