Irish actor Colm Meaney has spoken of his 16-year-old daughter’s “climate anxiety” as she joins teenagers from all over the world in expressing concern about the future of the planet.
In a Zoom interview on Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ One, the Dublin native stated that his daughter, like many teenagers, is “angry” about the failure of governments worldwide to comprehensively tackle climate change.
“Teenagers can be angry about a lot of things, but this is very specific. This is about her future. I find the more I go into it, that I can’t justify what my generation has done. We have known about climate change for 30 years.
“This is Cop 26,” he continued. “Twenty-six years of it. Exxon knew about this in 1970. Fifty years ago. We have no excuses about this and what is really making younger people angry is the talk, the talk, the talk and no action.”
The Hollywood actor said he had read an interesting statistic this week which involved fossil fuel industries worldwide being subsidised by governments to the tune of some $11 million (€9.48 million) a minute.
“A minute. This is supposed to be something we are trying to eradicate. We are subsidising it? Most of this comes down to lobbying by fossil fuel interests in the US. It is all for short-term profit.
“And how these chief executives and people who run these organisations can sleep knowing that their children and their children’s children are going to have to pay the price for their short-term profit.”
Meaney added that he had certainly “woken up” to climate change even if he was just an “armchair environmentalist”.
“I have become more angry. This house we live in here is completely off the grid. It is totally powered by solar power. In terms of carbon footprint this house is zero. It is not just a question of what individuals can do. It is the corporations we have to go after. It is fundamentally changing the way we produce energy. The short-term profit has to be taken out of it.”