Climate change: Why Scotland's adults still need to listen to their children about the future – Scotsman comment

What will life in Scotland, and the world, be like in 2040?

There are doubtless many theories and suggestions about what our future holds, but children living in Scotland’s islands have now given their thoughts in the form of stories and pictures as part of the Climate Change Message in a Bottle project.

Electric ferries, wind turbines, home-grown food, a specially reinforced pier, and even houses on stilts all feature and one image will be chosen to be on the front cover of the Scottish Government’s Carbon Neutral Islands progress report, due out in June.

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While a child’s imagination may, or may not, live up to the standards of a professional ‘futurologist’ – and there is such a job – it is worth listening to what they have to say all the same.

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Green vision: Children imagine how Scottish islands will look 20 years in the fu...

For at least our children get it. They understand, while many adults still do not, just how rapidly and how much our lives are going to have to change in the coming years as the dangers posed by climate change continue to grow.

Greta Thunberg became an early example when, while still a child, she started telling older generations what they had been persistently refusing to hear: that the world’s scientists were warning of potentially catastrophic changes to the atmosphere upon which we all depend unless swift action was taken to cut greenhouse gases. Despite her fame and world leaders’ warm words at summits like COP26, we remain off-track.

So let's hope Ella, from North Uist, is not wrong: “In 2020 nobody seemed to care about climate change, but everyone started trying to stop climate change in the years that followed.”

Isabella from Kirkwall Grammar School, Orkney, created this colourful vision of life there in 2040

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