It’s time to ‘bang on’ about Climate Change – our young people are demanding that Politicians step up

Posted on: 17th February 2019

It’s time to ‘bang on’ about Climate Change – our young people are demanding that Politicians step up! I spent Friday listening and talking with various groups of people on the facts behind our Climate Change Emergency, peoples worries and demands.

Cornwall's student strike highlighting the Climate emergency

I met with students taking part of the student strike, who gathered at County Hall

My day started at County Hall where I had been invited by Rosie, a local youngster, to come to meet and talk with the young people. I was supposed to be attending a meeting at St Just Town Council, the audit committee but I decided that listening and speaking with our young people was more urgent. I’ve had an email from one Cornwall resident telling me that I’m a ‘disgrace‘ for ‘supporting all the lazy snowflakes walking out of school protesting about climate change‘. Well, I have news for him, I am exchanging emails with the young people organising a further event in March and I hope I can live up to some of their expectations and deliver on some of their asks. I know I will fail to deliver everything by then.

I went out on the green, to be with the young people twice, firstly to wander around read their placards and talk to Rosie, the local organiser and the media. Later, I went out to listen to the young people challenge me and Government (none of our Cornish MPs came) to do more and more urgently – they were not very understanding when I suggested they needed to be a bit patient “there’s not time” a young lad told me. I get it but I haven’t found the local Government hyperspeed gear!

If any of you have not viewed the video of Greta Thunberg inspiring our young people to strike, then make yourself a cuppa, get some tissues handy and sit and watch this – you need 12 mins! (Just in case you think you have viewed this already, its not the short clip that did the news rounds).

Greta telling it as it is on Climate Change

Cllr Sue James, engages with young people on strike

A Q & A session on the grass outside County Hall last Friday

In the afternoon I travelled to the Cornwall Federation of WI’s building to join members from across Cornwall listening to experts from RSPB and Hope for the Future, all telling the audience the impacts now and predicted of Climate Change of our birds, insects and other wildlife. I was there along with 2 MP’s, Derek Thomas and Sarah Newton and was invited to join a panel answering questions at the end. The rate of destruction of wildlife habitats is set to escalate due to climate change and it’s already begun. The links below are organisations you might not have heard of and might want to find out more about.

Show the love for nature: RSPB     Hope for the Future      Cornwall Federation of WI’s


Extinction Rebellion Penwith Leaflet/ Info




In the evening I went to St Just Church to an event put on by Extinction Rebellion, Penwith. There were about 200 people there and I met Rosie’s dad so completed the circle really. We had a well informed talk by Manda Brookman of COAST and Dom, an Environmental Scientist, I think he said from St Just and I’d really like to make contact with him. I watched the video shared above, Greta on Climate Change and although people are looking to me as having local power, because I’m in Cornwall Council’s Cabinet, I felt pretty powerless and depressed by the end of the evening. I’m not going to let that depression lead to inaction though, I’m going to use it as a reason to keep banging on about the emergency facing our planet as it is only us humans that can do something about it.