They fly the flag proudly at my local primary school in Kilcreggan, writes Ruth Wishart.

It’s a green one indicating that the school has reached the standard required for Eco Schools status recognising its commitment to the environment.

And that status has just been renewed.

Pop along the road from Helensburgh and you’ll find Cardross Primary has joined the growing throng of young campaigners who have banned the use of plastic straws, so many of which wind up polluting the ocean and choking its denizens.

It was the under 12’s elsewhere who first took up the baton and persuaded their teachers and parents and now their government that the war on unnecessary plastic and packaging has to get real.

Meanwhile, over in Florida, a rather older bunch of activists are taking a more urgent issue to their Congressional representatives.

These teenagers, led by the schoolmates of the 17 gunned down in the latest campus tragedy, have shown a huge amount of courage and commitment despite their efforts being trashed by the hard men of the National Rifle Association whose funding of so many political careers has made gun control such an elusive goal.

Look at the charts of gun ownership and deaths by shooting across the developed world and the America statistics are so far off the scale, that they dwarf the nearest country by many thousands of annual deaths.

No matter how many children die for no more reason than being in the wrong school or college at the wrong time, Americans seemingly can’t or won’t join the obvious dots between mass ownership of high velocity arms and mass carnage.

Their cherished second amendment, usually characterised as the right to bear arms, was originally, rather less controversially, a piece of legislation offering the right to self defence against a possible rogue government.

I doubt if those who compiled the text almost 250 years ago when some folks had a family rifle on the premises, ever envisaged households with multiple battlefield style weaponry, or gun toting housewives packing their own pistols in their handbags.

The insane suggestion from the Trump person that the answer lies in teachers being armed, underlines just how far up the political food chain this madness reaches. Trump too took millions of campaign dollars from the NRA.

But if there is one gleam of light in all those efforts to save the planet and its inhabitants from themselves, it’s the imagination and guts of the next generation.

It has taken our youngest schoolchildren in Scotland to point the way to some obvious hits in the battle to save the oceans.

And it has taken the raw bravery of some wounded youngsters in America, viewing the epidemic of shooting through the prism of their own local grief, to highlight how utterly crazy is the ability of citizens, however unstable, to buy and hoard the kind of munitions once only seen in the heat of international warfare.

It’s depressing to remember that when little children were shot dead by a gunman at Sandy Hook elementary school in the USA a few years back, even 20 little corpses failed to move the pro gun lobbyists despite then President Obama’s best efforts.

We can only hope that this latest outrage brings the US to a tipping point.

These kids certainly sound as if they’re not going to shut up any time soon.

As the TV host observed in the film Network: “They’re mad as hell and they ain’t going to take it any more.”