AS a headteacher 30 years ago I harangued assemblies about environmental matters, particularly the impact of our selfish lifestyles on a changing climate. Not much of it went in.

But now many students in Europe and Australia have understood and been on strike to influence the adults who are ruining their futures. The UK Climate Student Network now operates in over 30 UK cities, including Bradford.

The Youth Strike 4 Climate group is shocked that there are only 12 years left to stop the increase in CO2 and begin the necessary drastic reduction. Publicly truanting is more effective than writing to the papers, and might just influence the decision makers.

We must listen to these scared young people as they are the ones that’ll suffer sweltering temperatures, destructive storms, increasingly intensive rainfall, rising sea levels, declining food production, spreading deserts, and war.

They know their older family members are living for the minute, over indulging and buying far too many clothes, unnecessary consumer items, rarely used technology, big cars and over large houses as well as being seduced by air travel and foreign foods, all of which are destroying their children’s futures. They are appalled by our short-sighted appetites.

I appreciate their understanding but it must then be underlined, followed up and developed by their subsequent behaviour. They’ll need to demonstrate that it’s possible to live differently, happily and usefully, without creating excessive carbon dioxide.

I would expect them to walk, cycle and use buses and trains, and while they may have a driving licence they shouldn’t own or have immediate access to a car.

They certainly should make fewer clothes last at least twice as long, and repairing them and making new ones should be encouraged.

They must grow some of their own food, and plant as many trees as possible, as well as ensuring that all liquids are in glass bottles, not plastic ones.

Holidays should be in the UK or Europe by train; flying is out of the question.

Live well, and long, youngsters, and have no more than two children.