Samantha, from our COP26 group, shares how she feels about the stigma around caring about the environment.
One thing I have found while working as a young climate activist is that there is a lot of stigmatism, especially in my community, which I think is quite ironic as climate changes drastically effects my community.
I live on an island and we are at risk of coastal erosion and rising tides. It is predicted that by 2050 my school will be underwater and my home will be lying in water, and even though this information is out there I seem to be one of few who actually care. You see in my maths class I quite often get mocked for being involved in climate activist groups and activities, and I started to wonder why this is.
I believe it’s because of the stigmatism that caring about the environment and political issues is ‘uncool’. Which to me sounds absurd because at the end of the day, it’s our future and it’s going to be down to my generation to fix it, and at the rate we’re going there will be too much damage to fix.
I’m not sure where the stigma came from or why people believe in it, but I think it needs to stop. I recently got to partake in an event with the Minister for Children and Young People, Clare Haughey, where myself and a group of young climate enthusiasts got together to have a conversation. It inspired me to become even more invested into the climate change problem, and I just wish that we could start conversations all around Scotland to break the stigma and get people to start caring as much as I do.
I was interviewed in the upcoming weeks to the Scottish parliament elections in May of this year, for BBC ALBA where I was asked what I was looking for in an MP, my response was someone who cares about the environment and is willing to fight for changes when it comes to climate change. When I later watched the programme, my friends and other young people who were voting for the first time were also asked the same question and the majority had answers similar to mine which I found inspiring.
If I had a genie that could grant me one wish, I would wish that the people of my generation took climate change more seriously and helped stand up against those leaders who are making the false promises and who aren’t doing anything to tackle the climate problem.
Read other environmental blogs or visit our COP26 page to find out more about climate change, the climate crisis and the environment.
Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.