When it comes to discussing climate change, older people may have one advantage: they have watched it happen and have experienced its impacts. A collaborative project between Cork County Council’s Climate Action Unit, Cork County Age Friendly Programme and Cork County Older Peoples Council is inviting the older population in Cork County to share their climate stories.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, said,
“Storytelling has always been a strong part of our culture and our learning. We remember and trust stories told to us by our parents, grandparents and elders. Anyone aged over 55 has lived through climate impact. This project hopes to capture their stories. If we make the changes needed, we’ll look back on it as a watershed moment. If we don’t, it’ll be a record of what could have been. While these are individual perspectives, the collective stories have the power to shift the narrative and contribute to positive change.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, commented,
“Climate change is a complex issue that can feel far removed from our everyday lives. Sharing personal experiences can help put it into context. This project recognises older people have unique knowledge, insights and wisdom to share. This inter-generational climate action is part of a wider awareness campaign being undertaken in our Climate Adaptation Strategy. Stories will be compiled and made available online and, in our libraries, later this year.”
Elizabeth Maddox, Chair of Cork Older People's Council said,
“I’d like to congratulate the Climate Action Unit of Cork County Council’s Environment Department on this exciting climate change project. The members of the Older Peoples Council are looking forward to hearing the stories on climate change over the decades and are delighted to be part of, and of support, to this project going forward”.
Mayor Linehan Foley added “Cork County Older People’s Council has a key role in this initiative, and I commend them on their vision. No matter the issue – be it in response to COVID-19 or a challenge such as climate change – older people have important contributions to make. I look forward to the perspectives they will bring to the table.”
A climate story is an account of climate change from personal experience such as: How have I noticed climate change in my life? Has there been a change in nature or in my locality that has been affected by climate? How have I been affected by climate change? Maybe through storms, flooding or extreme heat. What would older people like to say to generations coming after them?
The initiative is targeted at older people (over 55’s) in Cork County and the submission details are available on our Customer Service Portal, YourCouncil.ie. Entries, in the form of a poem or a story of up to 700 words, are invited before 30th of June 2021, and photographs are welcomed.