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The NYA Blog

A climate of change

22 September 2009

Everywhere I look at the moment I see the words Climate Change.

Open my newspaper and there’s China pledging its commitment to fight climate change by promising a ‘notable’ reduction in the growth of carbon dioxide emissions at the United Nations summit in New York.

And how heartening to hear that a girl of 13 – Yugratna Srivastava from India – represented the world’s three billion young people at the summit, addressing an audience including more than 100 heads of states. Let’s hope they listened carefully.

The Hansard Society’s interactive forum until 16 October gives young people the chance to debate climate change with politicians under the theme Our World, Our Future.

An original, and very funny play script fell into my lap, using a circus theme to help educate the young about the choices they can make and the effect this will have on their environment in the future.

Then our village newsletter dropped onto my doormat. The very active group leading on reducing our carbon footprint continue to prick our conscience over what more we could and should be doing to recycle our rainwater and feed surplus electricity from home systems into the National Grid. Use buses. Car share.

But for me there’s a difficulty here. No one else makes my journey at the time I make it (I’ve asked) and, public transport only really goes north-south and not west-east. To use public transport for my journey to work I’d have to set out the previous evening, probably before I’d returned home from the previous day’s labours! And I’m well within government guidelines on travel to work areas.

It all reminds me of the classic Monty Python sketch The three Yorkshiremen – the one where they vie with each other in their reminiscences about the sheer misery of their upbringings. In particular the line ‘I had to get up in’t morning half an hour before I went to bed ...’. Thank heavens for work from home policies.

We at The National Youth Agency continue to contribute our modest bit, recycling what we can where we can and following urgent exhortations to ‘Switch it Off’ by light switches and other electrical equipment.

But privately and corporately are we doing enough? We may think so but, as Monty Python’s sketch finished – ‘Try telling the young people today that. And they just won’t believe you!’.

Andy Hopkinson is with the Media Services team at
The NYA. He can be contacted at

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