Climate change


PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am

Home and school are both important

Many parents seem to think that it is teachers and social workers who are responsible for educating their children. They are too busy themselves at work to pay attention to their children's emotional needs.

That is a mistake. Parents play a hugely important role in offering emotional support to children. They should be deeply involved in their children's lives.

Another source of support for young people is their friends at school. When they feel depressed or suffer from low self-esteem, school counsellors can help. But sometimes just having someone to talk to about their problems helps students, and that's where friends come in.

Young people need all the support they can get both at home and in school.

Chris Ho Ka-kui

Three cheers to vocabulary tests

My classmates and I have to do a vocabulary test every Monday. The tests are based on what we learned the week before, such as new words, idioms and phases.

The test enables us to improve our vocabulary. Many of us find it difficult, though, because the pass rate has been set at 70 per cent. Anyone who fails the test will have to retake it.

Some students have resorted to cheating, but I believe the rigorous testing is for our benefit. It will help us learn to express ourselves better.

Yeung Ho-yin, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

China must do more for the environment

The dangers of air pollution and environmental destruction are becoming more and more serious because of rapid industrial development across the globe.

The UN climate talks are among the largest international conferences that try to find solutions for tackling serious problems in both the developed and developing world.

Unfortunately, China has not shown enough commitment to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions. Its lack of true commitment will have a negative effect among other developing nations.

Together, China and the United States produce almost half of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. Yet the two countries were not willing to compromise on key issues at the UN climate talks.

I believe these two major polluters attended the talks just for the sake of it. They are not keen to do anything worthwhile on climate change. Their unwillingness to take the lead will discourage developing countries which are still facing financial difficulties. If the world's largest economies refuse to set an example for combating climate change, why and how should smaller nations sacrifice their economic development?

As a Chinese person, I am glad to see that our country is making progress in economic development and improving people's livelihood. Nevertheless, the central government should not forget about protecting the environment.

Even as more and more citizens are enjoying higher living standards, their quality of life is diminishing because of bad air quality and environmental pollution.

These problems will get only worse if the government continues to remain indifferent to the issue.

It is selfish of us to ignore the negative consequences of our economic development and care only about short-term benefits.

No one wants to see our planet become so heavily polluted that it becomes unlivable in many places. We must act now to protect the environment and heal the planet.

Large and rich nations like China have an obligation to invest far more resources in environmental protection than small and poor ones which can afford it less.

The central government should take heed and start working on the problem in earnest.

Tiffany Yu Yik-tung, Leung Shek Chee College

Many old buildings should go

I think old buildings should be demolished. If a society clings too strongly to the past, its progress will come to a halt.

Of course, some relics of historical value should be preserved to keep Hong Kong's collective memory of the past alive. But just because something is old doesn't necessarily make it worth saving at all cost.

Residents in many old buildings should consider the common good and allow redevelopment.

Bing Chong, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School