Nobel Laureate urges students to act on climate change

Nobel Laureate (Nobel Prize winner), Professor Mario Molina has urged DCU staff and students to act collectively in response to the problem of global climate change.

Speaking in the Helix last Wednesday, November 21st, as part of the Nobel Laureate Lecture Series, he told students to “leave a planet that functions for future generations and let your government know of your concerns about climate change”.

Professor Molina said: “The ozone layer has started to heal. While it will take twenty years to see the full effects of the Montreal Protocol and the banning of CFC gases, the issue of the erosion of the ozone layer has essentially been solved.”

He stressed that while floods and wild fires are increasing on all continents, climate change has not caused these events but has “increased their intensity”.

The Copenhagen Accord goal is to keep temperature change below two degrees and stabilisation wedges over the next 50 years hope to “improve fuel economy, solar and wind energy and build more efficient buildings”.

Finishing his presentation Professor Molina concluded: “Individually, we can use energy much more efficiently and re-cycle; however we cannot individually affect what is a global problem.”

Following his speech, the floor was opened for questions and students from around Ireland used social media to Skype questions to Professor Molina. The student with the best question was awarded an iPad from DCU.

Professor Molina is a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry for his research into the effect of CFC gases on the ozone layer.

Over 250 secondary school students, DCU staff and students attended this year’s presentation on Climate Change: Science, Policy and Solutions. The lecture was streamed internationally on Aertv by Magnate Networks.

Only ten Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Irish Laureates. DCU President, Brian MacCraith, said that he hoped the lecture series would “inspire students and increase the number of female and Irish Laureates in the future”.

The Lecture Series is held annually by DCU and previous speakers include Dr Steven Chu and Dr Bill Philips.

Ciara Moore

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