On Friday, 13 federal agencies released a comprehensive scientific report naming humans as the main factor for the heightened levels of temperatures on earth, a direct contradiction to the Trump administration’s dominant opinion on climate change.
The Climate Science Special Report observed risings in sea level and average annual temperatures around the world, diminishing sea ice and glaciers, and ocean acidification among many other factors to determine the conclusion that human activity is greatly affecting climate change.
While it is federal agencies under the Trump administration that has released this deduction, the administration and many others in the country may still be left questioning the veracity of the report.
As opinions on climate change are often shaped primarily by political ideologies, it is possible that many may be unwilling to change their position on global warming in face of the administrations unveiling.
Hayden Brown, a student at Pima Community College, is one who remains unconvinced. “Earth puts more pollution out by itself than humans are possible of doing” stated Brown in response to the CSSR. “One volcanic eruption puts out more pollution. I don’t think we’re a major, I think we’re a small, minor contribution to climate change. I don’t think we hold a candle to it.”
However, Shawn Secody, a political science student at the UA, believes differently. “Climate Change is real, the science is undeniable,” said Secody. “Human activity is the primary cause of global temperatures rising and the polar ice caps melting. I am in complete disagreement with the way the Trump administration and the U.S. Congress has handled the issue. However the issue of climate change presents a ‘collective action’ problem, where everyone is quick to blame yet no one is willing to change their actions.”
Another student at the UA concurs with Secody’s opinion. “I think it’s happening,” said Travis Thorne, an optical sciences and engineering student. “I’m a pretty conservative-view person, but when it comes to [climate change], I don’t see why everyone is up in arms about it. Whether it’s true or not you should be doing your best to protect the environment.”
Additionally, according to a study by the UA’s Institute of the Environment, 78% of the people of Arizona believe rising temperatures are caused in part by human activity.
What this could mean for the UA
The report being released by the White House signals that the Trump administration has at the least acknowledged the science behind human-caused climate change, which may be some good news for the UA.
The UA has established itself as an environmentally conscious institution; it has previously been ranked no. 1 in the U.S. and no.2 in the world for environmental research, the UA has assisted in producing a number of environmentally–friendly products, and the UA has a renowned environmental institute that has a renewable energy network and receives millions in grants.
Now that the Obama administration has released a report that agrees with what a majority of scientists have been stating for years, the UA may have even more reason to continue it’s leading streak in environmental research, which could perhaps result in more funding for grants and more recognition for the university.