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Climate Change Feature

Postiwyd gan Tom W o Caerdydd - Cyhoeddwyd ar 31/07/2008 am 16:50
0 sylwadau » - Tagiwyd fel Amgylchedd

Things are heating up, and it isn’t good!

Who are you and what is your role?

Hi everyone! My name is Tom Williams, I’m 16 and from Cardiff, and I am one of the Youth Editorial Group for theSprout. At the start of 2008 I was appointed as a Young Climate Change Ambassador for Wales: one of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Climate Change ‘Champions’. During our year ‘in office’, we have the chance to attend events all across Wales, and speak to people of all ages. I will hopefully be writing a feature every couple of weeks for theSprout on climate change issues, as they are issues that affect us all.

There are six champions in total, coming from all across Wales, and together we can take the message to the whole country. We also spread the word through the use of the media. We’ve already had lots of television and radio interviews and had stories on us in the newspapers and on the web. We all have a column in our local papers about once a month, too. I have a slot with Cardiff Radio once a month also. The people at theSprout once described me as a ‘mini-minister’ on climate change, but I am no politician. I don’t put spin on climate change, because there is no spin to put on it, because it is something that is real; it is here, it is now and needs to be addressed.

How did you get the post?

To get this post, I had to produce a news article or web page on the Earth-shattering effects of climate change. I also had to cover why it’s happening, and what I’m going to do to help my family, friends, school and local community to get involved and be part of the solution. One of the prizes was a trip to Amsterdam in February, which was truly enlightening and a fantastic experience (more on that another time). We saw for ourselves what steps people on the Continent are taking to tackle climate change, and how they are miles ahead of us in the race to combat climate change.

Where do young people come into this?

For a long time now people have said we should act for the sake of ‘our children and our children’s children’, but the fact is, it now lies with us; our generation will start feeling these impacts, and these impacts are real. Ban Ki-moon, the UN General Secretary said that climate change is “the defining challenge of our age.”

As climate change champions, we have a unique angle to use. I think it’s a great idea getting young people on board like us, because today’s young people need to hear the issue, and need to act on the issue; and who better to get through to them, than fellow young persons. It shows that the youth have a voice. We are listening. We realise that there’s a reason to be concerned, and we’re acting, or at least we should be. If we can understand it, so can everyone else, so must everyone else. This world is moving, are you? Don’t be a cause of the problem, be part of the solution. There are so many easy steps we can all take, right now. If I was going to suggest one thing you should do before next time you hear from me it would be: Get better informed and calculate your Carbon footprint on the web ? just type it into Google right now! It will work it out for you and from there you can make short term goals: quick and easy steps to reduce your impact on the planet.

Name some of the events you have already attended

o Our launch at the Senedd, with First Minister Rhodri Morgan, and Environment Minister, Jane Davidson

o Fact-finding expedition to the Netherlands for 4 days

o Green Homes and Buildings event in Builth Wells with one of TV’s greenest stars, Dick Strawbridge

o Eco-Schools Awards with BBC weatherman Derek Brockway

o Buried a Time Capsule at NavigationPark, Abercynon for citizens 100 years in the future, with details on  today’s thinking on climate change

o Gained the support of the Cardiff Blues at the Cardiff Arm’s Park

o Visited the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Machynlleth

Any events/special days in the next couple of weeks?

I will be at the National Eisteddfod with fellow Climate Change Champion, Adam Amor from Swansea, on Mon 4 Aug. We will be having a small spot at the show where anybody can come up to us to talk about climate change, and we are calling out to everyone to make their pledge to help tackle climate change.

I look forward to seeing some of you there and speaking to you all soon.

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