Midleton Grass Roots Activists Seek to Lead Climate Change Uprising

by SEAMUS WHELEHAN

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Fourth Year students at St Colman’s Community College want East Cork residents to start a food revolution which could affect climate change. As hundreds of students from across Ireland plan to join a global mass rally tomorrow to “declare a state of climate emergency”, the fourth year students are leading their own Climate Change Uprising.

The Transition Year students are encouraging the community to commit to buy local, reduce plastic packaging and eat only food stuffs that are in season, to help save the planet. The pupils, who are competing in the ‘One Good Idea’ competition supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland say, “small changes can make a big difference to reduce our impact on the environment, to fight climate change.” “While it’s better for the environment, the money will stay in the local economy generating more employment” said Student Rio Wall. Earlier this week a draft report from the Joint Oireachtas on climate action revealed we are going to miss, “by a wide margin”, our 2020 target to reduce greenhouse gases. The report says we are also likely to miss our 2030 target, and will struggle to decarbonise by 2050, costing the Exchequer millions in fines.

While a study by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that 86% of us recognise the value of the environment, Ireland is currently ranked the worst in Europe when it comes to our response to global warming. According to the Climate Change Performance Index we are also among the worst countries in the World when it comes to reducing our Carbon emissions. Research has found that what we put on our plates matters a lot when it comes to climate change. A recent study by the University of California discovered that almost 25% of all the global climate change problems we are experiencing can be directly linked to our daily food choices.

Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land uses attributes to 24% of global climate change issues, almost double the emissions caused by vehicles.

The study found, for instance, that if you look at everything which goes into producing a rib eye steak, you end up emitting 330g of Carbon which is the equivalent to driving 5km in a car. By eating chicken, carbon emissions drop to 52g or fish, 35g of carbon.

For those wishing to attend the Cork march tomorrow (Friday 15) it will take place outside City Hall between 1:00pm and 2:00pm

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