Thursday 5 December 2019

Iona Logan: 'I hate this time of year, when it's all about spending and consumerism'


Striking example: Climate change activist Iona Logan from Raheen, Limerick. Photo: Don Moloney
Striking example: Climate change activist Iona Logan from Raheen, Limerick. Photo: Don Moloney

Iona Logan

It's almost a year since I started striking - and it feels like forever. We shouldn't need to do this. At the start, I thought the Government would take action. It has but it's just not of the enormous size or radical kind that's needed.

Leaders seriously need to look at the figures. We know from the reports this week that CO2 emitted has hit a record high, which is shameful.

They need to agree to immediately reduce emissions by 7.6pc. If they reduce it by 7.6pc every year until 2030, we would then escape the worst of the climate chaos.

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At the rate we're going, I don't really think we'll get there but, hopefully, fingers crossed.

They also need to act on complete divestment - take the money out of fossil fuels and move away from the growth economy.

It's all about growth and profit and it's endless and all our resources are eventually going to be used up.

I hate this time of year when it's all about spending and consumerism. It makes me so annoyed. You don't need to buy all that stuff.

We need to think about wealth in a different way, like a healthy environment is our wealth, not just money.

It's really frustrating, the amount of time we're wasting deciding whether we should take action or not and what to do.

Four years have passed since the Paris Climate Agreement and we have only 10 years before we come into climate chaos and I really don't want to find out what that is like because we, the youth, are going to be left to pick up the pieces.

I'm sure the Government's job right now is pretty difficult but it's going to have to figure out a way to fix this because we're not going to stop protesting.

There is only so much people can do individually - the Government has all the power.

But people need to vote, to speak to their politicians and insist on change. That's really a key thing.

I was a delegate at the Youth Assembly, which was pretty cool, but I have mixed emotions about it.

I didn't like the fact they said this is a great place where the young people can use their voice and have a say.

I felt, we already have a say, we already have a voice. What we don't have is action.

I have one or two days a week where I don't look at reports, don't think about climate change, just take a breather from everything.

If you don't, you would go mad, it would send you depressed.

It would be good if people used their time together this Christmas to talk about this. I wouldn't want to ruin their entire Christmas - even we don't speak about it all the time at home.

At the dinner table, instead of a swear jar we have a hypothetical climate change jar, because the amount of times I talk about climate change is ridiculous.

We emailed the 'Toy Show' about making a stand on plastic and trying to bring in more environmentally friendly toys, so we'll see if they paid any attention. It's all about educating people.

Iona Logan (17), from Limerick, has been climate striking for 49 weeks and today she leads a protest in the city

Irish Independent

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