climate crisis | 

Dr Ciara Kelly says she won’t be ‘sucking it up’ to combat climate change

The Newstalk host was responding to new research which found that the majority of young people want to see “more radical” climate action.

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Dr Ciara Kelly has said that she “won’t be sucking it up” when it comes to tackling climate change.

The Newstalk host was responding to new research from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) which found that the majority of young people want to see “more radical” climate action.

The institute surveyed 16 to 24-year-olds, who said they want to see domestic flights banned in Ireland and car-free zones implemented in town and city centres.

Nine in ten young people surveyed said that protecting the environment is very important.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Dr Kelly said that she will “do whatever is necessary” but rejects any major restrictions that may be imposed to help reduce carbon emissions.

“I said this about Covid and I say this now about climate: I will do whatever is necessary - whatever is asked of me and whatever is necessary - to move us in a good way in terms of addressing climate change.

“I am not one of the people that will wear a hairshirt and beat myself up and say, ‘No I'll never get on a plane again, no I'll never eat meat again.’”

She continued: “I'm not that person. If ultimately that's what we have to do in the end, then that's fine - but I don't really enjoy this 'I'm the best boy in class, I'm the school prefect' crap.

“I don't like it, I don't have it in me. I will cut my coat according to my cloth, I will do what I have to do.

“I wasn't a good Catholic back in the day and I'm not good at this either.

“I balk at restrictions in all forms. I'll do what I have to do, but I won't be sucking it up and putting up my hand and going 'Please sir, let me be the first to live on chickpeas.’”

Dr Kelly said that she believes society is moving in a “neo-puritan fashion” where climate change activists preach their beliefs.

"I feel that society is moving in a neo-puritan fashion," she said.

"I do not like it and it does not sit well with me, and it is not something that my personality goes along with.

"I balk at neo-puritanism; I balk at all forms of puritanism, to be honest."


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