Dear World: ‘No one is ready for the cold hard reality of climate change’

Enter our climate-writing competition for primary and secondary students, and you could win €2k for your school

This is your chance to put forward your ideas on how to solve the climate crisis This is your chance to put forward your ideas on how to solves the climate crisis

Here are some early entries to The Irish Times climate writing competition.

Dear World,
I wish I could act like we had more time, like we have a choice in making our lifestyles more sustainable, but we don't. People love to act like "going green" is all we need to do and I guess it's the most socially acceptable thing to say.

If we all pretend that the way we can solve the climate crisis is by recycling, using eco-friendly coffee cups and buying clothes from second-hand shops then maybe the problem will just disappear. If we all pretend like nothing is wrong while people starve to death, then maybe the problem won’t exist anymore.

We can do better than this, can’t we? I refuse to believe that this is what the world has come to. I hope for your own sake this isn’t your idea of being “climate conscious”: acting like it’s all fine.


Who cares anyway? It’s not my problem, you say. I hate to disagree with you but science says otherwise. Scientists have been saying the same thing for decades, but of course we were too naive to listen. Of course we don’t care about the catastrophic floods happening or the fossil fuels already locked into our atmosphere. Sure, why would we?

We’ve become spoiled, living a comfortable lifestyle, while others suffer the direct results of climate change. We make jokes and memes about it because the truth is too uncomfortable for any of us to handle, because no one is ready for the cold hard reality of the situation.

We sit at home posting articles on Instagram, going on about what an "important issue" climate change is, but what have you actually done? The answer may scare you, but you have to face it.
Rose Darroch


Dear World,
Climate change is a huge issue that the world now faces. Droughts, storms, heatwaves, rising sea levels, thawing permafrost, shrinking glaciers and increased precipitation levels are only some of the major effects. It is an issue we need to address before it is too late.

The planet we live on is special and we don’t have another one, so we should be doing all we can to try and mind it.

There are many challenges that we face – such as poorer countries lacking funds to make the necessary changes, or people not being informed about climate change.

We can do a lot to help stop climate change: walking or cycling instead of driving, recycling more, planning meals to prevent food waste, saving water and helping to raise awareness about climate change can all make a difference.

For world leaders, evenly distributing wealth across the world can help poorer countries to make the changes that they need to help stop climate change. By trying our best we can reach the COP26 goals and make Earth a better place for us and future generations.
Noirin O'Loughlin


Dear World,
I love animals. I love nature. And I care for the world. That is why I am writing this letter about climate change. My favourite season is summer because: 1. It is really sunny. 2. You get to go on holidays. 3. You get to go places that you have never gone before, 4. You get to spend time with family.

But sometimes when you go on holidays you see lots of plastic on the beach. Just like when I was in my grandma and grandad’s house. We went to the beach and we saw lots of plastic bottles and cans on it. With my grandma and brother we got three full bags of plastic bottles and cans.

We should put up more signs saying “Don’t Litter”. We should put more litter pickers in parks and on beaches, so that people can pick up litter.

Please try and stop climate change.
Aoife Mountford (10)


Iseult Brick Dunne: I want people to only drive when you really need to

Dear World,
My name is Iseult and what I'm focusing on is cars. I'm big into the environment and I love my bike. We sold one of our cars so we have had to find other ways to get to school.

One time I was cycling down a road with my dad and a big yellow truck was trying to over take us and my dad was in front of me. So the truck was getting closer and closer until I could nearly touch the wheel and it was really scary, so then my dad stopped and talked to him, and I got so scared I started crying and I’m nine years old.

So that is why I want people to add more cycle lanes and only drive when you really need to and even when you do drive be careful because I don't want other kids to experience what happened to me. Thank you.
Iseult Brick Dunne (9)

The competition, the prize and how to enter

Dear World is an Irish Times climate writing competition for school students, in association with Smurfit Kappa. Write an open letter to world leaders, sharing your thoughts on the climate crisis in 300 words or less, in Irish or English. There are two categories of entry: primary and secondary school.

Each of the winning entries will secure a bundle of 20 books from Children's Books Ireland for the letter writer, plus a €2,000 grant for their school, to be spent on green initiatives. The winners will be published in The Irish Times and on in late October, prior to the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties.

Entries may be uploaded here, or in the form in this article. Closing date: 11.59pm, October 9th, 2021. For style guidance and full terms and conditions, click here.

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